LumiKids Beach by Lumosity is the second free app from Lumos Labs, Inc. This app offers three activities that take place on a beach, plus some fun interactions with other characters they encounter. Kids learn to play each activity by watching visual suggestions and then experimenting.
With some friendly red crabs, kids help to build sandcastles by tapping on the crabs carrying sand buckets and resisting tapping on the crabs carrying water balloons. A sand-touting crab dumps his load of sand and the castle expands. But if players tap the water-carrying crab, part of the sandcastle washes away.
Kids can also frolic with some green, piratical turtles sporting eye-patches and headscarves. The turtles sing when tapped, and the goal is to match same pitch singers or arrange the turtles on stones by pitch from lowest to highest.
The fish activity lets kids populate the sea by using their fingers to color one fish at a time. Once colored, the fish comes alive and starts to swim in a pattern within the coloring activity. On the harder levels where there are lots of fish to color, kids have to time the coloring of other fish in the scene so that they are not painting one when it is touched by a live swimming fish. If an already colored fish touches the one you are currently coloring, some of the coloring disappears.
Kids scroll sideways to find the different activities and, in the process, encounter new playmates doing common beach-like activities. With each encounter, kids can help the characters to sort out things. For example, when meeting two friends looking at two toys in the sand, players can hand a toy to one and watch his or her emotional response. By trial and error, they will learn that one character wants the surfboard and the other, the beach ball.
LumiKids Beach offers three play-in-the-sun learning activities that get progressively harder as kids play. The app's interface is intuitive, so kids can figure out how to play without any spoken directions (there are none).
While kids think they are just helping little crabs to build sandcastles, they are really learning to control their impulse to tap every red crab -- in a manner similar to how kids learn to listen carefully when playing the game "Simon Says." When they are coloring-in sea creatures to make them come alive and swim in the ocean, they are using fine motor skills as well as logic and patience. Kids need to study the pattern of the sea creatures already colored so that they can successfully paint the others in the scene. Likewise, the game about helping turtles to find their friend is really a way to teach young children to listen carefully, to distinguish differences in pitch.
However, LumiKids Beach isn't a no-fail play environment. This is an app that uses negative sounds (an "uh-oh") and, in the case of the turtles, negative facial expressions, to let children know that they are incorrect. In both the sandcastle and the coloring activities, they are also punished for incorrect actions. If kids tap the water balloon instead of the sand bucket, part of the sandcastle disappears. In the coloring activity, they lose part of their painting if they don't time the coloring correctly.
In the coloring activity, one of the sea creatures kids will paint is an electric eel. When it comes "alive," it produces an electric shock. Parents will need to pay attention to whether their child finds this animation cool and fun, or startling and a little scary.
Because kids can fail, LumiKids Beach isn't a good fit for toddlers and young preschoolers. For kids who relish a challenge and don't mind getting things wrong, these activities can be fun and progressively challenging. Parents will need to gauge their kids' responses to this learning environment. The good news is that this app is free; so it doesn't cost anything to give it a try.
This LumiKids Beach by Lumosity app review was written by Jinny Gudmundsen.
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