Playful animated videos that teach the meaning of new words
What we’d love to see…
Words to be introduced in increasing levels of difficulty, spelling from left to right only, more explicit prompts to help teach how to blend sounds
An engaging and outstanding multi-game app that teaches children how to spell, read and learn new vocabulary words that are beyond their school levels
Wonster Words Learning by 77Sparx Studio recently had a major upgrade to give children a new learning and play experience while retaining the same fun and playful approach that appeals to children.
From just Word Families, the app now engages learners through Stories, Math, Science and, Art and Music to teach students phonics, spelling and vocabulary. While the Phonics Word Families and Stories teach students new words by spelling and sounding them out, words introduced in the Math, Science and, Art and Music sections are taught by sight.
Before your child begins to play, I would recommend you to switch to the option to learn words in lower case in the settings as upper case letters are the default (unless you prefer to use upper case). You can also opt to turn off the music background in the app.
There are currently 11 word families included in the app. Each word family introduces 8 words from the word family that are of mixed levels of difficulty. For example, the ‘at’ word family has the words splat, brat, rat, copycat, cat, flat, acrobat and bat instead of the usual simple CVC words like bat, cat, fat, hat, mat, pat, rat, sat and vat.
For each word, students are prompted to complete the word puzzle, from left to right, using the freely floating animated letters. But kids can also piece the word puzzle in random order. They can hear the associated phonic sound as they drag and drop each animated letters. Tapping on the letters in the word puzzle also produces the phonic sound. But once the animated letter is put in place in the word puzzle, the letter name is read out instead of the phonic sound. So kids get to learn both the letter name and sound.
After the word has been put together, a fun animated video clip featuring the Wonster characters is played to demonstrate the meaning of the word. For simpler words, a mini-game based on the word will start.
More words are introduced in the 11 original Wonster stories that revolve around popular children’s themes like birthdays, friendships, adventures, nature and space. Words relating to the theme of the story are taught following the sequence of the story. Word puzzles are also used here to reinforce the letter names and sounds. Again playful animations help define the meaning of each new word. What proved to be a hit with my youngest were the mini games that he was rewarded with as he built more words along the story path.
For this update, the developers added puzzles and mini-games covering Math & Logic, Science & Nature, and Art & Music from their award-winning Puzzingo app to further build students’ vocabulary. I think it is meaningful for children to learn new words in context when these are grouped according to themes.
Math & Logic Puzzles
Science & Nature Puzzles
Art & Music Puzzles
Wonster Words excels in a few important ways. The animation video used to demonstrate the meaning of words are very well done. I like that there are lots of humor and playfulness in the videos to engage young learners. Plus there are some memorable comments (like “It’s easier to unwrap than to giftwrap” and “Never give up on the things that are important to you” ). Another star feature is the inclusion of many fun mini games related to the vocabulary words to keep learners entertained and interested. There is never a dull moment.
While the word and puzzles are easy to play, the learning content is not preschool materials but chosen to stretch students beyond their years. The words taught are varied in theme and difficulty level. And there are 3 different ways in which children can learn new words – by word families, through stories and themed puzzles. It’s amazing how much new knowledge young children can absorb when given the right tool. They learn difficult words easily when the gameplay is designed at their interest level.
Access to the app’s huge amount of content is through a monthly subscription of $7.99 after a 7-day free trial. A one-time payment for the lifetime all-access Pro version is $54.99. So, start the trial with your child right away and decide which option is the most suitable for your family’s needs before the trial period is over. You may be surprised to see how much your child will be enjoying learning while playing with the app.
Cubelets Discovery Set by Modular Robotics is a great way to integrate fun, learning, STEAM, STEM learning along with coding and more! As a parent, when getting my kids things I try to think of not only the educational value of the item but I also like to think about usability. I tested Cubelets Discovery Set with my boys – and took a step back after opening the box to see what they would create. One of the best parts of Cubelets Discovery Set is that they are modular making putting them together even for the smaller of hands (preschool) easy using cause and effect. If I place the blocks this way they will work. One of my favorite new enhancements is the Bluetooth Hat which means we can customize our creation, without having to worry about where to place the Bluetooth block. Cubelets are designed for builders ages 4+. Read our original review.
