Play and Learn with Wallace {with Giveaway}

by Michelle M

Michelle, 5 Minutes for Mom contributor, is here to share her insights into Play and Learn through this review and giveaway. While she was compensated to write this post, our writer’s views and opinions remain her own.

Growing up, I had books and I had toys.  Even the wee ones, at only 7 and 9 primarily relied on the same entertainment when they were young.  Yes, I had Sesame Street and Electric Company, but that was about it as far as educational programming went.  Oh how things have changed.  Priddy Books now offers Play and Learn, a great iPad and iPhone app for younger children.

The app itself is free, and right now each of the games within it are on sale for $1.99 each (regularly $3.99 apiece).  There are six apps offered that focus on different areas of learning while entertaining children.  I appreciate the fact that the app grows with kids, as some of the games within it focus on preschool skills like counting to five and identifying colors, while other apps move into more advanced skills such as comparing size and eventually beginning spelling and computation.

Like the best educational tools for young children, the app is set up so that the learning happens in a fun way where children don’t realize they’re being taught or tested on their knowledge.  Each game is hosted by Wallace, a cute brown dog who is there to offer encouragement to children as well as to help explain the task again by clicking on him if a child is struggling.  The bright animations make the game fun for children, and at the end of each lesson, they earn a sticker by pressing a spinning star.  As they move forward, children also earn certificates and medals for achievements.

The games are quick to play, but unfortunately at least on my iPad, they were slow to load.  Once they have loaded, they keep moving and cycling to the next game, which keeps children from getting bored or stuck in a difficult phase.  And no matter how often you press a wrong answer, you only get a funny sound rather than a negative consequence, which helps keeps kids motivated to continue trying to get the right answer.

Not all the apps are a good fit for all ages.  A preschooler would be lost and frustrated by a question that reads 8 + _ = 10 where a first grader would most likely not be interested in counting three red ducks.  To ensure that there is a good fit for your child, you are able to do a trial of each game for free before you buy it.  The trial is three rounds of a game, which gives you a strong sense of whether it’s a good fit for your child or not.  If it’s too advanced, you can always do the trial again at a later date, as it simply resets when you go back to the home screen.

There are currently 5 games within the app available for the iPad and now the iPhone, with more set to be released in the future:

  • Counting Fun
  • My First App
  • First Spelling
  • Picture Puzzles
  • Number Skills

As a lover of creativity and play, I’m not always thrilled when I see small children glued to electronic devices everywhere I go.  The world is changing, however, and by interspersing educational apps like Play and Learn, there’s a good balance to be struck in adding screen time as an educational component.

Enter to Win

One lucky reader is going to get their chance to win

  • a $10 iTunes gift card to upgrade the app
  • and 3 Wallace storybooks for your bookshelf

Use the Rafflecopter form to enter this giveaway. New to Rafflecopter? Watch this 45-second video on how to enter!

Read my post at 5 Minutes for Books to see a video of the app and to hear more about the educational aspects of the game. Leaving a comment on that post will earn you another entry.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Email Author    |    Website About Michelle M

Michelle is a stay at home mom of Mister Man (8) and Little Miss (6). When she's not out volunteering or running children to therapy or practices, you can find her in the kitchen or on her personal blog Honest & Truly where there's always a good story or new recipe or at her review blog Honest And Truly Reviews. You can also connect with her on Twitter.

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{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Denise M June 12, 2013 at 1:19 pm

while i am cooking dinner, she plays music and puzzle apps


2 Mary Happymommy June 12, 2013 at 10:25 pm

On car trips!


3 Stacey B June 13, 2013 at 1:00 am

My son’s love the coloring apps!


4 Terra Heck June 13, 2013 at 3:44 am

They usually play with apps an hour before bedtime and when traveling in the car. Thanks.


5 Janet W. June 13, 2013 at 5:43 am

My grandson plays with apps before going to bed or when we’re out running errands.


6 kathy stevenson June 13, 2013 at 9:09 am

They play with apps on trips or when they wake up early.


