Simple drag and drop activities help build motor skills and teach kids basic concepts, such as letter and number recognition, color concepts, big and little, and happy and sad. Parents and teachers can also customize each lesson with different themes, such as farm, princess, trains, and even a basic school theme. The combination of the activities and the themes help create simple lessons that kids will enjoy completing.
- Drag and drop activities
- Changeable themes
- Theme-related videos
- Covers basic skills
For what it offers, Skill Champ does it well. Each skill consists of a drag and drop activity that allows kids to quickly and smoothly drag items to their proper place on the screen. Sound effects help kids know when their items are secure and counters help them keep track of how much of the activity they have left to complete. Each screen also features a background and images based on the chosen theme. The idea is that kids will feel like they’re actually interacting with the theme in the background. For example, they may pick cauliflower from a garden in the farm. However, the way the game is designed, the backgrounds feel more akin to background images on a computer and the aspects of the game are enough removed from the background that kids may not connect the two. Still, sometimes having a background related to their interests is enough to get kids to play a game they’d otherwise ignore.
All of the app’s games have a similar feel, but that’s because kids do the same thing in each one – drag an image from one side and drop it on the other. Despite the simplicity, kids will still get to practice letter and number recognition, learn about colors, and even start to tackle more complex concepts such as distinguishing between happy and sad faces. Along with the activities in the app, Skill Champ offers printable versions of many of its activities on its website, along with videos showing kids using those printable activities, so kids can perform the same tasks inside and outside the app.
While the ability to change the scene will interest some kids, the repetitive nature of the activities makes it hard to imagine kids will spend significant amounts of time completing them. They will however likely enjoy playing the games in short spurts, perhaps as a way to wind down between much busier apps.
The free version of the app comes with three skills and two themes. Additional skills and themes can be purchased individually or unlocked for a large fee ($16.99 at review time). Rather than offering the app free, developers may do better to raise the price of the app itself and offer all of the content free, as the simple nature of the games and themes doesn’t seem like a great deal for the cost.
Parents and teachers set up lessons and let kids play. All of the setup and in-app purchase options are protected by a parental block. What kids can do on their own is play the games which are simple enough that toddlers can figure out how to play them without much instruction.