MINI-U THE KITCHEN
CONCEPT: A range of puzzles and activities for younger students set against a vibrant kitchen backdrop.
DELIVERY: Too often apps aimed at the preschool and early years student are limited in scope, offering one simple activity and limited appeal. MiniU The Kitchen is thankfully not like that and incorporates a range of challenging yet accessible activities. Most are puzzle based but each has a something unique to it that elevates it beyond similar offerings.So let's take a look.
First up is the juice blender. Here you select from a range of fruits and vegetables of different colours, add two to the blender then mix them up to make the requested juice. The first juice I was asked for was green, so I stuck in two green items and got it wrong. That's when I realised that the shade of green being asked for was lighter. As such I had to blend a white item with a green one to change the final colour. I soon realised that I could also mix blue and yellow to get green and so on - a great little slice of simple colour mixing!
Next up is Breakfast Composer. This activity comprise of an object location game wherein a scrollable wall of products and utensils is presented with a breakfast order. The challenge is to locate the requested items amongst the wide selection on offer. This is great fun and surprisingly difficult. It also develops scanning skills which become crucial later in schooling for reading comprehension tasks. The Fridge Operator game is similar in that you also match the desired items to their silhouettes, this time in a fridge. What sets this challenge apart is that the items are not always oriented the same way as the silhouettes so a degree of logic is required. Likewise the Italian Chef activity has you match pasta to the silhouettes but this time, upon completion, the pasta is garnished in a range of colours and you have to match the pattern precisely. Having the words of praise here in Italian is another great little touch.
Product Sorter sees users classifying items using the terms edible and inedible and is pretty straight forward. There's also Morning Tunes which is a standalone music maker where kids can activate different kitchen elements to join in with a tuneful soundscape. These round out a really diverse package nicely.
LIMITATIONS: It would have been nice to have more of the terms (colours, food names etc) sounded out to reinforce them. A free play mode where kids can explore more freely could also have been included.
CONCLUSION: Engaging and varied, exactly what you want from an app like this! A great app for the early learner. 5/5
Develop logic and non verbal reasoning skills
Develop scanning and location skills (transferable to Comprehension work)
Understand the terms edible and inedible
Develop simple colour mixing concepts