Waterford Early Learning doesn’t just make computer-based curriculum, now they have a free bilingual iPad learning app for kids ages four to seven called My Backpack. It amazes me how much is packed into this app — all for free. There are story books, learning songs, math games, and nursery rhymes which are in English and in Spanish.
From a user perspective, the app has solid functionality. The graphics are well done and kid-friendly. One thing I noticed that loved was it asks if you are right-handed or left-handed. How cool is that? Now lefties won’t be left out! (No pun intended.)
Download My Backpack and your kids will be able to practice reading and math as well as learn new concepts because of the learning songs. Let’s take a quick tour of the app’s features.
My Backpack Home
Open the My Backpack app and you’re at the home screen where you can make one of four choices: books, mental math games, songs, or nursery rhymes.
My Backpack Books
My Backpack offers children 16 read along traditional tale books, stories like: City Mouse, Country Mouse, The Magic Porridge Pot, The Shoemaker and the Elves, The Ugly Duckling, and The Little Red Hen.
Once you select a story, there are options! You can select the film button to watch the story like a movie, choose to have the story read to you which is the mouse and book button, or read it to yourself, the green arrow button.
If you pick narration or movie, the words read are highlighted so you can read along.
If you read to yourself, you can touch any word you don’t know to hear it read.
My Backpack Mental Math
Choose from four games: Pick Rock Climb, Balloon Race, Let’s Build, or Frustration. The difficulty increases as you master each level with 25 levels. Success earns you a new helmet for the squirrel and you move a space on the game board.
In the Rock Climb game, you help the squirrel move up the rock by answering questions correctly. If you answer incorrectly, the squirrel moves back down.
The Balloon Race game is similar to the Rock Climb game.
Let’s Build asks you to balance an equation.
Frustration is a timed test.
My Backpack Sing-Along
Sing along with 35 learning songs — they’re catchy, too!
Some of the math and science songs are: fractions, count to 31, perimeter, reggae counting, and place value.
Sing about telling time, the months of the year, and the seasons. Then try the alphabet songs or one of the fun grammar songs like Quotation Marks or Comma, Comma, Comma.
And for those kids learning to read, this app has phonics songs, too!
My Backpack Nursery Rhymes
This section is smaller with 5 interactive nursery rhyme board books to choose from. I particularly love the sing feature — these songs are some of our favorites. 🙂
But along with sing, you can choose explore (click around and explore the picture!), and listen.
What do you think? Pretty great app for preschoolers, kinders, and first graders, don’t you think?
Download my "can't put 'em down" book lists for your kids ages 3 - 13.
Also, I'll send you a bonus "23 Reasons to Read" printable poster!