Park Math is a wonderful iPhone app from one of my favorite developers, Duck Duck Moose. This app helps kids ages 1-6 explore math concepts in a way that is bright and cheerful and above all else, never seems like work. I am impressed with how content-rich the app is, having 7 activities to choose from as well as two levels of difficulty, all with a lovely theme of animals having fun, playing at a park. Recently, an iPad version, Park Math HD has been released which also includes a 3rd level as well.
I really like how children get to choose to either follow a roller-skating blue bear as he leads them through the park to different games, or simply choose a section by tapping one of seven kite icons the sky above which represent each activity. I also appreciate how different levels of knowledge are covered, from the basics of counting in sequence to more advanced math like addition and subtraction which are very interactive, tapping to add ducks as they take their turns down a slide, and learning by subtracting apples as they fall from trees. Best of all, kids can take their time learning these concepts, working at their own pace without feeling rushed. It intrigues me how focused my son is when he is working with this app, and I do see these experiences transitioning into his daily life. He has become very interested in counting the objects of his world, now we add as well as take things away from his piles and I am happy to say he can keep up. This app is educational, but more importantly, it is fun. My son really enjoys all the animals this app has to offer, having lots of fun interacting with them.
I would love Duck Duck Moose to do for basic reading what it did for math. A lot of apps teach the alphabet, but I would love to see one go further down this path to including both the letters and phonics as well as sounding out words and ultimately sentences. If anyone can do this, it is Duck Duck Moose.