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Ask Slashdot: Math and Science iOS Apps For Young Kids?

timothy posted about a year ago | from the mildly-annoyed-birds dept.

IOS 165

Oyjord writes "I have a very smart and curious 3-year-old daughter. Before anyone tries to derail my query, yes, we get a lot of play time outside with soccer and baseballs, and inside with blocks, Hot Wheels, PlayDoh, etc. However, on the rare occasion that we do sit down with my iPad, I'd like to solicit recommendations for good Math and Science apps for kids. There are hundreds of horribly gender-biased baking apps and Barbie apps for young girls, but they turn my stomach. She has a wonderfully curious mind, and really likes SkyView already, but I feel lost in a sea of pink and Hello Kitty apps."

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165 comments

iPad (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42078021)

Submitter - If you are a man, and you own an iPad, then you are more of a girl than your daughter is and are not qualified to give manly advice.

Re:iPad (0)

siddesu (698447) | about a year ago | (#42078127)

Why? Do iPads come with mandatory sex change surgery?

Re:iPad (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42078141)

Yes. Yes they do.

Re:iPad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42078189)

Why don't you buy one and finally be a man then?

PSA! Do not install MacBook Air or Pro Update 2.0 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42078753)

Beware of installing MacBook Air and MacBook Pro Update 2.0.

The MacBook Air and MacBook Pro Update 2.0 was offered for 2012 models. However, there continue to be reports of issues with the update. Worse, late last week, Apple pulled the support page about the update as well as the download link.

Some users report issues with video memory as well as with Keychain operation.

On the VMware Fusion Blog, a post warned that the update may cause virtual machines to stop working when a 3D application is run.

http://www.zdnet.com/beware-of-installing-macbook-air-and-macbook-pro-update-2-0-7000007820/ [zdnet.com]

Re:iPad (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42078221)

Only if you come from Android, because those users are complete c**ts and the change to iPad gets rid of that.

Re:iPad (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42078241)

I come from Android all the time. Can't come from the iPad, because the spirit of Steve Jobs keeps the platform clean.

Re:iPad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42078339)

Lol!
pornsharia.com
orgasm.com
pornhub.com
redtube.com
youporn.com

Just a few websites off the top of my head that work great in ios, and are free. Porn apps would be convenient, but are hardly necessary. Aren't people around here always saying websites are good enough and making every website into an app is silly? =P

Re:iPad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42078435)

It's not so much a gender thing, but your kids won't be happy.

iPhones and iPads are passe, they're for old people.

Re:iPad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42078479)

Did you read the ENTIRE EULA?

Re:iPad (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42078365)

plenty of men own iPads. They are mostly gay.

Re:iPad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42078813)

I want to see a complete separation of church and state here. Hardware should be separate from software. Software should be separate from services.

I want to watch Nokia movies on my Samsung hardware running Google's Android, and then back them up to DropBox.

That's how it works - more or less - in the PC space. I don't understand why it doesn't in the tablet and smartphone space? Why would I buy a tablet that only worked with content from one provider? Whether that's Amazon, Microsoft or Apple - it's setting up a nasty little monopoly which will drive up prices and drive down quality.

I know, I know. The mantra of "It Just Works". I'm mildly sick of having to configure my tablet to talk to my NAS, and then get the TV to talk to both of them. That situation isn't just due to my equipment all coming from different manufacturers - it's mostly due to those manufacturers not implementing open standards.

http://shkspr.mobi/blog/2012/11/i-dont-want-to-be-part-of-your-fucking-ecosystem/ [shkspr.mobi]

DragonBox (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42078037)

My 3.5 year olds were doing algebra with fractions without realizing it.

Re:DragonBox (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42078051)

Cool story, bro.

Re:DragonBox (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42078105)

Cool response, bro.

Re:DragonBox (1)

janeil (548335) | about a year ago | (#42078313)

I have mod points, and it's just not worth the trouble to move all these worthless 0's down to -1's. Can't you all please just not bother to type such crap?

Newtons gravity (4, Informative)

codegen (103601) | about a year ago | (#42078045)

YOu try to solve mazes by putting blocks in the righ place to let the ball roll down. My nephew has played that game since he was 3.

