Pacca Alpaca – Travel Playtime: fun activities for kids by Anamil Tech Limited – Review and Giveaway



screen pacca alpaca

Pacca Alpaca – Travel Playtime: fun activities for kids is the second in a series of apps following Pacca Alpaca on his travels around the globe. While the first app explored Australia, this new app takes your preschooler to 23 different countries and learn about the iconic symbols associated with these countries.

What we love…

Exposure to the cultures and important features of various countries.

What we’d love to see…

More information about the national treasures and ability to save creative works.

Summary

A cute and oolorful app that brings your child around the world learning about the famous icons and flags of different countries through 50 early learning activities.

Our Rating

The app opens with a cute animation of Pacca Alpaca traveling across continents on his magical carousel and when it lands, your child is invited to choose an early learning activity from 50 available on the spinning carousel. Each activity takes your child to a new place and highlights an interesting feature of that country.

For each of the 23 countries that your child will travel to, he/she could be searching for the national animal, piecing together one of the wonders of the world, building a national monument, connecting the dots to draw a historic landmark, making the national food with stickers, spotting the odd national flower, drawing a cultural landscape or playing hide and seek with fun iconic symbols. While there are lots (50 early learning activities) to do, each activity is short and complete on its own, which is perfect for the preschoolers’ short attention span. Even though there is no in-app saving function of the children’s creative works, you can always get round it by doing screenshots.

After completing an activity, your child will be shown the flag of the country and the country name will be announced at the same time. However, I feel that the flag appears too soon and wish that there is a little more time for the children to appreciate their completed work before the flag is shown.

I like the variety of country highlights included in this app. They are all very interesting, I just wish that the app would give the name of these features as well. My favorite country highlight has to be the music that is unique to each country and I hope to see more cultural characteristics like the costumes and festivals being included in future updates.

I love the multi-national and multi-cultural exposure that this app offers. The early learning activities are age-appropirate and the visuals are captivating. It is the perfect app for preschoolers to travel round the world discovering different countries and their cultures in a fun way!

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Pacca Alpaca – Travel Playtime: fun activities for kids

Pacca Alpaca - Travel Playtime: fun activities for kids Pacca Alpaca - Travel Playtime: fun activities for kids by Anamil Tech Limited
Category: Education, Games, Family, Educational
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone3GS-iPhone-3GS, iPadWifi-iPadWifi, iPad3G-iPad3G, iPodTouchThirdGen-iPodTouchThirdGen, 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: 62.71 MB

$FREE

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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.

Where Will I Go? by Digital Leaf – Review



screen where will i go?

Where Will I go? by Digital Leaf is the second storybook app in the ‘When I Grow Up’ series which is also available in picture book format.

What we love…

The fun story, characters and the little game included.

What we’d love to see…

Small glitches fixed.

Summary

Fun storybook with lots to do throughout.

Our Rating

This interactive storybook takes place in a Museum where a child and the father wonder what places in the world they could visit. The storybook transports them across the world to places like London, Spain, Italy, Mexico, America and many others. It introduces children to the joys of travelling and what adventures they could get up to when they get older.

We liked this catchy 24 page storybook with lots of interactive spots, simple text and great pictures. The narration by Brian Blessed and the characters that move around during the story both suit the book really well. The feature of the book which my daughter enjoyed the most is the little game of finding the child’s dog throughout the story. Once all found, there is a memory game that you can access which is also very entertaining.

This app is really well made, easy to use and with great hand drawn pictures throughout the book. Children are given the option of either being a girl or boy character in the story with the extra option of narration by boisterous English actor Brian Blessed.

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Words are highlighted as the story is read out by the narrator, once read the text disappears but can be shown again by using the book icon. There is also an icon to go back to the home menu, one which tallies up the number of dogs you have found so far in the story and a left and right icon for navigation purposes. There are no in-app purchases or ads in this app. It does however have a settings page where you can turn narration on or off, switch characters and reset the app. There is also a help page with a few helpful tips, info about the developer’s other app and credits.

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We couldn’t really fault this great storybook however we did encounter a few glitches at times where the app failed to respond for a few seconds. Overall we loved this fun and humorous storybook with lots of sounds, interactions, simple text and cute games.

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Where Will I Go?

