With COVID-19 forcing virtual learning on many students, parents and teachers are forced to look to technology to help teach students. SplashLearn is an app by StudyPad Inc. that uses games to teach children math and reading comprehension. Either a teacher or a parent can sign up through the app and add children to their family. Children are guided through the app by the voices of animated characters, showing the child what to do if they seem to be struggling.
Since I do not have a child and am not a teacher, I will be reviewing SplashLearn as if I am both a parent and their child who is in Prekindergarten, John.
To set up the app, simply download it, select your child’s age and learning goals, and input your email. Settings and subscriptions are blocked by a PIN that is your birth year. You can have multiple children, but that is a premium feature (pricing will be covered later on).
On my home screen, it showed the available games and an ability to switch between math and reading. The arrow in the bottom right will reveal other topics within math and reading.
The games are actually relatively engaging, giving you pointers on how to get started as well as tips when the player seems stuck. As my son John is a preschooler, the games were pretty simple and were essentially just counting and learning words.
The games have good variety, from counting to sequencing to finding words and letters. One of the first games you encounter is Way to the Party, which I think is amazingly fun for learning how to count. You click on the characters to wake them up, with a voice in the game counting off the characters. At the end, your child is rewarded by seeing all the characters at a party. The games also helps to engage students by giving them praise for doing individual tasks in addition to giving them a star performance on each game, from one to three. In some games, this is further added to with a progress bar. Essentially, your child will never not be encouraged to continue playing through the games. If your child doesn’t do so well and wants to try again, they can go back and play the game over and over again.
Now, paywall time. About the first six games in reading and math are free, but after that, a subscription is required. I signed up for the 7-day free trial just to see what is offered for paying subscribers, but here is what you can expect to pay if you want more than twelve games.
In addition to the full range of games, you get the ability to add more child profiles and probably the coolest part of the app, “Leveled Readers.” These are books that are tailored to your child’s reading level (based on their grade) and they offer the ability for your child to either read the book themselves or have the book read to them. Below is what one of the pages of the book looks like for my prekindergarten child, John. This one is focused on the letter A.
Your child can click through back and forth through the pages and request that it be read again. The voice is clear and enunciates well which I can imagine is great for a child trying to learn how to read.
While it is hard for me to understand how well this app will work for a child since I am not, I think SplashLearn is a wonderful option for your child’s learning. However, with only about 12 games available for free, getting it without a subscription will only likely give you use for a week. Once you subscribe, somewhere in the realm of 200 different games and books are available. SplashLearn is offered through Grade 5, so it can follow your child and adapt as their knowledge changes.
You can download SplashLearn on the Play Store.