Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Andy Acid Science Experiments and Phonics - Review

Andy Acid is a universal app that teaches children science and phonics in a fun and interactive capacity. It is  from the series released by the developer The Quirkles. The app is based on the book of the same name published by Creative 3 in the US.  It is written by Terri Johnson & Sherry Cook, and illustrated by Jesse Kuhn. It is available for the iPhone, iPod and iPad. It requires iOS4.0 or later. 

Andy Acid is one of 26 Quirkles. He is the most active of all the Quirkles. He loves to keep fit and teach others about acids in foods and how they affect the body. Andy  together with his friend Annie Alligator , takes us on an educational journey teaching us all about acids and bases. We learn all about the effects of too much acid on Annie's stomach and digestive system . However we also learn about the healthy side of acid when eaten appropriately from Andy Acid. 

 Phonics play a huge part in the Quirkle apps and stories. The phonics are reinforced time and again through alliteration, specifically the repetition of 'a' words. For example "Andy ran to Annie's house to announce his plan ". 

The thing I love about the Quirkles series of apps is that they teach science in a fun way, that all children can enjoy. My own son who would struggle with your day to day science books loved the experiments added to this app. The developer has placed two simple experiments for children to try out themselves . I some how ended up with cabbage juice  in my kitchen . We had fun making this and your child is asked to smell the juice at the end to decide if it is and acid or a base. This is a very clever activity for children who are sensitive to smells and are adverse to trying them under normal daily circumstances. The child gets so engrossed in the fun side of the experiment that they can tend to forget that normally they would run a mile from such smells. It is a great way of introducing a new smell to them. 

  Now I am aware that some people might say that the science experiments are a little too advanced for their children. So what else does this app contain for them? The answer is simple. The developer has added in 3 activities / games that will almost certainly make this a worthwhile app for your child. 

The first activity is a matching card game.  This is a favourite activity of mine in all The Quirkle apps. Here you are given two options to choose from namely a 16 card or a 32 card game. This activity is perfect for helping build on your child's concentration and memory skills. A reward system is in place in this game thus enhancing the value for children with special needs who are constantly striving for some form of recognition for their achievements. 

My son and daughter were huge fans of the colouring section where they were able to choose from five different images. Here you have the freedom to decide on colour, brush stroke size  and whether you would like your child to stay within the image outline when colouring or simply give them the freedom to use their own artistic ideals. The freedom to express yourself creatively is a very attractive element of this feature when looking at its benefits for use with children with special needs, particularly those with fine motor difficulties who would struggle with an average outlined image. The completed image can be saved to your iOS device. 

The final activity in the games section is the puzzles. There are five different puzzles to choose from each containing twelve pieces. Unlike some other puzzle apps there is no outline shown for where the pieces belong once the puzzle is started. However once the child places the piece in the correct position a musical note is played. Throughout the activity the competed image remains at the bottom of the screen so your child can glance down if they need a little bit of guidance. As a reward on completion of the puzzle a short tune is played. The puzzle activity is particularly useful in helping with fine motor tasks as it requires  a bit of manoeuvring to get the puzzle pieces into place. 

Andy Acid is an excellent app for any child who loves to try out their own scientific experiments and who could also benefit from the teaching of phonics at the same time . Your child will benefit from hours of entertainment and learning from this action packed app. The illustrations are excellent and the games options included provide enormous amounts of educational value.

If you would like to purchase the app now please though by using this link iTunes. The app currently retails at $9.99 in the US iTunes Store.

To find out about the rest of The Quirkles science and literacy children's book series please visit their Facebook page or their website for more information.