Learning to tell time is a must in every child’s life. Yet, with the influx of digital gadgets, the appeal of the analog clock has dwindled. However, Jungle Time by Andrew Short has taken that very digital appeal of such gadgets and mixed it with the importance of the analog clock, creating an app that teaches children how to tell time in a way that will stick with them always.
Designed to work with the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad, Jungle Time uses a jungle theme – animals and sound effects included – that draws children in and encourages learning. Being that it has been proven that children tend to learn better when their lessons are combined with fun activities, Jungle Time utilizes this idea to its fullest by making things challenging as well as silly.
Use the ‘Animal’ button in the middle of the bottom navigation bar to set you clock’s face to the animal of your liking: Lion, Tiger, Elephant, Hippo or Panda. Each animal will roar and smile when chosen. And, when solving problems, the animal you’ve chosen will roar and display a happy or sad face depending on whether the question was answered correctly or not.
Jungle Time starts up with the ‘Tell Time’ screen first. With this screen, users are asked to read the clock and determine the time themselves. Then, when they are ready to solve, they must use the spinning dials to specify the time down to the exact minute. While many apps of the sort allow users to choose their answer from a selection of multiple-choice answers, Jungle Time requires children to actually learn how to tell time without simply guessing their way through the exercises. For a new problem, just shake the device or tap ‘Shake’ on the screen.
With the ‘Set Time’ button, users are asked to set the hands of the clock to the time given. Just drag the hands to match the hour and minutes and press done to see if your positioning was correct. You may also use the ‘Shake’ feature for a new problem in this scenario.
The ‘Learn’ button provides a very simple tutorial that does a great job of illustrating how the hour and minute hands work. Its interactive nature allows children to see examples of these hands moving so they can begin to understand how the two hands work separately and together.
Users can view their score and adjust their settings with the ‘Score’ button. Being able to see a child’s score is ideal for parents or teachers wishing to track their progress. The score can also be reset, wiping the slate clean.
Under settings, users can choose to turn the sound off, which may come in handy for parents because, if used for a prolonged amount of time, the animal noises can make it actually feel like a jungle has invaded the house. Users can also start off with ‘Easy Times,’ which allows beginners to have things set so problems only come up in quarter hour increments. Once children become more advanced, ‘Easy Times’ can be easily turned off again.
With something so educational and amusing as Jungle Time, I only wish I could turn back the hands of time so it would have existed when I was young!
For a video demonstration of Jungle Time, click here.
Jungle Time requires iPhone OS 3.0 or later and is compatible with iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad.