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Our kids may have been able to unlock our iPhones since before they could walk, but that doesn't mean they're actually gaining anything by using them. There are countless cartoon and character apps to keep them occupied, but sometimes we want them to learn and create while they're having fun. Montessorium's "Intro" apps have always struck a keen balance between education and entertainment, but its latest entry, Intro to Colors, might be the best to date. With a vivid, interactive interface inspired by the Montessori color tablets, Intro to Colors just might turn your child into the next Picasso.
The app teaches your child the basics of colors through a series of matching and ordering games, starting with the primary group of red, blue, and yellow. Simple sounds offer feedback while a recorded voice plainly enunciates each color, reinforcing correct answers after a match. Once the primary and secondary levels are mastered, your child can head over to the gradient wheel, which takes that newfound knowledge a step further. A series of nine spinnable swatch palettes need to be properly organized by brightness, demonstrating the subtle nuances within each color they've been introduced to.
Lessons are fairly elementary and will likely be completed very quickly, so Montessorium has two extra sections in the app to keep your kids occupied long after the learning is over. The first is a remarkably simple painting app that uses primary colors to let your child explore the rainbow of possibilities available in mixing. The other is a sort of "search" game that adds color to portions of an outlined picture and challenges your kid to identify them.
As enjoyable as Intro to Colors is, for $3.99 we wish there were a few more games included. While the drawing app is fun, we think our kids would have far more control over their masterpieces if the mixing were done on an easel rather than directly on the canvas. Also, we also encountered a minor bug in the form of a stubborn info box that wouldn't disappear.
The bottom line. Intro to Colors will brighten your kids' smiles – and their minds.
iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch running iOS 5.0 or later
Slick interface. Excellent teaching tool. Fun games.
Not very challenging, even for a two-year-old. Limited lessons.