MiniSchool offers six games focused on early learning. Young users can practice simple addition, subtraction, and multiplication combinations, reading simple words, following oral directions, telling time, rhyming, and learning colors.
Three levels of difficulty on most games
Covers a wide range of skills
Easy control of background music
Colorful and entertaining pictures and animations
MiniSchool is a high-quality app that will offer a lot of independent play value to your young child. The interface is simple to use and intuitive; nearly any child can figure it out quickly and gain confidence. The illustrations are colorful and the animations meaningful and entertaining.
This app is a lot of fun and offers a wide array of skill work for young children. The interactions are fun and varied, so most children will be entertained for quite some time. The games offer three levels of difficulty. For example, the Learn Math game challenges children to catch the number of fish matching a simple math fact, and pop them into a pelican’s mouth. By the third level, the fish have numbers on them, and the problems are a bit more challenging. Instead of having to count fish, students need to find and catch the correct one.
There were a few concerns about a couple of the games, particularly in the area of reading. The Play With Words Game misses quite a few opportunities to show the word in print without a voiced version; which would be very good at the more difficult levels. As it stands, much of this activity is a listening exercise instead of a reading activity. The rhyming game has some very unusual words, some of which are questionable rhymes. For example, the first item I encountered on the difficult level was finding a rhyme for “orangutan”. It turned out to match with “wigwan” which was really a picture of a wigwam. At this level, cat rhymed with “molerat” and “eagle” rhymed with “beetle” and “needle” which is not technically correct.
It also seemed a bit strange to have multiplication tossed in with such low-level skills-it’s a bit high for the target age group. Instead, I would have rather seen a counting activity, which seems to be missing, except in the context of the addition exercise.
This app is cute and fun, and children will enjoy playing. The six activities cover many basic academic and readiness skills that form foundations for successful learning, and the more kids can be coaxed into playing, the better.
My concern is that children may tire of the app fairly quickly, since there is no incentive to play again and again. It would be good to add a sticker collection or a reward game for completing a level.
MiniSchool is a good value for the money, especially if multiple children will be using it. The three levels in the games will add a lot of playing time, offering more challenging tasks to users as they become ready.
This app is very child-friendly. There are no outside advertisements, no links to social media, and no access to the internet or to email. In-app purchases of other apps from this developer are protected by a parent gate that requires a user to read fairly well to operate, which should be safe from a typical 4 to 7 year old. Developers may want to consider a short users’ guide for parents that explains the importance of the skills offered and how they fit with the larger goal of school success.