NxtApp 4 Kids by ICON, LLC is an adorably fun way to get kids interested in learning about patterns. OK, now I have the “Pattern Power” song from Team Umizoomi going through my head. That’s the kind of music you hear all day when you are mom to a toddler and a preschooler! I digress.
It seems one of the hottest educational topics for developers to try to tackle is that of mathematics. Kids hate it but need to learn it and learn it well if they’re going to be successful in just about any profession. So, as the old saying goes, “A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.” That’s where iOS devices can come to the rescue. Make math into fun and games and you can’t go wrong!
NxtApp 4 Kids focuses on a particular skill essential to a thorough understanding of elementary math: sequences and patterns. The Washington Post called it, “…the perfect app for mental math.” The setting is a farm with cute animals whose job is to hold up signs with numbers on them. It’s your child’s job to see the pattern in the numbers and type out what the missing number should be.
The app provides lots of variety and levels of difficulty. Choose from addition, subtraction and more and watch as the problems get more difficult as sequences are filled in correctly. With each right answer a gold star is earned.
One thing that really make NxtApp 4 Kids unique is that it is GameCenter enabled. This adds a really fun element of competition so kids can work to beat each others’ scores and solve the problems as fast as they can.
One thing I’d like to see improve in the future is the user interface. It feels cluttered and busy. I didn’t like the orientation of the number keys – my fingers kept getting confused. I’d love to see the number keys relocated in a square sidebar for easier orientation. Another thing I noticed is that the app can be a bit mundane after a few games. There is not much variety – just questions and answers and a reward now and then. I’d like to see them mix things up a bit.
I have not seen many math apps that strictly focus on sequences and am very glad it’s been tackled here. I look forward to seeing more from this developer and hope to see great updates to NxtApp 4 Kids in the future!