Square Panda Phonics Playset by Square Panda – Review & Giveaway



Square Panda Phonics Playset

What we love…

ability to use a multisensory approach to learning letters which includes apps and physical letters placed on the playset to form words; included parental dashboard to track your kids progress

What we’d love to see…

ability to customize words in all apps, a mobile friendly version of the Square Panda Playground website

Summary

The Square Panda Phonics Playset is a great demonstration of how you can use your iPad and integrated playset to provide learning both on the screen and using tactile letters to complete a goal – I can’t wait to see what else this company will bring.

Our Rating

 

recommended-by-the-imums

The Square Panda Phonics Playset by Square Panda which features a bluetooth enabled playset to engage kids in learning a variety of activities from learning letters, spelling, letter sounds, rhymes, learning new vocabulary words and more.  The set consists of 45 Smart Letters, a Playset box which you pair to your iPad and holds your device while in use, access to the Square Panda Playground where you can manage a parent account, see information about your child’s progress and additional learning opportunities as well as 4 AA Batteries.  The Square Panda Playset requires either iPad 3, iPad 4, iPad Mini, iPad Air 2 or iPad Pro in order to run and you must be running iOS 8.x and above.  The Square Panda Phonics Playset provides a multisensory tactile learning experience which combines content on your iPad with letters and visuals within the app. It includes 14 levels of phonics play as well as an integrated dashboard to track progress.

Setup is quick and easy.  First, you set up an account on Square Panda with your email and other information.  That gives you access to the parental dashboard.  After that you can unpack the Phonics Playset, install the 4 included AA batteries, download the apps and be using them within 10 or less minutes.  I spent some time in the Square Panda Playground website because I wanted to check out the features there.  There are so many great things!  You can add your own custom words including your child’s name – and for me when I last had my son use the playset I included words from his spelling list that week!  When you enter custom words they are put into your child’s games and you can even upload a picture to go with them!  Words must be between 1-8 characters, so more complex spelling words won’t work here, however, it’s a great way to practice.  The Square Panda Playground also lets you choose words for specific types of situations like bathroom and body anatomy as well as even excluding a specific letter if you misplaced it from the playset.  You can also block specific types of words if you wish which gives you a great level of customization.

iPad Screenshot 1

The playset includes 45 smart letters.  Vowels are yellow and consonants are yellow to make for easier differentiation between the letter types.  These all stored inside the playset case when not in use.  You can have up to three players per playset, and the content dynamically changes depending on which user is selected so with my 2 year old we are simply working on even identifying letters while with my 8 year old he is working on spelling words and earning badges.  The Square Panda Playset includes access to two apps, and one of the two apps Square Panda Lagoon allows you to use the custom words that you have created.   Square Panda Bowling (above) has you bowl with your finger to knock down the pins and spell out words.  It combines a multi-sensory approach where you do an activity, get a letter with your finger on your iPad and then properly place it in the try to spell the word.  Kids are taught to spell words correctly from left to right which is the way that The National Reading Panel recommends as well as the way that reading is taught in school.

iPad Screenshot 4

First of all – this is not the plastic letters that I grew up with!  Many of us may remember growing up and having the magnetized letters that we used to spell things on our refrigerator.  I loved that the app required letters to be correct before allowing you to move on.  Letters are placed individually in a white box at the bottom of the playset.  The must be positioned correctly and placed on the playset in the correct order.  The photo above is from Square Panda Lagoon and includes a photo as well as the word below to reinforce learning.

It isn’t often as a mom that I find a toy that both my 2 year old and 8 year old can use.  One of my favorite things about the Square Panda Playset is the level of customization that is included especially with the Square Panda Lagoon.  I can see it is a great way to practice “trick words” or words my son might be having challenges with at school and having a great way to keep track of what he is learning in terms of letters.  With my 2 year old, we can work on understanding letters and teaching him that my iPad is a learning device.  I also liked that we could store the letters inside the playset which meant that they were not misplaced the next time we went to use it.  I use a Griffin Survivor case on my iPad Mini because even though it’s “mom’s iPad” my kids use it a lot and I loved that we could leave on the protective case even when it was in use with the Square Panda Playset, this isn’t always the case with other products on the market.  I really liked the Square Panda Playground where I could keep track of what my kids were doing with the apps – I knew what my 2 year old was doing because we were playing together but with my older son I usually help him learn how to use something and then let him try and figure it out on his own.  I liked seeing the badges of the items he accomplished as well as the ability to add in the custom words for his spelling list that week!

In terms of enhancements, I wish that both of the apps included the ability to use custom words, my son enjoyed rolling the bowling ball in Square Panda Bowling more than the Square Panda Lagoon game – I’m not sure why he preferred it more other than he enjoys bowling, so having the two app options was great.  Square Panda is planning to add more apps Letter Lab.  I hope that they include the ability to use custom words in this app.  I’d also like to see a mobile friendly version of the Square Panda Playground – I don’t often get time to sit down at my computer so I was trying to look at it on my iPad and it wasn’t as user friendly as I would have liked.

Play with letters and words today...

The Square Panda Phonics Playset is a great demonstration of how you can use your iPad and integrated playset to provide learning both on the screen and using tactile letters to complete a goal – I can’t wait to see what else this company will bring.  The Square Panda Phonics Playset retails for $119 USD and includes a standard one year parts and labor if the letters malfunction or the product itself malfunctions.  It can be purchased from Square Panda for $119 USD.

alison

This is not your mom’s letter playset.  This is a fun and interactive toy which can be used by younger and older children and can customize and provide data about what your child is learning.  It is a true demonstration of what the iPad can do versus other tablets on the market.

