Early Lingo Spanish Language Learning for Kids-Review



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What we love…

Uses total immersion method of language learning. Has real life video clips of kids, variety of activities and lessons build on previous ones

Cons …

Can only use in landscape orientation, would like to be able to use in portrait also. Buying all parts of the program can be pricey

Summary

Early Lingo Spanish is a well made program to introduce Spanish to children from 3-9 years old . It uses total immersion with video clips, interactive workbooks and flashcards

Our Rating

Early Lingo Spanish Language Learning for Kids Early Lingo is a company that produces language learning educational products for children. They have produced a series of language learning DVDs since 2011 and now have their programs available via iOS apps. They currently have programs available in Spanish, French, German,  Italian, Mandarin and English.  We are reviewing the Early Lingo Spanish Language Learning for kids app. It is free to download and contains in-app purchases to unlock content. Jojo the monkey and Lulu the bird are the children’s guides throughout the app. In the app there are 6 different adventures, each one targeting different vocabulary topics. Each lesson builds upon the last and reinforces previous activities. When they complete an adventure it unlocks a corresponding game.

 

The app uses the Total Immersion Method i.e. there is no translation. It is suitable for children from approximately 3-9 years old. In an Immersion Program kids learn the language much the same way as we learn to speak our native tongue – by seeing the language in action by native speakers. My oldest son attended a Spanish Immersion Elementary School for 6 years, and I really think the immersion model is the best way for children to learn a second language. He started Kindergarten knowing no Spanish at all and rapidly learned to understand, speak, read and write in his new language. He was taught 100% in Spanish from the first day, half of his classmates were native Spanish speakers and half native English speakers, the English speaking kids learnt what to do by watching the Spanish speaking kids. The Early Lingo app works on the same principle, it includes videos and learning activities and throughout the app the only language spoken is Spanish.

 

The Early Lingo Spanish app is free to download for a limited amount of content, and then you can choose to buy the six adventures individually, or as a bundle. An adventure consists of a series of video clips with learning activities in between the clips, that reinforce the vocabulary words they have just learned. There are both cartoon videos of Lulu and Jojo and real life video clips of children. Each time a vocabulary word is introduced the child not only hears the word and sees a picture or video clip that represents it, but also sees the word written on the screen.

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In the first adventure Jojo and Lulu go to the park. Whilst at the park they learn about colors and things at the park, but also learn other vocabulary terms such as balloons, painter, sun, girl, apple, cookies, crackers, milk, dog, eating, drinking and playing.  After watching a video clip there are reinforcing activities in the form of an interactive workbook. There are 4 videos in the first adventure with workbook activities in between each clip. The first clip introduces colors, the second things that happen in the park such as children playing and eating, the third focuses on shapes whilst reinforcing colors and the last video expands upon the vocabulary of objects that can be found in a park such as play equipment, trees, butterflies and flowers.

The workbook exercises start very simply- touching pictures to hear the name of the object or concept, and gradually increase in complexity- such as touching a picture that matches what is said. Towards the end of the adventure the child leans to answer more complex questions such as “De que colores es?” (what color is?) “un pez anaranjado.” To answer first they touch the correct object (fish) from a choice of 6, then they pick the right color (orange) from an artist palette that pops up when they correctly identify the object.

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I like that each new object or concept  is presented in a variety of ways which helps generalization. The real life videos of children playing are a nice addition to the cartoon videos and still pictures. Although the app concentrates on teaching simple objects and actions these are brought together to form phrases and more complex concepts.  For instance after learning food, shapes and actions such as drawing and eating, they see  a child drawing a circle and Jojo drinking milk and hear how to describe these actions in Spanish.

As the child completes the workbook activities Jojo’s face at the top of the page is gradually colored in. Once he is in full color (all activities completed for that adventure) this unlocks a learning game such as a motorcycle race where Jojo’s progress depends on the child correctly identifying the named object from 3 choices.

There are also flashcards that the child can use to practice the words they have learned. For more mature learners there is also the option of creating their own vocabulary book by writing in the names of the objects in an interactive book. I did find that this didn’t save well from visit to visit though- when we wrote the names initially they were under the correct pictures but when we returned to use the book later the names were written randomly across the page so we had to erase them and start again. The app appears to be only useable in portrait orientation, it would be more convenient to also be able to use it in landscape, especially as some cases and stands don’t work well in portrait.

Other adventures follow a similar format, but introduce new vocabulary as Jojo and Lulu visit different locations and learn about new things. The other adventures are: Numbers & Counting at the Farm, Opposites at the Beach, Alphabet at School, At the Market (food and kitchen objects) and In the City.

The app is free to download then $3.99 to complete the first adventure, other adventures are $8.99 each, flash cards are $3.99, or  you can purchase a bundle that includes all the adventures plus flashcards for $48.99.  The full unlock of the adventures includes over 450 words and phrases. For each adventure there is also an option to purchase a longer video version (which are the same as the DVDs sold via the Early Lingo website). They are the same videos that are featured within the apps, just in longer format. These cost $10.99 each or $54.99 for the bundle (we did not test the full length videos.)