Where Will I Go? Where Will I Go? by Digital Leaf
Category: Books, Entertainment
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone3GS-iPhone-3GS, iPadWifi-iPadWifi, iPad3G-iPad3G, iPodTouchThirdGen-iPodTouchThirdGen, 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: 341.27 MB

$1.99USD

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The JFK Challenge- a Great New Free App from the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation



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JFK Challenge Just in time for Presidents Day the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum has launched a new FREE app, The JFK Challenge. The app is designed for children from 8-12 years old and teaches them about President John F. Kennedy (JFK) and the legacies his Presidency left behind,  focusing on the Peace Corps and the Space Race. The JFK Challenge app is totally free, with no adverts or in-app purchases and was created with support of a grant from Disney. You can learn more about the app by visiting JFKChallenge.org

 

As the app opens you are transported back in time to John. F Kennedy’s inaugural address as he becomes the 35th President of the United States and the youngest US President elected to office. JFK ‘s voice booms out “Ask not what your country can do for you- ask what you can do for your country.” Historical photographs, video and audio recordings bring history as we learn about JFK’s life before becoming President of the United States, as well as highlights of his Presidency.

In 1961 President Kennedy founded the Peace Corps, a program which continues to this day and has sent over 200,000 trained volunteers overseas. In that same year he challenged America “I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth.” Players can choose from two missions to complete, where they learn more about the Space Race or the Peace Corps.

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Peace Corps

In this game you get to take the role of a Peace Corp volunteer who is going to Columbia. First you prepare by learning some words of Spanish. Next you practice digging waterways avoiding obstacles on the way, then learn to make bricks from water, gravel and cement, and use them to build. All of these skills get put to use later in the game once you begin the mission.

You learn some geography as you see countries where other Peace Corps volunteers are going, learn about the projects they will work on, and see photographs of real Peace Corps projects in these countries.

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After training is complete you go on your mission to Columbia, where you work to help provide clean drinking water to a village, and construct buildings using the skills learned in training. You will need to work fast to get the projects completed before the rainy season arrives. Once you have completed the building projects you get to explore the village and learn about local culture.

Space Race

In this mission you get to join NASA as an Astronaut. You learn about the history of the Space race from the time in 1961 that JFK sets the challenge for a man to walk on the moon, until 1969 when that vision becomes reality.

At NASA you first learn to steer a spacecraft and practice operating the lunar module to safely land it. Next as you assemble your spacesuit you learn about its different components and why they are needed.

With your training complete you move on to launch day where you send the crew of Apollo 11 into space and discard the various stages of the rocket once they have done their job. Then you fly your rocket to the moon avoiding debris on the way, before putting your landing skills to the test as you maneuver the lunar module safely down onto the lunar surface. Once you have safely landed you can explore the moon learning about both the moon and the Apollo 11 mission.

iPad Screenshot 2

This is a great app for teaching children (and adults!) about JFK, the Space Race and the Peace Corps. I love how it uses historical photos, video and audio recordings to really bring history to life. It uses a combination of the old and the new, combining both archive material and engaging video game activities to both educate and entertain. Although it is designed for children from 3rd Grade up I think it will appeal to an even broader age range – I can see children as young as First Grade enjoying it, and even as an adult I learned from it.  This app teaches history, geography, science, Spanish and encourages exploration and interest in other countries and cultures. This is a very well made app and I would highly recommend downloading it today. A free app that should not be missed!

To celebrate the release of the app the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum is giving away an iPad Mini, you can learn more by visiting their Facebook Page or following them on Twitter .

JFK Challenge from Bluecadet on Vimeo.

To download please use this link: JFK Challenge – John F. Kennedy Library Foundation

JFK Challenge JFK Challenge by John F. Kennedy Library Foundation

Price: $FREE

Take the JFK Challenge – fly to the moon or help people around the world! This immersive app from the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library transports kids back in time to train for the Apollo 11 mission.

NOTE: A fee was received to feature this app.

Eric & Bruce Travel to Britain- Review




iPhone Screenshot 1

What we love…

Toddler friendly, cute colorful graphics, fun interactions

What we’d love to see…

More educational value, more diversity in parts of Britain included

Summary

Eric & Bruce visit Britain is a fun interactive app that will appeal most to toddlers and pre-schoolers. It features many famous British sites and people but misses the opportunity to teach a little about them.

Our Rating

Eric&Bruce Travel To BritainEric & Bruce Travel to Britain is the first in a planned series of apps for toddlers and preschoolers from Beijing- based developer Eric & Bruce Technology Ltd. Eric is a young boy and Bruce is his puppy and faithful travel companion. The app is child-friendly with no adverts or in-app purchases, website and social media links are in a locked parents area (accessed by pressing and holding). Music and sound effects can be independently turned off in the parents area. In this app they visit some of the most famous sights of Great Britain.