What we love…
Cubelets Discovery Set is a fun, affordable modular robot which teaches cause and effect, coding, STEM and STEAM
What we’d love to see…
option for an extra Bluetooth hat (I was most afraid of losing this one)!
ubelets do more which makes them a tool that grows with your child!
Using the Cubelets Discovery Set, both my boys were able to build their first robot in less than five minutes after installing the Cubelets app on our iPad. Using the app, you can remotely control the robot and look at different robot building options using a fun new feature called Personality Swap which changes the behavior of a Cubelet with the touch of a button. As a mom, personality swap was great especially for my preschooler who built his creation and didn’t want to have to change it after building it. Cubelets snap together using magnets, which means no tough connectors. The blocks work collaboratively to do different actions and really encouraged my kids to explore and build a variety of different creations. My preschooler actually asked if we could make robots longer than the 25 minutes I allotted because he was having so much fun! That is a huge win in my book!
We loved the Cubelets Discovery Set overall, especially compared to the original set that we tried. My kids also made some Lego creations which we snapped on the Lego adapter and then brought power to! With my older son, I sat back and watched him create. He made a few fun creations and when they didn’t do exactly what he originally wanted them to, we tried moving around the blocks to show how each block had a cause and effect.
Cubelets Discovery Set can be used with or without a screen. Users learn programming and troubleshooting just by figuring out how to put the Cubelets together. Once they have made a creation you can open the app and start having more fun! The app uses Blockly or C with Cubelets within the app – which means that they are practicing a great skill that ties in STEM and STEAM. Last year, we tested Cubelets and did a robotics requirement with our local Cub Scout pack, seeing the engagement from the Cub Scouts was so fun especially when they were learning. Having your robot move, turn on it’s headlight and drive was so much fun and really satisfying.
In terms of enhancements, I wish that there were two Bluetooth “hats” included. When I played with Cubelets with both my boys – I was careful to make sure we didn’t misplace it. We loved Cubelets and it’s a gift I’m going to give over the holidays!
Overall, Cubelets Discovery Set is a fun addition to our technology tool suite. Seeing my kids engage with the robots and learn real world skills like coding, cause and effect and most of all fun was a great way to engage and spend time with them. Cubelets Discovery Set is a great addition for kids from age 4 and up – plus as they get bigger Cubelets do more which makes them a tool that grows with your child! It makes coding for kids and learning fun!
NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.The links in this post may contain affiliate links where The iMums will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on our link, this helps to support the costs of running this site and we appreciate your support.
Nampa Farm by Nampa Design is a cute farm themed app which includes eight mini games, creative play and most of all fun! The app requires no reading or speech and allows kids to get creative while playing. The app is designed by Nampa Design based in Sweden. Be sure to check out our other Nampa Design app reviews too including Nampa Holiday and Nampa Party.
What we love…
illustrations and fun mini games
What we’d love to see…
planting veggies, a tractor driving game
Nampa Farm is a delightful app aimed at toddlers, preschool and kindergarteners packed with fun! The mini games are engaging and encourage kids to tap, touch and explore all in a safe environment.
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The Nampa Farm eight mini games include:
1) Fixing farm vehicles (including putting wheels on and making sure they are oiled so they are not squeaky)
2) Giving the sheep a makeover complete with shaving or blow drying more fur on, bows, and the ability to dye the sheep your favorite color
3) Decorating the farm house complete with paint and shapes using a brush, stamper or narrower brush
4) Planting magic flowers from flower seeds and seeing what will grow after you water it. My son enjoyed mixing the various seeds in the pot
5) Playing the chicken piano by tapping on the chickens while they squack, crow or make other funny noises – you can either have background music on or off.
6) Decorating horses in the stable with paint, a saddle and bridle and even dying their mane. Tap on the brush to see the fun designs you can make – my son loved the braids!
7) Build a scarecrow complete with a themed head which ranges from vegetable, a farm bucket, balloon and more! Then you put on a hat, and a shirt, apron a all while your fun Nampa friends have carrots while they watch. You can also decorate your items on the scarecrow as while while decorating
8) It’s time to groove to the disco – this is a signature of Nampa games and truthfully one of my four year old’s favorite parts. You can make the lights flash colors, dance along and listen to fun music!