Overall, I really like the immersion method of language learning for kids. I think Early Lingo Spanish provides a good introduction to Spanish for kids in pre-school and early elementary school. It has a good range of videos and interactive activities and I like how the concepts are reinforced and built upon as the adventures progress.  It can get pricey by the time you have bought all the adventures, especially if you also buy the full length videos. It can also be a little tricky working out what is included in your purchases, so it would be nice to see the addition of a separate locked parents area (in English) that explains everything included in the app and the purchasing options with links to buy them. If you have a child in the target age range that you would like to introduce to Spanish, my recommendation is to download the free content and try it with your child. If they enjoy the content I would pay the $3.99 to unlock the first adventure, after your child has completed that you can decide if they are enjoying it enough to invest in the rest of the adventures.

iTunes Link: Early Lingo Spanish Language Learning for Kids – Early Lingo

Early Lingo Spanish Language Learning for Kids
Early Lingo Spanish Language Learning for Kids
by Early Lingo

Category: Education, Word, Educational, Games
Requirements: Compatible with iPad2Wifi-iPad2Wifi, iPad23G-iPad23G, iPadThirdGen-iPadThirdGen, iPadThirdGen4G-iPadThirdGen4G, iPadFourthGen-iPadFourthGen, iPadFourthGen4G-iPadFourthGen4G, iPadMini-iPadMini, iPadMini4G-iPadMini4G, iPadAir-iPadAir, iPadAirCellular-iPadAirCellular, iPadMiniRetina-iPadMiniRetina, iPadMiniRetinaCellular-iPadMiniRetinaCellular, iPadAir2-iPadAir2, iPadAir2Cellular-iPadAir2Cellular, iPadMini3-iPadMini3, iPadMini3Cellular-iPadMini3Cellular, iPadMini4-iPadMini4, iPadMini4Cellular-iPadMini4Cellular, iPadPro-iPadPro, iPadProCellular-iPadProCellular, iPadPro97-iPadPro97, iPadPro97Cellular-iPadPro97Cellular, iPad611-iPad611, iPad612-iPad612, iPad71-iPad71, iPad72-iPad72, iPad73-iPad73, iPad74-iPad74
Size: 698.58 MB

$FREE

Screenshots for iPad
(Click to enlarge)

NOTE: A fee was received to expedite this review to the top of our waiting list but this payment has not influenced the objectivity of the review and all opinions have been offered honestly.

 

Bitsboard PRO – The Best Educational Learning Games and Flash Cards in 1 App by Innovative Investments Limited – Review & Giveaway



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What we love…

Fully customizable lessons with lots of different learning modes.

What we’d love to see…

Even more boards on math.

Summary

Bitsboard Pro is the ultimate educational app with top-quality content and outstanding enabling features to meet the learning needs of every child.

Our Rating

How many times have you wished that you can modify a well-developed learning app just that little bit to better match your child’s skills. Or thought of replacing some of the content with your own instead? Have you ever wondered if there is this ONE App that can meet most (if not all) of your child’s educational needs? What about an app that can accommodate the educational goals and learning difficulties of an entire class?

This is a tall order for any app considering children learn at different pace and thrive in different learning environment. And to be able to add our own content in an app seems like an impossible task! But Bitsboard Pro has all our wishes covered. It is the ultimate educational app for children from preschool right up to elementary school level, giving you access to thousands of topics (with many new ones added every month) and the ability to customize the way students learn in the app as well as the app content itself.

Alright, most of us don’t have the time nor inclination to create our own content. We just want an app that has ready-to-download learning materials and Bitsboard has lots of content to offer. After creating a user account, you can browse through Bitsboard’s extensive lessons catalog or search for specific lessons and download (over the internet) the ones that you need. Here, lessons are presented in individual boards, each containing a series of flashcards (bits). Topics include languages, vocabulary, grammar, reading (sight words, word families, phonics, readers), sentence maker, speech, spelling, letter tracing, math facts, math operations, money, time telling, sign language, routines, sequences, emotions and many more! The free version of Bitsboard itself comes with lots of shared resources that you can start with right away.

What I really love in Bitsboard is that you can choose up to 30 fully customizable learning modes or games that help children to learn and retain the information presented in the lessons. You can start with the simpler games and progress to the more complex ones. With so many different ways to learn the same materials, students remain engaged and learn better. Check out Bitsboard’s long list of fun learning games – Flashcards, Explore, True or False, Photo Touch, Photo Hunt, Memory Cards, Pop Quiz, Match Up, Word Builder, Sentence Builder, Spelling Bee, BINGO, Letter Tracing, Sequences, Related items, Word Search, Word Chunks, Crosswords, Unscramble, Say It, Missing Item, Puzzles, Reader, What’s Next, Odd One Out, Sort It, Side by Side, Story Time, Genius, Review Game and Board Creator

For each game, you can modify things like the session length, with or without visual/audio hints, spelling order, display options, number of tiles, matching options and answer mode. Customization is easy but it would be tedious if you have more than 1 user. Luckily, you don’t have to keep adjusting the settings and preferences as these are saved for each user (unlimited users for the Pro version). Likewise, the tracking of detailed progress and lesson plans is stored at the user level. Bitsboard’s learning algorithm also ensures that each game automatically advances according to the individual user’s skills.

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If you are an educator, you will like the ease of creating custom lessons with your own cards (from photo library, dropbox, web search or Bitsboard Catalog of images), audio recording and text (words, phrases, sentences, description). Your students can learn anything you present to them using the Bitsboard learning games. You can also set up your own exclusive class with your own selection of boards for sharing with your students or fellow teachers privately.

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I’m truly impressed with all the meaningful features that have been continually added in Bitsboard in order to support students and educators. There are many more that are not mentioned here. This all-in-one educational app far exceeds all my expectations in terms of content and ability to be customized. I don’t think you’ll find another app that is as versatile and comprehensive as this. Bitsboard Pro is an essential learning app that all families and classes must have!

