Article: 20 Great Podcasts for kids that encourage learning, relaxation, science and more!

Article: 20 Great Podcasts for kids that encourage learning, relaxation, science and more!

Entertaining, informative, and kid-friendly podcasts for bedtime, road trips, and more. Best part? They’re screen-free. By Frannie Ucciferri

What if something out there had your kid begging you to turn off the TV or tablet, put away the video games, and listen to a story? It seems practically impossible in today’s media environment. Why would anyone (especially kids who’ve grown up with YouTube and Netflix) bother with screenless entertainment? But with podcasts, “no screens” becomes “no problem.” Podcasts made for — and even by — kids are popping up all over the place.  Be sure to check out our previous article on 8 educational podcasts here. 

As always, we encourage you to check out these podcasts prior to listening to them with your child to ensure they are a good fit.

Many adults are already familiar with podcasts, thanks to popular but mature hits such as Serial and Radiolab. But thankfully, podcasters are starting to realize that kids love what they’re doing as much as grown-ups. Teachers are even using them in the classroom. With exciting stories, fascinating facts, and lively sound effects to grab kids’ interest, all you need for an entertaining family-listening experience are some headphones or a set of speakers. Check out these 20 awesome podcasts for kids — including perfect bedtime stories, science exploration, cool news, and more. Plus, find out the best way to get them and use them. (We took our best guess for the target ages but include them as a guide since some of the content can be mature.)

How to Listen

It can be daunting for a first-timer to enter the world of podcasts, but digital tools have made it easier than ever to start listening. Podcasts are available to stream online or with a “podcatcher,” an app you can download specifically for podcasts. Here are some popular options for listening:

  • Podcasts. The original podcast app (only available for Apple iOS).  FREE!
  • Stitcher Radio for Podcasts. “Stitch” together custom podcast playlists with this mobile app
  • Pocket Casts. A mobile app with a sleek, easy-to-use interface
  • SoundCloud. An online audio-streaming platform for podcasts as well as music (also an app)
  • Podbay.fm. Streaming platform specifically for podcasts (app available for Android, but iOS coming soon)
  • NPR One.  Download content and stream via Bluetooth in your car.  Many of the podcasts below are from NPR content

Once you have your favorite app or website, search its library by topic and start exploring everything from science to sports to movies and more. And don’t forget to subscribe! Subscribing lets the app push new episodes directly to your device as soon as they’re available, so you’ll always have the latest update at your fingertips.

Pros and Cons of Podcasts for Kids

On the plus side, podcasts:

  • Boost learning. With engaging hosts and compelling stories, podcasts can be great tools to teach kids about science, history, ethics, and more. Listening to stories helps kids build vocabulary, improve reading skills, and even become more empathetic.
  • Reduce screen time. With podcasts, families can enjoy the same level of engagement, entertainment, and education as screen-based activities without worrying about staring at a screen.
  • Go anywhere. Podcasts are completely portable. You can listen in the car, on the bus, or in a classroom or even while doing chores around the house.
  • Cost nothing. Podcasts don’t have subscription or download fees, so anyone with internet access can listen and download for free. Most podcatcher apps are free, too.
  • Get two thumbs up from kids! Podcasts are designed to hook kids with music, jokes, compelling stories, and more. Some are designed in a serial format with cliffhangers at the end to get kids to tune back in.

On the downside, podcasts:

  • Play lots of ads. Many podcasts run several minutes of ads at the beginning or end. Because they’re often read by the podcast host, the ads can feel like a hard sell.
  • Can be confusing. Many podcasts update regularly, so you can jump right in and start listening. Others are styled like radio or TV shows, so the most recent episode is actually the end of a season. Check whether something is serialized or long-form before listening to the most recent update.
  • Vary in age-appropriateness. The iTunes Store labels podcasts “Explicit” or “Clean,” but even a “Clean” label doesn’t guarantee kid-friendly content. When in doubt, listen first before sharing with your kids.

Luckily we’ve discovered some excellent kid-friendly podcasts that you and your family will love listening to. Here are 20 of our favorites:

For the Whole Family

Dream Big logoDream Big
Precocious 7-year-old Eva Karpman and her mom interview celebs, award winners, and experts in a range of fields each week, with a hope of encouraging young people to find their passion and follow their dreams. The relatable mother-daughter dynamic and the big-name guests make this a fun choice for kids and their parents to listen to together. Best for: Kids

 

Wow in the World logoWow in the World
One of the newest podcasts to hit the scene, NPR’s first show for kids is exactly the sort of engaging, well-produced content you would expect from the leaders in radio and audio series. Hosts Guy Roz and Mindy Thomas exude joy and curiosity while discussing the latest news in science and technology in a way that’s enjoyable for kids and informative for grown-ups. Best for: Kids

 

Book Club for KidsBook Club for Kids
This excellent biweekly podcast features middle schoolers talking about a popular middle-grade or YA book as well as sharing their favorite book recommendations. Public radio figure Kitty Felde runs the discussion, and each episode includes a passage of that week’s book read by a celebrity guest. Best for: Tweens and teens

 

This American Life logoThis American Life
This popular NPR radio show is now also the most downloaded podcast in the country. It combines personal stories, journalism, and even stand-up comedy for an enthralling hour of content. Host Ira Glass does a masterful job of drawing in listeners and weaving together several “acts” or segments on a big, relatable theme. Teens can get easily hooked along with their parents, but keep in mind that many episodes have mature concepts and frequent swearing. Best for: Teens

Best Bedtime Podcasts

Peace Out logoPeace Out
Produced by the same people who do Story Time, this is a gentle podcast that encourages relaxation as well as mindfulness. Great for bedtime, but also any time of day when kids could use a calming activity, this podcast combines breathing exercises with whimsical visualizations for a truly peaceful experience. Best for: Preschoolers and little kids

 

Story Time logoStory Time 
These 10- to 15-minute stories are a perfect way to lull your little one to sleep. The podcast is updated every other week, and each episode contains a kid-friendly story, read by a soothing narrator. Short and sweet, it’s as comforting as listening to your favorite picture book read aloud. Best for: Preschoolers and little kids.  PERFECT for getting bedtime stories in on the go!