Re:Newtons gravity (3, Insightful)

fermion (181285) | about a year ago | (#42079155)

There are many games that, as she gets older, will make increasing sense to her and teach her basic physics concepts, mostly mechanics. Gravity is one of them, and it is very good, but I don't know if a three year old can play it.

Games like No, Human, Tesla toy, and even angry birds, might provide the immediate feedback and simply play to encourage a three year old. Angry Birds Space is especially interesting.

When she becomes older, Osmos and SimplePhysics is very interesting.

Skip the software (3, Interesting)

mrops (927562) | about a year ago | (#42079441)

Just something from personal experience. I got my kid bunch of nice learning software for Android. He loved them, played them, learned a lot.

Then we had our student led parent teacher meeting/conference. Turns out, he doesn't do jack in class because he finds it all too boring. And it is, when he gets to race a car for solving the right question, sticking stuff with glue on paper is rather pale.

Result... he knows his stuff but is "officially" a C grade student. He is in grade 1 so no worries, however I will skip the software to tame his exitment level.

Re:Skip the software (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42079565)

Well, IMNSHO you have done exactly the wrong thing. Don't punish your kid for being at a level above where school thinks he should be, do as my father did and explain that like it or not, traditional school is something that you have to do, and if he uses his full potential he will breeze through it and get accolades and trophies without breaking a sweat, and will have time left over to investigate paths that really interest him.

On another note - "he is officially" a c grade student..." Would you rather he be an official C grade student who is actually very smart and going to be successful in life or an official A grade student who has rote learned his way thorough school? My kids range from A to D but all 3 of them are for the most part the smartest, most popular, most well adjusted kids in their classes.

So your plan is to literally retard him? (2)

SuperKendall (25149) | about a year ago | (#42079691)

Then we had our student led parent teacher meeting/conference. Turns out, he doesn't do jack in class because he finds it all too boring.

You found out how to make learning interesting for your kid, and because he can't do well in what is ignorantly a boring and mediocre environment, your plan is to dumb down his learning until he can be pacified with the rest of the sheep?

Bad plan. Home school, or find a school that can make things interesting.

Dragonbox (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42078071)

Check out Dragonbox. I don't have personal experience, but it has been given good reviews. It's supposedly an innovative way to learn algebra in the form of an iOS/Android/... game.

Re:Dragonbox (5, Informative)

Thwyx (137997) | about a year ago | (#42078351)

I do have personal experience with this one, and came here to recommend this. I've personally seen a 4 year old get an elementary understanding of algebra from this app. Worth every penny.

Re:Dragonbox (1)

zurmikopa (460568) | about a year ago | (#42079717)

I agree. My 2 year old has used this app and (with a good deal of coaching) now has a somewhat intuitive grasp of the idea of canceling things out and other basic algebra concepts. I'm pretty sure he can't explain why it works, but the intuition building has helped his problem solving.

starfall.com is awesome (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42078083)

I have 3 kids (5, almost 4 and 2). All three love starfall. It's a website and not an app...and we use it on a PC instead of an iPad, but it teaches everything from ABCs and reading up to numeric comparisons and spacial reasoning in 3D. A significant amount of the website is free, but the rest is paywalled for like $35/year. We paid last year and renewed this year. Not a moment of regret.

Re:starfall.com is awesome (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42078335)

Completely agree. We taught #1 to read with the help of starfall. #1 taught #2 to read with the help of starfall about 2 years later. Of course, kindergarten is very boring for #2 now.

Apps are Crap (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42078085)

If you want to instill wonder, fascination or just encourage curiosity in children, you do it by sharing your own passions. Passion on the part of real honest-to-goodness caring adults conveys the sense that the subject is actually import. Every child wants and needs to know what in the world is actually import and worth investing their time in.

They don't need or want abdication on the part of parents who can't be bothered to do anything more than buy the latest commercial substitute for concerned participation in their lives.

Kids KNOW the difference.

Re:Apps are Crap (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42078549)

Many passions are age inappropriate, you insensitive clod!

You're comment is crap. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42078607)

OP wrote of all the wonderful things he and his daughter do. He specifically asked not to be questioned about allowing his daughter a little time with a tablet computer. So for all the high ideals you espouse, you come off as a terrible troll.

