Once in a while I come across an app for kids that truly surprises me. My son often checks out the games but seldom finds any apps that hold his interest. We are delighted to be reviewing Counting Parrots by Yingele.
Traditional educational apps focus on one or more aspects of learning, and then inundate their program with cute animals, puppets, or similar animations to keep a child’s attention. This is poorly executed about 80% of the time and as a result the child enjoys about 20% of the program and then simply moves on to something else.
I could pull out fancy statistics but I actually know exactly how many apps I’ve dumped off of my Kindle Fire, so 80%/20% is quite accurate for me personally.
The best educational apps do something else, they create a sense of familiarity and stay engaging. This is the case with Counting Parrots. Animated parrots who encourage and play along while your child absorbs the lessons.
A quick look at the reactions of parents and kids alike can be found by visiting the twitter hashtag #MOAYingele where during a recent social media event, parents were encouraged to share their thoughts about the app.
As a parent my thoughts about this app are simple. It isn’t just eye candy, it actually keeps a child’s attention on something productive for long enough to teach them something useful. That has value, and was exceptionally well executed.
5 Stars is my rating for this app. It looks good, it does exactly what it aims to do, and it cleverly engages well enough to be a standalone toy. My hope is that they create a whole series of these apps and manage to retain the familiarity and playfulness which makes this one great.