When it comes to parenting, multi-tasking is a skill that is quickly learned and often utilized. It starts early on in your children’s lives – for example, catching a naked toddler who escaped during a diaper change while simultaneously answering the door to get that important FedEx package while simultaneously trying to prevent said naked child from hopping on the FedEx truck for a ride-along. For example.
I also appreciate educational apps that serve a dual learning purpose, like the recent release Peg + Cat Big Gig. Based on the PBS KIDS television show that premiered this fall, the app helps to teach both music and math early learning skills to the 3-5 crowd. The adorable cast of characters are recognizable to young players and fun mini-games multi-task as educational tools.
There are two separate sections of the app, Big Gig or Sound Check. The real learning happens in Big Gig, where players can “warm up” or “pick a song”. Warming up includes practicing scales by numbers, counting notes in multiples, or just goofin’ around with the notes. By picking a song, players can perform along by tapping the notes and then listen to a full rendition of the song where the lyrics are highlighted. Sound Check is an area for free play, and creations can be recorded and played back.
Seeing as how the app is endorsed & produced by PBS KIDS, parents can rest assured that Peg + Cat Big Gig is rich in educational content. Skills being taught within the framework of the game include number and pattern recognition, musical timing and rhythm, and early site reading, as well as teaching about different musical instruments and basic theories. There are spoken directions for each section of the app which helps the pre-school crowd play independently with minimal frustration.
At 3 and 5 my kids are smack-dab in the center of the app’s target demographic. It’s rare that the two of them actually play together harmoniously with the iPad, but magically this app brought them together. My oldest picked up the game play immediately and now sings all of the songs from the Big Gig section. Free play is perfect for my youngest, who can follow along with the songs but prefers to exercise her creative muscles and producing her own hits.
Despite the fact that big name producers tend to charge more for their apps (achem Disney) PBS strives to keep their kids’ games affordable. This one rings in at $1.99 which is reasonable and makes education accessible to iPad owners from all walks of life. Peg + Cat Big Gig is, well, like music to our ears!
– Relatable and fun television-based characters
– Rich and age-appropriate educational content
– Teaches valuable math, music, and reading early-learning skills
– None, we think this app is music to our ears!