Formerly entitled Playground 2: Smart Kids Edition and the second in a series of three apps released by Jan Essig on Android, this app is also jam-packed with activities. There are six mini-games to play, covering math/logic skills, and all presented with good quality graphics and audio. Jan Essig ensures that none of his apps include push notifications, data collection, location storage, ads, in-app purchases or a need for internet connection. Phew! You know this is going to be safe for your kids.
External links go to email, the developer's website and Facebook, but are locked in the parent screen.
FREE Lite Version $4.05 Full Version
TicTacToe - is the classic two player game, with the option of playing against the app, or against another human. Stars are awarded for games won and a cumulative score is kept at the top of the screen. This timeless game is great for developing strategic planning skills, as well as sportsmanship.
4 in a row - another classic two player game, also with the option of playing against the app, or against another human. Again, stars are awarded for games won and a cumulative score is kept at the top of the game. The game can be restarted if the outcome is not looking to be in the player's favor. This game helps to develop critical thinking skills.
Shell Game - is a memory and concentration game requiring the user to remember an increasingly difficult sequence of shell moves to locate the pearl. Sequences begin at one move then increase by one each turn until a total of 10 moves needs to be remembered to find the pearl. Playing memory and concentration games is great exercise for the brain!
Numbers - has three different activities to choose from. The first involves learning/practicing the correspondence between the abstract symbol of a digit (written number) and the concrete object/s being counted. In this case, the concrete object is a circle on something that looks a bit like the face of a die. Not only does this help with learning numbers, but it can also help with sight counting, where the child looks at the group of dots and knows immediately how many there are without counting them individually.
The second numbers activity is a handwriting activity, writing the digits from 1 to 10. Visual support is given in the form of hints, which are given as to the order of the strokes and these can be turned off. There are starfish displayed as a visual representation of the number, as well as a narration of the number providing audio support (which can also be turned off). A good way to reinforce object-number correspondence.
The third and final numbers activity involves counting the number of stars, and then choosing the correct digit from a choice of three. This is done in order as well as randomly. This activity should consolidate earlier learning.
Mills - is a two player game you may be familiar with. It is played against the app, and involves placing pieces on the board to form rows of three. It's a strategy skills game that will really give your child's brain a stretch.
Color Code - has two sections: Beginner Mode and Pro Mode. This game is like the game Mastermind where one person chooses four colors and the other person has to guess what they are by using prediction and the process of elimination. Beginner Mode gives number clues while Pro Mode doesn't provide that extra help. This game involves logic and deduction which are both very important skills for life.
Again, Jan Essig has obviously spent a lot of time and thought on this app. It is presented well, plays well and achieves what it set out to do. This app (like his other, Playground 1) has a built-in timer to limit children's time spent playing with the app. That, to me, shows the developer cares enough about our children's brains to know that time off the tablet is just as nourishing.
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APP DESCRIPTION ON GOOGLE PLAY
"Playground 2 includes the following 6 games for kids aged 3-7:
1.) TICTACTOE: Play against your device or a friend
2.) CONNECT 4: Play against your device or a friend
3.) SHELL GAME / THIMBERLING: Find the pearl
4.) NUMBERS: 3 little games to learn the numbers from 1-10 (in 8 languages ;) ).
5.) MILLS : Play against your device
6.) MASTERMIND: Find out the color code
NO ADS / NO IAP
KNOW what's inside: As a MOMs with Apps member, I follow the "Know what's inside" best practices for kids' apps.
BEST APP EVER AWARDS 2012
Best Kids Distraction Game // 3rd Place
Best Educational Game // TOP 10 Nominee
Best Kids Game // TOP 10 Nominee
bestappsforkids.com: 5 STARS
Awesome app, awesome price! A number of our favorite childhood games packed into one app. Fantastic parental control features to boot!
kinderappgarten.de: 5 STARS
Spiel platz 2 bündelt die schönsten Logik-Spiele für Kin der, in einer einheitlichen und übersichtlichen Spielumgebung. Alle Daumen hoch!
PLEASE contact me for any help, concerns or suggestions to improve this App.
Don´t hesitate to contact me via mail: email@example.com :)
A short review would be wonderful
Best regards and have fun playing