Bitsboard PRO – The Best Educational Learning Games and Flash Cards in 1 App
Free lite version –

Bitsboard PRO - Flashcards & Educational Games App Bitsboard PRO - Flashcards & Educational Games App by Innovative Investments Limited
Category: Education, Educational, Games, Family
Requirements: Compatible with iPad2Wifi-iPad2Wifi, iPad23G-iPad23G, iPhone4S-iPhone4S, iPadThirdGen-iPadThirdGen, iPadThirdGen4G-iPadThirdGen4G, iPhone5-iPhone5, iPodTouchFifthGen-iPodTouchFifthGen, iPadFourthGen-iPadFourthGen, iPadFourthGen4G-iPadFourthGen4G, iPadMini-iPadMini, iPadMini4G-iPadMini4G, iPhone5c-iPhone5c, iPhone5s-iPhone5s, iPadAir-iPadAir, iPadAirCellular-iPadAirCellular, iPadMiniRetina-iPadMiniRetina, iPadMiniRetinaCellular-iPadMiniRetinaCellular, iPhone6-iPhone6, iPhone6Plus-iPhone6Plus, iPadAir2-iPadAir2, iPadAir2Cellular-iPadAir2Cellular, iPadMini3-iPadMini3, iPadMini3Cellular-iPadMini3Cellular, iPodTouchSixthGen-iPodTouchSixthGen, iPhone6s-iPhone6s, iPhone6sPlus-iPhone6sPlus, iPadMini4-iPadMini4, iPadMini4Cellular-iPadMini4Cellular, iPadPro-iPadPro, iPadProCellular-iPadProCellular, iPadPro97-iPadPro97, iPadPro97Cellular-iPadPro97Cellular, iPhoneSE-iPhoneSE, iPhone7-iPhone7, iPhone7Plus-iPhone7Plus, iPad611-iPad611, iPad612-iPad612, iPad71-iPad71, iPad72-iPad72, iPad73-iPad73, iPad74-iPad74
Size: 197.08 MB

$19.99USD

Giveaway

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NOTE: A fee was received to expedite this review to the top of our waiting list but this payment has not influenced the objectivity of the review and all opinions have been offered honestly.

The Voyages of Aladdin and Sinbad by BelMontis Publishers – Review



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What we love…

beautiful illustrations and engaging story with different story points chosen by the reader

What we’d love to see…

font in one consistent color and easier to read, currently it’s small in size

Summary

Remove this text and add your own here.

Our Rating

The Voyages of Aladdin and Sinbad by BelMontis Publishers is an iPad only app featuring two characters Aladdin and Sinbad in a storybook for young readers (ages 6 – 11) with three translations in English, Spanish and Chinese.  The story is about a magic lamp and how Aladdin and Sinbad are going to search for a magic lamp.  The story pages are on parchment with a red background with pen and ink drawings and each page features an interactive element that engages the reader into the story.  The words are highlighted as the are read and turn a slightly different color after they are read which makes them show up more clearly on the page.  There is an option to have the words translated and they appear at the bottom of the page.  There are choices that the reader can make which help direct the story and engage them further as well as exploring the app via a map.  As each island visit is completed, the map is highlighted to show you where you had been on your adventures – and each time you open the app you can explore a different place.  Each of the islands features an interactive element either a riddle, a book given or something else to help Aladdin on his journey to find the magic lamp.  While Aladdin is away on his journey, the city has fallen into poverty and the story continues even after the lamp is found!  After completing the journey you are invited to choose another island to explore and the story continues.

The app features:

  • interactive story elements
  • ability to choose your destination based on a map and learning about new places including Bubble Kingdom, Kingdom of Dreams, Upside Down Kingdom,The Mirror Door, The White Dome, Hose Shoe Island, Soo-Ven-Ir and many more
  • narration in English, Spanish and Chinese
  • beautiful pen and ink illustrations and hand drawn pages
  • narration to hear the story
  • original music throughout

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I loved the illustrations and interactive elements on each page and this app kept my son engaged as he read the story with me and subsequently  by himself.  He enjoyed tapping on the treasure map and exploring each of the different paths the story could take to read it.  I also liked the different areas that could be tapped on to learn more especially the fish bubble that contained an underwater kingdom.  He enjoyed touching the screen and exploring inside the bubble and spent quite a bit of time studying the image.  My son enjoyed hearing the story of the lamp, especially in the underwater kingdom as well as the gift that was given by the Sultan.

In terms of improvements, the font is problematic.  It varies in color and style and can be difficult at times to read on the screen until it is read aloud.  I would also like the option to have the translation read aloud – perhaps there is a way to have the words in English on the page, and then also read them in the translation.  Currently, the translation is at the bottom of the page and requires you to “scroll” with your finger in order to read it, it’s smaller than the read aloud font on the screens.

 

 

This app provides engagement for kids, over and over again as they explore the paths that can be read.  My son has opened and explored the app new fewer than six times to look at each of the islands and adventures.  The narration and pen and ink drawings as well as the adventure portion draw kids in – even younger emerging readers and encourage them to engage and understand the story.  With the beautiful illustrations, children can imagine what is said on the pages and tap on the interactive elements to move forward. It is best for children who are reading in some form and those who enjoy exploring on each page. There are no external links or in-app purchases.



The Voyages of Aladdin and Sinbad The Voyages of Aladdin and Sinbad by BelMontis Publishers Pte. Ltd.

Price: $3.99 USD

*** Teachers with Apps: "Belmontis has a knack for continuing the tradition of a GREAT storytelling! Not to mention that the art alone is spectacular..."
*** The iMums: "This app provides engagement.

NOTE: A fee was received to expedite this review to the top of our waiting list but this payment has not influenced the objectivity of the review and all opinions have been offered honestly.

