The iPad and iPhone, with their intuitive user interfaces, have already been proven to be popular among children as evidenced by multiple YouTube videos of kids figuring out to use these popular devices in a matter of seconds. If those videos didn’t convince us, the reaction of kids who see our own shiny iPads and iPhones and the ease with which they navigate through apps when we let them play with them certainly does. The iPad, with its larger screen, presents a significant opportunity to turn the device into an educational tool, and developer Steve Glinberg has done just that with KidCalc 123 Color HD.
KidCalc 123 Color HD is meant to teach kids numbers, colors, and even geography. The app does this through color-by-number and color-by-letter exercises. These coloring exercises are done using the provided blank templates of geometric shapes, cartoons, and world maps.
In the color-by-number exercises, sections of the selected blank template are tagged by numbers, and a child must find the right number in the palette at the bottom of the screen and then tap the areas tagged with that number in the drawing to color that section. The color-by-letter exercises work the same way, though sections in the template and the palette at the bottom of the screen are labeled with lower case or upper case letters.
In-app music is played as a child works on an exercise and a new “reward” song is played when one is completed. Completed pages can be emailed or saved to the camera roll for future use.
KidCalc 123 Color HD can even help your child learn a second language. English, French, German, and Spanish are all available as the primary and secondary languages used to announce the selected color (color-by-number exercises only) and these can be selected in the Settings menu.
When it comes to geography, there’s a World Maps section that offers continental and country maps to be used as coloring templates (and more maps can be obtained via in-app purchase). When a color is assigned to an area, it is labeled with the name of the continent or country and a Google Maps pin appears on it. Tapping on the pin brings you to the Google Maps view of that area, and you can explore it just as you would within the Google Maps app by pinching and dragging to zoom and pan.
All in all, KidCalc 123 Color HD is a fantastic educational app that makes good use of the iPad’s large screen and offers excellent options to teach secondary language skills and geography. While we’re not sure if every parent will be willing to hand over an expensive iPad to a young child for an extended period of time, those who are have an excellent option in this and other KidCalc apps to ensure the experience is rife with learning for their children.