TallyTots is a really fun and creative interactive math app for iPad which teaches number recognition and counting for numbers 1 to 20.
I enjoy how intuitive this app is for kids, as this is an app that I simply opened to the title page for my son and he took over from there, figuring all that there is to learn from this app on his own, but parents will still want to interact with this lovely math app as much as their children will.
This app opens to a blue sky filled with a series of number cards ranging from 1 to 20, waiting to be tapped. After choosing a number, the next screen includes numbers 1 to 10 on the top and 11 to 20 on the bottom of the screen, leaving room in the middle for an interesting interaction illustrating a chosen number. It is nice that for every number selection, narration says ”Let's count to number - “ and pulls the number behind an airplane on a large flag, then counting the top and bottom numbers up to the chosen number. This app also counts to the said number in the middle of the screen with the use of large colorful numbers before the interaction begins, all of which enforces the lessons of numbers, names, and counting.
I really enjoy all the different activities. I am happy to say they are all very different, creative, and unique ways to introduce these numbers, like turning on one light bulb with the touch of a finger from number “1.” These interactions may have puzzle components, like putting four batteries in a small TV that shows an image on its screen when properly put together, or putting shapes in a puzzle box. Activities can also be open-ended, such as creating a seven layer sandwich, or be musical as one can make music tapping on eight differently shaped glass bottles. I appreciate that many of these interactions can be done an infinite number of times, but it would be nice if this were true for all the activities. This app does make it easy to go back and play a number again, but it would be fun to do such things as putting away and taking toys out of their toy box again to repeat the process without going through the intro sequence multiple times.
Sometimes this app counts as the player follows through, completing these activities, such as counting coins as they are added to a piggy bank or as balls travel through a maze. However, it would be nice if a counting option was included where the app activity counts through as each action is performed for all these interactions, if the player chooses. Even without this feature, it is nice to hear my son count to himself as he does things like making fireflies glow or feeding a chipmunk.
I am happy to say that these developers really know what interests kids. This app is bright and colorful, and many of these interactions include some of my son’s favorite interests. We love looking at ornately-decorated cupcakes under a magnifying glass and knocking over dominoes. Even older kids who may be past a counting app will be curious to see what interaction is hiding behind each number. I can see kids of all ages helping their toddler and preschooler siblings play with this app. I have had a lot of fun exploring here myself. I hope that in a future update, when playing with 11’s marble run, one can add the marbles anywhere on the course instead of just at the top. This is a minor note in a wonderfully creative counting app. These developers at Spinlight Studio also came up with the app Swapsies, which I enjoyed. I am curious to see what they come up with next!