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Appy Monday- Monkey Business!

There's a rumble in the jungle - and it's pre-schoolers playing with the addictive Monkey Pre-school apps. North London Mum and Toddler went on an exploration to find out why....

There are 3 Monkey Pre-School apps- Monkey Pre-school Lunchbox, Monkey Math School Sunshine, and Monkey Pre-school When I Grow Up, published by THUP Games.  We took a look at each of them.

Monkey Pre-school Lunchbox


Where better to start than with lunch! This is a leading pre-school game  in the app store and it is easy to see why.  The app features 7 different games that teach kids about colours, letters, counting, shapes, sizes, matching, and differences.



The app is fun and energetic- a cute animated monkey helps kids along as they play the games and there are dozens of sounds and voice recordings of colours, letters, fruit names. A voiceover gives simple instructions for each game and kids can collect stickers along the way.  Each game focusses on a unique task such as matching pairs. The games flow from one to another which makes the app extremely easy to navigate. But importantly for parents, the games are also educational- encompassing colours, shapes, letters, matching, all based around the Monkey's fruit for his lunchbox.


What we loved: Simple gameplay and good range of games make the app compelling. The Caribbean style music and fun sound effects are also very engaging.

What we didn't: We would have liked some form of navigation between games - you can't navigate back to a favourite game. Also, while the breadth of gameplay may be challenging, it would be good to have some levels of difficulty to appeal to older pre-schoolers.

Vital Stats:
Cost: £0.69
Platform: iPod, iPhone and iPad.
Publisher: THUP Games

Monkey Math School Sunshine



Monkey Math School Sunshine is a further set of games with the lovable monkey, which are focussed on developing maths skills in children aged 3 to 6.



Set in a fun beach-themed world, there are 9 interactive games which cover adding and subtracting, patterns, shapes, sequences, relative sizes (bigger/smaller, less/more). The app has the same trade marks as the original app, with straightforward games which focus on a particular task, and in this case the aim is to build understanding of number values. The lovable monkey guides you through the games, and the games get progressively harder, according to the aptitude of the player.


What we loved: This is such a great introduction to basic maths skills because the player is really engaged in the game, without any sense of being taught. Concepts such as sequences, which may be difficult to explain, are cleverly captured in one particular game which encourages the child to choose the next shape in a sequence.The structure of the gameplay and the feedback from the monkey direct the player to the correct answers.

What we didn't: The blurb states that "Knack Technology" instinctively adjusts the level to each individual player. We'd love to know how this works! as again there are no obvious levels in the games.

Vital Stats: 
Cost: £0.69
Platform: iPod, iPhone and iPad.
Publisher: THUP Games

Monkey Pre-school When I Grow Up




Monkey Preschool When I Grow Up is an imagination and inspiration game for preschoolers age 2 and up. As we all know, children love to imagine what they want to be when they grow up-and it can change from day to day! As with all the Monkey Pre-school apps, this app features kid-friendly design  with no menus or navigation and unlimited play. You choose your monkey and then choose the different parts of the monkey's outfit from the dressing up box.When the dress-up is completed the monkey does an amusing dance.



What we loved: The fun graphics and chirpy music make this an engaging app.

What we didn't: We didn't find the game as interesting or compelling as the games in the first 2 apps we reviewed. There is just one game, so it doesn't grab attention for very long, and lacks some of the educational elements that we love in the Monkey preschool and maths apps. 


Vital Stats: 
Cost: £0.69

Platform: iPod, iPhone and iPad.
Publisher: THUP Games


The bottom line- for great fun apps which definitely educate- head for Monkey Pre-school lunchbox and Monkey Math School Sunshine- but beware you may not get your phone back!

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