Like most babies and toddlers, my son loves tech gadgets. This is why I like to keep baby-friendly, educational apps available for those crucial moments when I need a short break. Our newest app is Touch ‘n Sing, developed by Tokyo-based XING Inc., in collaboration with SumahoMAMA, a group of mothers with the desire to create educational apps for their own children.
The Touch ‘n Sing app was originally developed for Japanese children, with an English version released the summer of 2013. It received the Best Mobile App Award for Children and Kids for 2013. With all of the hype, we were excited to try it. Ideally for toddlers ages 2 and up, Touch ‘n Sing teaches the alphabet, shapes, colors and other important skills, along with fun songs and graphics. My one-year-old son is a little young for most of the games (there are a lot of them), but he still enjoyed playing it.
Touch ‘n Sing is free to download from the app store and comes with 3 free games. The Hokey Pokey, Twinkle,Twinkle Little Star, and Alphabet Song. Most of the games are geared toward the Japanese audience, which makes for some fun quirks in the English version. The voice in “Alphabet Song” makes a noticeable effort to pronounce the “R”, resulting in a long end to “tap the same letterrrrrr”. The Hokey Pokey was my son’s favorite. You touch the screen to get the dancers to identify their various body parts, including sticking out their bottom (which is cute).
Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star was my favorite of the free songs, as it reminded me visually of the classic book, The Little Prince. As planets and ships fly by, you touch them and they identify themselves by name: Saturn, Sun, Venus, etc.
Touch ‘n Sing has a Christmas value pack of 3 songs for just $1.99, including Joy to The World, Jingle Bells and We Wish You a Merry Christmas. They each have games to help children learn shapes, colors and/or letters, along with graphics including our favorite Christmas characters and things: Santa, reindeer, Christmas trees and presents.
Single games are available for $0.99, as well as value packs, each including 6 songs for just $4.99. We downloaded “Pop Goes the Weasel” plus 2 value packs. Pop Goes the Weasel is adorable, with a little monkey that topples over a shoemaker’s shelf. Little ones need to match the shoe colors to win the game. Some of the games are culturally Japanese, featuring characters and actions from stories we may not be familiar with, like Mr. Daruma, Kintaro and Urashima. They may require some extra explanation from parents. Like all media, check first before letting little ones have free reign.
We love the Touch ‘n Sing app and I look forward to many years of learning ahead of us. I do recommend installing it on a tablet due to the large amount of memory required if you download a lot of games.
Where can you get it?
Disclaimer: I was provided funds to purchase games by XING Inc. in order to review Touch ‘n Sing. I received no other compensation. All opinions are my own.