Now that the kids are back to school, my days are split between Elsie and Bella. We have just one year to get Bella ready for school and I’m more than excited to have more time to spend with her. Our plans for this year are to learn letters and sounds, and to practise more counting too. We’re working on writing her name and she suddenly has that thirst for learning that preschoolers have. That desire to soak in as much information about the world around them as possible. That need to progress and to achieve. This is what drew me into teaching in the first place, and why I love this age so much! And so as part of our new plans to get ready for school, Bella and I have been testing out a new app from Clydesdale Bank- Count Me In 123!
The app is free for android and Apple devices and aims to help develop number skills with stimulating games designed specifically for preschoolers. It features the Number Chums, a cheeky monkey who helps with counting, a jolly bunny who leads the shape spotter skills and a snappy crocodile who is there to help develop big/ small concept skills.
Before the kids use any of the apps on iPad, I always check them out first and make sure that I know what they need to do in case they get stuck. And also I like to make sure that there is in fact a good reason for them to be playing in the first place- an educational objective is important. Count Me In 123 ticks all the boxes here- it’s simple to use and has clear educational aims so I was more than happy to hand over to Bella!
Bella loves the Number Chums! The graphics are bright and colourful and the friendly characters help her to familiarise herself with the activity ahead. During each game, written and verbal instructions are given so that early and developing readers are able to play confidently- something that is so important for preschoolers just starting out on their reading journeys. At the end of each game, players are congratulated with a cheery “Well done!” which never fails to make Bella smile! The games are simple, effective and quick to play.
The counting game is Bella’s favourite. Before you begin, you are invited to count to ten for practise, and then you are given various amounts of objects to count. Players much then choose the corresponding number. This game practises speaking and listening, counting and ordering, and number recognition too.
This game helps with shape recognition and shape names. For Bella is also helps with her speech and language development too.
Big and small
This game is simple but important. It helps Bella to understand the concept and again assists with speech and language development.
Each game uses lots of praise when players get it right, and gentle encouragement when they don’t.
This is a really lovely game! Bella has been able to play with no assistance from me at all, and at her age I feel this is important. She can become easily frustrated when games are too difficult for her, and often gives up if she feels she needs to ask for help from us. She wants to do it all by herself, and this game is perfect for that. It’s also perfectly pitched for the age range and I think that as a preschool game it follows the numeracy curriculum well.
For Bella personally, she is enjoying being in charge of the game, and loves to show her siblings how clever she is when she becomes a Number Chums champion. She is also getting more opportunities to practise speaking and listening, which is a huge thing for us at the moment. Bella has a few speech issues that we’re working on at the moment and so Count Me In 123 is now part of the language exercises that we’re doing at home to help her. For that, I cannot praise it highly enough!
You can download Count Me In 123 here and become a Number Chums Champion yourself! There are also work sheets to download and print at home, and a story with learning opportunities that help with numeracy skills.
We were sent an iPad mini for the purposes of this review. All opinions are my own.