Chock-full of content MyBackpack has so much to offer kids that parents may wonder if it’s really free, but it really is. Developed by non-profit, Waterford Institute, this educational app features read-along stories with familiar titles, a ton of educational songs, nursery rhymes, and even four different basic math games. With all that’s packed into the app, kids from pre-k through second grade will find something new to learn or activities to help them reinforce things they already know.
- Four math games
- Read-along stories
- Educational songs
- Nursery rhymes
Developers definitely focused more on adding content than polishing the app’s overall design. Kids will have an easy time navigating the app, with four icons directing kids to the main content. In the read-along, songs, and nursery rhymes section, large pictures identify each story or song and kids can scroll through the list to find one they like. Where the app could use a bit more polish is in the execution of the stories and games. For example, in the stories the Waterford Learning logo, home, and pause buttons overlap some of the text. The game section can also be a little confusing for kids. While the games are easy to play, it’s not immediately clear how to get to the games when kids first see the game board filled with locked spaces.
Multiple concepts are covered in the app’s four main sections. The app itself appeals to multiple age ranges. The read-along stories, nursery rhymes, and many of the songs will appeal to kids in pre-k and kindergarten, helping them to build early reading skills and a few basic math skills. Kids in first and second grade will find that the math games and a few of the science and grammar videos fit better with what they’re learning in school. None of the content is organized by grade-level, so kids may interact with content that’s too low for their level or too advanced for their level, but they’ll still be learning or reinforcing key skills.
There’s plenty to entertain kids. While the stories and nursery rhymes are interesting, the highlights of the app are the basic math games and songs. With the math games, kids will find themselves racing to solve basic addition problems and trying to improve their speed and accuracy. They can also track their progress as they play because the games section allows kids to create their own player settings. With the songs, kids will sing along to creative songs about math and science concepts, the alphabet, grammar, and phonics. However, some of the songs don’t have words on the screen as they play, which means kids could be making up the words as they go.
It’s hard to argue with the price of My Backpack. Kids get access to 16 read-along stories, 4 math games with different levels, 5 math games, and 35 songs, all for free. Parents won’t even find an info section that encourages them to buy another app. All of the content within this app truly is free.
Kids will find the app easy to navigate and the content easy to access. Parents don’t have to worry about parental locks or kids accessing content outside of the app because there aren’t any links. The only settings section is contained within the math games and gives kids the option to change the language or remove players. Since the app covers a large range of skills, kids may access content that’s above or below their level, but they’ll likely still benefit from going through it with minimal frustration.
Replace the heavy books with Waterford Learning's app full of digital stories, educational songs, and fun math review games.