Rose Milany at the beach by Jean-Marc Fillipi – Review



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What we love…

interactive storybook where children can watch animations and discover different items on the pages.

What we’d love to see…

ability to read the story to yourself, re-recording of the English narration in the story as well as the ability to turn off the background music.  I would also like to see the bathing suit color be consistent throughout the story

Summary

If reading this story in French or Spanish, this is a great app!  The English narration of the story was not a good match due to the accent and mistakes made when reading the story.  Overall, the storyline is cute as are the games, but the narration is a miss.

Our Rating

Rose Milany at the beachRose Milany At The Beach is one of a series of interactive books, from the Rose Milany Collection.  In this eBook, a young girl named Rose Milany spends the day at the beach with her little dog.  The reader is invited to interact with Rose Milany and to choose her bathing suit, sunglasses and even build a sandcastle. The games solicit sound and visual memory of the child”. There is an option to ready and play the eBook in English, French or Spanish.

The eBook contains approximately 20 pages; 10 with the ability to interact with the page.  Included are 3 games and a song. The 3 games are

  • Momoread: find objects from the story
  • The Stickers: Fill in the blanks from a written story with the stickers depicting the objects
  • The Beach: Help Rose Milany clean the Beach.

There are 3 versions of the story (English, French and Spanish). In all three, Rose Milany narrates her adventures at the beach.  On about half the pages, the children can touch and move the objects around to discover hidden elements and watch animations.  For example, the sun is depicted as a daffodil, and to empty her pail you need to shake the net beside her.  As well, in order to return to the home page, you need to tap a hat; I thought it was a way to change her clothes!  The pages that cannot be “played with” flip by themselves, rather quickly.  For most pages, each time you play, the animations and expectations are the same. For some pages you can rearrange the icons to different locations. Even if the child chooses a certain color bathing suit, it stays pink on all the other pages.

There are the same 3 games for each language. Common elements for the games are a question mark at the top to have the instructions repeated and background music throughout.  In the Momread game, the children as asked 5 questions about things they saw in the story.  I like this game as it really works on visual memory.  When my students’ played it for the first time, they asked to go back and read the story again, so that they could actually concentrate on the pictures.  The reinforcement for this game, is minimal, a “no” if they choose wrong and a “well done” when correct response is chosen.

The Stickers game is a visual copying game.  The kids are asked to read the story and fill in the blanks with the missing “sticker”.  There is really no need to read through the short paragraph; they just have to slide the object into the shadow of the sticker. The app does not let them place the stickers out of order and there is not verbal reinforcement.

I liked that the French and Spanish versions of the app encouraged vocabulary growth.  Each of the pages contains short sentences and easy to follow instructions with games to promote visual and auditory memory.  I also liked that the song throughout was catch and had rhyming.  Each of the games resets as you leave the page which means you can complete it over and over again.One of my favorite parts was a song sung by Rose Milany. I liked the catchy tune and the rhyming aspect of this little song, present in all three languages.  My students left the room humming the song!

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In terms of improvement, I would like to see the English narration improved.  The narrator has a heavy accent and it is difficult to understand.  As we progress through the book, there are many other inconsistencies, in English ( crayfish is a lobster, asked for 3 colors of sunglasses when there are 4, the instruction pages do not show the correct items to look for “she meets a crab so sweet”, the picture is a pail and shovel). Throughout the English version, the grammar of production both written and spoken is completely off. Punctuation is not consistent either.  I asked both a French and Spanish colleague to play around with the app, and they reassured me that none of these problems were present in their respective languages. The instructional pages have matching words, pictures and audible (pail and shovel pictures “she played with her pail and shovel” They actually found the app to be a lot more engaging and pleasing.  There are significant “technical” differences between the English version as compared to the French and Spanish.Rose Milany’s accent in the English version hinders intelligibility and correct modeling. The accent is not present in the French and Spanish.

If possible, I would suggest re-recording of the narration with a native English speaker who could help read the story more clearly. The app does not have a locked section and there is one external unprotected link to the internet in the settings area.  I’d suggest a gate to prevent kids from getting in here by mistake.  The final few pages show Rose Milany with sunburn from sleeping in the sun for too long.  I am not really happy with this message, although the kids found it cute that she was as “red as a currant”.  Final pages Rose Milany is in the bathtub, healing her sunburn.  The third game is one where the children are asked to help Rose Milany clean up the beach by putting finding 10 non-desirable items and putting them in the trash can. The items need to actually be put right into the can.  If the kids just moved it to the edge it bounced back, resulting in remarks like “but that is garbage!” This was their least favorite game!   I found the background music to overpower the audio.  It would be nice to be able to turn off the background music and just “listen” to the story.  Even when we wore earphones, the music was quite distracting.  Although the pages look the same, and the animations are the same in all 3 eBooks, there are issues with the vocabulary in the English version.

Overall, this is a well done storybook in French and Spanish.  The English narration needs a bit of work to be more usable for native English speakers as the current narration takes away from the story.  The interaction and games are fun and encourage children to engage and see what they can learn from the story.