Apps


Square Panda Lagoon Square Panda Lagoon by Square Panda Inc

Price: $FREE

A goofy chameleon with a love for dancing introduces children to letter sounds and phonics in a fun, exploratory way where any combination of letters (both nonsense words and real words) create a learning.



Square Panda Bowling Square Panda Bowling by Square Panda Inc

Price: $FREE

STRIKE! Letters meet their match in a bowling alley on a faraway island! With every roll of the coconut ball, your child learns the relationships between letters, sounds, and words. Compatible with the.

Video demonstration

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.

 

Giveaway

If you would like to win a Square Panda Phonics playset , please enter via the widget below. Winners will be emailed and must contact The iMums within 48 hours to claim their prize. This giveaway is open to to those with a valid US mailing address, and an iTunes account is required to claim the prize. Please ensure you have read and understand our Terms & Conditions. Good luck!

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At the Zoo With Grandma and Grandpa by Fairlady Media – Review & Giveaway



iPad Screenshot 2

What we love…

fun zoo themed app which includes 8 educational games including spelling, math, animal sounds and a puzzle

What we’d love to see…

animal facts cards for each of the animals especially ones you haven’t seen before, perhaps a mini game where you draw the spots on a leopard or stripes on a tiger and the ability to feed the animals

Summary

Who doesn’t love spending time with their grandparents?  This fun zoo themed app is sure to delight and had my son learning animal names, spelling and math and he learned about a new animal each time that he played.

Our Rating

At the Zoo With Grandma and Grandpa At the Zoo With Grandma and Grandpa by Fairlady Media is not your traditional go to the zoo and see the animals type of app.  In fact it’s much more fun and educational!  The app features 8 mini games which you plan along as you meet new animals – some that my older son had never even seen at the zoo.  You also practice matching, addition, puzzles and more!  This is the 10th app by Fairlady Media and the first that features both Grandma and Grandpa as central characters within the app.  The app features over 50 animals from around the world and is designed for elementary aged children.

Educational games within the app include:

1) Animal Sounds: What animal sound do you hear behind the curtain?  Pick one from an assortment of 3.

2) Fix the sign: Use the letters to fix the sign – it must be in the correct spelling order, you move the letters at the bottom to match the letters on the sign and has a zoo themed twist using types of animals.

3) Spot the Difference: Which fish in the aquarium is different?  Tap to choose the right one and see what might be different about it as well as the name.

4) Tram Math: How many people are on the tram.  You can either finger tap count or see that each car has a certain number in it to solve the problem.

5) Jigsaw Puzzle: Put together the pieces of an animal and learn about them.  Does the animal live on the ground or in a tree?  What is it called?

6) Fossil Dig: Who doesn’t love getting dirty?!?  Use your finger to help find the fossil and don’t get dirty in real life!

7) Match the sign to the animal: Using your eagle eyes, determine which sign goes with each animal type.  I loved that the animals in this game were both ones we knew like alligator and other times a Tasmanian devil!

8) Feed the Penguins: Move the penguins to find the fish and feed them.

Other mini games/interactions:

1) Draw the stripes on the animals using your favorite crayon color

2) Having a snack with Grandpa is just the best because you never quite know what to expect 😉

3) Move the seal to balance the ball on his nose.  How long can you keep it in the air?

4) What trip to the zoo is complete without picking out a souvenir to store and play with in your toy box?

iPad Screenshot 4

I loved that this app introduced my son to new animals especially ones that were not traditional at the various zoos that we have visited around the country.  Having a variety of animals and games made the app fun and interactive.  We also really liked that both Grandma and Grandpa participated in the app – this was fun because we usually only see one or the other.  The graphics are fantastic and clear and my son learned something about a new animal each time that he played meaning that he kept playing to keep learning – a huge win!

One enhancement I would like to see is “animal facts” – perhaps you could add in cards at the end of the app that you earned with facts about some of the more unusual animals like the Tasmanian devil which would include a photo, animal sound and a fact or two about them.  My son also loved being creative and “drawing the stripes” aka decorating the animals with crayons and asked if there could be a game where you draw the spots on the animal or stripes on a tiger within specific lines.  My son also asked if we could feed the animals to learn more about them as well – we recently learned that a turtle at the aquarium liked brussel sprouts which encouraged my son to at least touch them!

There is no external advertising or in-app purchases beyond Fairlady advertising their own apps.  Internet access is not required to play the app.  External links are protected with a parental gate which requires your year of birth.  You can access the settings and turn on and off the games depending on your child’s ability level which allows you to target specific skills or make it easier for younger kids.  You can also turn on and off the music.

Overall, this is a fun zoo themed app that introduced my son to some exotic animals we had never seen before. My son enjoyed playing the app over and over again and learned something new each time if it was an animal or perhaps how to spell an animal name.  Huge amount of replay value and the app can target younger or older kids depending on the options you choose for the mini games.


At the Zoo With Grandma and Grandpa At the Zoo With Grandma and Grandpa by Fairlady Media

Price: $2.99 USD

Do you know what a Malayan tapir is? Let’s go to the zoo to find out! Fix the animal signs, color a zebra, add up the visitors, solve puzzles, feed the penguins, put on a seal show, dig for fossils, .

Giveaway

If you would like to win a $25 iTunes gift card, please enter via the widget below. Winners will be emailed and must contact The iMums within 48 hours to claim their prize. This giveaway is open to everyone, worldwide, and an iTunes account is required to claim the prize. Please ensure you have read and understand our Terms & Conditions. Good luck!