As the app opens Eric is slowly peddling his bike through the streets of London with Bruce following behind. The child can explore the app at their own pace, if they do nothing Bruce keeps slowly moving along, tapping on Bruce changes his mode of transport- he can also ride a horse or fly Harry Potter- style on a broomstick. Swiping forward will speed Bruce up, swiping backwards will change his direction. There are lots of hidden animations to find including: tapping on a cloud to start rain falling, traditional red pillar boxes which will spit out letters if tapped, Tower Bridge will raise to let ships pass, and touching Big Ben will cause it to strike 3 o’clock. As well as famous sights the app also features many iconic British figures such as the Beatles crossing Abbey Road, Sherlock Holmes & Dr Watson in Baker Street, and the Royal Family.  The Queen will change outfits if tapped, and her royal corgis will perform tricks; the younger Royals aren’t left out either with Kate Duchess of Cambridge and Princes William and George popping up to give the Royal Wave.

iPhone Screenshot 4

There are 4 mini-games to find, each marked by a star, in each game the child plays as long as they wish, then taps the return button to get back to the rest of the app. The games are:

Popping Balloons

This is at the London Eye – Bruce and Eric both gets balloons from a balloon seller then more and more balloons float across the screen. Tapping on balloons pops them, and there is no keeping score or penalty for missing balloons.

Afternoon Tea

Eric and a friend are having tea at a sidewalk table outside a Fish and Chip Shop. The child can feed them cupcakes from a never-ending supply and Bruce is waiting patiently under the table to receive any cupcakes that come his way too. It is a little confusing having them drink tea and eat cupcakes outside a Fish and Chip Shop – it would seem more logical for them to be outside a Tea Shop having tea and cakes, or eating fish and chips by the Fish and Chip Shop.

iPhone Screenshot 5

Irish Dancing

Eric and Bruce are Irish dancing with a Leprechaun, tapping them will change their dance moves. The location of this game seems a little geographically confused – they are dancing near Stonehenge and Westminster Abby, both of which are in England. Ireland is not actually part of Great Britain (although Northern Ireland is in the United Kingdom), so Irish Dancing seems a little out of place in an app about Britain. If the app was instead Eric and Bruce travel to the British Isles, Ireland could be included, but then it would be nice to see Irish dancing performed in front of a famous Irish sight such as the Devil’s Causeway or Blarney Castle instead of in England.

A New Friend

Eric and Bruce have found a new friend- another dog to play with! Bruce will throw the ball and both dogs will rush to fetch it and the new friend will even dig up a bone to share with Bruce.

Overall

The app has bright, colorful cartoon-like graphics that will appeal to young children. It allows open-ended play and exploration and is easy to operate. I think toddlers and pre-schoolers will enjoy exploring it and finding the hidden interactions.

As a native Brit myself I was a little disappointed the app didn’t take the opportunity to teach children a little about the places and people in the app. I’d love to see the addition of an interactive map that you could access from anywhere in the app that would show the locations of the various sights and tell a little about them. Similarly it would be nice to have a way that children could learn who the various people are. As it is an app designed for young children this doesn’t need to be in great detail, but as part of a series of travel apps, it is a great opportunity to teach children a little about each of the places Eric & Bruce visit. Apart from Loch Ness all the other sights included are in the South of England (mainly in London) so it would be nice to also see other parts of Britain represented- maybe Caerphilly Castle, or the Severn Bridge, or Edinburgh Castle or Fountains Abbey or Hadrian’s Wall ?

Overall, Eric & Bruce visit Britain is a fun, bright, colorful, interactive app that will appeal most to toddlers and pre-schoolers. It features many famous British sights and people but I feel it misses an opportunity to teach children a little about them.


Eric&Bruce Travel To Britain – Eric&Bruce Technology Ltd.

Eric & Bruce Travel To Britain Eric & Bruce Travel To Britain by Eric&Bruce Technology Ltd.

Price: $FREE

"There is no doubt that this app is one full of amazing images and interactive bits that will keep children entertained for hours." - BestAppsForKids

"It’s simple and clean with lots of action.

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.

 

Where Are We? Learning Library Collection (Dr. Seuss/Cat in the Hat) by Oceanhouse Media – Review and Giveaway



What we love…

Highly educational and informative content, text highlighting, tappable words and objects.

What we’d love to see…

The text and pictures/animations match when it talks about the earth rotating on its axis.

Summary

A terrific set of four books that will not only takes children on a journey to space, the deserts, and the North and South Poles but also gives them everything they need to become excellent map readers and cartographers.