I loved the illustrations and fun games in Nampa Farm – somehow my son always started using the Disco first and last while playing the various mini games in between. I liked that Nampa Farm was quick or longer to play which made it perfect for those in between moments when I just needed a quick break and it was educational. Having grown up in New England with chickens I personally enjoyed the zany chickens as well as the tractor.
In terms of enhancements, I would love to see a drive the tractor game beyond just decorating it and fixing the squeaky wheels. It might also be fun to plant some vegetables on the farm beyond the flowers. One of my kids favorite things about going to a farm after seeing the animals is to check out the great vegetables that they have. They also love to water things!
Nampa Farm requires no wi-fi to play, no third party advertising or in-app purchases.
Overall, Nampa Farm is a delightful app aimed at toddlers, preschool and kindergarteners packed with fun! The mini games are engaging and encourage kids to tap, touch and explore all in a safe environment. It’s always fun for me to see the different ways that my kids interact with apps or play with them in ways I might not have expected such as always playing the Disco at the start and end of each time playing with an app.
Fitoons by Avokiddo is an app featuring a variety of foods which encourages kids to eat healthy, exercise and get fit!
What we love…
Fitoons encourages exercise, healthy eating both on and off device. By choosing a variety of foods and doing exercise with their character they can see what impact it has on their bodies.
What we’d love to see…
Encourage kids to go play outside and exercise. When performing sports like biking and skiing have the character wear the appropriate safety equipment like a helmet to carry over what we as parents are teaching at home.
Great app that encourages healthy eating, exercise and fun! Kids are able to perform actions within the app and see what it does to the player and enables families to have discussions about the importance of exercise, healthy eating and play!
Fitoons by Avokiddo features a workout demo and can even be configured to vegan food only! Upon opening Fitoons, there are three choices: dress up, pick your favorite outfit and character to workout in; exercise, where a variety of exercises both indoor and outdoor from sit ups to biking are featured and when tasks are completed you earn stars; foods – choose either healthy options or not and see swhat it does to your character. There are six different appliances to choose from. Avokiddo also features a wide variety of other apps which encourage fitness both physical and brain fitness, challenges related to physics, challenges, emotions and more. Avokiddo always has great apps that I always buy and recommend!
My kids love making food especially in the blender for smoothies. As a family we talked about healthy food choices like broccoli, watermelon, apple versus unhealthy like cupcakes and pizza. One of the things about the app that was fun was you could see the character’s expression depending on food choices. Make a bad choice, and you would see the character gain weight. Make a healthy choice like an apple and you would get a smile. After eating, it was time to head in for exercise. Every time you complete an exercise you are awarded stars which was encouraging for my kids. After performing the task on screen I also encouraged them to try it at home to encourage our physical fitness. There were exercises both inside and outside which encouraged off device time.
As a parent, I liked that Fitoons encouraged physical fitness, healthy eating choices while offering kids choices for clothing. I also liked that while exercising that the character would show facial expressions that indicated exercise wasn’t always easy! After exercising for a bit, we headed back to the kitchen for a healthy snack of apple, orange and broccoli. My kids were excited when they earned more characters by completing tasks within the Fitoons. They were even more excited when we went outside to play after playing with the Fitoons!
In terms of enhancements, I would like to see a section that encourages kids to go outside and play. My kids love playing sports outside like soccer, hitting a baseball or even dribbling a basketball. Even having a simple reminder for them like the words “great job, now you try it!” would be a great addition. Having safety equipment on outside sports like biking with a helmet or skiing with a helmet and googles would help to reinforce those needed behaviors.
Avokiddo apps are child friendly! There are no in-app purchases (IAP) and they are both COPPA and GDPR complaint. Avokiddo does not collect, store or share personal information or location data via their apps. There is no advertising outside of their own apps and they are safe for young children with included parental gates. Avokiddo apps do not require the use of the internet or your data to play other than the download.
Fitoons encourages healthy eating, exercise and fun! Kids are able to perform actions within Fitoons and see what it does to the player and enables families to have discussions about the importance of exercise, healthy eating and play!
Price: $3.99 USD
3, 2, 1 Go! Exercise, eat healthy, and get fit! Can a dog be an expert hurdler? Should you make smoothies from fruit or pizza? Find out in this fun fitness game for kids that’s like no other. <.
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