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Handwriting Heroes by Cheryl Bregman – Review and Giveaway



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Are you looking for a handwriting app that makes it easy for your kids to learn, practice and internalize the skill? If you are, then you should check out Handwriting Heroes right away! Designed by an occupational therapist, Handwriting Heroes is a fun app that uses an integrated multi-sensory (visual, kinesthetic, auditory and tactile) approach to teach children of all abilities how to write the lower case letters. There are animated stories with playful characters, visual cues and guided practice to engage students as well as supplementary program materials to extend the practice beyond the iPad.

What we love…

The cute and funny handwriting heroes.

What we’d love to see…

Option for longer practice session.

Summary

Students get different types of inputs in Handwriting Heroes to help them remember how to form letters correctly. From multi-sensory learning, progressive instruction, integrated practice and a specialized font, this app offers all the effective tools students need to master handwriting.

Our Rating

Students learn best when there is structure to help them organise the information that they are learning and in this app, the letters are sorted into five groups based on their beginning stroke. Each letter group has a handwriting hero that will demonstrate how it uses its superhero actions to write the letters:-

* skydivers for letters that skydive down (l, t, k, i, j)
* canon pops – start like c (c, a, d, o, q, g)
* bouncers – bounce down, up and over (h, b, r, n, m, p)
* skiers – ski diagonally down (v, w, x, y)
* surfers – surf the waves (s, u, f, e, z)

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You can choose in the settings which letter group to work on and students can choose to play a specific letter from the main menu by tapping on the letter. Once a letter is picked, they will get to watch an animated story of how the letter is formed. The story also incorporates words that begin with that letter. For example, ‘e’ walks the plank, then surfs around to escape the evil pirate while ‘h’ drops down, bounces back up and over the haunted house. These fun animated adventures help students visualise the letter formation even when they are not on the iPad.

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The cute and funny handwriting heroes themselves are the perfect cues to remind students on where and how to begin the first stroke. These visual reminders and the associated action words together provide important guides for students to write correctly.

After watching the animated story and learning the handwriting movement, the app automatically switches to the practice mode. There are 3 stages of practice – trace, copy and write and you can pre-select how many stages an individual student will work through. You are also given the option to choose the level of accuracy required of the student’s writing and there is no limit to the number of student accounts you can create (and customize). From the stories to the different practice formats, the 3 writing lines – skyline, clouds and grass lines are always shown clearly to help students make the necessary connection with the proper letter placement and subsequently transfer the skills to paper writing tasks.

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In this app, students learn and practice writing the letters in groups. This definitely accelerates the learning process but if a student needs refresher on just a few letters, the app doesn’t offer a convenient way for students to keep working on a particular practice format for the same letter. Having a choice of repeat or forward button on the writing screen will be very useful in this case.

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What I like about Handwriting Heroes is that it equips students with multiple ways to remember how to form the letters and there is emphasis on carry-over to writing on lined papers. To make it even easier for students to learn, a special Handwriting Heroes font was also developed to encourage the use of continuous strokes and to decrease reversals. You can download the font here to create worksheets and materials with the correct letter formation and line placement.

Students get different types of inputs in Handwriting Heroes to help them remember how to form letters correctly. From multi-sensory learning, progressive instruction, integrated practice and a specialized font, this app offers all the effective tools students need to master handwriting.

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Handwriting Heroes

Handwriting Heroes Handwriting Heroes by Cheryl Bregman
Category: Education, Adventure, 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: 945.92 MB

$2.99USD

Giveaway

We have promo codes for Handwriting Heroes to be given away during The iMums’ birthday promo code party! Check our Facebook page for updates! ‪#‎happybirthdayimums‬

If you would like to win the complete Handwriting Heroes program consisting of the app and all the supplementary materials (worth more than $20), please enter via the widget below. Winners will be emailed and must contact The iMums within 48 hours to claim their prize. This giveaway is open to everyone, worldwide, and an iTunes account is required to claim the prize. Please ensure you have read and understand our Terms & Conditions. Good luck!

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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.

Read – Kids learn to read and write in 20 easy lessons by Olivier Romanetti of One Tree Hill Studio- Review



iPad Screenshot 3

What we love…

Lots of great activities to engage readers including  letter formation, sight words, reading comprehension, writing pad, alphabet, listening skills,  Multi-user capability.  Interactive word pad lets kids experiment with word and sound formation.

What we’d love to see…

a test to skip materials already previously learned, some sort of “trophy” or awards case to demonstrate progress and ability to export the lesson progress.

Summary

Content rich app which will help kids with a number of skills including letter formation, letter sounds, reading comprehension and sight words.

Our Rating

Read - Kids learn to read and write in 20 easy lessonsRead – Kids learn to read and write in 20 easy lessons by Olivier Romanetti of One Tree Hill Studio is a universal app for iOS targeting kids aged four through 8 (or second grade) which helps them to acquire core reading skills including letter formation, sight words, reading comprehension, writing pad, alphabet, listening and more.  The narration can be done in a United States narrator, English narrator, Australian narrator or Indian narrator.  You can also speed up or slow down the words per minute and pitch of the speaker as well as turn on and off the background music.  The app uses phonics teaching sight words in combination with word decoding.    It also includes multi user capabilities and lesson progress

The app features twenty different lessons with over 100 different exercises and interactive stories.  It is designed for the beginning reader through approximately second grade.  Letters are introduced in the app by frequency – something that my son struggled with a bit because he felt they were “out of order”.