Our Rating

Little explorers searching for new adventures will find what they are looking for in Oceanhouse Media’s Where Are We? Collection. In this collection are four books from The Cat In The Hat’s Learning Library covering a variety of subjects including astronomy, science and geography: There’s No Place Like Space, Why Oh Why Are Deserts Dry?, Ice Is Nice and There’s A Map In My Lap.

In There’s No Place Like Space, little explorers will take a flight out into the Solar System. Starting with Mercury, they will visit all the planets and discover features that make them unique from each other. They will also be taking a closer look at the stars, the sun, the moon and constellations. Coming down from an out-of-this-world experience is not easy but another exciting adventure awaits them when they return to Earth.

In Why Oh Why Are Deserts Dry?, little explorers will travel to some of the well-known deserts of the world including the Sonoran Desert, the Nambi Desert, the Sahara Desert, the Mojave Desert, the Gobi Desert and the Arctic Desert. As they travel to each of the deserts, they will learn not only about why deserts are dry but also about the different plants and animals that live there and how they are able to survive in such harsh conditions. They will also learn about Nomads, what they wear and how they live. They may be surprised to learn that deserts can either be hot and dry like the Mojave and Sahara deserts or cold and dry like the Gobi and Arctic deserts. They will also learn various desert terms and features such as mirage, oasis, and dunes.

After their trip to the cold deserts, our little explorers will travel to the North Pole and the South Pole in Ice Is Nice. The North Pole, they will discover, is actually located in the Arctic Ocean, not on land. They will learn that in the North Pole, there are 6 months of long winter nights and 4 months of warm weather when the sun shines all day and all night. They will learn about the people and animals that live there and how they adapt to the cold weather. They will then go to the opposite side of the world and find out that while the North Pole is cold; the South Pole is even colder. Unlike the North Pole which is in water, the South Pole is on land. In the South Pole, little explorers will learn all about the different types of penguins that live there: the Emperor, the Chinstrap, the Adelie, the Gentoos and the Rockhoppers. In their travels to the North and South poles, they will also learn about the Earth’s axis, its rotation and its revolution. They will also learn a little about climate changes, which can open up to a discussion on global warming.

As our explorers head back to the comforts of home, they will be given the most valuable tool a little explorer needs in There’s A Map In My Lap. They will learn about all kinds of maps like globes, atlases, marine maps and topographic maps. They will quickly become expert map readers and cartographers as they learn about legends, longitude lines, latitude lines and scales. Soon they will be planning their own adventures, lots and lots of great adventures!

Once again Oceanhouse Media has put together another fantastic set of four books that is full of eye catching graphics and interactive objects. They also all have the features we have come to love in Oceanhouse Media books such as text highlighting, tappable words/objects and voice recording. The only thing I would like to see changed is the way they show the earh’s rotation. In Ice Is Nice, there is a page that reads: “Earth spins on its axis while circling the sun” and while it shows the earth circling the sun, it does not show the Earth rotating on its axis. It would be better if it rotates as the text says it does.

I highly recommend this app to parents and teachers of little explorers. Parents and teachers will love the educational value of this collection of books and little explorers will enjoy the adventures that await them.

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Where Are We? Learning Library Collection (Dr. Seuss/Cat in the Hat) – Oceanhouse Media

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Size: 0 MB

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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!

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3 of My Kids’ All Time Favorite Apps win Common Sense Media Award



Common Sense Media recently recognized their  “ON for Learning” award winners at an event in SanFrancisco.The 55 award-winners were given their highest rating for quality and learning potential. Looking over the list of winners there were 3 names that jumped out at me as apps that are consistently among the all-time most played apps in my household, so I wanted to put a spotlight on those today.

 

Bobo Explores Light by Game Collage

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This is a simply brilliant science app that explore all manner of topics associated with light. I reviewed this app almost 2 years ago but it is still a firm favorite in my household. Bobo is is a cute little robot and is your guide throughout the app. Bobo takes you through 21 different topics including: lightning, color, space, photosynthesis and refraction. Every topic has interactive experiments and you can touch Bobo’s antennae to activate interactive holograms. On each page there are a number of hidden screens which pull down to give you more information, the app has over 100 pages in total!! This app is designed for children who can read independently, but it is so engaging that my now 7-year-old son has had it in his favorite apps since he was 4. It is not narrated, and his reading ability is not yet strong enough to read the text,  so I have been reading it to him, but he has been doing the experiments independently since age 4. My now 10 year-old also loves it! Very highly recommended, this app is fun, engaging and contains a wealth of science information.