Rose Milany at the beach
Rose Milany at the beach
by Jean-Marc FILIPPI

Category: Books, Education
Requirements: Compatible with iPad2Wifi-iPad2Wifi, iPad23G-iPad23G, iPadThirdGen-iPadThirdGen, iPadThirdGen4G-iPadThirdGen4G, iPadFourthGen-iPadFourthGen, iPadFourthGen4G-iPadFourthGen4G, iPadMini-iPadMini, iPadMini4G-iPadMini4G, iPadAir-iPadAir, iPadAirCellular-iPadAirCellular, iPadMiniRetina-iPadMiniRetina, iPadMiniRetinaCellular-iPadMiniRetinaCellular, iPadAir2-iPadAir2, iPadAir2Cellular-iPadAir2Cellular, iPadMini3-iPadMini3, iPadMini3Cellular-iPadMini3Cellular, iPadMini4-iPadMini4, iPadMini4Cellular-iPadMini4Cellular, iPadPro-iPadPro, iPadProCellular-iPadProCellular, iPadPro97-iPadPro97, iPadPro97Cellular-iPadPro97Cellular, iPad611-iPad611, iPad612-iPad612, iPad71-iPad71, iPad72-iPad72, iPad73-iPad73, iPad74-iPad74
Size: 311.35 MB

$2.99USD

Screenshots for iPad
(Click to enlarge)

Review of Little Lamb in Amsterdam by Joshua and Donna Wilson



iPhone Screenshot 1

What we love…

Beautiful illustrations, cute character

What we’d love to see…

option to select language for entire book instead of just page by page, auto play option for the story to be read out automatically as you turn the pages instead of needing to select narration on every page

Summary

This cute little storybook app filled with beautiful illustrations, interactions and travel facts is great for little ones to learn about the art, history, culture and food of the Netherlands and the Dutch language.

Our Rating

Little Lamb in Amsterdam

Little Lamb in Amsterdam by Joshua and Donna Wilson from The Happy Dandelion is a cute story of a little lamb that takes a bike ride across the Netherlands. This storybook app has text and narration available in both English and Dutch. It has an instructions page, a contents page where little ones can easily return to a favorite page, a brief history of Netherlands and a map of the country. The app has no in-app purchases, third party ads, external or social media links.

Little Lamb lived on a farm outside a small village with her mum. One day she wondered what lay outside her gate so she decided to go on a bicycle trip to see the country for herself.  She rode through an old fishing town, old windmills and past fields after fields of tulips. She stopped on the way to try on some traditional wooden shoes, eat some flowers and take in the sights.

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She took a break by the seaside and then made her way to the capital city of Amsterdam where she did some window shopping and sightseeing along the canals.

She tried a variety of meals at a Dutch restaurant before heading out to some great museums.

She was admiring paintings when she started to feel homesick and decided to ride back home to the farm and be reunited with her mother.

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This little storybook app is not only cute but also interactive which means little ones will find it engaging. Pages can be turned with just one swipe. The story can be read out in either English or Dutch with the option of additional information which can be accessed by a pop up bar at the bottom of the screen where information can also be read out in either English or Dutch.

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This cute app would be perfect if we were able to select the language of choice from the beginning and if the story was read out from the start rather than having to select the flag on every page each time we want the story to be read out.
Overall we really liked this cute app, my daughter thought Little Lamb was very cute and her favourite bit was when Little Lamb went to a Dutch restaurant and tried all the different food. This app is great for little ones to learn about the art, history, culture and food in Netherlands and the Dutch language.

iTunes Link: Little Lamb in Amsterdam – Joshua Wilson

Little Lamb in Amsterdam Little Lamb in Amsterdam by Joshua Wilson

Price: $4.99 USD

Come explore the Netherlands with Little Lamb, on her bike journey, across the country. You will ride past must-see attractions, discover Dutch art, culture, food and learn many Interesting and educational.

Shape Gurus by Colto – Review



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Shape Gurus by Colto is a simple yet effective app aimed at children 5 years and under designed to teach children maths and problem solving skills.

What we love…

The simple yet effective puzzles revealed through an interactive story and how they incorporate different colors and shapes.

What we’d love to see…

A way we can go back and forth between puzzles and have new puzzles introduced.

Summary

A great app full of opportunities to match, sort and classify shapes and colors through a series of interactive pages.

Our Rating

Children are encouraged to problem solve by matching, sorting and classifying shapes and colors through a series of interactive pages. The names of the different colors and shapes are identified throughout the app and read out so that children can learn as they play.

The app has over 27 puzzles with 4 different shapes and 9 different colors that are put together in a cute interactive story. My daughter loves how the story starts with an egg that needs to be cracked to uncover a cute little bird which then goes to a tree into its nest to eat a worm, all the while showing different shapes and colors.

The different colored sized shapes can be sorted by simply moving the right shape into its corresponding position.

Little ones can also play at finding the odd one out by finding the right colored shape amongst others. The cute little drawings that pop up during the app add a bit of fun to this short, simple yet effective app. The level of difficulty increases as the app progresses and the game loops to the beginning once it reaches the end.

The app has no in-app purchases or advertisements however it has a section to try the developer’s other apps which is guarded by a logical query. There is also a parents & privacy section as well as a settings section where you can choose from over 12 audio languages – English (US and UK), Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Swedish, Russian, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese and Korean.

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My daughter was very excited when she tried this app as she loves matching shapes. It kept her engaged as she problem solved each puzzle in the game. We liked how other parts of the puzzles were shown as shapes like the green worm on the tree at the beginning. Her favourite bit is solving the shapes on the tree with the bird and the dinosaur puzzle too.

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We would love this app more if it was possible to go back and forth in the app in case we wanted to redo certain puzzles and if new puzzles were added frequently so we will keep going back for more.

Overall we loved this simple yet effective app full of simple puzzles to encourage children to problem solve and learn important maths skills of matching, sorting and classifying by shapes and colors.