Content includes:

  • Letter tracing: Using a finger or stylus your child traces the letter using a supplied model and repeats five times to demonstrate mastery
  • How do you spell it: Listen to a sound and pick the correct letter from a field of six options.
  • Choose the right word: Listen to a word pronunciation and pick the correct answer
  • Listen & Write: Listen to the word and put the letters on the line to spell it
  • Match Words & Sounds: Match a sound with the written form of it – perfect for practicing sight words
  • Interactive Writing Pad: Children can “construct” words and sentences by dragging and dropping individual letters, making letter combinations which are read aloud as the app is played.
  • Stories & Questions: Starting at lesson 5, stories are given in the context of the app and the user is tested for reading comprehension
  • Learn the Alphabet: This helps kids connect letter names and letter sounds with both uppercase and lowercase letters
  • Sight Words & Phrases: Over 100 sight words and sight phrases used in the English language

iPad Screenshot 4

This is a brightly colored app that engages kids to learn core reading and writing skills.  The activities are presented in a patterned way which requires children to finish specific tasks before moving on which is important for early learning skills.  I also liked that as you traced letters or spelled words out that they were sounded out which helped kids attribute the letter sound to the written letter.  Our favorite section – since my son knew many of the sight words was the original story content.  My son enjoyed hearing the stories – although I did have to adjust the word speed so he could follow along more easily – the words were spoken quickly and at times the highlighting and words didn’t match what was being said.  We also liked the sight phrases since my son has moved on beyond his core sight words and wanted to work more on putting words together.

 

iPad Screenshot 5

In terms of improvements –  at times it was hard to discern the word as it was spoken and it would be nice if you could have a second choice.  It would also be nice if the app dynamically adjusted based on if you were getting answers right or wrong.  A visual cue especially for the easier lessons would be helpful too if a child is getting answers wrong – for example showing a picture of a mat along with the spoken word and spelling it out.  I would also like to see the option to “test” so that children can test out of content they might have already learned which would make it repetitive.  Some of the letter formation was different compared to what my son learned in school, but that may vary based on geography.  My son also asked for some sort of “trophy” or reward that you could earn after completing levels which would demonstrate mastery.  It would also be nice if you could transfer progress from device to device – my son played both on my iPhone and iPad and was frustrated when he had to repeat things he had done before.  I’d also like to be able to export my lesson progress. I’d also like to see more options for the letter formation as my son didn’t learn with the manuscript option in school.

Overall, this is a content rich app which will help kids with a number of skills including letter formation, letter sounds, reading comprehension and sight words.  It is a great app to help kids with learning or one to help them practice over the summertime and prevent the #summerslide.  The app includes a parental gated area with a multiplication problem that does have external links.  There are no in-app purchases.


Read4Kids - Kids learn to read in 20 easy lessons
Read4Kids - Kids learn to read in 20 easy lessons
by Olivier Romanetti

Category: Education, Books
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone3GS-iPhone-3GS, iPhone4-iPhone4, iPodTouchFourthGen-iPodTouchFourthGen, 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: 33.01 MB

$2.99USD

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.

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Camping With Grandpa by Fairlady Media – Review & Giveaway



iPad Screenshot 2

What we love…

realistic camping app that encourages kids to leave no trace and provides a variety of mini games to play which reinforce real word like dousing a fire, finding an animal via tracks

What we’d love to see…

a game that includes the stars or evening sky, trail safety tips and ability to make vocabulary words harder or easier depending on the age of the child.

Summary

Fun app aimed at preschool and early grade school.  My Cub Scouts enjoyed using the app as we talked about a hiking trip and prepared for it.

Our Rating

Camping With Grandpa Camping with Grandpa from Fairlady Media is a universal app for iOS featuring Grandpa as he heads out on a camping trip.  There are a variety of activities that include object identification (find the xx tree), word searches (you pick out the words and highlight them with your finger), identify animal tracks from a field of four animals and after you have completed your activities for the day you earn a badge as well as setting up camp for the night.  This was the perfect app to share with my soon to be Cub Scout Camper as we used it to talk about what it was like to go camping and the items we would need to bring!

 

There are seven educational mini games which include

  • Read a compass – which way to go down the path
  • Hiking – find an object like a type of leaf or what type of tree
  • Animal food – what types of foods do the animals like
  • Animal Tracks – what shaped track do the animals make when they walk on the beach
  • Word find – can you find the forest words and highlight them with your finger
  • Tent Shadows – which pocket knife makes the shadow
  • Hiking Gear – which items should we pack in our backpack

I loved that the app encouraged “leave no trace” and to pick up your litter as well as having a variety of things you would actually do on a camping trip like finding a specific type of tree or learning how to read a compass to find the direction we were going in.  It also taught you about foods that animals ate as well as different animal tracks.  My son had fun looking at the tracks and trying to figure out which animal made which track.  We also talked about which objects should go in his bag when we go hiking.  He loved roasting the hot dog and marshmallow like we do at home some nights in the summer.  He also liked dousing the fire before Grandpa went to sleep at night.  The graphics are clear and realistic and the activities rotate in a different order so kids don’t get bored with the content.  My son also loved the different educational videos.  I liked that when you doused the fire every last bit had to be out – just like in real life.  It was a nice way to reinforce with my son that we can’t leave even a little bit alight.

In terms of enhancements – I would love to see an avatar to represent the child in this app.  My son was also sad a few times when he had finished some of the tasks and reopened the app and had to start over again – for us I just minimized the app rather than closing it so we could go back to it.  I’d also like to see some sort of star activity included like finding the big dipper or evening sky to learn or educate about how we used to use the stars to navigate.  It might also be fun to have a way to follow the trail with trail markers as well as some safety pieces included – i.e. if you get separated from your parents do this.  I also liked the vocabulary words – but some of them were hard for my first grader so perhaps a way to choose the types of words or complexity via a parental control would help to reduce frustration especially for younger readers.

