Wild Kratts Creature Math-PBS Kids
The Kratt brothers are a wild pair who travel the globe exploring animal habitats on PBS Kids. They teach children about different animals, where they live and what kind of food sources they need to survive. In some segments, they are two, real-life human brothers and in others, they are animated. Either way, they are outrageously energetic and able to keep my three-year-old’s attention. He’s been known to jump up and down with excitement when he watches the brothers explore.
The Wild Kratts’ Creature Math App for iPad is a fully animated experience with the Kratt brothers and is as engaging as its episodic counterpart. Staying true to the Wild Kratts brand, the app focuses on teaching kids about wild animals, but they use math to build their creature’s habitats.
Your child picks a color and is taken to an empty landscape with a field, a pond and some cliffs-there are four different colors for four different children to each have their own landscape. The child’s job is to touch a spot anywhere on the landscape and see what type of animal could build a home on that spot. There are up to eight different animals ranging from butterflies to wolves.
Once you choose an animal (for example, we wanted to place a frog in the pond) you have to answer an arithmetic question correctly in order to create the habitat. The math questions are simple addition and subtraction which progress in difficulty according to your child’s competency, but never add up to more than the number twenty. Once you complete the math question correctly, you may place your habitat.
You’ll see an emoticon above your animal’s head-our frog’s emoticon was red and sad-indicating whether or not it needs food. When you touch the landscape near your habitat it will offer a few suggestions about which kind of food your animal pal might like to eat. We placed flies in the water after we answered another math question and suddenly our little frog’s emoticon was happy and green. The same ideas repeat for all the animals you place on your landscape.
To keep it interesting, and more math problems coming, things in the habitat change which could cause your animal’s emoticons to become red and sad again. They eat all their food, a storm knocks out the acorn tree for your pet squirrel, a little chef runs by and steals the thistle for his new soup recipe leaving your poor moose bereft. Whatever the challenge, it will take more math to replenish food supplies for your animal pals. Your child practices more math, learns about more food sources, AND continues to gain an understanding of responsibility.
For positive reinforcement, there are badges to be earned. Keep your pals fed, loved (you can pet them), and clean up their environment after storms and everyone will be happy. Of course, as you go, the Kratt brothers will pop up with their usual enthusiasm to toss out fun and fabulous facts about your pals.
This app is a bit difficult to figure out. The directions are not entirely clear, so it took a little trial and error. It’s advanced for a three-year-old (rated 4 plus), but when we did it together, it introduced a world of new concepts to discuss. It’s also addicting. Sometimes, I sneak over in the middle of the night to feed our little racoon some berries! Don’t tell anyone.
published on igamemom.com
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