 

What If World logoWhat If World
With wacky episode titles such as “What if Legos were alive?” and “What if sharks had legs?,” this series takes ridiculous “what if” questions submitted by young listeners and turns them into a new story every two weeks. Host Eric O’Keefe uses silly voices and crazy characters to capture the imaginations of young listeners with a Mad Libs-like randomness. Best for: Kids

 

Stories Podcast logoStories Podcast
One of the first kids’ podcasts to grasp podcasts’ storytelling capabilities, this podcast is still going strong with kid-friendly renditions of classic stories, fairy tales, and original works. These longer stories with a vivid vocabulary are great for bigger kids past the age for picture books but who still love a good bedtime story. Best for: Big kids

Best Podcasts for Road Trips

The Alien Adventures of Finn CaspianThe Alien Adventures of Finn Caspian
This serialized podcast tells the story of an 8-year-old boy living on an interplanetary space station who explores the galaxy and solves mysteries with his friends. With no violence or edgy content and with two seasons totaling over 13 hours of content, this sci-fi adventure is perfect for long car rides. Best for: Kids and tweens

 

Eleanor AmplifiedEleanor Amplified
Inspired by old-timey radio shows — complete with over-the-top sound effects — this exciting serial podcast follows a plucky journalist who goes on adventures looking for her big scoop. Tweens will love Eleanor’s wit and daring and might even pick up some great messages along the way. There’s even a “Road Trip Edition” episode with the entire first season in a single audio file. Best for: Tweens

 

The Unexplainable Disappearance of Mars Patel logoThe Unexplainable Disappearance of Mars Patel
This Peabody Award-winning scripted mystery series has been called a Stranger Things for tweens. With a voice cast of actual middle schoolers, a gripping, suspenseful plot, and interactive tie-ins, this story about an 11-year-old searching for his missing friends will keep tweens hooked to the speakers for hours — more than five, to be exact. Best for: Tweens

 

Welcome to Night Vale logoWelcome to Night Vale
Structured like a community radio show for the fictional desert town of Night Vale, the mysterious is ordinary and vice versa in this delightfully eerie series. Both the clever concept and the smooth voice of narrator Cecil Baldwin have helped the show develop a cult-like following. It’s a bit creepy and dark for kids, but older listeners will find it perfect for a nighttime drive along a deserted highway. Best for: Teens

Best Podcasts for Science Lovers

But Why logoBut Why: A Podcast for Curious Kids
Kids are always asking seemingly simple questions that have surprisingly complex answers, such as “Why is the sky blue?” and “Who invented words?” This cute biweekly radio show/podcast takes on answering them. Each episode features several kid-submitted questions, usually on a single theme, and with the help of experts, it gives clear, interesting answers. Best for: Kids

 

Brains On logoBrains On
Similar to But Why, this is another radio show/podcast that takes kid-submitted science questions and answers them with the help of experts. What makes this one different is it tends to skew a bit older, both in its questions and answers, and it has a different kid co-host each week. The result is a fun show that’s as silly as it is educational. Best for: Kids and tweens

 

Tumble logoTumble
Often compared to a kid-friendly Radiolab, this podcast not only addresses fascinating topics but also tries to foster a love of science itself by interviewing scientists about their process and discoveries. The hosts don’t assume that listeners have a science background — but even kids who think they don’t like science may change their minds after listening to this podcast. Best for: Kids and tweens

 

Stuff You Should Know logoStuff You Should Know
From the people behind the award-winning website HowStuffWorks, this frequently updated podcast explains the ins and outs of everyday things from the major (“How Free Speech Works”)  to the mundane (“How Itching Works”). Longer episodes and occasional adult topics such as alcohol, war, and politics make this a better choice for older listeners, but hosts Josh and Chuck keep things engaging and manage to make even complex topics relatable. And with nearly 1,000 episodes in its archive, you might never run out of new things to learn. Best for: Teens

Best Podcasts for Music Fans

Ear Snacks logoEar Snacks
The catchy soundtrack is the star in this delightful podcast from children’s music duo Andrew & Polly (not surprising since the hosts have created songs for Wallykazam! and Sesame Studios). But this funny program also covers a range of topics by talking to actual kids as well as experts, providing thoughtful fun for young ones and their grown-ups. Best for: Preschoolers and little kids

 

The Past & the Curious logoThe Past & the Curious
Reminiscent of the TV show Drunk History (minus the alcohol), this amusing podcast features people telling interesting, little-known stories from history with an emphasis on fun and humor. Although it’s not specifically a music podcast, each episode contains an often-silly song that’s sure to get stuck in your head. There’s even a quiz segment, so kids will learn something, too. Best for: Kids

 

Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child logoSpare the Rock, Spoil the Child
Families can enjoy rock and roll without the downsides with this fun radio show/podcast. Each week there’s a new playlist combining kids’ music from artists such as They Might Be Giants, with kid-appropriate songs from artists that grown-ups will recognize, such as Elvis CostelloThe Ramones, and John Legend. It’s a perfect compromise for parents tired of cheesy kids’ music. Best for: Kids

 

All Songs Considered logoAll Songs Considered
This weekly podcast from NPR covers the latest and greatest in new music with a particular focus on emerging artists and indie musicians. It covers a wide range of genres and even includes artist interviews and live performances. Some songs contain adult themes and explicit language, but teens will love discovering a new favorite that you’ve probably never heard of. Best for: Teens

 

 

About the author

As catalog data coordinator, Frannie Ucciferri assists Common Sense Media’s reviewers and editors in making sure each of more than 29,000 reviews is as complete and comprehensive as possible. Frannie is a graduate of UC Berkeley, where she earned a degree in cognitive science and taught a class on her favorite TV show ever, Arrested Development. Her passion for reading and writing is paralleled only by her love of Bay Area sports, especially baseball. When she isn’t playing with her dogs or trying out San Francisco restaurants, you can probably find her watching Pixar moviesParks and Rec, or one of her favorite girl power movies and TV shows.
commonsense2Common Sense Media is an independent nonprofit organization offering unbiased ratings and trusted advice to help families make smart media and technology choices. Check out our ratings and recommendations at www.commonsensemedia.org.
Article: Cooking, Cleaning, Role Playing and more with Dr. Panda Apps

Article: Cooking, Cleaning, Role Playing and more with Dr. Panda Apps

My kids love Dr. Panda Apps and we have reviewed so many of them here at The iMums.  I thought it would be great to put them all in one post so you can easily find the reviews and links to the apps!  Apps range from cooking, to chores/cleaning, role playing and more.  I love the amount of replay these apps get even years after I bought them and loaded them on our devices.  Dr. Panda started making apps in 2012, originally under the name Tribeplay.  They are based in China and California, and you can learn more about them here.  We recently updated our review of Dr. Panda Town and are currently running a giveaway.  Those that share this post in addition to commenting get 5 entries!

Dr. Panda TownDr. Panda Town by Dr. Panda Ltd is the first free app with in-app purchases or IAP offered by Dr. Panda games. Dr. Panda was founded in 2012 and has a number of apps available for iOS and Android with great open free play options. This app includes in-app purchases for a park and a supermarket as well as a home setting. For purposes of this review, I will review both the park and supermarket settings contained within the app. The app opens with Dr. Panda pulling up to the town in his yellow car. If you try to open up the park or supermarket and have not purchased them a parental lock pops up before taking you into the iTunes store which requires you to enter your year of birth. Of note, I got the app bundle on one device and had to “restore” my purchase on my second device to be able to access each of the three places. We used language to describe each of the actions which made it great for practicing language.  Read the full review and enter our giveaway!

 

Dr. Panda Cafe

Dr. Panda Cafe

Dr. Panda Cafe from Dr. Panda Games  is a new universal app for iOS which has your child making food and drinks in a cafe setting.  As you gain more customers, you have to balance time management, taking orders and making them as well as cleaning up.  As you serve more customers, you earn new recipes and foods to give to the customers. To play the app, first you seat the customer at a table – if the table is empty you can put the customer at it.  Once they are seated, you take their order and go back behind the counter as Dr. Panda to work on the order.  Items are broken into categories, and you tap on the correct category to make or brew the item.  Once you have made all of the items in the order, it’s time to serve it to the customers.  You can take orders from multiple customers at once, and make food the same way although it can bet a bit confusing!  Among the food choices, coffee/tea, cakes, pizza and as you get to know your customers better you can try to imagine what they might order in advance.  It was important to pay attention to the customers in order to keep them happy which in turn unlocked items after you earned stars and gave you more food and drinks to serve.  Read our full review

 

Dr. Panda's RestaurantDr. Panda’s Restaurant by Dr. Panda features interactive mini-games which include seating a variety of animals (patrons) and cooking a dish that they have in mind.  Activities’ practiced in the app include fine motor via chopping a variety of foods, peeling, sautéing in a frying pan, pinching and squeezing for making of juice, toasting and preparing bread along with cooking a variety of foods.  There are a variety of different dishes in rotation to be prepared and served to the various animals including soups, decorating cookies, making apple pie, a variety of fruit drinks and his personal favorite pizza.  This app could also be used in speech therapy to describe each of the items as they are prepared and sequencing of them.  This app was fun in that it was two restaurants’ in one, with one downstairs serving American theme and the upstairs decorated in more of a Chinese theme.  It would be great if the foods matched the décor on each of the floors.  The mini-recycling game was a nice way to remind my son what went into each bin and helped us practice our recycling skills at home.  We also enjoyed touching a variety of objects within the dining room to turn on and off the lights, touching the spider and interacting with the plates after the meals were finished.  My son enjoyed making cookies and making the soups best because they required precision in chopping and fine motor practice.  Read the full review.