Bobo Explores Light – Game Collage, LLC

Bobo Explores Light Bobo Explores Light by Game Collage, LLC

Price: $4.99 USD

••• Apple Design Award 2012 Winner •••

Hold a fully functional science museum for kids 4-12 in the palm of your hand!

iPad App of the Week, winner of the KAPi Award 2011 for.

 

Ansel & Clair by Cognitive Kid

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Two of the Ansel & Clair apps by Cognitive Kid made the list of award winners- Ansel & Clair’s Little Green Island and Ansel & Clair’s Adventures in Africa but the whole series deserves a mention as they are all very engaging, creative, educational children’s apps. The iMums have reviewed Ansel & Clair  Paul Revere’s RideAnsel & Clair American Bowl and Ansel & Clair Jurassic Dinosaurs,  Triassic Dinosaurs and Cretaceous Dinosaurs.  All of the apps star Ansel – a friendly intergalactic traveller from the planet Virtoos, and Clair his robot companion who accompanies him on his mission to learn more about life on Earth. The apps are educational games that create  animated, immersive, interactive, learning experiences. In Ansel & Clair’s Adventures in Africa the adventurous duo explore the Sahara Desert, the Nile Valley and the Serengeti Plains. They learn about the history, geography, flora and fauna of Africa. In Ansel & Clair: Little Green Island children learn about ecology, pollution and protecting the environment. Each child gets to create their own island paradise, and then see how changes on the island can cause increases in environmental pollution.

Ansel and Clair: Little Green Island HD – Cognitive Kid, Inc.

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Price: $

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Ansel & Clair’s Adventures in Africa – Cognitive Kid, Inc.

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Minecraft by Mojang

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Minecraft is an independent computer game that has taken the US by storm  – it has over 100 million registered users in the US! At the schools my children attend is is a major playground talking point. The original game is available for PC or Mac from Minecraft.net, and it is also available for many other platforms including an iOS version. The iOS version is more limited than the computer edition, but still allows children endless hours of creative free play and is an ideal place for younger players to learn about the game. In creative mode the aim is to simply build your own world – creating 3D structures and planting trees and flowers in a very open creative environment. I love how there are no rules – it is just about using your own creativity. There is no end of videos available on Youtube for inspiration (although I would recommend parents screen them as not all have suitable language for children to hear). All 3 of my children love playing and have created their own unique worlds. A great side benefit of the game is it has also given my son with Aspergers a means to bond with his peers – he and his fellow Minecraft aficionados spend many, many hours discussing their latest builds and advising each other on new things to try.
Minecraft – Pocket Edition – Mojang

Minecraft: Pocket Edition Minecraft: Pocket Edition by Mojang

Price: $6.99 USD

Our latest update includes new gameplay features like llamas, Forest Mansions, Illagers and shulker boxes! Plus, we have incredible skins, textures, and maps from the community in the new Minecraft marketplace.

 

Looking over the list of “ON for Learning” award winners which are your favorites ? Are there any choices you disagree with ?

 

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The iMums were honored recently to be chosen to be one of the Common Sense Media Ambassadors –  a select group of bloggers who work with Common Sense Media. Common Sense Media is a non-profit organization “dedicated to improving the lives of kids and families by providing the trustworthy information, education, and independent voice they need to thrive in a world of media and technology.” Common Sense Media rates and reviews all kinds of media for children – movies, games, websites, TV, apps and more. Their Learning Ratings rate media for age-appropriateness as well as factors such as engagement and learning approach.

 

 

 

Lately Lily: Paris for a Day! by Lately Lily LLC – Review



iPad Screenshot 1

What we love…

Adorable illustrations, interactive games

What we’d love to see…

Another chapter, minor changes to soundtrack

Summary

Overall, a cute story and interactive game app, we love it’s unique, quirky style. This app will appeal most to 4-8-year-olds, who we hope will be inspired by Lily to want to see the world !

Our Rating

Lately Lily: Paris for a Day!

Lately Lily Paris for a Day! is an iPad only app and the first app from Southern California -based developer Lately Lily LLC.  Although this is Lily’s first app, she is also the star of a line of children’s clothes, you can read more about her at LatelyLily.com. Lily is a globe trotter – she loves to travel the world with her faithful companion a stuffed toy zebra named Zeborah. The app is a combination of a story and a game – children can complete a series of interactive activities, as the story of Lily’s visit to Paris unfolds. Lately Lily has charming hand- drawn illustrations –  they look cut-outs of pen and ink illustrations on different colored  papers. The app is child-friendly – it contains no adverts, in-app purchases or external links. The child can leap directly to their favorite chapter from the home page, but there is no way to navigate within a chapter.