7 Anne Lehnick June 13, 2013 at 10:43 am

My son has a Kindle, so he plays more often than my daughter. We don’t have cable, so he may watch a Netflix show or play a game for a bit. My daughter is only 2, so her iPad and iPhone play is typically while we are in the car, in a store, or while we are fixing dinner. It amazes me how growing up with the technology makes it so easy for them to catch on. She already understands how to make things happen on the iPad.


8 Addison Kat June 13, 2013 at 11:29 am

They usually play when we go for long car rides.


9 latanya June 13, 2013 at 11:40 am

in the car


10 Corran June 13, 2013 at 11:44 am

Great post! Hope I win! :)


11 Corran June 13, 2013 at 11:45 am

My children play with apps after lunch.


12 vickie couturier June 13, 2013 at 12:06 pm

usually on road trips


13 Patricia Wojnar Crowley June 13, 2013 at 12:40 pm

While we’re in waiting rooms and between appointments!


14 LaVonne June 13, 2013 at 12:53 pm

In the car is when she plays apps the most.


15 tracy p. June 13, 2013 at 1:48 pm

My kids use their ipad to get on apps just about anywhere anytime. I have alot of educational ones on there for them. And most deffinitly have it locked down with no internet to be sure nothing happens to it or them.


16 Emily Mahr June 13, 2013 at 4:15 pm

In the car and when we’re at an even where I want them to be quiet


17 Laura June 13, 2013 at 11:27 pm

I occasionally let my son play with my phone while we’re in the car or waiting for an appointment – it keeps him happy and it’s a rare enough treat that he doesn’t expect it.


18 nannypanpan June 13, 2013 at 11:28 pm

when we go on long car rides


19 Cynthia R June 14, 2013 at 12:17 pm

if we are waiting for a long time somewhere like a restaurant or doctor’s office


20 Tabathia B June 14, 2013 at 2:06 pm

After an early dinner or if we are on the road


21 Rhian June 14, 2013 at 4:26 pm

my niece plays at restaurants!


22 Matt Stringham June 14, 2013 at 5:46 pm

if we let her, all the time!!! Her current favorite is the disneyland explorer app.


23 Sindy Murray June 14, 2013 at 7:57 pm

usually after lunch or on the road.


24 tina harwood June 15, 2013 at 1:48 pm

when we eat out


25 kat June 15, 2013 at 4:40 pm

We don’t have kids yet but I have nephews who love ipad aps.


26 samantha w June 15, 2013 at 10:14 pm

It depends on what we are doing, sometimes in the car, or if we are at the doctors. Things like that


27 Jessica B. June 16, 2013 at 4:16 pm

My son plays in the car.


28 Sadie B. June 16, 2013 at 11:01 pm

My kids earn time and will play after school work is done.


29 shelly neuhouser June 17, 2013 at 7:59 am

Right after dinner


30 Holly Messana June 17, 2013 at 8:57 am

In the car on long trips, this is the best time to keep them occupied with different aps


31 Charlene S June 17, 2013 at 9:38 am

When we are waiting for an appointment.


32 deanna June 17, 2013 at 2:10 pm

during church…oops


33 Jeanna June 18, 2013 at 11:27 am

They usually play them when we are in the car!


34 Shari June 18, 2013 at 1:29 pm

My son plays during the quiet hour in his room every afternoon.


35 Mel June 18, 2013 at 2:18 pm

We haven’t set a limit on the ipad yet so whenever he wants.


36 Brandy W. June 19, 2013 at 3:16 am

they usually get to play for an hour while I prepare dinner


37 lizzy June 19, 2013 at 10:23 am

When we are in the car.


38 Kerrie Mayans June 19, 2013 at 2:53 pm

During the others kids piano lessons and sports practices.


39 Erinn A June 19, 2013 at 9:49 pm

we play in the car


40 Jessica T June 21, 2013 at 6:36 pm

They can choose when they want to use their 30min/day – but only once the chores are done


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