Dr. Panda Restaurant 2

Dr. Panda Restaurant 2

Dr. Panda Restaurant 2 by Dr. Panda  is a universal app for iOS that puts your little chef in a tropical kitchen and allows them to make food to delight their patrons.  The app includes more than 20 ingredients including fish, eggs, peppers, tomatoes, three types of pasta, seasonings and more.  You can boil, bake, fry and cop ingredients to make the perfect dish for your patrons who arrive in parties of two via a water taxi and place their orders.  As you are making the item, the guest will stand at the window while you pick out the ingredients and make faces depending on what they want on their meal.  Each dish allows you to put different toppings to satisfy their taste.  The app includes a traditional diet as well as a switch for a vegetarian diet.  The app practices attention to detail, fine motor required for chopping, slicing and laying out the ingredients as well as making sure the customers are getting the food that they want.  In addition children follow recipes step by step which include making the pasta, pouring it into the colander, putting it on the plate and then making a sauce.  Other tasks include rolling out the pizza dough before adding additional ingredients.  Read our full review.

 

Dr. Panda Train

Dr. Panda Train

Dr. Panda Train,  all Aboard this app from Dr. Panda Games this time with a train theme!  In this fun themed train app your kids serve as conductor and they drive the train and tour one of three landscapes which includes jungle, desert and a beautiful countryside scene. Within the app, your child can drive the train either from a first person perspective inside the cab or from a distance.  They also can stop and visit the passengers to give them food, snacks, reading material and more.  My son even found some great tech to give the passengers.  Shovel on some coal to stoke the fire and make the train go faster to it’s next destination or simply blow the horn as the countryside goes by.  I liked that my kids could take turns playing with the app or putting passengers on and handing out items to them.  As you complete more of the game you earn extra items to give to the passengers – my kids favorites were of course the tech!    Read the full review

 

 

Dr. Panda Daycare

Dr. Panda Daycare

Dr. Panda’s Daycare by Dr. Panda  features Dr. Panda in a daycare setting where your child is in a virtual playhouse with five baby animals.  The animals have a playroom where they can rock on a rocking horse, bounce on a ball or play with a train.  In the kitchen they can pretend to have a birthday party, have breakfast or lunch and cook foods.  Upstairs there is a stage and instruments for them to play with and a naptime room.  There is also a backyard where kids can play with a slide, bouncy pit or pool.  The app encourages creative play and helps children understand that their choices can determine how the animals will play. It is best suited for late toddlers and preschoolers who will enjoy the setting while finding new toys to play with and switches to turn on and off. Read the full review.

 

 

Dr. Panda Airport

Dr. Panda Airport

Dr. Panda Airport by Dr. Panda is set at an airport adventure featuring ten activities including:  going through security, checking in at the desk, driving the luggage cart, getting your bags via baggage claim, controlling airspace via the control tower, counting money for a payphone and making a phone call, stamping tickets, cleaning the airplane. loading the flight with luggage and going to lost and found.  The app is designed for children in preschool and older through elementary school.  It practices skills such as fine motor, sorting, counting, finding a specific object, expressive language. shape recognition and matching,  and more.  The four main characters in the app are a monkey, elephant, raccoon and a hippopotamus who are all attired in different types of vacation clothing.  Read our full review

 

 

Dr. Panda Bus Driver

Dr. Panda Bus Driver

Dr. Panda Bus Driver by Dr. Panda has Dr. Panda is driving a bus around either a city, countryside, harbor or a variety of other locations picking up and dropping off his passengers, painting the bus, refilling the gas tank and more!  Much like a traditional bus, you have to stop to let passengers and other vehicles go by, stop for trains that will pass as well as clean up the bus after your “route” has been completed.  This app is designed for preschoolers through early elementary school similar to other Dr. Panda apps and will provide hours of open ended play for them that uses fine motor skills both from seating passengers and driving the bus either with your finger or by gently moving your device to steer it from side to side to ensure it stays in the road.  The scenery within the app changes each time you launch it – and can range a harbor complete with a  drawbridge, railroad crossings, tunnels, birds in the road to a countryside.  Dr. Panda must deliver his animal friends safely to their destination while ensuring they are sitting down on the bus and watching out for obstructions.  When an obstruction comes up – a warning “light” comes up inside the bus so you can touch it to stop for it and allow the drawbridge to go up and down, passengers to cross the road as well as watching out for birds and other wildlife that might be on the road.  Read our full review

 

Dr. Panda Handyman

Dr. Panda Handyman

Dr. Panda Handyman by Dr. Panda  Games is the latest universal app for iOS featuring Dr. Panda as he fixes of household objects that seem to have mysteriously broken through 14 mini games. The app is designed for toddlers, preschoolers and elementary school children.  The app is a great one for children to practice fine motor skills as well as naming and finding objects and tools. One of our favorite features of the app was fixing all the different objects around the house and the realistic sounds of the tools as they worked. We loved that the tasks varied so you were not always doing the same task over and over again.  My son also loved giving high fives to Dr Panda for a job well done!  The three dimensional graphics  in the app were animated and we saw familiar characters from the other Dr Panda apps and were very engaging for our testers.  Read our full review.

