updated 25 Jan 2011, 23:55
user id password
Mon, Jan 24, 2011
The New Paper
Email Print Decrease text size Increase text size
iTeach my kid
by Joanne Soh

“MUMMY, can I play with your iPhone, please?”

That’s a question I get from my four-year-old all the time.

The iPhone has been a great babysitting tool, a marvellous invention for a few moments of peace.

And I don’t think I’m alone there.

But before you go tsk-tsking about getting my kid addicted to video games at such a young age – I do limit his usage – the iPhone has proven to be a fantastic learning tool.
There’s no debate that my son’s hooked on games like Angry Birds.

However, his reading and writing abilities have increased, and the iPhone has encouraged independent learning.

Here are some tried-and-tested educational apps (available on iPhone, iPod touch and iPad) that have became my son’s learning partners.

1. abc PocketPhonics (US$1.99 / S$2.55)

I chanced upon this app a while back and it has proved useful in reinforcing the phonics my son learnt in nursery last year.
There are multiple sections to this app. Your child can listen to letter sounds and tap the letter they belong to.
He or she can also learn to write the letter, while another section has the app sound out letters for your child to put the word together.
This app follows the UK’s national curriculum, and was designed and reviewed by teachers who use phonics to teach children to read.
Aimed primarily at preschool tots, this is seriously a terrific tool for helping early readers.

2. Bee Spelled (US$1.99)

This app is a spin on the spelling bee.
The game play is similar to Boggle where you have to form as many words as possible from the given 16 letters.
Incorporating fun and competitive elements where words formed help the overweight bee unleash an assortment of powers and attacks on its foes, Bee Spelled has increased my son’s vocabulary and certainly his spelling abilities.
You can adjust the difficulty of the game so parents can have a go at it too.

3. Math Drills Lite (Free)

If you can get your child to take notice of this rather unappealing app, then you’ll find that this mathematics programme is the next best thing to a maths tutor.
Wired magazine lists this app as one of the best basic math games.
This app comes in handy for math-phobic parents like me, as it has simple illustrations that explain the basic concepts of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.
Older kids can work on problem-solving and the app also has a revision mode where explanations are given to where the kid has gone wrong before offering another shot at the problem.

4. Chinese Writer (Free)

If only this app had been available when I was learning the Chinese language.
My child – looking to follow in my footsteps of not enjoying our mother tongue – was rather taken with this interactive app which allows him to practise “writing” simple Chinese characters such as “da” (big), “hao” (good) and “shu” (book).
The app makes you write the strokes in the proper convention and proportion.
It also provides the definition of the Chinese word.
Simple and easy to use, this app is an excellent tool for anyone who is looking for an easy way to practise Chinese writing skills.

5. Memory Pro (Free)

This simple matching game is fun and addictive for pre-schoolers.
It features cards of 15 adorable animals which are face down. The child has to unveil and pair the correct creatures hidden under each card.
There are three levels of difficulty and it helps improve short-term memory.


This article was first published in The New Paper.

readers' comments

Copyright © 2011 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Co. Regn. No. 198402868E. All rights reserved.