Parents cannot be expected to take up, or be in, every second of their child's life. This is unrealistic and insane. He is not denying his daughter his passions, or hers, by allowing her a little time with a tablet computer.

Besides, this is Slashdot, for all you know mobile computing may be a passion of his.

Dragon box (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42078091)

Dragon box [dragonboxapp.com] is worth checking out.

I do not know the creator(s), but I am impressed with the work.

Re:Dragon box (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42078137)

Created by a norwegian math teacher Jean Baptiste Huyhn (not norwegian name though).

Cut the Rope (1)

Kergan (780543) | about a year ago | (#42078101)

While not technically a science app, I've yet to find a kid who didn't like Cut the Rope. The physics engine in it is a nice introduction to the likes of gravity, elasticity, etc.

Another good game, albeit for when she gets older, is Fat Birds. It puts you in charge of making birds cross a bridge of your making. It's fun for the parents too. (I've an architect friend who miserably failed to 3-star the couple of levels I tossed at him.)

Re:Cut the Rope (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42079591)

Cut the Rope is nice and fun yes.

Where's My Water is even better - LOTS of levels and challenge variations and it can entertain surprisingly large age range

"Gender biased" may be oversimplification (3, Insightful)

sideslash (1865434) | about a year ago | (#42078113)

I have young daughters as well, and I have a similar reaction to Barbie dolls and their ilk, primarily because I don't want my daughters (or my son for that matter) to buy into the whole sexualization/objectification of women mindset. However, I don't reflexively avoid gender-targeted toys. Why should boys and girls have to be indistinguishable in their play preferences? What's wrong with the boys deciding that they like Cars and the girls Disney Princesses, as long as their parents are OK with it?

Don't worry, there are plenty of gender neutral family activities, too. I teach them all to shoot firearms as soon as they're old enough. ;)

Re:"Gender biased" may be oversimplification (1)

jamesh (87723) | about a year ago | (#42078341)

I have young daughters as well, and I have a similar reaction to Barbie dolls and their ilk, primarily because I don't want my daughters (or my son for that matter) to buy into the whole sexualization/objectification of women mindset. However, I don't reflexively avoid gender-targeted toys. Why should boys and girls have to be indistinguishable in their play preferences? What's wrong with the boys deciding that they like Cars and the girls Disney Princesses, as long as their parents are OK with it?

Don't worry, there are plenty of gender neutral family activities, too. I teach them all to shoot firearms as soon as they're old enough. ;)

Yes I think going too far is just as bad. My daughters loved their barbie DVD's while my son was more into Ben 10, neither of which I really approve of, but as long as they learn to treat others with respect, and never to let their gender define what they can do[1], I think things will be okay. Boys and girls are different and those differences should be celebrated, but should not limit anything they want to do. I've never once heard them say "but you can't do that because your a girl" so hopefully we're on the right track...

I worry more about shows like Total Drama Island which all the kids really enjoyed but where the stereotype humour might be a bit lost on them...

[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sFBOQzSk14c [youtube.com]

Re:"Gender biased" may be oversimplification (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42078455)

It is an oversimplification, I agree. I was frustrated as hell by the negative reviews of Lego Friends when the complaint was too much pink. So the fuck what?

My 8-and-6-year-old cousins adore them. I spent hundreds on Lego City, Harry Potter, etc. trying to get them into Lego and failed miserably. Around this time last year I had effectively given up. Then January rolled around, Lego Friends came out and thank God. Now not only can they not get enough of Lego Friends, but every past set is now in use. They're building boats, planes, starships, etc. If you think they're limiting themselves to shopping and tea parties because they've got minifigs with tits, you're nuts. They're inventing things, having battles, etc.

These are girls who were given just as much access to Nerf guns as to dolls. Just as much access to video games as to dress up gear. They run around in dresses, heavily armed. As for Cars and Disney Princesses, they like both. A couple days back they were describing to me the properties of a black hole. For Halloween the 8-year-old went as a dragon-born from Skryim. Gender stereotypes be damned.

Just let them know they have the option.

