Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Tiggly Math

Tiggly Math

Fall 2015 Mobile Apps
Ages: 3 & Up
Developer: Tiggly
Download Price: $29.95

Tiggly's interactive tablet math toy for preschoolers and kindergartners connects the physical with the digital to help introduce young children to basic addition, counting, symbols, number line, and matching in an innovative and concrete way. Each Tiggly Counts set contains five soft plastic color coded counting rods (1-5) that use capacitive feet to simulate fingers. This allows the child to use the counters to operate in real-time with the three companion learning apps.

"Tiggly Chef" was our group's favorite. The chef is well animated and his narration hits all the right notes. The user interaction is excellent; the prompts are integrated and positive, and the programming is adaptive in such a way, that mistakes actually expand the learning potential of the app. The organization in selecting and tracking the recipes created is excellent, as it the creativity of the final "presentation" of the dishes. This app is impressive on every level.

"Tiggly Adventure" uses creative scenarios to help kids practice one-to-one matching, counting, and skip counting to progress the character on his journey to deliver an apple or a present. The visual art here is stunning also, with a very 3D Claymation-like style. Here too, the interaction design is well done; prompts and miscues never feel punitive or negative, just supportive and playful.

Cardtoons lets kids play with fundamental numerical notions in a whimsical and artistic fashion. It has a more open ended structure with the ability for kids to choose and use a Tiggly "counter" to generate a number. Once generated, there is some interactivity where the Cardtoon shape is created before culminating in a satisfying animated sequence. Here too, the art is beautiful with its torn paper cardboard style.

While to some, the toy may seem expensive, the interactive, visual and instructional design make the user experience intuitive and friendly and virtually fool proof. When playing the game using fingers, not the manipulatives, the contrast will be clear. The responsiveness scales back and eliminates opportunities to introduce algorithms/number sentences.

Andrea Sheehan   ©2015 Parents' Choice
Andrea Sheehan is a former teacher and Mom to four, currently working to successfully blend games, teaching, and technology with her startup, Outthink Inc.

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