While some of us are lucky enough to have the resources available for our children to have access to educational apps there are millions of Americans who can’t afford it. There are so many educational advantages to using apps and some kids are missing out because they don’t have a smart phone, tablet or computer to use at home. In order to try to bridge this gap PBS and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) are providing free educational apps to Head Start centers, local PBS stations, and other organizations in under served communities nationwide. The apps will be downloaded onto devices that families have access to in local Head Start centers and other community organizations.
From now through September, PBS and CPB will work with Head Start centers and PBS stations nationwide to distribute app codes at no cost. The codes will be used to download the two apps onto devices that serve children in Head Start centers, Title I schools, and other community-based organizations in low-income areas. Educators and families in these communities will be able to obtain codes for use on their professional or at-home devices.
The apps that are being distributed are two newly released apps, that are based on the popular DINOSAUR TRAIN series produced by The Jim Henson Company. They are designed to help kids ages 3 to 5 build critical math skills.
Dinosaur Train Camera Catch! (for iPhone)
The latest PBS Kids app to utilize virtual reality, this app challenges players to snap photos of flying dinosaurs by moving their iPhone around. Kids “catch” the dinosaurs with their phone’s camera function in a designated pattern, building patterning skills. Dinosaur photos will be stored in a child’s private gallery. The Dinosaur Train Camera Catch! App is available for $1.99 from the App Store.
We tried this one out and my daughter (age 4) loved taking pictures of the dinosaurs and finishing the patterns! She really got into the game of trying to “catch” the dinosaurs by maneuvering the phone around. I even played it for a few minutes and loved how original the game was. This was the first “virtual” reality type of app we have and it was really captivating! It is truly a fun game and the fact that it incorporates such important skills math skills makes it even better!
All Aboard the Dinosaur Train! (for iPad)
The Dinosaur Train is getting ready to leave and needs passengers! The problem is that dinosaurs come in different sizes, so children need to match the passengers with the right train cars, challenging them to problem-solve by estimating dinosaur sizes and comparing them with the train cars’ capacity. The two-player mode lets kids play with a friend, sibling or caregiver. All Aboard the Dinosaur Train! is available for $1.99 from the App Store on iPad.
By visiting PBS kids mobile you can find out more about all the available apps and videos featuring your kids favorite PBS characters! You can even join the Mobile Club to receive text message updates on PBS Kids shows and games.
* We did not receive monetary compensation for this review. That’s IT Mommy is a PBS Kids VIP member and received a codes for the mentioned apps from PBS free of charge. This will in no way sway our opinion of the product or service. The review is in our own words and is our opinion. Your results and opinions may differ.