Category Carnival is a new app that targets categorization and association skills for children ages four through adult within fun, interactive game formats. Designed by speech-language pathologist Natalie Zacher, it takes learning to a whole new level while maintaining a high fun factor. It is a must-have for every child’s iPad and an indispensible tool for the parent, teacher and therapist’s digital toolbox.
Check out these exciting features that set Category Carnival apart from other categorization apps:
- Skills are taught and reinforced within fun, interactive game formats so that kids keep coming back again and again.
- Strengthens basic level deductive reasoning skills that are important for success in language arts, science, and math.
- Provides many opportunities for discussion of choices and results so children can strengthen their verbal reasoning skills (such as answering ‘why’ questions).
- Uses photographs rather than line drawings so children can see images based on reality.
- Most games have different difficulty levels so children of all ages and abilities can be challenged while still having fun.
- Games are designed to take advantage of ‘teachable moments’ so parents, teachers and therapists can get the most out of this fun and interactive tool.
Check out each game in more detail below, and have fun!
In Category Caboose, the player must choose the correct car to join the train. Lenny drives a train onto the track. The train cars show three objects that go together based on a common feature or features. Three options are presented on individual train cars on a side track. The player must choose the object that best goes with the three objects on the train and then drag the corresponding train car to the end of the train. Use your powers of deduction to find the best fit!
In level 1 the three pictures on the train will all share one common feature. (e.g. animal). Your mission: choose the picture from the top track that shares the common feature and drag the train car to the lower track to join the train.
In level 2 the three pictures on the train will all share two common features (e.g. animals, mammals). You must choose the picture from the top track that shares the two common features and drag the train car to the lower track to join the train.
In level 3 the three pictures on the train will all share three common features (e.g. vehicles, construction vehicles, vehicles with wheels). You must choose the picture from the top track that shares the three common features and drag the train car to the lower track to join the train. This level is most challenging so put your thinking cap on!
Balloon Pop is a game of elimination…rather than choosing an object to add to a category as in Category Caboose, Balloon Pop requires the player to 'shoot' an object or objects that don’t belong. This game requires 'cognitive flexibility' so take your time!
Level 1: Four balloons will have pictures on them (see upper left picture); three of them will share a common feature. Only one balloon will have a picture that doesn’t belong. You must pop the balloon that does not belong.
Level 2: Five balloons will have pictures on them (see upper right picture). Three objects will share a number of common features. You must pop the balloons that don’t share all of the common features of the other three.
Level 3: Six balloons will have pictures on them (see lower left picture). Four objects will share a number of common features. You must pop the balloons that don’t share all of the common features with the three balloons that do (see lower right picture).
In River Rescue, objects float down the river. An audio instruction will prompt you to ‘fish’ out objects from a specified category. In order to catch an object, you must tap on the object and Lenny then fishes the object out of the river. If you ‘catch’ a correct picture, it will show up as a small icon on the bottom of the screen. If you ‘catch’ an incorrect object, a rotten fish shows up at the bottom of the screen.
The game is over when you gets either 10 correct pictures at the bottom of the screen (win) or three rotten fish (lose).
'Caught' pictures are shown at the bottom of the screen for discussion purposes.
Category Ninja is similar to the popular ‘Fruit Ninja’ game. In Zen Ninja (left picture), objects from only one category are presented; you swipes the pictures for one minute and then the game is over. This game was designed for children who are just learning about what a category is.
In ‘Classic Ninja', you are instructed to swipe all pictures from a certain category. You earn points by swiping correct pictures. An X appears when you swipe a picture that doesn’t belong in that category. The game runs for either two minutes or until three ‘X’s appear. Be careful! If you swipe a correct picture that has an incorrect picture underneath it, you will get an X!