Hi! My name is Erin Ellinwood and I’m a product manager at Scientific Learning. I am super excited to write about our first ever iPad App, the Eddy’s Number Party!™game, for preschool and kindergarten aged children. Our products have always been grounded in science and built with scientific advisors, and this game is no exception. Equally pairing early math curriculum with two critical cognitive skills, working memory and attention, Eddy’s Number Party! helps prepare kids for success in kindergarten and beyond. In the game, kids help Eddy’s friends surprise him with the biggest dog birthday party ever and practice counting, remembering, and matching numbers.
Designed for Young Learners
Our roots here at Scientific Learning are in developing cutting edge adaptive learning games for delivery on desktop or laptop computers. Because this game targets a younger audience, we talked to teachers and educational experts to see what technology they thought would be best for preschool and kindergarten age learners. The resounding feedback we heard was that our game would be most developmentally appropriate on the iPad. And so, our first iPad app was born.
Makes Learning Fun (We’re Getting Great Reviews from Our Kid Testers!)
Sometimes learning can feel monotonous, especially for 3 to 5 year olds, so we added some key components to help break things up:
- Story: Nothing engages kids like a good story. Since most young children love birthday parties, the game is centered around a party for the adorable dog, Eddy. “But,” the game asks, “where are all his friends?” As kids advance through the game levels, they round up more and more friends, culminating in a fun party scene and acknowledgement of the child’s accomplishment: “You did it, you got all of Eddy’s friends to his party!”
- Bonus levels:The bonus levels add variety and keep interest while reinforcing the learning objectives. Our cognitive science advisors call the bonus activities “palate cleansers,” a nice but productive break from the “drill”.
- Engagement:We’ve pumped up the engagement in a big way, because we know that when it comes to kids and iPads, it’s all about fun.
- In-app sticker play:As a child masters each learning level, the game awards a sticker, but not just a regular sticker—it’s a funny “talking” sticker. It has been so much fun to see each of our kid testers collect the stickers and get excited about creating their party! Plus, research shows that kids benefit from a reward structure. Stickers are a reward that preschool and kindergarten age children really identify with, and the sticker play can add hours of creative interaction.
Includes and Enables Parents
Grown-Up Central is a unique feature among apps for kids (and my favorite part of the app) . I believe that it is important to give parents the ability to review the game’s goals, tour all game levels, and learn about the underlying research and development behind the game. In addition to all of the information it provides about the app itself, Grown-Up Central also features a visual report card that shows a child’s progress and gives suggestions at each level for “what to look for” (such as a child beginning to count up from a known quantity) and how to further “bring learning to life” (such as cooking with the child from a recipe).
Being the product manager for the Eddy's Number Party! game has been a fantastic challenge, and I’m proud of the result.
I hope to see you at the party! Click here to download from Apple’s iTunes App Storeor visit the App Store and search for "Eddy’s Number Party!”
And, if you like the app, please consider leaving a review in the App Store!