Overall, this is a fun and realistic camping app suited for preschool and early grade school children.  I found it was a great way to prepare my Cub Scouts for their hiking badge and give them an idea of what to expect before we went.  This is a great real world type app that incorporates education about what we should and should not do when camping with some fun learning activities that encourages kids to explore the outdoors!


Camping With Grandpa
Camping With Grandpa
by Fairlady Media

Category: Education, Family, Educational, 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: 105.58 MB

$2.99USD

Screenshots
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Screenshots for iPad
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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.

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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

If you would like to win a promo code for this app, please enter via the widget below. This giveaway is open to everyone, worldwide, and an iTunes account is required to claim the prize. Please ensure you have read and understand our Terms & Conditions. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

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.

Dr. Seuss’s ABC – Read & Learn – Dr. Seuss by Oceanhouse Media – Review



iPad Screenshot 2

What we love…

audio with all sorts of different character names and vocabulary, narration when words are touched

What we’d love to see…

ability to slow down the pages in autoplay so kids can engage with them more more easily

Summary

Perfect for early elementary school kids who are just learning to read as well as preschool. Highly recommend it for younger children and those beginning to read.

Our Rating

Dr. Seuss's ABC - Read & Learn - Dr. Seuss

In the true tradition of Oceanhouse Media book apps, Dr. Seuss’s ABC is a rich, engaging, vibrant rendition of the book.  The graphics are brightly animated and encourage the child to touch, tap and repeat. The children can hear or read the little vignettes associated with each letter of the alphabet and are encouraged to seek out hidden words and stars that lead them to alphabet game play. I suggest this book for younger children or those just beginning to learn to read.

On the home page, there is access to a drop down menu, depicted by a book icon.  When you touch the book, an icon toolbar is revealed.  On this task bar, you will find buttons for other Dr. Seuss apps, the Parent section, the Settings and a page by page layout of the ABC book itself.  The external buttons are protected, but only by a swipe; the settings are not protected with a parental gate. The Parent section explains the objectives of the app and lets you see and reset the reading stats (minutes read, pages read and book read). There are also links on this page to Help and FAQ (support and contact info), and info about Oceanhouse Media, Dr. Seuss Enterprises and the Seussville web site.

The settings option allows customizing the app for mode of play and the different interactive elements (activities, music and sound, news and alerts, picture words). These elements can be turned on and off and reset (I do not suggest turning the Picture Words off as this is a very engaging and educational part of the app).

The app features three different modes of play: Read to Me, Read it Myself, and Auto Play. In Read to Me, a pleasant voice reads the page and waits for the child to turn the page manually by tapping the forward moving arrow. In Read by Myself, there is no voice over and the child turns the page at will. If they are emergent readers, and get stuck on a word, there is the option to tap the word and have it read to you. Auto Play reads and flips the pages automatically. The script on the pages are animated and the children are encourage to find the hidden star (which leads them to game play) by tapping on the page. There is a small replay button located next to the text, so the page can be reread.  Each page is turned by tapping the arrow that points right. There is an arrow on the left to return to the previous page.  Once the child or parent has heard the words, the child has the chance to touch various objects on the page to hear words and to find a star.

In Auto Play the story is read to you and the pages are turned automatically.  In the settings there is a switch to “delay page turning”.  If this is not selected the pages turn quickly and don’t give the child a whole lot of time to touch and explore. On the top of the Auto Play pages there is a circle, which when pressed for 5 seconds, turns off Auto Play.

When a star is tapped, one of a variety of different letter games appears; Smart Start: Tap the animal that begins with the letter; Big Letters: find the big letter; Little Letters: find the little letter; Big and Little: Find the big or little letter; Super Sort: Drag each letter to the corresponding box. Games are short and maintain the child’s attention.  There is no negative feedback for incorrect responses.

I really love the audio portion of this app.  The pages are laden with unique alliterations for the character names (Zizzer-Zazzer-Zuzz, Rosy Robin Ross) and rich in vocabulary.  Each word is individually narrated when touched, so I child can be prompted to press a word you suggest or to replay any word they choose. One thing that I really like on each page is that when the child taps on a picture of a word in the story, the corresponding word changes color in the script.  I really like that there is the ability to reset the stats, hints and learning activities. This way, the app can be reused for different children or even for the same child to do the activities more that once. The app is full of engaging graphics, vibrant colors, and animated characters. The kids love the funny looking creatures and make believe names.  There are multiple exposures to the pre-literacy skills of phonemic awareness and rhyming; a much loved aspect of all Dr. Seuss’s works.  A very interesting addition to this app, is that it incorporates a higher level of vocabulary and nonsense words.  This helps to enhance the sound- symbol connections and allows the children the chance to decode a blend phonemes. When the child taps a picture corresponding to a word in the story, the word changes color, combining auditory and visual feedback. You can also hear single words or the whole page read again.  I really enjoyed the ability to reset the stats, hints and learning activities. This way, the app can be reused for different children or even for the same child to do the activities more that once.

As with all other Dr. Seuss books, the pre-literacy skills are fabulously addressed. The concepts of rhyming and phonemic awareness are dealt with on each page. The presenting voice is pleasant and she enunciates each phoneme clearly and with intonation.

