I was excited recently to try out a new connect-the-dots app by GiggleUp, Dot-to-Dot Adventure.
I am a huge fan of GiggleUp, as their maze apps are wonderful activities and some of the best that I have seen for iPad in terms of bright and fun illustrations, wonderful themes and engaging and intuitive mazes that children will learn from and enjoy.
I was eager to see what GiggleUp could bring to the classic dot-to-dot activity, as I have not seen many new elements with connect-the-dots, be it counting up from 1 to 10 or beyond, depending on how many dots are needed to reveal the hidden drawing, sometimes using letters instead.
I am very excited by how GiggleUp has maintained the style of the classic connect-the-dots, while adding their own highly educational spin.
When this app opens up, accounts are able to be created for four players, adding charming avatar characters as well as choosing an age range for each individual, with four choices ranging from 2-3 years and ending up at 10+.
I was quite intrigued by this, as connect-the-dots tend to become too simplistic for children past early grade school, so I was eager to find out what the difficulty level could be for these different age groups.
After checking out each of these sections, I can say that children as well as adults will enjoy the colorful, stylized backgrounds and relaxing music found in these themed puzzles, be it a starry night, view of a city at sunset or the rolling hills of a pastel landscape.
These puzzles do still focus on numbers and letters, and the youngest children will complete these dot puzzles the way one would expect, dragging their finger to connect the dots or letters in sequence. Older children, however will need to start sequencing numbers or letters starting from a number other than one, or from the center of the alphabet, even testing one’s knowledge of the alphabet backwards which I found surprisingly challenging.
Numbers may become challenging as well, including counting in multiples of two, five, ten or any other number going to a multiple of 12, or children may be asked to count backwards as well.
I am also impressed by the images created in these puzzles, as they are designed sometimes not to look like anything specific before the dots are connected, which I appreciate, because even as a child I did not feel engaged by the outline of a turtle or other obvious shape beforestarting to connect the dots.
This really tests children’s knowledge of the alphabet or number sequencing because they are not simply following a familiar outline without thinking of the letters or numbers at hand.
Even during the less complicated puzzles, the shapes created are abstract so it will be a fun surprise and reward when the simple animation reveals the item in question - be it a dolphin, rainbow or taxi. My son loves to squeal, “It’s ....a ROCKET...It’s ...an ELEPHANT” as he completes these puzzles, really enjoying these exercises.
Parents will enjoy how flexible this app is as one can further adjust the level of difficulty for each child by the choices being made which include counting as well as skipping counting or by the addition of letters, be it upper or lower case as well as working with these numbers in sequence, backwards or randomly.
I appreciate how one can include a hint button for children to tap if they need help progressing to the next number or letter as well as an option that will highlight the next dot to be connected. It is also nice that a choice of simple puzzles with fewer dots to connect is also an option.
I think this is a great app to help children learn their counting by 2X, 5X, 10X or other number. This is the first time my son has really been doing this kind of work with numbers and even without hints, he has really taken to these early math skills.
Another important function of this app is the narration voicing each number - a great way to be exposed to these math drills in a way that is engaging and yet not repetitive ad nauseum the way counting by multiples may be taught in some circles.
It is impressive to me how much time my son enjoys to spend with this app in a sitting, especially since he ignores other dot-to-dot exercises that focus on simple counting and images that do not hold his attention.
For these reasons, I highly recommend Dot-to-Dot Adventure as well as the other apps from GiggleUp - apps of a universal high quality.