When I first received this app to review, I felt a little overwhelmed. I was also a bit skeptical. I have downloaded language flash card apps with little success, thinking that seeing and hearing the words would be all my children needed to get themselves familiar with a foreign language. I was wrong. This app, Kids Learn Mandarin Beginner, shows me how and why. This app doesn’t just show kids the pictures and let them hear the words but puts those words that they learn into games to help their recall them. It was an eye opener how for myself and for my kids that just that little extra practice really does help you remember the words that were learned.
When kids first open the app, they decide which category of words they would like to learn. Categories range from Numbers to Things at Home to Body Parts. Once kids decide on a category they get ten words to familiarize themselves with in the Tracing Lesson 1 for that category. Then kids get to play their games! Each game gets a bit tougher. In one ”mini game”, there is a word written in a book and kids have to choose which of two objects belongs in the book with the word. The games begin with children comparing three objects and go up from there.
Each category has two lessons of ten words each. Tracing Lesson 1 introduces 10 words, followed by 2 games. Kids learn 10 more words in Tracing Lesson 2, then play a few more games incorporating all twenty words from that particular category. there are a total of 12 categories in the app, so kids will learn 240 words if they finish the whole package. If things get a bit too tough, kids can always go back to “school” and review the words from that lesson.
When kids finish each game they are then invited to go to the “playground” where they can place various stickers into a background as a reward. Each category of words opens up a new movie and different stickers for kids to use in their “playground”. Each movie uses a familiar tune like Twinkle Twinkle Little Star that incorporates the words for that category sung in Mandarin.
There is also a calligraphy section where you can write a handful of words from each category in the sand. There is an arrow for your finger to follow to make sure you draw your word correctly with the strokes being done in the correct order.
First of all, I have learned so much from this app. I love playing this app and I love playing it with my kids. It really does make learning these words easy. I was so surprised by how much I retained, even days later. When I left it for my kids to play, I think they felt like I first did about it and didn’t really give it a try. Once I sat down and played it with them however, I got yelled at by my six year old when I would answer a question in a game because SHE knew the answer and SHE wanted to do it. So once they understand how to go through each lesson, it should be nothing but fun from this app. I have a soft spot for the calligraphy section and dearly wish they would include even more words in it.
Kids Learn Mandarin Beginner is designed for kids age 2 to 8. It is available for iPhone, iPod, and iPad. It is FREE to download with the first category (Numbers) for free. You can buy additional categories via In-App Purchase. It is $7.99 for all 12 categories, or $1.99 for each single category.
If you would like to check it out or purchase it, please use the App Store link provided below. The cost is the same to you, but iGameMom gets a small percentage. Thanks for your support! Note: The link works for all countries.
Today’s app is reviewed by Celina, the NerdyBaker. Celina is a wife, a mother of three, a self-proclaimed nerd, lover of movies, science, and science fiction. She is always looking for fun and educational content for the iPad and iPods.