 

 

Dr. Panda Home

Dr. Panda Home

Dr. Panda’s Home by Dr. Panda is a universal app for iOS and allows your children to do chores in Dr. Panda’s House while earning an allowance for completing them.  The app is done in 3D and has over 20 mini games and activities to complete.  Your child is assigned a list of three chores which are checked off on a list as they are completed and then after they are completed, are awarded five coins for their piggy bank.  Your child can either spend the coins on small toys or save them to get bigger toys for the toy shelf.  The app is kid friendly and brings all of Dr. Panda’s animal friends to life while they help you do daily chores like emptying the dishwasher, cleaning the toilet and bathroom sink, sorting and doing a load of laundry, mowing the lawn, washing the windows and more. The app also helps with step by step directions, sequencing, following a task to completion as well as fine motor skills.  Read the full review

 

 

Dr. Panda Hospital icon

Dr. Panda Hospital

Dr. Panda’s Hospital by Dr. Panda Games is a universal app which features eight different animals that your child will take to their hospital beds, discover and treat their health problems.  The app features ten mini-games which include: treating an upset stomach,  treating chicken pox, giving an injection, treating eyes, ears, mouth/teeth as well as retrieving mistakenly swallowed items.  TribePlay was founded in 2008 and creates educational games for the iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch and Android and is based in Chengdu, Western China.   Dr. Panda and TribePlay are certified by the kidSAFE® Seal Program which certifies child-friendly websites and applications including kid-targeted game sites, web-connected devices and other products.  This app helps practice fine motor, sequencing, speech and discussion skills as well as creative/dramatic play.  This app provides a great rendition of an animal hospital for children to interact with and treat all of the various animals.  Read the full review.

 

 

Dr. Panda Racers

Dr. Panda Racers

Dr. Panda Racers by Dr. Panda LTD  features a racing theme that lets you build your own cars and track including jumps and tricks, washing your vehicle, competing against other Dr. Panda characters and more!  As you successfully complete the races – in first place you earn prizes which include race car parts, spray paints, and trophies.  The tracks can either be concrete, dirt or sand and you choose them prior to racing at the event.  To play the app you either choose or build your car, choose or build your track and then head to the pits for a wash before going out to the track for the race.  At the starting line you are prompted to buckle your seat belt and then it’s on to the race and fun stunts!  The track is controlled using a toggle which allows you to go 5 or 10 – and then the stunts require stopping to complete a tracing task.  Read our full review

 

 

Dr. Panda Firefighters

Dr. Panda Firefighters

Dr. Panda Firefighters is a universal app for iOS that lets your child fight fires, drive a fire truck, clear obstacles, explore over 30 rooms and more. This app is designed for toddler age and up and features Dr. Panda and his friends as they drive the firetruck to the scene of the fire, turn on the water and look around for flames to extinguish. It reminded me very much of playing fire engines as a kid, except Dr Panda was able to physically make the rooms rather than me having to imagine them. The app is great for toddler and preschoolers especially. It can be used to practice following directions, expressive language to narrate what they are doing and following along with the animals to rescue them. There is also cause and effect of fighting the fire, handing over the tools and moving on to the next level. Read our full review

 

 

Dr. Panda Toy Cars Free

Dr. Panda Toy Cars Free

Dr. Panda’s Toy Cars by Dr. Panda  allows your children to role-play and use their imaginations in two cities with a variety of vehicles ranging from a fire truck, boat, police car, ambulance, cargo truck, regular cars and more.  The app allows you to “drive” with your finger, turn on and off sirens, put out fires, put up and down barriers for the railroad crossing and more.  The app is designed for children from toddler through preschool although my elementary aged student really enjoyed the activities contained within the app.  My son loved that two of us (or more) could play with the app at the same time as you can drive multiple vehicles simultaneously.

 

 

Dr. Panda Space

Dr. Panda Space

Dr. Panda in Space is a universal app for iOS, Amazon appstore  and Android which allows you to customize your own space ship and blast off and have open ended discovery in space of planets, asteroids, activities such as fixing your space ship, free play in zero gravity and more.  This app is aimed at preschool and early grade school aged children with lots of great free play opportunities for the younger children during the exploration phase.  The app begins with a customization of your spaceship where you then blast off into space and begin your exploration.  Read our full review.

 

 

Dr. Panda Mailman

Dr. Panda Mailman

 Dr. Panda’s Mailman is a universal app for iOS that features the post office!  This app features the ability to make and address your own postcards, pick a gift to package up for delivery including wrapping and delivery.  The app features a variety of animals, including a pig, the turtle (Toto)  we saw in Toto’s Treehouse, a monkey, elephant, sheep, hippo, cat, raccoon, elephant and more for a total of 12 animals!  After designing your package, Dr. Panda is off on an adventure to deliver your mail.  The stamp on the package or postcard helps him know where to deliver it and it’s placed into Dr. Panda’s scooter to deliver it.  The world includes rivers, forests, mountains and houses along with jumps, roads, road signs and more!  This app is best suited for preschoolers and early elementary aged children.  Skills practiced can include language, motor skills in coloring and driving the scooter, listening to directions.  Read our full review.
 

 

Dr. Panda Swimming Pool

Dr. Panda Swimming Pool

Dr. Panda’s Swimming Pool by Dr. Panda is a universal app designed for iOS that has the animals in a variety of aquatic settings at a pool. You can dress in a variety of bathing suits in the locker room while taking a shower and getting ready for the pool, diving off a pirate ship, playing in a sandbox, going down a water slide or playing in a small wading pool with a variety of lunch items available.  This app is aimed at toddlers and preschoolers.  Skills practiced include language both receptive and expressive, and some fine motor skills. I liked that the app had four different play areas similar to a traditional beach.  The graphics were crisp and they showcased especially well with the animations.   Read our full review.