Re:"Gender biased" may be oversimplification (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42078653)

My cousin's daughter is very smart and loves science. She also loves princess stuff.

It bugs her when she plays a game and she can't choose a female character in a game. My inference is that really kids want to have heroes they can project themselves on.

Re:"Gender biased" may be oversimplification (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42079161)

An interesting new line of toys I read about a few days ago is called Goldieblox, made by a female engineer who was annoyed by the lack of girl-oriented playthings meant to engage a child's mind. It actually seems pretty cool. From the website: "Goldiblox is a book and a construction set combined. It stars Goldie, a girl inventor, and her crew of motley friends, who build machines to solve problems."
http://www.goldieblox.com

Re:"Gender biased" may be oversimplification (1)

foniksonik (573572) | about a year ago | (#42079187)

Dolls and action figures are wonderful tool for imagination and exploration of relationships, aka soft skills.

Apps (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42078129)

Amazing Alex
Angry Birds
Cut the Rope
Dinopedia
Isaac Newton's Gravity HD
Google Earth
Math Bingo
Math Drills
Multiponk
NASA App HD
PBS Kids
Scrabble
The Elements: A Visual Exploration
Tiny Wings HD
TinkerBox HD
WolframAlpha
Word Bingo

Apple Ecosystem (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42078169)

If Apple's ecosystem is so great, why are people needing to ask questions like the topic submitter?

mod do3n (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42078205)

is also a miSerable

MonkeyMath (2)

digitallife (805599) | about a year ago | (#42078247)

The best I've found is MonkeyMath (for math and numbers). My daughter got it when she was 3 and still loves it, a year later.

Re:MonkeyMath (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42079315)

+1. Monkey Math and its predecessor Monkey Preschool Lunchbox (shapes, colors, sizes) are both good for the 2-3 set. The UmiZoomi game isn't bad, though it's a soft market in general. (UmiZoomi is a cartoon starring a trio with "mighty math powers". Better than you'd expect and the kiddos like it. Made by same people who did Blue's Clues.) The "Moofy" patterns game and several other good matching/pattern/analog puzzle games are also out there, though most are just plain quiz format with no story or gameplay.

Bobo Explores Light (3, Informative)

digitallife (805599) | about a year ago | (#42078299)

Bobo Explores Light is an engaging, entertaining and extremely extensive app exploring light and its consequences. Sounds boring or technical, but they've managed to get an amazing amount of content (we forget how much light affects us and how weird it is!) into a very fun package.

My 4.5 year loves the iPad (2)

Thorrablot (590170) | about a year ago | (#42078301)

In fact, she's not a fan of computers that have those old clunky "mice" anymore... Here's the best of the apps we've found:

Monkey Preschool Lunchbox https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/monkey-preschool-lunchbox/id328205875?mt=8 [apple.com]

Of course, the "Cut the Rope" and "Fruit Ninja" games are good in there "can't lose" modes.

Starfall app (same as the website)

PBS.org (warning - essentially streaming video - you need to moderate use of this one!)

Re:My 4.5 year loves the iPad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42079621)

Starfall app (same as the website)

Yes Starfall is brilliant. Wide variation of activities which allows a child to learn early literacy and measurement in a very fun environment

First Words Animals (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42078315)

Not First Words, that's not just a different app but also done by a different company. I'm a huge fan of First Words Animals, it's great for teaching letter recognition and early spelling. Then again it sounds as if it may be a bit beneath her.

Solar Walk is neat for exploring the solar system.

Numbers League (1)

rreay (50160) | about a year ago | (#42078317)

A friend of mine is behind a really well reviewed iPad app called Numbers League. This covers math down to simple addition and subtraction and up to multiplication, division and simple fractions.