I am a big fan of the Oceanhouse Media Dr. Seuss Book apps.  Dr. Seuss’s ABC is no exception.  From the vibrant graphics and the animated characters, to the Learning activities and the script, each page is engaging and educational.  I give this app a 5 star rating and highly recommend it for younger children and those beginning to read. Like most of the other Dr. Seuss books adapted by Oceanhouse Media, the interface is very user friendly.  The Learning Activities are quick and engaging. All responses are spoken, whether correct or incorrect, so the appearance of negative feedback is not present.

Dr. Seuss's ABC - Read & Learn - Dr. Seuss
Dr. Seuss's ABC - Read & Learn - Dr. Seuss
by Oceanhouse Media

Category: Books, Education
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: 38.68 MB

$1.99USD

Screenshots
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Screenshots for iPad
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Talking ABC by HEY CLAY – Review



 iPad Screenshot 1

What we love…

Creative, fun, engaging  claymation animals, lots of learning games, works on both letter names and sounds,

What we’d love to see…

A way to manually trigger the Talking feature

Summary

Talking ABC is fun creative app which works on letter names & sounds, memory, animal names, and word- letter association. The Talking feature  can be used to encourage toddlers to talk and for speech therapy practice for older kids. I love all the different claymation animals, they are bright, colorful and engaging, each has its own voice and personality.

Our Rating

Talking ABC...

Talking ABC  from HEY CLAY is a universal app for iOS and Android, designed for children aged 2-7 years.  It not only teaches letter names, sounds, and animals beginning with each letter, but also includes  six mini-games. The app is child-safe with no adverts, in-app purchases or external links.

The app has 3 parts – Alphabet, Song and Games. After a recent update there are now 6 different learning games in the game section. In the app settings you can choose to work on letter names or sounds, you can also adjust the difficulty of the games and switch the “Talking” feature on or off.

Alphabet

This is the main section of the app and the child can go through the alphabet in order or pick individual letters to work on. Each letter is crafted from brightly colored clay. Touching the letter makes it turn into an animated clay animal whose name begins with that letter. The animals include some common ones such as a Bear and Lion but also some unusual ones including Vicuna and Xiphias (a swordfish.) If the iPad is in landscape mode the letter (or animal) is on the left, and the right shows the full alphabet. In portrait mode the letter or animal fills the screen.

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The name (or sound) of the letter is spoken when the letter appears and the name of the animal is written and spoken when the animal appears.  The claymation critters are animated and will make sounds, some also play with accessories such as throwing a ball or blowing a pinwheel. If “Talking” is on, the animal will repeat back what the child says to it, and each animal has it’s own unique voice. I love the talking feature, it can be a fun way to encourage a toddler to talk, or an older child to practice words or letter sounds for speech therapy. I did occasionally have problems with the animals not picking up that I was speaking, or missing the beginning of words. It would be nice to have a option for a manual way, such as pressing a button, to trigger the voice function instead of relying on it happening automatically.

Alphabet Song

In the song section a female singer goes through the alphabet singing the letter and animal names. This is accompanied by an animation showing each of the claymation letters turning into their animals as they are being sung about.

Games

All the games feature the claymation animals and/ or letters from the main part of the app, and work on skills such as letter recognition, sound recognition, animal names, spatial recognition and memory.

Letter Game

This game works on letter, or letter sound, recognition. The child is presented with six clay letters and asked to pick the correct letter to match the letter name (or letter sound) that is spoken. If they get it right the letter turns into its animal, who praises the child. If they get it wrong the letter turns into a ball of clay and they are encouraged to keep trying.

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Animal Game

This is very similar to the letter game but this time they need to pick the right animal out of 6 choices. It is a fun way to learn different animal names but is best played after they are familiar with the app as it does include some unusual animals they may not have previously come across.

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Funny Words

This section is good for kids of all ages to practice typing their name or any word. They type it on a QWERTY keyboard and it appears as clay letters. Touching the clay letters turns them into animals. It is a fun way to get children working on learning to spell their name and other familiar words.

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Puzzles

This consists of 25 puzzles, the first is unlocked and the child has to solve them in order to unlock the next puzzle. Each puzzle has a picture of one of the claymation animals divided into 6 or 12 squares, depending on the difficulty level chosen. Tapping on a square rotates it, the child rotates each puzzle piece until the animal is complete. Once they solve the puzzle there is cheering and the animal talks to them.

Memo

This is a classic memory match game – the child first gets to briefly see where the animals are before the cards are flipped over. They then need to correctly find pairs of animals. It has 3 difficulty settings with from 12- 30 cards.

Who Is It ?

In this game the child has to work out the name of an animal using the animals as a clue. At the top of the screen are a row of animals and a row of jumbled letters is at the bottom. There are boxes in between to put the letters in. If the child matches each letter to the correct animal they will spell out the name of one of the animals from the app.

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I must admit I have a soft spot for claymation, I’m a long time fan of Aardman studios- I grew up with Morph and loved the Wallace and Gromit movies. I think claymation is a great medium for inspiring children’s imagination and I love it’s bright vivid colors. Talking ABC is a great use of claymation to inspire kids to learn whilst having fun and features a cast of 26 brightly colored, cute, engaging interactive animals.

There are many, many alphabet apps on the market today and developers need to do something different to stand out from the crowd, and Talking Alphabet achieves that. It is a fun creative way to have children work on their alphabet, letter sounds, memory, animal names, and word- letter association. I love all the different claymation animals, they are bright, colorful and engaging, each has its own voice and personality.  When this app first came out in 2013 I described it as “One of the most engaging and innovative ABC apps on the market”, with the new games and updates they have made to the app since that time it still deserves that description today.