 

 

 

Dr. Panda's Ice Cream Truck

Dr. Panda’s Ice Cream Truck

Dr. Panda Ice Cream Truck by Dr. Panda has you making your own ice cream using a variety of colors, mix-in’s such as fruit while whipping it up in a blender to make your favorite combinations.  Once your ice cream is created you then add your toppings like squeeze on caramel or rainbow, sprinkles which include chocolate curls, and traditional sprinkles as well as the ability to top it with candy.  After finishing the ice cream you tap on a bell and you help  the character eat it before paying for the ice cream sundae.  The payment for each sundae depends on the size, complexity and amount of toppings used.  I have seen cones range from four to 31 coins depending on how you put it together.  Read the full review

 

 

 

Dr. Panda Supermarket

Dr. Panda Supermarket

Dr. Panda Supermarket by Dr. Panda is a universal app for iOS which features Dr. Panda in the supermarket along with many of his friends we have seen in previous apps including the most recent Dr. Panda Daycare.    Dr. Panda is based in Chengdu, China where the national animal is a giant panda!  The app features the animals as they go grocery shopping and a variety of ten themed mini games which vary from shopping using a list, organizing differently shaped boxes, cleaning up spills and more with six different animals and their children.  The app practices fine motor, critical thinking and creative play skills.  It does not contain any language either written or spoken which means it will appeal to toddlers to early preschool age children.  Read the full review

 

 

Dr. Panda’s Veggie Garden Dr. Panda’s Veggie Garden by Dr. Panda allows your child to grow a variety of fruits and vegetables for their customers who are comprised of a variety of animals we have met in previous Dr. Panda games.  The app allows you to plow, plant, water, harvest and of course take care of any insect infestations or critters from harming your crops.  This universal app features sequencing, fine motor, visual skills as well as language to name objects within the app.  The app features a variety of different “steps” which include: digging, planting seeds, watering and harvesting for five animal customers using 12 different fruits and vegetables including corn, wheat, strawberries and apples to name a few.  In addition, there are two bonus mini games which help your child organize the tool shed.  Read our full review.

 

 

Dr. Panda Beauty Salon

Dr. Panda Beauty Salon

Dr Panda Beauty Salon by Dr Panda Games allows your child to immerse themselves into a spa experience where they pamper the pets and do a bunch of great mini games.  The app allows for open ended creative play and has some great hidden elements within to unlock.  This universal app had wide appeal with our testers, both boys and girls who enjoyed playing with the virtual spa.  The app features 13 mini games along with three floors of fun!   My son even enjoyed tapping on the pictures on the walls, finding the hidden nail polish which means your next client automatically gets nail polish and a pedicure as well as the smaller features like the vibrating chairs, magazines and variety of tasks needed to play the app.  The waiting room was fun as the customers entered – similar to other Dr. Panda apps and we loved listening to the music, reading magazines and sipping tea.   Read our full review.

 

 

Dr. Panda Cafe

Dr. Panda Cafe

Dr. Panda Cafe from Dr. Panda Games  is a new universal app for iOS which has your child making food and drinks in a cafe setting.  As you gain more customers, you have to balance time management, taking orders and making them as well as cleaning up.  As you serve more customers, you earn new recipes and foods to give to the customers. To play the app, first you seat the customer at a table – if the table is empty you can put the customer at it.  Once they are seated, you take their order and go back behind the counter as Dr. Panda to work on the order.  Items are broken into categories, and you tap on the correct category to make or brew the item.  Once you have made all of the items in the order, it’s time to serve it to the customers.  You can take orders from multiple customers at once, and make food the same way although it can bet a bit confusing!  Among the food choices, coffee/tea, cakes, pizza and as you get to know your customers better you can try to imagine what they might order in advance.  It was important to pay attention to the customers in order to keep them happy which in turn unlocked items after you earned stars and gave you more food and drinks to serve.  Read our full review

 

Dr. Panda Art Class

Dr. Panda Art Class

Art Class with Dr. Panda  takes kid-art to a whole new level of enjoyment and allows your children to make one of six different art projects with their favorite animals from the Dr. Panda series.  The activities include: making a kite, cutting to make a design, making a pinwheel, making pottery, making a bead design and decorating an object with shapes.  Skills practiced in the app include: fine motor, creative thinking, sequential thinking, creative play and of course FUN! He loved shaping the pottery on the pottery wheel, watching it get fired in the kiln and the painting it with the rainbow colored paintbrush.    I also loved that the art book hanging on the wall allows your child to choose an activity (from the ones available in the app) as well as choosing an animal at the table.  We had fun with all of the activities in the app – and also really enjoyed the cutting one which required you to fold a piece of paper in a specific way and then make cuts with scissors prior to unfolding it to see your design.  Read our full review.

 

 

Dr. Panda Hoopa City 2

Dr. Panda Hoopa City 2

Hoopa City 2 by Dr. Panda Games is the newest app in the collection, this app is universal and features a building theme which encourages speech, creative play and role playing depending on the activity in the city.  The app appeals to kids from preschool through elementary school, and I found myself even enjoying playing with one of my son’s cities. My son really liked all the content in the app.  He enjoyed putting people in the buildings, role playing and switching from day to night.  He liked building his own characters as he progressed within the app.  As a mom, I liked the amount of content that was offered and the variety of options for building, playing or simply interacting with the city.   The 3D graphics are beautiful and my son enjoyed experimenting to create the different buildings and testing out combinations to see what bigger and better buildings he could make.   Read our full review

Alison, the American iMum is from Massachusetts. She lives there with her sons and husband. In their spare time, they enjoy playing outside, enjoying nature and of course testing apps and fantastic products on their devices. They have a variety of devices including an iPad, iPhone, and an iPod and is often found with a device! My older son loves technology and loves testing out the “latest and newest” apps and tech. I love sharing information about apps and products with others to help them make decisions without feeling overwhelmed with all of the choices.
Dr. Panda Town by Dr. Panda Ltd – Review & Giveaway

Dr. Panda Town by Dr. Panda Ltd – Review & Giveaway



 

Note: This review was previously posted in April 2017, we have simply slightly updated the review to include the new area as well as to offer a giveaway!

