I’ve never been a particularly pushy mother when it comes to my children’s learning. The way I see it is, at the age of 3 and 5, they’ve got plenty of time to knuckle down to homework when they’re older. So for now I like to just let them be young and do what they want, though I’m starting to re-think this as last night ‘what they want’ was to colour each other in…
However, Elfie is a little sponge. She just LOVES to learn! She’s the second youngest in her year group yet reading at the highest level and likes to do sums with me when we’re in the car (Mummy, what’s 24 plus 24? 48. Mummy, what’s 24 times 24? The mind boggles). At Wagamamas this weekend she sat and completed the word search on the kid’s menu, finding words like tofu, yaki soba and katsu curry. She’s five, it’s amazing! I struggle with half the tasks on those kids menus. Let’s blame sleep deprivation, can we?
And so I find myself gently encouraging her when I can. When we went away for a couple of days recently I let both children pick a new toy to take with us; Hux chose a transformer robot thing, Elfie chose a maths book. We sat and did sums together when we went out for dinner and she really thrives on such mental stimulation. As a former self-confessed boffin (I’d read books walking round the supermarket when doing the weekly shop with my mum) I’m super proud that she’s taking to learning like a duck to water.
Hux on the other hand is content to charge around pretending to be Spiderman and making webs everywhere – he’s firmly still in the ‘let kids be kids’ camp ;) And that’s OK too!
Count Me In 123
So when Clydesdale Bank got in touch and asked if we wanted to have a look at Count Me In 123 Number Chums, their new app to promote numeracy in young children, I knew this would be one for Elfie. I’m very down with the idea of teaching kids the value of money as young as possible – she earns pocket money by tidying her room already – and I thought seeing his sister so interested in learning numeracy might help spark Hux’s imagination, too.
I’m also down with the kids feeling like they’re having fun while they’re learning; my two are allowed on the iPad to use the children’s section of Netflix (they like to watch Power Rangers together) so it’s always a treat for them to have a play on it.
They opened up the app and were straight away excited by the bright colours and animal characters. The Clydesdale Count Me In 123 app has a variety of games involving numbers, shape and size and they are both interesting and easy to use for each of my children so span a decent age range. I asked them their opinions of the app, so here it is from the horse’s mouth:
Elfie says: “I like the bunny rabbit and choosing all the different shapes”
It especially captures the attention and imagination of Hux, who’s previously been quite uninterested in numbers. I caught him counting up to 10 on his own last week (unheard of!) and yesterday when cooking dinner I could hear him parroting “YES! You did it!” back to the app after he completed each number task. Very cute.
Hux says: “Can I have a yoghurt? Can I have the iPad back?”
Which I think means he likes it.
It’s refreshing that my two don’t seem to see much difference in playing the Count Me In 123 app to something like Peppa Pig’s Theme Park game or Ben & Holly’s Magic School app, only this one obviously has many more benefits for their numeracy skills. It’s a great way to encourage kids to learn without them feel like they’re being made to sit down and study – we’ll be playing with the app for a long time to come!
If you don’t have an Apple or Android tablet you can play the game on a desktop and print out free worksheets (which I’m going to do the next time we go out for dinner!), otherwise you can download this great app here. It has the thumbs up from us!
Big thank-yous to Clydesdale bank for sending us an iPad so we could review Count Me In 123