HEY CLAY website
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Google Play Link
iTunes Link

Talking ABC... Talking ABC... by HEY CLAY

Price: $2.99 USD

*** App Store Best Kids App 2013 ***

Talking ABC is an interactive alphabet created with love and care.

The process of learning the letters is exciting and fun while amusing animal characters.

Talking ABC is also available in a variety of other languages and for a limited time the French version is FREE ! (Please check price before downloading)

Links:

French iTunes Google Play

ALPHABET PARLANT ALPHABET PARLANT by HEY CLAY

Price: $2.99 USD

*** Meilleure application pour enfants de l’App Store 2013 ***

ALPHABET PARLANT est un alphabet interactif développé avec amour et un très grand soin.

L'apprentissage des lettres est.

German iTunes Google Play

Russian iTunes Google Play

Ukranian iTunes

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.

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Autism Core Skills: A curriculum to teach academic, social, and communication skills by Infiniteach Inc – Review



iPad Screenshot 2

What we love…

comprehensive curriculum designed by Autism experts to build early literacy, social skills in a variety of teaching methods which reward kids for completing themed lessons. It takes what used to be shelves of materials, translates them to lessons all in one easy to load app that can be used when and where you need it rather than having to create and carry around materials

What we’d love to see…

ability to practice some of the games that involve turn taking virtually

Summary

Overall, I felt that this app had a huge amount of content included for the price and could be a great supplement to be used at home during therapy sessions, to reinforce learning at school as well as making sure they stayed on task.

Our Rating

Autism Core Skills: A curriculum to teach academic, social, and communication skills, collect data, and individualize lessons. By Infiniteach.

Core Skills by Infiniteach Inc is an educational iPad only app built by autism experts who have worked with children on the Autism Spectrum. The app is designed for those with autism or other developmental delays to help them reach their fullest potential. The app offers materials ranging from preschool through first grade level lessons in academics, social and communication domains based on Common Core Learning Standards.  Infiniteach is an autism edteach company which is dedicated to developing educational iPad apps for students on the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).  Christopher Flit, the Founder and Chief Creative Officer was a special education teacher who trained over 12,000 parents and teachers in Illinois and across the United States about best practice autism strategies.  Katie, a co-founder is a former Special Education Teacher and has a brother on the Autism Spectrum.  Lally, a co-founder, is a behavioral therapist who works with children and adults who have ASD.  The company was formed when the three came together with the shared believe that unlimited access to proven teaching strategies can help children with autism and developmental delays increase independence and create meaningful relationships.

It includes a number of features, which are highlighted below that allow children with developmental delays or ASD to work on social and communication skills either with another adult such as a parent or therapist or a peer.  The app collects and saves data from all lessons and can be used on two iPads.  Infiniteach Inc. also offers a one week trial so you can determine if the app is a good fit for your child/situation.

Features/Games included within the app

  • Skill building:  The academic lessons include foundational lessons for preschool (color concepts, big/ little, shapes, picture match, etc.), math (counting, grouping, addition, etc), and reading (lower and uppercase find, sight words, rhyming, main ideas and details, etc.).  
  • Social and Communication Lessons: The social interaction lessons provide two-player games that teach cooperative play and the importance of turn taking, such as following rules and sharing. The communication lessons help students express themselves and build conversation skills while working with a partner. This section can be adapted where the user asks questions and the other person types it in (which is great to practice listening skills!) as well as used to practice turn taking.
  • Themes: range from animals, trains, sports, food and many more which engage kids and after the successfully finish a lesson they are rewarded with brief video. The video aligns with the theme in the lesson.  You can turn on and off specific themes depending on your child’s interest.
  • Data Collection:  dashboard where data on lessons is recorded and displayed in charts and graphs which can be shared and printed. As each student completes their lessons, data is automatically collected, stored, and graphed which can be shared or printed.
  • Printable Materials: There are also off iPad activities available (printable worksheets/curriculum) that parents or teachers can print and then manually add results to the data graphs which allows for continued data collection. The worksheets help take lessons learned within the app and move them to a more concrete “real world” application.  Once they are completed, they can be kept and used as sample work in a portfolio or discarded.
  • Frustration Free Learning: Lessons adjust in difficulty to ensure children are always learning at relevant levels of proficiency. The app also includes visual lists and errorless learning (for example – if the child starts to make mistakes, then the lesson gets easier) or vice versa which ensures your child stays on task and engaged with the app.
  • Collaboration:  With a paid account, you get a free collaborator account which helps ensure continuity of learning – this could be a teacher, parent or even a therapist and data is synced between the accounts. The child can practice with the collaborator on their iPad in the same room at the same time.
  • Customized profiles: The customized profile allows you to enter and save information about your child including interests, attention span, specific themes, making this great for small classroom and home usage.

infinireach

I loved the amount of material contained within the app.  I have spent hours exploring it, and have found lots of great lessons which I tested out with my son. I liked how you could choose specific themes for the app – so if trains or the ocean was a particular favorite it was easy to get specific themed lessons around that.  Gathering the data was helpful too – and once your child starts a lesson they are “locked” into it where the parent has to enter a passcode for them to exit.  This means that they will focus on the app – and hopefully complete the activities successfully.  You can change the pin number, so kids don’t get to know what it is even if they see you enter it.  I liked also that the app encouraged not only learning material, but applying it both on and off device as well as the ability to ask questions. The keyboard and social skills games were a bit confusing for my son.  I love how the content is customized and that it gets easier or harder depending on how your child does – then you can track it over time to see if a pattern emerges.  I liked the turn taking activities – and my son did too once he understood “why” the screen flipped.  The images within the app helped my son remember better than just words on the screen which appeals to those that may learn in a variety of different ways.  The support experience is fast – and they are working to develop more support for parents and children who are using the app. The app also moves from printed or physical materials which have to be designed, used and then finally stored when not in use. Now you can just launch an app on your device, customize the content to them and have it ready in moments and on the fly rather than having to plan it out to be ready for a therapy session.

