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Drive About: Number Neighborhood
Pros: Cheerful graphics engage, while fun, interactive games teach important early math skills.
Cons: Games aren't scored and progress isn't tracked, which could be challenging for kids who expect motivational rewards.
Bottom Line: This fun and whimsical journey teaches kids about numbers, counting, and matching through interactive gameplay.
Drive About: Number Neighborhood could work well as part of a learning station in the classroom. In preschool and kindergarten, kids are just beginning to develop number sense. You could use the app as an open-ended learning tool that kids can rotate through and use individually. Make sure all kids have an opportunity to explore the games, and spend some time reinforcing the concepts with dotted numeral worksheets, counting-out-loud group sessions, and shape-matching activities.
Kids press the Play button to start, and a colorful overview of the seaside neighborhood appears. Nine large icons along a road indicate the places kids can tap to play games. At each stop, voice instructions tell kids how to play and provide encouraging words when they get answers correct. After they've finished playing a game, kids can either drag a car to explore other parts of the neighborhood or they can tap to return to the overview and select their next stop. Kids can switch to night driving by tapping the sun, and switch back to daylight driving by tapping the moon. A parent section includes language options and a review of basic app features and skills covered in each game.
Drive About: Number Neighborhood is an excellent introduction to early math skills. As they travel through town and play games, kids can learn about numbers, counting, ordering, and matching. Kids learn to write numbers by tracing dotted outlines in the sky. Once they finish an outline, a narrator sings the number as it flashes on the screen in big, bold colors. Kids learn how to order numbers by stacking numbered blocks in order and by guiding a snowboarding yak to touch numbered flags in order up to 20. Kids learn how to identify numbers by tapping numbered sea pickles and by balancing a seesaw with numbered critters on each side. Kids develop counting skills by feeding a whale the correct number of food pieces, and they develop matching skills by dragging shapes to match outlines and vacuuming shapes in outer space.
Drive About: Number Neighborhood is a fun way to introduce kids to number concepts that build a foundation for more advanced math skills. It’s important to note that gameplay is open-ended, which could be challenging in a classroom environment. Scores are not tracked, and, once kids finish a game, it automatically starts over. You may need to set a timer to give kids a starting and ending point.