I realise that a “Montessori app” is probably a bit of a paradox but there are some really good Montessori inspired apps for the iPhone and iPad that can be used to supplement the learning experiences of your littlest ones. I wouldn’t underestimate the learning power of simply “going through the motions” either as Gareth has recently demonstrated the ability to write the word “WHALE” on iWriteWords all on his own. Gareth loves the iWriteWords app and he would indicate that he wanted me to guide his hand so he could complete the letters. After countless assists, he finally learned to write straight lines and was writing the number 1 on his own and any other vertical line. Once when I left him briefly to do something, I came back to discover that he managed to complete the number 14 on his own. Two days ago, while I was distracting him with the iPhone in the car so he would sit still, he wrote “WHALE” on his own. So now he can manage all the letters with straight lines but struggles with the ones that have curved lines, like “C” and “S”. Then this afternoon, he managed to write “6” on his own.
Moral of the story: yes, it is tedious to go over and over and over the same thing, but when they get it on their own, it is worth every boring repetition and then some. And once they start to get the hang of it, the rest of it comes like a torrential down-pour after the flood gates have been opened.
But I’m digressing… We were talking about Montessori apps. And here are some we really like:
Forme e Colori 2 by Bruno Rossi isa lovely one teaching matching of shapes, colours and sizes. Gareth adores this app – especially the applause at the end when he completes the puzzle. They have a limited free version for you to give it a try first. The full version is $1.99.
Some other great apps are created by Alex Minard. He created a series of “My First Puzzles” which are basic jigsaw puzzles that are perfect for toddlers. He is also the creator of “My First Tangrams” which we also really like:
He also has Dominos, Drawing, Dot to Dot, Mazes, Tangled Balloons (follow the line to find which balloon goes where), spot the difference, and games that teach Math (covers addition, subtraction, multiplication and division), spelling, how to tell the time, and how to use the weighing scales.
Of course the short fall with the puzzles and the weighing scale exercise is that children do not get to appreciate the 3 dimensional quality of objects or to feel the sensation of mass. These are things you cannot teach with an app, therefore the learning experience with an app should be a supplementary activity to a physical learning experience.
Another good series of Montessori apps are by Rantek who created the Montessori Approach series. These apps teach children about Geography – currently they have apps for North America, United Kingdom, South America, the Continents, United States, and Europe – Math, Numbers (I love how they make the game appear as if it is inside a wooden box), and Vocabulary.
There are many other terrific apps out there and if you know of any Montessori style apps that your children really enjoy, please share them in the comments below.