In terms of enhancements, the keyboard and social skills games were a bit confusing for my son.  He didn’t understand why typing on the keyboard was “upside down” from the way that the words printed on the screen.  I kept trying to explain to him that it wasn’t upside down, and he was meant to be sitting across from me but since he’s used to the dynamic keyboard on the iPad which flips when it is oriented he was bothered by it.  The app is used in portrait mode – and it does not automatically flip when you re-orient the iPad – which isn’t a problem per se but does require some explaining for kids.  I would love to see a way where the collaborator and student during turn taking games could collaborate even if they were not in the same room.  Right now, I’ve only been able to figure out how to do it when both people are in the room and can press the arrow.   The login portion of the app was a bit cumbersome and the developer recently changed it so you can do an in-app purchase to unlock additional content rather than having to use their website.  I’d also like to have the ability to have printables specific to the curriculum you are working on emailed so I didn’t have to login to another location.

Overall, I felt that this app had a huge amount of content included for the price and could be a great supplement to be used at home during therapy sessions, to reinforce learning at school as well as making sure they stayed on task.  The reporting, customized content and information help to provide a comprehensive set of materials for late preschool through early elementary school to ensure that consistency is measured along with the material learned.  By using images, touch screen and manipulation of content students move from passive learners to those immersed in their education and are likely to retain more content.

The app has In-App Purchases for the material after the one week trial.

  • $99.99/USD annually for one student profile (home use)
  • $139.99/USD annually for up to 5 student profiles (Medium)
  • $189.99/USD annually for up to 10 student profiles (Premium)

Autism Core Skills - Academic, Communication, and Social Skills Plus Data
Autism Core Skills - Academic, Communication, and Social Skills Plus Data
by Infiniteach Inc

Category: Education, Medical
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: 153.48 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.

 

Zooper ABC Animals by Zooper Dooper Edutainment Inc – Review



iPhone Screenshot 1

What we love…

multiple ways to learn the letter as well as tracing and phonics activities

What we’d love to see…

correction on the tracing activity if the letter is traced wrong or it goes off course

Summary

Comprehensive alphabet app that goes beyond the traditional see the letter and say it to include tracing and phonics.  Top pick!

Our Rating

Zooper ABC Animals

Zooper ABC Animals by Zooper Dooper Edutainment Inc is a fun app for iOS that is designed for toddler through early preschool to teach them the alphabet as well as phonics and the sound of each letter.  This interactive app features 26 letters, with each featuring their own animated animal and rhyme.  After seeing the animal and the rhyme, you can trace upper and lower case versions of the letter and hear the different sounds the letter can make in a variety of placements within a word.  The app can be used with narration, or it can be used in silent mode if you are with your child and working with them 1:1.

The app features:

  • Interactive rhyme that introduces your child to the letter sound
  • Tracing lesson both uppercase and lowercase letters
  • Guessing game to find objects that begin with the same letter as the animal such as ambulance or dolphin

iPhone Screenshot 2My toddler was a bit young for the app, but we looked at each of the letters (with the sound off) and I told him the name of the animal as well as the letter sound.  He enjoyed tapping on the screen and finding the animations.  For my older son, he still has trouble at times with sounding out words and phonics so I let him explore the app.  He enjoyed the “Zooper Dooper Bloopers” and the mistakes as well as listening to the different letters with the word.  I really liked that the app practiced a number of skills including object identification (the animal), tracing (both upper and lower case) as well as phonics.  I think that the phonics component makes the app unique and will help it appeal not only to parents of toddlers but those with other children who may be struggling with phonics.  The illustrations are fun and interactive and the narration is clear which is especially helpful when you have a child struggling with phonics or speech sounds.  My older son also enjoyed picking out the items that started with the specific letter as well.

 

iPhone Screenshot 3

In terms of enhancements, it would be nice if the tracing activity showed if the letter was traced correctly or not.  Currently, you can trace the letter either on or off target and there is no feedback about if it was done correctly.  There is also no way to erase or undo if you go off course, other than exiting the page and going back.

Overall, this is a fun alphabet app which is a little bit different than the norm since it includes object identification, tracing and phonics activities.  This app is different from the norm of alphabet apps and takes learning to a fun and zany new level!  There is no external advertising or in-app purchase.  Comprehensive alphabet app that goes beyond the traditional see the letter and say it to include tracing and phonics.  Top pick!



Zooper ABC Animals Zooper ABC Animals by Zooper Dooper Edutainment Inc

Price: $2.99 USD

Zooper ABC Animals—including Bubble Blowing Bees and Disco Dancing Dogs—provides animation, rhymes, sound effects, letter tracing, guessing games and phonics. As an extra treat, it also offers 26 .

Try before you buy!


Zooper ABC Animals LITE Zooper ABC Animals LITE by Zooper Dooper Edutainment Inc

Price: $FREE

Zooper ABC Animals—including Bubble Blowing Bees and Disco Dancing Dogs—provides animation, rhymes, sound effects, letter tracing, guessing games and phonics. As an extra treat, it also offers 26 .

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.

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