Amelia has just started nursery year at school and can count to 20 in English and 10 in Welsh which I think is pretty good for a three year old although she hasn't always been the fastest learner. According to new research nearly 70% of parents in the UK think their children should begin learning basic numeracy skills before starting primary school. I agree. One method of engaging pre-school children to mathematics is through educational websites and interactive games by using tablets and smartphones. Amelia has always used my iPad from an early age to watch educational Youtube videos and interactive games and probably knows her way around the iPad better than I do! However 41% of those surveyed were unaware that educational apps even existed and the parents who children had engaged with an educational resource have said that their children have benefited from it.
We were recently asked to try out the Yorkshire Bank’s 123 Number Chums app and I was interested to see if this would help improve her numeracy skills. Count Me In 123 is a numeracy programme to help engage pre-school children with basic mathematics to prepare them for their school lives.
Amelia has really enjoyed using this app and has used it every day for the past couple of weeks. The first thing I noticed was how colourful and engaging the app was. The three characters, Monkey, Rabbit and Croc are fun and draw her in to the app. The app explores three areas; counting, shapes and size, where each area has a series of questions and then when you complete them confetti is sprinkled along with a "well done" at the end. If your child gets a question wrong, they are encouraged to try again until they get it right and when they get a question right they will get a a "well done" or "that's right" message.
There are many activity worksheets available for you to download and print off too as well as an interactive website so your child can play the game on a desktop. There are four worksheets and look like a lot of fun to do. Each worksheet covers a different topic including number recognition, counting skills, size and measurement and shapes and pattern. As Amelia is only three she only wanted to colour the sheets in as she doesn't like to sit still for very long so I think these are better for older children who are perhaps in reception year but I will definitely be printing them out again to use at a later date.
The Count Me In 123 app is available for free to download on Apple and Android tablets and allows pre-school children to play the interactive games by themselves or with a guardian. It's a great introduction to numeracy for pre-school children and I love that it covers a vast area of numeracy other than just counting from 1 to 10.
I think it would be good for Yorkshire Bank to expand on the app in the future and maybe have a few more tasks or levels to complete, as Amelia goes through it pretty quickly and then moves onto another app but other than that she really enjoys it and I love seeing her little face light up when she gets a question right.
Overall we really like the Count Me In 123 Number Chums app and Amelia has improved on her shapes and size recognition which is good as we hadn't really done much of this prior to using the app. She's really enjoyed practicing her math skills and we will definitely continue to use it to improve them further.
* We were sent an iPad mini for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own. For details on how I work with brands take a look at my work with me page.