Review: http://www.wired.com/geekdad/2011/07/the-numbers-league-app-improves-on-a-masterpiece/ [wired.com]

App store link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/numbers-league/id444781544?mt=8&ls=1 [apple.com]

The app is based on a card game with info and online store here: http://www.bentcastle.com/nl.htm [bentcastle.com]

Cato's Hike - A little Programmer's Oddyssey, univ (1)

Hesh (449135) | about a year ago | (#42078345)

Shameless plug but I wrote this game called "Cato's Hike" to teach kids programming on iOS, preferably iPad but works great on the iPhone too. Unlike other programming games for the iPad this one uses cards to teach kids how to program and goes into relatively advanced topics like loops and memory without actually appearing to teach :) they just play! I think 3 is too young but 5-6 is good to start and 10 and higher should be able to finish it :)

http://hwahba.com/catoshike
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/catos-hike/id574335479?ls=1&mt=8

Re:Cato's Hike - A little Programmer's Oddyssey, u (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | about a year ago | (#42078793)

Nice to see that Apple has finally stopped banning programming tutors like that.

Re:Cato's Hike - A little Programmer's Oddyssey, u (1)

Hesh (449135) | about a year ago | (#42079059)

The new update will let you share programs too... I hope they don't block that :) fingers crossed!

Nice to see you cought up (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about a year ago | (#42079701)

Nice to see that Apple has finally stopped banning programming tutors like that.

They only banned them for a period of a few months, and I think even that was dropped about two years ago. There have been other programming tools on the iPad for ages now.

Here it comes... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42078409)

Obligatory "Why don't you get her a Linux-based device so she can learn programming and believe that not everything in the computing world requires money? Why would you lock her in to the walled-garden mindset at age three?" argument. It's not a Slashdot thread without it.

IOS? (-1, Flamebait)

Tough Love (215404) | about a year ago | (#42078429)

Why IOS? How about tablet apps in general. After all, the tablet market is already evenly split [i-programmer.info] between IOS and Android. Next quarter, it is probable that Android will definitively take the lead, particularly with the lukewarm reception for the iPad mini versus strong products from Google and Amazon.

How about that he already has the iPad? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42078513)

He's asking for iOS app suggestions, not another iOS vs. Android debate. He's clearly chosen already, like it or not. So move on.

* Although I will say this, how the hell do you define "lukewarm" in your world? Sure, that may be the word to describe the reviews on some tech sites, but any honest analysis of "reception" whether you like the device or not, whether you like Apple's business practices or not, would recall that Apple sold millions in its first three days. It would be aware that the iPad mini is on many of the top ten most wanted gift lists.

Re:How about that he already has the iPad? (-1, Offtopic)

Tough Love (215404) | about a year ago | (#42078645)

If he only wants to know about iOS then he should ask on an iOS site, not troll Slashdot. Here, Apple is not the only supplier of tablets, not even the most important one.

He already has an iPad! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42078769)

How the hell is he the troll for daring to ask about apps for his daughter? Would you have responded in the same fashion had he asked about Android apps for his daughter? Don't you dare tell me you would have suggested he get the fuck off Slashdot.

Slashdot is just as much about science and math as modern technology. What better audience on Earth is there other than Slashdot for a question like that one? Consider one that has children, one that has education, one that knows of such technology. Can you think of one, care to name it?

As for your matter, again, he already has an iPad. He's not looking to buy a new one. So take your Apple is evil ideology and shove it. It's irrelevant. When he comes around asking for a new tablet, take then as an opportunity to espouse the greatness of Android. Until that point, you're a troll. You're derailing the thread for nothing more than your own satisfaction. You should admit it to yourself.

Re:He already has an iPad! (0)

Tough Love (215404) | about a year ago | (#42079335)

Slashdot is just as much about science and math as modern technology. What better audience on Earth is there other than Slashdot for a question like that one?

Here you go. [google.com]

Re:How about that he already has the iPad? (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | about a year ago | (#42078807)

The added bonus is that Android tablets are now cheap enough that he can get a usable one for his daughter for under $100.

Re:How about that he already has the iPad? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42078837)

"Here, Apple is not the only supplier of tablets, not even the most important one."

Unless you care about trivial things like, oh, making a living.

Re:How about that he already has the iPad? (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about a year ago | (#42079685)

"Here, Apple is not the only supplier of tablets, not even the most important one."

Unless you care about trivial things like, oh, making a living.

So Apple now makes the cheapest tablets?