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Shape Gurus

Shape Gurus - teach shapes for my preschooler Shape Gurus - teach shapes for my preschooler by Colto
Category: Education, Educational, Family, Games
Requirements: Compatible with iPad2Wifi-iPad2Wifi, iPad23G-iPad23G, iPhone4S-iPhone4S, iPadThirdGen-iPadThirdGen, iPadThirdGen4G-iPadThirdGen4G, iPhone5-iPhone5, iPodTouchFifthGen-iPodTouchFifthGen, iPadFourthGen-iPadFourthGen, iPadFourthGen4G-iPadFourthGen4G, iPadMini-iPadMini, iPadMini4G-iPadMini4G, iPhone5c-iPhone5c, iPhone5s-iPhone5s, iPadAir-iPadAir, iPadAirCellular-iPadAirCellular, iPadMiniRetina-iPadMiniRetina, iPadMiniRetinaCellular-iPadMiniRetinaCellular, iPhone6-iPhone6, iPhone6Plus-iPhone6Plus, iPadAir2-iPadAir2, iPadAir2Cellular-iPadAir2Cellular, iPadMini3-iPadMini3, iPadMini3Cellular-iPadMini3Cellular, iPodTouchSixthGen-iPodTouchSixthGen, iPhone6s-iPhone6s, iPhone6sPlus-iPhone6sPlus, iPadMini4-iPadMini4, iPadMini4Cellular-iPadMini4Cellular, iPadPro-iPadPro, iPadProCellular-iPadProCellular, iPadPro97-iPadPro97, iPadPro97Cellular-iPadPro97Cellular, iPhoneSE-iPhoneSE, iPhone7-iPhone7, iPhone7Plus-iPhone7Plus, iPad611-iPad611, iPad612-iPad612, iPad71-iPad71, iPad72-iPad72, iPad73-iPad73, iPad74-iPad74
Size: 76.97 MB

$1.99USD

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Queen Bee in Paris by Joshua and Donna Wilson



iPhone Screenshot 1

What we love…

the beautiful illustrations and simple yet informative story

What we’d love to see…

a start button on the first page, ability to set language  & narration options for the whole story, instead of needing to choose on every page.

Summary

sweet storybook app filled with beautiful illustrations, cute interactions and travel facts

Our Rating

Queen Bee in Paris

Queen Been in Paris by Joshua and Donna Wilson from The Happy Dandelion is a very sweet storybook app which takes little ones on an adventure through France with the help of a beautiful Queen Bee.

Queen Bee decides one day that she wants to take off on an adventure and leaves her hive behind. She buzzes through France admiring beautiful bridges, historical towns, attempts skiing in the Alps but finds it too cold so heads off to the beaches of the Cote d’Azur but finds it too warm.

iPhone Screenshot 4

She flies off and explores the beautiful wine and castle regions of France and before heading to Paris, visits the Palace of Versailles and Claude Monet’s garden in Giverny.

 

When she arrives in Paris she falls in love with the monuments, blends with the locals with her bee stripes, admires the French food, the church of Notre Dame and its gargoyles and the many impressive museums.

iPhone Screenshot 5

 

Queen Bee finally finds what she was looking for, a place to dance in the inspiring district of Montmartre! She was happy at last!

The great thing about this story is that each page is interactive which makes it fun for little ones because they can take part in the story too. The pages of the storybook can be turned by a simple swipe and there are clear instructions at the beginning of the app letting you know how to use it. The app can be enjoyed in either French or English, with both narration and text switchable between the 2 languages. Hidden at the bottom of each page there is a fun fact bar with extra information. This app also has a contents section, a brief history and map of France. It has no in-app purchases, third party ads, external or social media links.

 

To have the page narrated or to switch languages you have to pull up the fact bar and touch the relevant flag. This can be cumbersome and interrupts the flow of the story, it would be simpler to be able to switch narration on or off and select language on the home screen. The hidden bar could still allow the user the option to change language or narration on individual pages if they so wished. The app is also missing a “start button” on the home screen which can make it confusing for little ones to understand how to start the story. It would be nice to see these changes in the navigation to make the user experience smoother as otherwise this is a really beautiful app.

My daughter and I loved this little story filled with beautiful illustrations, music and lots of travelling facts about France’s history, geography and culture.

iTunes link: Queen Bee in Paris – Joshua Wilson

Queen Bee in Paris Queen Bee in Paris by Joshua Wilson

Price: $4.99 USD

Explore France with Queen Bee, on her journey, across the country. You will buzz past must-see attractions and points of interest, discover amazing art, culture, food, history, geography and learn many.

Look! Fruits by Babuda – Review



iPhone Screenshot 2

What we love…

beautiful photographs, easy to navigate interface that encourages receptive and expressive language, ability to record your own voice

What we’d love to see…

ideas on how to use the app with kids, directions, some sort of a mini game to keep kids engaged

Summary

Great for practicing expressive and receptive language, but it needs more features to feel complete. The illustrations are top notch, but the app seems “finished” after you rotate through the cards and record them.

Our Rating

Look! Fruits is a perfect app that encourages expressive language via photo cards.  The app features twenty three different fruits – Nectarine, Pineapple, Orange, Banana, Blueberry, Starfruit, Lemon, Fig, Raspberry, Strawberry, Cherry, Kiwi, Coconut, Cumquat, Lime, Mango, Watermelon, Passion Fruit, Pitaya, Pear, Rambutan, Apple, Grapes and each one allows you to record the name of the fruit which is repeated back to you.  Each of the fruits is illustrated with a photograph and navigation is done with a swipe of your finger which rotates the fruit into view.