The story opens as Lily receives a letter from her good friend Audrey, who lives in Paris, inviting her to a concert, which prompts Lily to decide to visit Audrey. The reader can help Lily pack her bright yellow suitcase, choosing which outfits and accessories to bring along, Zeb cheers them along and makes sure they remember  to pack him too!

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In Chapter Two Zeb and Lily are at the airport, Zeb goes for a ride on the yellow suitcase as it heads off on the baggage carousel. However, this is no ordinary carousel – it is more like a fairground ride with gaps to leap, slopes to go up and down as well as lots of other luggage to avoid, it has multiple levels and if the yellow suitcase falls to the bottom level it starts moving back towards the baggage hall and away from the plane! The child helps Zeb to catch his flight by tapping on the suitcase making it fly up in the air to avoid the gaps and obstacles, until the suitcase safely reaches the plane.

iPad Screenshot 3

The third chapter is on the plane, Zeb and Lily are looking out of the window as they fly over France and the child must help them find 5 objects as they fly overhead. Objects out of the window appear out of focus until camera is over it, so the child needs to move the camera over the scene until they discover the correct image and then take a picture with it in the view finder.

iPad Screenshot 4

 

In chapter four Lily and Zeb have arrived in Paris. As they visit a typical Parisian courtyard the child can learn a little French. Tapping on an object will  make it’s name in French (and in smaller letters in English) appear on the screen, and then the word is spoken in both languages. The audio in this part of the app was quieter than in the rest of the app, so we had to turn up the volume to hear it properly. As the story ends Lily and Audrey are sitting together listening to the band play.

This is a very cute book/ game app and my six-year-old daughter enjoyed it. As well as being fun, this app works on hand-eye co-ordination, matching, visual discrimination and teaches a little French. There are a few enhancements I would like to see in a future update : I’d like to see the volume consistent throughout the app, I’d also like to see the chapter headings narrated if you touch them (most of the app is narrated but these are not, and many of the target audience may not yet be proficient readers). The app also feels a little short – I’d love to have a fifth chapter where Lily and Audrey together visit some of their favorite Paris landmarks, so the child can learn a little about Paris too.

Overall, a cute story and interactive game app, we love it’s unique, quirky style. This app will appeal most to 4-8 year- olds, who we hope will be inspired by Lily to want to see the world.

Lately Lily: Paris for a Day!
Lately Lily: Paris for a Day!
by Lately Lily, LLC

Category: Games, Educational, Education
Requirements: Compatible with iPadWifi-iPadWifi, iPad3G-iPad3G, 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: 408.68 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.

Mysteries of the Grand Canyon iBook by Marie von Minden – Review



screenshot 1

What we love…

Beautiful photographs, engaging story, huge amount of information

What we’d love to see…

Ability to hide text after reading

Summary

A great introduction to the Grand Canyon for children who are about to visit it, or who just want to learn more about this important National Park

Our Rating

Mysteries of the Grand Canyon

Mysteries of the Grand Canyon is the first iBook in the series Kristi Kay Discovers Our National Parks by Marie von Minden. Kristi Kay is a Cairn Terrier who travels around the USA with her owner Marie and visits many of the National Parks. This iBook is the story of her visit to the Grand Canyon; as well as the story it also includes an introductory video narrated by the author, and a ‘Kristi Kay Talks with a Ranger” section which provides a lot more factual information about the National Parks, the Grand Canyon and it’s wildlife. The iBook is child-friendly with no adverts, in-app purchases or social media links.

 

Although Kristi Kay is the star of the story she shares the spotlight with two other animals- Alex a California Condor and Gerri an Abert’s Squirrel. The story is illustrated with beautiful nature photographs showing the and canyon and it’s flora and fauna. The story is not narrated, so is best suited to children in second grade or above, or may be enjoyed by slightly younger children if it is read to them.

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In the story Kristi Kay spends several days camping on the rim of the crater with her owner, but dreams of exploring the canyon itself off-leash and free. On their last day her owner hikes deep into the canyon where dogs are not allowed, and Kristi Kay is left alone in camp. Her dream come true when Alex and Gerri take her on a secret trail into the canyon. During her hike the terrier learns about the geology and history of the canyon, about California Condors and the captive breeding program that brought them back from the brink of extinction and about Abert’s and Kaibab Squirrels. She also learns about safe hiking and the importance of passing history and traditions from generation to generation. Some pages contain interactive elements such as animal noises or areas to tap to access more photographs.

 screenshot 4

Kristi Kay’s adventure is a fun way to introduce elementary school children to the Grand Canyon going beyond its spectacular beauty to learn a little about its geology, the Native American’s who once lived there, and the animals who live there now. The “Kristi Kay Talks with a Ranger” section provides a lot more in-depth information to children who want to learn more, and includes many photographs and videos. The iBook has almost 100 pages, but my soon-to-be Fourth Grader devoured it in one sitting. He thoroughly enjoyed it but did recommend reading it over several sessions (especially the Ranger section) as his head was swimming from so much information by the end!