What we love…

open ended creative play that helps kids in a variety of community settings use imaginary play skills

What we’d love to see…

a rack for clothing, ability to kick and play with the soccer and basket ball

Summary

Dr. Panda Town is fun and just enough different from other apps on the market which make it enjoyable for my kids to play. Each of the three areas are fun and have unique content like a water scene inside the park or a picnic or even shopping at the grocery store.

Our Rating

Dr. Panda TownDr. Panda Town by Dr. Panda Ltd is the first free app with in-app purchases or IAP offered by Dr. Panda games. Dr. Panda was founded in 2012 and has a number of apps available for iOS and Android with great open free play options. This app includes in-app purchases for a park and a supermarket as well as a home setting. For purposes of this review, I will review both the park and supermarket settings contained within the app. The app opens with Dr. Panda pulling up to the town in his yellow car. If you try to open up the park or supermarket and have not purchased them a parental lock pops up before taking you into the iTunes store which requires you to enter your year of birth. Of note, I got the app bundle on one device and had to “restore” my purchase on my second device to be able to access each of the three places. We used language to describe each of the actions which made it great for practicing language.

Inside the house, there is a living room, kitchen with variety of foods as well as the ability to cook and mop the floors. Upstairs in the home is a bathroom and a kids bedroom. My kids in particular liked the attic where they found treasures like a rocking horse and antique television. The characters are down at the bottom by the Dr. Panda logo and you can add and move them around within the different portions of the app. I also liked the recycling in each of the locations as well. Inside the grocery store reminds me a lot of Dr. Panda Supermarket with items to place inside your basket as well as different items like soap, toothpaste and milk. When we played, I actually gave my younger son a “picture list” of items for us to place inside the basket prior to checking out.

iPhone Screenshot 4

My toddler also liked the soccer ball and wanted to “kick” it with the characters – something we couldn’t figure out how to do, we also tried to bring it to the park to play with as well as the basket ball but couldn’t make it work. We also cooked on the grill outside. My toddler loved the park – he enjoys going to the park and he loves Dr. Panda Ice Cream so he was delighted to see the ice cream stand in the park. My son’s favorite part was dispensing each of the candies from the machines as well as eating the cookies. Inside the park there is a variety of playground toys like a see-saw, slide and even clothing to change into as well as a picnic. We enjoyed giving dog a ride in the boat – although he needs a life jacket! Playing in the skate park was fun as well going back and forth. My toddler loved the animations of the airplane and motorcycle as the characters rode them.

iPhone Screenshot 3Up in the attic it would be fun if the television played promos for other Dr. Panda apps – right now there are a variety of random images with characters from the app but no real cohesive things shown. My toddler also wanted to “talk” using the phone which currently just rings and lets you take it off the hook. My older son asked if we could decorate the treats inside of the supermarket as he is getting older and likes to help me cook — perhaps a baking app might be in the future? Other enhancements might be using money to put into the slot for the candy or to pay for the vending machine and cafe in the park. I’d love to see some of the items we make in other Dr. Panda apps incorporated here to give kids a taste of some of the great fun they can have with other apps. I would also like to see a clothing closet or rack for all of the different outfits to change into – perhaps this could be on the bottom with all of the characters? My older son also wanted more “healthy” options for the picnic including fruits and veggies so we must be doing something right!

iPad Screenshot 3

UPDATE:  As of July 2017, Dr. Panda has launched a new Restaurant area where you can play music, sit and have a meal, prepare a few of your favorites in the kitchen like baked potato, pizza, fresh vegetables and more.  Once cooked they can either be boxed for takeout or put on a plate for eating in the restaurant area.  Among the activities are setting the table with silverware, putting lit (or unlit) candles on the table, touch the clock to switch the time, read a newspaper and more.  I also liked the healthy food options including vegetables, ability to wash dishes, ability to touch to turn on/off lights, the fan for cooking and more.  Super fun update!

For me, once I tested the house, I knew I wanted more and got the combination of the supermarket and park for $2.99 IAP because my kids hate being locked out of anything. That makes them all the more determined to use it! In app purchases are protected with a parental gate which requires your year of birth and then you are pulled to iTunes.

Dr. Panda Town is fun and just enough different from other apps on the market which make it enjoyable for my kids to play. Each of the three areas are fun and have unique content like a water scene inside the park or a picnic or even shopping at the grocery store.  Just until July 27, you can purchase the Restaurant area for only $0.99 IAP, after that it will revert to full price of $1.99.


Dr. Panda Town Dr. Panda Town by Dr. Panda Ltd

Price: $FREE

Let your imagination run wild and discover Dr. Panda Town! Step outside the house and go to the supermarket, park and more.

EXPLORE TOWN!
Discover every part of Dr. Panda Town, from the ice .

You can download it free with in-app purchases on Google Play.

