I’m getting some good use out of my research-educational-uses-please-will-you? iPad. In an earlier blog post I wrote about the geography games Stack the States and Stack the Countries, but this time around I want to highlight two apps that focus on problem-solving and spatial reasoning.
1. Cross Fingers
This Mobigame app (free version and a $0.99 full version, available for iOS and Android) has two primary challenges for players. One kind of puzzle presents pieces that need to be dragged into a particular shape, while the other requires you to navigate past blocks that move only in specific, restricted directions.
Success requires several skills from young students: patience, persistence, flexible thinking, critical thinking, and willingness to start over. As the video above shows, some levels are very easy — some are designed specifically for kids. But when my son struggles through an “insane” level that takes him 18 minutes to solve, he gets a sense of satisfaction hard to beat.
2. Flow Free
Big Duck Games LLC offers this free puzzle app for iOS and Android. The scenario is simple: connect each pair of colored dots without crossing another color’s path in as few moves as possible. The video below shows a solution to one of the more complex levels:
Both apps have the typical cheats available in YouTube, which defeats the purpose of working a child’s mind in favor of leveling up. Playing the games WITH a child, to show that they can be solved on brain power alone, is a great solution.