Re:IOS? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42079049)

I am so fucking sick of you fucking fanbois having to turn every conversation on it's head so you can fly the flag of your little techno-religious cause. It's just like dealing with a religious zealot, they look for any pause in a conversation to interject their diseased thinking and they'll use any possible fingerhold in the dialog to force their pitons in. It's fucking annoying.
 
The person owns an iPad. What the fuck is the problem? Stop trying to turn this into another endless iOS vs Android battle. Each has their virtues and I don't give a fucking fuck what you use as long as I don't have to buy it.
 
Now shut the fuck up.

Get her to help you write one (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42078453)

As a way to help them understand the steps to go from having an idea to planning and developing a program I worked my kids recently to put together a simple puzzle app. My daughter (granted, a bit older than 3) did the drawings and everyone helped test and come up with ideas. It's kind of cool that she can point to something on the iPad and say that she was involved. In the end, the kids didn't get involved in the programming... we're still playing with Scratch for that but they did get to see and be involved in the development process.

The app is "Beamish++" on the iPad and I think it's fun for kids, particularly with the whimsy mode on (an animal gets hidden in the maze of mirrors and when the laser passes over it moos/barks/meows/etc to help you guess where it is).

iPad is bad for school. (-1, Troll)

epSos-de (2741969) | about a year ago | (#42078483)

Paper and pencil for coloring numbers is good for the age of 3. Seriously you are a horrible parent, if you give her and iPad right away, becasue she will be forced to use the pen when she is in school. You have 3 years to help her to get used to the pen as much as possible. Her grades will be much better, if you do so.

How more irrelevant could you have been? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42078685)

Judging a person to be a horrible parent simply because they allow their daughter a little time with a tablet computer is beyond the pale stupid. The man specifically asked the use not be questioned, and listed a few other things he and his daughter does, but you went ahead anyway. You're a troll.

I would be shocked to discover that his daughter doesn't have access to coloring supplies and pencils. Do you have anything to suggest that he has denied his daughter these things? His question was not about what's the best drawing app, not that a few minutes with one of those would be world ending or harmless in the least. His question was about math and science apps.

Did he speak about these apps in a manner as to suggest that he wishes his iPad to raise his daughter? He sure as hell did not. He gave no time-frame. For all you know he will give her no more than a few minutes with it and given the care and detail of his writing, I imagine that's just what he intends to do.

Such black and white extremism as you've displayed in your comment, that's the real hallmark of a horrible parent. Heaven forbid that you be one.

wtf is wrong with you! don't shove filth on them (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42078525)

Apple is a horrible horrible company. It's disturbing you would wish to promote such a company let alone abuse your kids like that.

There are free applications and plenty of companies you can pay sky high prices to in exchange for high end product and solid support.

Wind Tunnel - CFD / Aero visualization app for iOS (2)

ace37 (2302468) | about a year ago | (#42078723)

The iOS app Wind Tunnel is a pretty good simplified fluid dynamics solver. It has air entering one side of the screen, exiting the other, and the sides of the screen are free edges. You then draw airfoils or shapes with your fingers and see how the fluid patterns change. You can tweak quite a few parameters. For instance you can change speed, look at pressure and vorticity plots as well as velocity, and introduce particles to see where they go. He spent a lot of time on getting the visualizations to look impressive.

It's incompressible flow and he said he was forced to sacrificed some exactness (allowing a bit of mass loss vs. the N-S equations in some circumstances) to get the computations to run efficiently on iOS hardware in realtime, so the visualizations are pretty reasonable but the numbers won't be exact. Overall it's a great app with a solid math/science/engineering foundation.

DragonBox (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42078725)

It's pretty wonderful to watch your kid pick up symbolic manipulation and basic algebra skills in Dragon Box.
http://www.wired.com/geekdad/2012/06/dragonbox/all/

you 7ail i7. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42078743)

develcopment Model

Solar walk, Scribblenauts, Anatomy for Kids (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42078869)

My 3 year old daughter has fun playing with these, they seem to me to be reasonably educational and I don't have to cringe whenever they're being played:

The biggest surprise was how much she really wanted to type words in Scribblenauts, which is something I assumed would be way beyond her level. She's often frustrated a bit because she really can't read much beyond her own name and a few common things, but she's obsessed with it.