I tried the app out with my son and had him name the fruit as well as describe it (for example, the raspberry was red with bumps on it) using the microphone.  Then I had him close his eyes and I flipped through the fruits we had recorded and had him listen to the recording and he had to guess which fruit he had described.  This is a great app for practicing both receptive and expressive language and the open ended opportunities are endless.  I also used the app to help describe to my son the different places that each of the fruits came from – for example, we were not familiar with the Rambutan which grows in Thailand and is used to make jam or jelly.  We did some research to learn more about it and turned it into a bit of a learning experience for both of us.  The interface of the app was easy to use, and each of the fruits was in a beautiful photograph which really capitalized on my iPad’s screen.  I also liked that since this app didn’t include language we could use it to practice naming the fruits in Spanish or another language as well. I really liked the ability to record your own voice in the app, which does set it apart from other flashcard apps in the market. The app does require use of the microphone in order to use it, which is an easy process accomplished by going into the settings -> privacy -> microphone and then choosing Look! Fruits. I also liked that the app had non traditional fruit included which interested my son.

In terms of enhancements, when you open up the app you are given the photo of a fruit.  I would like to see some directions or maybe information about what you should do.  I knew I should touch the microphone to record my voice, but wasn’t sure what to do after that.  I would suggest though that a mini game of some sort be incorporated – perhaps a tile game where you can match up the fruits to keep kids engaged after they record the fruit names.  I’d like to see an opportunity to learn more about the fruit and where it came from within the app to help engage kids more.

Overall, the app has a great concept and will be helpful for people trying to work on receptive and expressive language skills.  The graphics are beautiful but the content needs to be added to in order for the app to feel “complete”.  After you go through and record the different fruits, the app is “done” with no more to complete and I think there’s a missed opportunity here. There are so many more opportunities to engage the user with the app to encourage them to learn more. There are no advertisements, external links or in-app purchases.


Look! Fruits
Look! Fruits
by Babuda

Category: Books, Education
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone4-iPhone4, iPad2Wifi-iPad2Wifi, iPad23G-iPad23G, iPhone4S-iPhone4S, iPadThirdGen-iPadThirdGen, iPadThirdGen4G-iPadThirdGen4G, iPhone5-iPhone5, iPodTouchFifthGen-iPodTouchFifthGen, iPadFourthGen-iPadFourthGen, iPadFourthGen4G-iPadFourthGen4G, iPadMini-iPadMini, iPadMini4G-iPadMini4G, iPhone5c-iPhone5c, iPhone5s-iPhone5s, iPadAir-iPadAir, iPadAirCellular-iPadAirCellular, iPadMiniRetina-iPadMiniRetina, iPadMiniRetinaCellular-iPadMiniRetinaCellular, iPhone6-iPhone6, iPhone6Plus-iPhone6Plus, iPadAir2-iPadAir2, iPadAir2Cellular-iPadAir2Cellular, iPadMini3-iPadMini3, iPadMini3Cellular-iPadMini3Cellular, iPodTouchSixthGen-iPodTouchSixthGen, iPhone6s-iPhone6s, iPhone6sPlus-iPhone6sPlus, iPadMini4-iPadMini4, iPadMini4Cellular-iPadMini4Cellular, iPadPro-iPadPro, iPadProCellular-iPadProCellular, iPadPro97-iPadPro97, iPadPro97Cellular-iPadPro97Cellular, iPhoneSE-iPhoneSE, iPhone7-iPhone7, iPhone7Plus-iPhone7Plus, iPad611-iPad611, iPad612-iPad612, iPad71-iPad71, iPad72-iPad72, iPad73-iPad73, iPad74-iPad74
Size: 6.94 MB

$FREE

Screenshots
(Click to enlarge)
Screenshots for iPad
(Click to enlarge)

NOTE: A fee was received to expedite this review to the top of our waiting list but this payment has not influenced the objectivity of the review and all opinions have been offered honestly.

A Shark Knocked On the Door by Mighty Yeti Studios- Review and Giveaway



iPhone Screenshot 4

What we love…

The app lets you create your own version of the story by letting you interact via touch points, bilingual storybook.

What we’d love to see…

A few hints showing where the touch points are in the story, a “Next button” instead of swiping to turn pages and word highlighting as it is read.

Summary

This app has great graphics, voices and the interactive aspect of the storybook makes it a fun storybook app to read and play with.

Our Rating

A Shark Knocked On the Door - An Interactive Animated Storybook App For Kids

A Shark Knocked On The Door by Mighty Yeti is an interactive storybook app in both English and Spanish. It is designed for both iPhone and iPad for kids aged 5 and under. Mighty Yeti is a Half Moon Bay, California – based animation studio dedicated to telling stories in exciting new ways. Mighty Yeti have released another storybook called ‘Mr. Cupcake has the Sprinkles’, which we recently reviewed, and are currently working on two more.

 

This storybook app is a fun and ‘hands-on’ reading adventure of a boy and his grandmother who decide to make a boat and float it down the gutter one rainy evening. After the boat is lost down the drain, the little boy and his grandmother go home and minutes later find a shark knocking on their front door, and then the fun really begins!

 

The app can either read the story in English or Spanish or if the reader prefers, they can choose to read it to themselves with the text available in either language. The beauty about this app is that it has over 100+ reader touch elements throughout the storybook which make the story a ‘hands-on’ and fun experience.

 iPhone Screenshot 2

We liked that we can interact with the app and animate characters and objects to involve us with the story. It is a fun and quirky story that little ones will find amusing. The app has great graphics and sound and we like how the little boy tells the story with rhymes. My daughter loves looking for elements to click on the page and parts that make funny sounds. Her favourite part of the story takes place under the sea where she can touch whales, seals and fish and hear the noises they make. She also finds the shark’s voice amusing.

 iPhone Screenshot 5

We would like to see a few ‘hints’ on each page of the storybook to help little ones find the touch points as well as a ‘Next’ button at the bottom of each page as we find it makes it easier for little ones to touch buttons rather than swipe pages. We would also like to see word highlighting as it is read.