NOTE: A fee was received to expedite the original review, however, we were not paid to update this review.  This post may contain affiliate links which helps to support the site.

Giveaway

Want a chance to win a  copy of Dr. Panda Town and and the new Restaurant section?  You can enter via a comment on this post.  The comment must say where you are from and why you want to win the prize.    Winners will be emailed and must contact The iMums within 48 hours to claim their prize. This giveaway is to everyone, everywhere that has a valid iTunes account. A valid legal name and email address are required to claim the prize. Please ensure you have read and understand our Terms & Conditions. Good luck!

Alison, the American iMum is from Massachusetts. She lives there with her sons and husband. In their spare time, they enjoy playing outside, enjoying nature and of course testing apps and fantastic products on their devices. They have a variety of devices including an iPad, iPhone, and an iPod and is often found with a device! My older son loves technology and loves testing out the “latest and newest” apps and tech. I love sharing information about apps and products with others to help them make decisions without feeling overwhelmed with all of the choices.
Stanley Stand by Distil Union – Review

Stanley Stand by Distil Union – Review

What we love…

easy to use portable stand for your iPhone, iPad or other device

What we’d love to see…

better way to carry it around – I currently put it back in the box each time I use it although it can be flattened.

Summary

Overall, this is a great flexible stand which is perfect for anyone with tech in your life.  It’s held up very well during my testing and multiple uses.

Our Rating

recommended-by-the-imums

The Stanley Stand by Distil Union is a leather device that bends to hold your device and accessories while cooking, serving as a portable charging station, holding your tablet and more.  Stanley Stand is made of leather, merino wool felt and heavy steel.  The Stanley Stand is covered on the outside by leather in your choice of color (black, brown, gray, lime, aqua, red) and on the inside is Merino wool felt.  They cover up a piece of steel inside which bends to make the Stanley stand usable in so many situations.  Each stand has light grey Merino wool felt which has white stitching, and the darker stand (black) has darker grey felt with black stitching.  The stand features a small hole in the back designed to feed your cables through so they are not in the way of your device.

You can use it as a non-traditional dock on your desk at work, on your kitchen counter to hold your device while cooking, to act as a small typing stand or simply to get your device up from a flat spot.  It will hold phones and tablets up to 8″ tall and held my iPad Mini in a Griffin Survivor case quite comfortably.  You can bend the stand to your viewing angle (so you can watch movies while it is on a table or use it for cooking) or a low angle so you can use it as a typing stand.  Inside the box is the Stanley Stand in your choice of color and a USB extension cable which is six feet, this plugs into your lightening charger for your iOS device and works with any USB cable you already use to charge your device by giving it a bit more length.

When I got my Stanley Stand I started coming up with great ideas of using it.  The Stanley Stand is  small enough to toss in my backpack and bring with me when I’m out with my kids, so I can stream a Netflix movie while they are having an appointment or while I wait in the car for the time of the appointment.  I also brought it along as a portable charger – I like many have my iPhone go dead sometimes.  This can be frustrating – especially when you find a plug but it’s a little bit too far away or perhaps you don’t want to be limited by the length of your standard issue Apple cable.  Thankfully using the USB extension you can now comfortably sit in a char while having your device plugged in!  I also liked the Stanley Stand when cooking – I have lots of recipes on my device but I hate touching my iPhone with dirty hands to check the ingredients.  Now, I simply prop it on the Stanley Stand, turn off sleep mode and get cooking!  My husband also recently brought the Stanley Stand to a conference he attended where he had all of the slides on his iPad – instead of having to hold his device while listening to the lecture he simply propped it up and could easily follow along.  One of my favorite things was that I could adjust the Stanley Stand to almost any direction to make it suit my needs – it was nice that it was not molded plastic and static.

In terms of enhancements – right now I put the Stanley Stand back into the box each time I take it somewhere with me – and the box is getting a bit tattered.  I haven’t figured out a better solution – it’s pretty small and fits in tight spaces but I don’t want to mistakenly stretch it out.  It does fold flat – and I have done that a few times to slide it into a tight space in my bag – but I’m not sure if that is a good idea long term.

Overall, this is a great flexible stand which is perfect for anyone with tech in your life.  It’s perfect for kids who may be using a tablet to do reading and need to prop it up, adults who need a desktop charging stand or anything in between.  It’s held up very well during my testing and multiple uses.  In fact, if anything the leather has gotten a nice patina to it.  At a cost of $49.99 USD I feel the Stanley Stand is worth it and is a great gift for someone on your list who may be hard to buy for!  You can buy it direct from Distil Union for $49.99, Amazon and other retailers.

Product details

  • Compatibility: Phones and tablets up to 8″ tall
  • Bend to your viewing angle, or low angle for ergonomic typing
  • Premium materials, skilled craftsmanship, and 1-year warranty
  • Materials: Leather, Merino wool felt, and heavy steel
  • Included: USB extension cable (6ft) – Note: Cable is NOT an iPhone cable. Instead, it works with any USB cable you already use to charge your device.

 

 

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.

 

Alison, the American iMum is from Massachusetts. She lives there with her sons and husband. In their spare time, they enjoy playing outside, enjoying nature and of course testing apps and fantastic products on their devices. They have a variety of devices including an iPad, iPhone, and an iPod and is often found with a device! My older son loves technology and loves testing out the “latest and newest” apps and tech. I love sharing information about apps and products with others to help them make decisions without feeling overwhelmed with all of the choices.

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