"This is my body - Anatiomy for kids" is an interesting, free app with nice interactive illustrations covering bones, blood vessels & heart, breathing, nervous system, etc.

Solar walk is great for finding about the planets and the 3d motion graphics are really fun.

Not sure how educational it is, but the Sand Game is her current favourite

Mathletics and Into Science (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42078891)

Three years old is a great age to be, both for the parent and the child. Ah, happy memories...

For my money, particularly at this age, books and "generic" LEGO sets (e.g. the Creator series) are your best bet. For the love of all that is good in the world, steer clear of the "themed" and movie tie-in rubbish, preferably altogether, but at least until she's into double digits :-) And, more generally, avoid at all costs any toy with a "TRY ME!" button on the packaging - it's invariably used to flash lights, make noise, or do some lame action that the child should be doing using his/her imagination. You'll save on batteries and noise, and your child will get more enjoyment out of the toys. But I digress...

If you're intent on going the apps route, I would recommend "Mathletics Student", which teaches K-12 maths, and when she's older "Into Science". (Disclosure: I work for Mathletics.com, and IntoScience.com is our sister company. The latter is just starting and operates on the web and doesn't have an app out yet; in any case it's aimed at older children. And both products require a paid account to download activities.)

Puzzles,problem solving,strategy, and a pink case (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about a year ago | (#42078911)

Pokemon Red... 'but beware of getting sucked in helping her play it', he said aloud, patiently awaiting White3.

there are a few gems... (1)

drkoemans (666135) | about a year ago | (#42078919)

I have a boy but in that same age range. I too have been frustrated with the lack of quality apps. Mermaid waters is pretty good with math and matching games, math train is also decent as is superwhy but the best app I've found is Word Wizard. It is the speak and spell you always wanted. Very high quality app. The very best app I've seen is Redshift. Beats all the other star maps hands down. It is pricey but worth every penny. And before anyone gets uptight, no I am not associated with any of the developers in any way.

The best app ever for science and maths (0)

warp_kez (711090) | about a year ago | (#42079029)

It is call: Going to the library!

Seriously, teach your kids to use their heads not a glorified calculator.

When they get into the real world, they are not always going to have an iPad or some electronic device to think for them, they will have to use their own heads.

I have a 2.5yo, the first toy I bought him was a slide rule.

Re:The best app ever for science and maths (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42079415)

I don't know what 'real world' you live in where there isn't always some device around to help you think.

The real world you grew up and in and the real world you kids will grow up in will be vastly different. Don't cripple them by not letting them learn how to use tools to help them, think, learn and remember details.

Re:The best app ever for science and maths (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42079593)

Are you serious?

"When they get into the real world, they are not always going to have an iPad or some electronic device to think for them, they will have to use their own heads."

Er, welcome to 2012 my friend. Every workplace i have been at (as a professional) in the last few years has exactly that - iPads, computers, and other electronic devices. In fact, most employers will ask for basic competency in use of said devices as part of the interview process.

The mistake you have made is in saying that the devices are there to think *for* them. No no no - they are but an aide, and the need a skilled human because garbage = garbage out.

By the way, if your kid was set an astronomy question for homework, went to the library and found the answer in a book, then answered that "yes, pluto is a planet" and was marked wrong by the teacher...... would you argue that the student looked up the information and thus knows how to find answers? Because MY kid would have looked the answer up using one of those electronic devices, and would have gotten either the right or the wrong answer, but she would have demonstrated that she knows how to research and answer just as well as your kid, BUT given that she used a more up to date way of accessing humanity's knowledge store, she would have found that there was a change in the status of Pluto a while ago, and who agrees and disagrees with this and why, and what exactly a planet is, and a hole lot of other interlinked information which a book just cannot give you.

Simulator, not calculator (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about a year ago | (#42079697)

Seriously, teach your kids to use their heads not a glorified calculator.

Lots of the best software is not a "calculator". It's a simulator, with the huge difference being you get to rapidly change conditions and get a better idea for how things do in fact behave in the real world.