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Overall, this iBook provides a great introduction to the Grand Canyon to children who are about to visit it or who just want to learn more about this important National Park. It includes lots of  beautiful photographs, the story is engaging and there is a huge wealth of information included. I found it a great opportunity to talk about the Grand Canyon with my son, and tell him about my own experiences visiting the park and hiking into the crater. I also really enjoyed learning about the California Condor and all the effort that has gone into the Recovery Program; it provided a great opportunity to talk about Endangered Species and our responsibility to help preserve them. The one change I would like to see in a future update is an option to hide the text after reading, so you can see all of the the pictures that are partially hidden by text (the photographs on the non-text pages are beautiful).

 

If you would like to download this iBook please use this link : Mysteries of the Grand Canyon – Marie von Minden

Mysteries of the Grand Canyon
Mysteries of the Grand Canyon
by Marie von Minden

Category: Animals, Books, Young Adult, Fiction, Travel & Adventure, Arts & Entertainment, Art, Science & Nature, Social Studies, Arts & Entertainment, Photography, Specialty Travel, Science & Nature, Nature, United States
Requirements: Compatible with
Size: 389.84 MB

$5.99USD


N.B. This is an iBook and can only be viewed on an iPad using iBooks 2 or later. A free sample of the book can be downloaded from 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.

Storybook Maker By Merge Mobile- Review and Giveaway



iPad Screenshot 1

What we love…

it’s versatility ,it can be used for so many things, great choice of stickers, backgrounds, art tools, sound effects, music and you can record your own narration and share books.

What we’d love to see…

Child proofing of “more apps” button, a “how to” or FAQ page for when you get stuck, picture scene backgrounds

Summary

an incredible tool for creating story books and I would highly recommend downloading it today.

Our Rating

Storybook Maker

Storybook Maker is an iPad only app from Merge Mobile. It is designed to make it simple for adults and children to create their own storybooks and to share them with others. As well as creating your own stories you can also use the app to access and download books created by others that are in the community library. The app contains no adverts, in-app purchases or social media links but does have a “more apps” button which leads to iTunes and a feedback button, I would like to see these child proofed.

Creating a book is very simple – click “new book”, give it a working title and start creating! First create a Title Page, then you can choose from a variety of templates – blank, photo, multiple photos or various combinations of photo and text. The pages are always in portrait orientation,

iPad Screenshot 3Each page can have a white background or you can select from a wide choice of patterned, colored backgrounds (and choose how pale or strong the background is).  There are also lots of different borders to choose from which can go around an image or a page. When selecting an image to go in a photo box on the page, you can choose an image from your photo album, take a photo with your device camera or choose from the huge sticker library. Images can be re-sized, rotated, duplicated and given background colors or borders. Merge Mobile are the developers of the “Clicky Sticky” line of sticker book apps, and a huge library of their stickers can be found in this app. As well as regular stickers it contains  “physics stickers” which are balls, trucks etc. that really move once you have completed the page; it can be fun to incorporate one or two of these in the book to add an extra element of fun to it.

As well as adding photos and stickers you can also use the included art tools to draw your own pictures and even combine them with photos or stickers.

There are also lots of options for the text- there are a variety of font styles, sizes and colors to choose from and the text box can be resized, rotated, borders and background colors added and the text justification changed.

Each page can also have it’s own background music or sound effects (such as applause, ocean, jungle or night sounds) and the story maker can record their own narration.

iPad Screenshot 2To create a new page just click the + button and the current page is saved and you can create the next page. Your completed book is saved in your app library, but you can also share it with others. It can be sent as a PDF (with no sound or animations), sent as a book app to someone else who owns this app or added to the Storybook maker public library. Books are screened before being added to the public library and certain criteria must be met e.g. no pictures of people, private information or inappropriate content.

This app has no instructions you just dive in and start creating, most of how is use it is very intuitive, but sometimes there are things that I wish there were instructions for – for instance in drawing mode is there a way to hide the paint toolbar so you can color to the edge of the page? It also took me a while to figure out how to get a sticker to appear on a drawn background (it automatically goes behind the drawing and you have to click the settings cog and put it in front to be able to see it). Because of this I would like to see a page with a  how to guide, for times when you get stuck. I do also find at times that it can be tricky to work on things close to the edge of the pages as the toolbars can get in the way, it would be nice to be able to hide these when needed. I’d also love to have some generic picture backgrounds added to the background options e.g. an underwater scene, a snowy landscape, a beach, a grassy meadow.

