Often, apps that are designed to be purely educational aren’t very fun. I initially wrote off these apps as bad candidates for this series. However, as I’ve watched my daughter play, she has returned to a few of these apps over and over again. Monkey MathSchool Sunshine is one of these games, and it’s the first game I’ve talked about that’s devoted entirely to math.
Monkey MathSchool Sunshine
Monkey MathSchool Sunshine is set on a beach with a funny monkey. The monkey presents and explains each activity. For some, you simply hear his voice. For others, you see the monkey actively participating in the activity.
Monkey MathSchool Sunshine has education at its heart. There are bubble-popping games which ask you to do things like find a specific numeral or find a specific number of items. There’s also an activity where you have to connect numbered dots in order to help a baby turtle make his way to the ocean.
One of my favorite things about the app is that it includes addition problems. These problems are presented on a board, and below the numerals you’ll find a visual representation of the solution (for example, the nine jellyfish in the image above). I like this because it helps kids to visualize the problem. My daughter can’t quite do real math yet, but she can count the items. That means the problem makes more sense to her. Another one of the activities I like is tracing numbers. This begins to teach kids how to write numbers. For my daughter, this is particularly relevant as she’s starting to write.
The reward in Monkey MathSchool Sunshine comes in the form of an aquarium that you can decorate with different items like treasure chests and plants or a variety of fish. Once you’ve completed five of the activities, the game gives lets you pick something for your aquarium. Quite a few educational apps have this reward system. I think it works because it’s like a virtual version of stickers. And I’ve yet to meet a preschooler who doesn’t like stickers.
In complete honesty, there is one thing about this app that I don’t like. Actually, “hate” might be a better word. And that’s the voice of the monkey. The voice is really choppy, as if the actor recorded a bunch of words separately and then they got pushed together to give instructions in the game. Think of how old GPS programs sounded when they woud say an address or a street name.
Monkey MathSchool Sunshine costs $1.99 on its own, but it is also included in a bundle with two other monkey games for $4.99