We tried before we purchased (1)

teknosapien (1012209) | about a year ago | (#42079171)

My four year old recommended Monster Physics , tinker box, Umi Numbers, Physics Ball. I've noticed that problem solving is becoming second nature in this young mind

How about get a real computer? (0)

Nivag064 (904744) | about a year ago | (#42079247)

How about get a real computer so she can learn to program?

You can get one from ZaReason: http://zareason.com/ [zareason.com] in the USA and http://zareason.co.nz/ [zareason.co.nz] in New Zealand. You are not limited to Ubuntu, you can also get Fedora, and other Linux distributions preloaded.

The major benefits of Linux is that nothing is hidden from you, and there are plenty of free applications - including those dealing with mathematics and science. Also you don't need to get anti-virus software.

For beginners programming, I recommend Python - one of many free programming languages. Even if she never wants to write her own application, programming is good for learning mathematics.

Remember most mobile devices such as Android phones and eBooks are based on Linux - not to mention Linux is also used on servers & supercomputers.

Why not python on the iPad? Or other programming. (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about a year ago | (#42079735)

Although three is way too young an age to have your mind warped by having whitespace define blocks, you can program in python on an iPad [apple.com].

Another option is Codea [twolivesleft.com] to learn to code, or the more recent ScriptKit. [fastcodesign.com]

But really three is probably too young for a real coding environment...

Fashion Math (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42079267)

Fashion math is a math game designed for girls. They solve math problems to earn credits that they can use to dress up their doll. I wrote it for my daughters to help them learn math and they really enjoy it. I also made a little money but the big thing was how much it helped my daughters.

Baby Einstein (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42079309)

Get her some old Baby Einstein tapes. It will accomplish the same goal of turning her brain into mush before it can even begin to properly develop.

Subway Shuffle (1)

MtHuurne (602934) | about a year ago | (#42079373)

My nephews want to play Subway Shuffle [apple.com] every time I bring my iPod Touch. It's a train shuffle game, but with the added twist that each train can only move along tracks of its own color. It's probably a bit too complex for a 3 year old, but in one or two years time your daughter would probably be able to solve the simpler levels. The higher levels are quite challenging even for adults.

A couple of things our daughter has loved... (2)

Roogna (9643) | about a year ago | (#42079435)

Namco's "Isaac Newton's Gravity" puzzler, she worked through all 100 of the puzzles over about a one year period, with only the occasional help from me.
Minecraft PE, which now that she's older she's getting more into the desktop version instead, but when she was younger I could set her up in creative mode, and it would act simply as an infinite lego set for her. (She also adores real legos as well)

Neither may seem like straight up math or science, but she's picked up some surprisingly well thought out ideas about physics and architecture from both.

The Montessorrium apps, like Intro to Math (and Intro to Letters) she got a huge amount of use from, which while just basic as the names would imply was good around that age.

DragonBox+ is awesome and I highly recommend it, even to adults. It's basically a series of algebraic puzzles, using cards that start off not as numbers.

When she got curious about elements, we picked up the Nova Elements app, which answered her questions at the time pretty well.

Most of the rest of the items we've picked up for her for the iPad haven't been specifically science or math based, though a lot of book style apps. She's a big fan of Curious George, the Bartleby Buttons book/apps, and anything about DIsney's Cars. The new Reading Rainbow app has been great too, as it came out just as she was really starting to read on her own, so it's given her a lot of material to easily choose from.

My 3 year old loves Butterfly Math, Bugs & But (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42079465)

I came across Butterfly Math and Bugs & Buttons through Kindertown and they are both awesome. Try it and see if your kid likes it.

Algebra Touch (1)

mewsenews (251487) | about a year ago | (#42079561)

Algebra Touch is an amazing app that demonstrates how variables work in algebraic equations, highly recommended. Maybe too high level for a 3 year old but it's about as mathy as iOS can get.

Best way to use an iPad for educating your young.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42079607)

Throw the iPad away and spend some time with your kids. Read Dr. Seuss books to them. Do puzzles together. Play make believe.
Teach them to use their minds.

Try Lemurs Chemistry (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about a year ago | (#42079755)

Out soon is a game that looks like it might be approachable even to a three year old, and to any gender - Lemurs Chemistry [le.mu.rs].

It should be out any day now (I didn't work on it but I know some of the people that did).

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