 

The app has a page navigation menu you can select while reading the story which lets you select or skip pages. It also allows you to go back to the main menu. The app has a settings page where you can change the language spoken to English or Spanish as well as a help and credits page. It also has a ‘More from Mighty Yeti’ page where other titles are mentioned (without the in-app purchase option). There are no in-app purchases or third party ads in this unlocked app which makes it a safe app for little ones to use.

 

Overall we liked this quirky animated storybook and would recommend it. My little one really enjoys this ‘hands on’ app as it incorporates two things she loves: reading and playing!

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iTunes link: A Shark Knocked On the Door – An Interactive Animated Storybook App For Kids – Mighty Yeti Studios

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Price: $

.

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Monki Home by Monkimun SL – Review



iPhone Screenshot 3

What we love…

routines, practicing listening skills, following directions

What we’d love to see…

use of utensils and more pots in the kitchen and different activities such as sorting laundry by type.

Summary

Overall, I think this is a great app to use with a preschooler or toddler to help them learn new word associations and practice them as well as routines

Our Rating

Monki Home - Language Learning for Kids and ToddlersMonki Home – Language Learning for Kids and Toddlers by Monkium SL is a iOS app that will help your toddlers and preschoolers learn everyday words in a Spanish, English and Chineese.  The app features four different mini games, the first of which is included in the app and the others are available via in-app purchases.

In order to unlock the in-app purchases you can either pay the fee, enter your email address and subscribe to their newsletter or share the app on social media.  The in-app purchase portion of the app requires the use of a parental lock to ensure that tiny fingers are not in the iTunes store or other areas that they should not be.

The first mini game occurs in the kitchen, where character  tells you want he wants to eat.  You take the item from the refrigerator and then follow the directions like cooking it in a pan or putting it in the microwave.  My son thought it was funny to serve food straight from the refrigerator, however, Elliott showed his distaste for the food by making a sad face when you did that.  The second mini game has you putting laundry into the machine that is dirty, as you put each item into the machine it is named like socks, and shirt and after washing you hang them up.  After that you iron selected clothes to help remove the excess water.  In the next mini game you are in the bathroom where you follow a typical nighttime routine by brushing teeth and rinsing your mouth.  Afterward you take a shower and rinse and dry off and put in your hair ornaments.  In the final mini game you have to help clean up the bedroom by sorting toys according to the animals requests like “dirty pony”, big versus little,  empty versus full.  After completing you are rewarded with music and the toys dancing.  My son’s favorite part was tucking the animals into bed at night.

iPad Screenshot 5

I liked that the app had you follow a variety of steps in order to complete the tasks and wouldn’t let you advance until they were completed.  This helped practice sequencing in addition to language.  I also liked that the narration was clear and easy to follow for kids and that the characters switched jobs each time that you opened it.  I also liked that you had to listen carefully in order to complete a task rather than just playing “the way you wanted to”.

In terms of improvements, I would like to see that the step has to be completed correctly in the kitchen as well as the use of a fork and knife or spoon as they eat the food.  I would also like to see a few more pots in the kitchen as well as sorting the laundry by type or light versus dark.

Overall, I think this is a great app to use with a preschooler or toddler to help them learn new word associations and practice them as well as routines.  This is fun for toddlers and preschoolers and I think will provide many hours of entertainment for children in that age group.  I also think it could be used in speech therapy as well.

English songs for kids - Monki Home
English songs for kids - Monki Home
by Monkimun Inc

Category: Education, Entertainment
Requirements: Compatible with iPad2Wifi-iPad2Wifi, iPad23G-iPad23G, iPhone4S-iPhone4S, iPadThirdGen-iPadThirdGen, iPadThirdGen4G-iPadThirdGen4G, iPhone5-iPhone5, iPodTouchFifthGen-iPodTouchFifthGen, iPadFourthGen-iPadFourthGen, iPadFourthGen4G-iPadFourthGen4G, iPadMini-iPadMini, iPadMini4G-iPadMini4G, iPhone5c-iPhone5c, iPhone5s-iPhone5s, iPadAir-iPadAir, iPadAirCellular-iPadAirCellular, iPadMiniRetina-iPadMiniRetina, iPadMiniRetinaCellular-iPadMiniRetinaCellular, iPhone6-iPhone6, iPhone6Plus-iPhone6Plus, iPadAir2-iPadAir2, iPadAir2Cellular-iPadAir2Cellular, iPadMini3-iPadMini3, iPadMini3Cellular-iPadMini3Cellular, iPodTouchSixthGen-iPodTouchSixthGen, iPhone6s-iPhone6s, iPhone6sPlus-iPhone6sPlus, iPadMini4-iPadMini4, iPadMini4Cellular-iPadMini4Cellular, iPadPro-iPadPro, iPadProCellular-iPadProCellular, iPadPro97-iPadPro97, iPadPro97Cellular-iPadPro97Cellular, iPhoneSE-iPhoneSE, iPhone7-iPhone7, iPhone7Plus-iPhone7Plus, iPad611-iPad611, iPad612-iPad612, iPad71-iPad71, iPad72-iPad72, iPad73-iPad73, iPad74-iPad74
Size: 192.73 MB

$FREE

Screenshots
(Click to enlarge)
Screenshots for iPad
(Click to enlarge)


NOTE: A fee was received to expedite this review to the top of our waiting list but this payment has not influenced the objectivity of the review and all opinions have been offered honestly.