Overall, I am really impressed with this storybook maker. I love all the different options it has; it gives children (and adults) lots of room to express their creativity. With this one app you can make photo albums, embellished with text and stickers;  make a travel journal; create photo collages; create storybooks with your own narration and background music; and create social stories to prepare your child for upcoming events. My nine-year old son quickly created his own storybooks from it, and I used it with my daughter to create a social story for her recent orthodontist appointment and to create fun stories too.

Although I have some suggestions for improvements I would like to see in future updates, it is already an incredible tool for creating story books and I would highly recommend downloading it today.

by

Category:
Requirements: Compatible with
Size: 0 MB

$


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.

Giveaway

If you would like to win a US GIFT code for this app, please share this post via social media and comment on this page saying how you shared and why you would like this app. Closes in 5 days.

CLOSED
Winners picked by Random.org:
Valerie Maples
Erin C
Daniella
Patricia Barczak
Elaine L

Clever Crazes for Kids Apps – Today’s Featured Free Apps



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What are Featured Free Apps? The iMums showcase quality free apps that we have installed, tested and recommend. Featured Free Apps are not lite versions, they are full versions that are free for a limited time only so you’ll need to be quick to grab them at the reduced price. Be sure to sign up to The iMums Daily Digest so you never miss a free app. Enjoy!

These 9 educational apps are based on the popular games and lessons on the clevercrazes.com website. The clevercrazes.com curriculum integrates 9 academic areas of focus for grades K-8. Students will learn STEM content (how Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics are integrated into their everyday lives) and explore the social sciences. Check out the website where kids will be introduced to STEM careers, among many other resources.

Here is a brief description of each of the 9 apps/academic areas:-

You and Your Insides

Students will examine the human body systems including: skeletal, digestive, respiratory, circulatory, reproductive and nervous systems. Kids will also learn about growth and development, traits and survival, cellular development and strategies for learning.

by
Category:
Requirements: Compatible with
Size: 0 MB

$

You and Outer Space

Students will explore our solar system, our universe and other galaxies. Some special points of focus include the interactions of the sun, Earth and moon, as well as man’s observations and interactions with other planets and objects in the sky. Here, Newton’s Laws of Gravity, Kepler’s Laws of Motion and other celestial forces will also be addressed.

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Category:
Requirements: Compatible with
Size: 0 MB

$

You and Our Home Planet

Students will learn about the structure of the Earth, the properties of Earth’s materials and our weather. Here, relationships between populations, resources and environments are also explored.

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Category:
Requirements: Compatible with
Size: 0 MB

$

You and How Things Work

Students learn about physics, chemistry and associated topics including heat, light and sound. Electricity and magnetism are addressed as well. Students will also explore the properties and characteristics of matter.

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Category:
Requirements: Compatible with
Size: 0 MB

$

You, the Time Traveler

This includes history and social studies. Students will learn how individual people and cultures of the past have helped shape our world today. Mapping skills, tracking time periods, and recognizing artifacts will also be covered.

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Category:
Requirements: Compatible with
Size: 0 MB

$

You and Your Money

This curriculum will have students learn about the concepts of supply and demand through the lens of microeconomics. They will learn how money is earned, spent, saved and donated to help others. Business ethics, career preparation and responsible economic principles are important topics that will be addressed in this app.

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Category:
Requirements: Compatible with
Size: 0 MB

$

You and Biodiversity

Students will learn about the diversity of life on Earth through the exploration of living things,
their life cycles and the environments which they inhabit. Kids will explore how living and non living things work together in a healthy ecosystem.

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Category:
Requirements: Compatible with
Size: 0 MB

$

You, the Future Voter

This will teach kids about the United States government and how it functions, including the values and principles of democracy, our Constitution and the meaning of citizenship.

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Category:
Requirements: Compatible with
Size: 0 MB

$

You, the Athlete

Students will learn how aerobic activity stimulates brain activity and enhances memory. Kids will be able to identify healthy behaviors such as getting fit, eating smart and staying healthy and safe. Topics range from causes of disease and consequences of drug abuse to the physiology of nutrition. Here, students will also learn about ethics, what bullying is, appropriate social behavior, and how to be a friend.

by
Category:
Requirements: Compatible with
Size: 0 MB

$