Article: Role play – kids apps to help kids process a new situation with play

Article: Role play – kids apps to help kids process a new situation with play

Kids learn best through play and explaining what they are seeing and doing. Recently, every time I turn on the television news or tune in to the local radio, I am prompted things that I know I do not want my child to see or things that I might consider to be scary for them.  Research has shown that children learn best through play — and playing out situations via role play can help them to better process and understand them.  With the recent Hurricane Harvey here in the United States – there has been a lot of news on the television and radio that is overwhelming.  As such, I started thinking about some of my favorite apps that would help kids in these situations. Helping children process traumatic events they seen in the news such as the recent Hurricane Harvey and other frightening news, can be overwhelming.  Many children learn better with play therapy.  Below are a few apps that involve role play, social stories and more to help them process difficult situations as well as explore new situations.   Below is a list of some of my favorites.

Kids learn differently than adults.  Introducing a new situation can be hard.  One of the biggest things I struggle with as a parent is helping my kids understand a new situation.  Helping my kids prepare for new experiences can be overwhelming as.    One of my favorite thing about the MyPlayhome apps is that there are no rules – kids can play and role play while narrating what they are doing.  I love to see all the different games that my toddler comes up with or see my son talking about an upcoming doctors appointment using MyPlayhome Hospital.  Using Social Stories like Kid in the Storybook maker can help kids better understand a new situation.  Dr. Panda has a series of role play apps including firefighters, daycare, school bus and more.  .

My PlayHomeShimon Young is a genius. Shimon is the developer of the universal My PlayHome app and has managed to find a way to keep my iToddler (2.5) entertained for more than just a few minutes. Not an easy task. My PlayHome brings the dollhouse into the digital age by offering an entire virtual home, complete with an adorable family of five that kids can explore and interact with. Also available on the iPhone (Pocket PlayHome!), this app features beautiful hand-drawn illustrations and realistic sounds associated with each interaction. My PlayHome also has a simple user interface very easy for little fingers to control.  This app caters for 2-8 year olds which is appropriate as it’s simple enough for the younger users to play with yet detailed enough to keep the older kids entertained too.” Quite a comprehensive app but still very easy to use by its intended audience. One of the best kids apps I have come across on the App Store!”  This continues to be a top pick of The iMums for kids of all ages.  Read the full review.

 

My PlayHome StoresWhen iMum Amanda reviewed the original My PlayHome back in 2011 she described it’s creator Shimon Young as a genius, and I have to agree. After being  installed on our iPads for 2 1/2 years my kids still play with My PlayHome regularly, and there are very few apps that retain their appeal long term like that. So when I told my children there was a new My PlayHome app out, to say they were excited is a definite understatement.  My PlayHome brings the dolls house into the digital age with an entire interactive house and garden to play in, and My PlayHome Stores expands the play by adding four shops to explore and shop in. The app stars the same characters as the original app – there are 3 moms, 3 dads, 3 girls, 3 boys and 3 babies from a variety of ethnicities and you can mix and match them any way you like to create the family in the app. The twist that my children really love (and that I have not seen in any other app) is when the family go shopping in the stores they can walk home with their purchases, and if you own My PlayHome they can take their purchases from the stores back to their home.  Read the full review.

My PlayHome HospitalIn the fantastic tradition of the Playhome Software Company, comes the latest My Playhome app, My Playhome Hospital. Fully integrated with the other My Playhome apps (HomeSchool and Store), this new app allows the player to explore all aspects of the hospital experience. When the app is opened, the child is faced with the view of the hospital and an ambulance. No settings tab, no external options, and no parental tab. The only extra button to press is the Tidy the Hospital wheel, which is a great option. It allows the player to actually erase the previous designs created and start fresh. The home page ambulance can be driven to the school, home or store; linking the other apps (one of my favorite features).  An interactive app that familiarizes children with the workings and people in the hospital setting. Multiple different scenes with many opportunities to interact with the objects and characters on each page.

 

My PlayHome SchoolOne of the best loved toys of all time are doll houses. It brings hours upon hours of enjoyment to boys and girls alike, and it’s only limitation is a child’s imagination. My PlayHome Software Ltd has brought this enjoyment in the most portable form possible in My PlayHome, My PlayHome Stores, and very recently, My PlayHome School.  While my children and I enjoyed My PlayHome and My PlayHome Stores, My PlayHome School far exceeded our expectations. It has almost everything you could find in an elementary school: a receptionist desk, the principal’s office, a cafeteria, boys and girls restrooms, a science lab, an auditorium, a janitor’s closet, lockers, and of course, classrooms.  Read the full review.

 

 

Explaining difficult situations to kids or helping them understand something new is the premise of  Kid in the Storybook maker.  This app allows you to take photos of an upcoming event — be it a doctors appointment, new school or even a vacation and use your own words, photos and voice to describe it to the reader.  I loved using Bluebee Pals with my son when we recently did a social story about his new school.

Kid in Story Book Maker:... iconEnuma, designs assistance and play-based learning apps to empower kids to be independent learners. they have a special interest in producing apps for children with special needs.  LocoMotive Labs is located in Berkeley, California and was founded in 2012, its design team includes many of the team who produced the Injini child development suite. Kid in Story was designed to help parents and therapists easily produce their own stories for children. As children with Autism often respond well to social stories that include them, they wanted to include a way to easily add the child into the story.  Read our full review.

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

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

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

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

 

Dr. Panda Cafe

Dr. Panda Cafe

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

 

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

Dr. Panda Restaurant 2

Dr. Panda Restaurant 2

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

 

Dr. Panda Train

Dr. Panda Train

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

 

 

Dr. Panda Daycare

Dr. Panda Daycare

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

 

 

Dr. Panda Airport

Dr. Panda Airport

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

 

 

Dr. Panda Bus Driver

Dr. Panda Bus Driver

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

 

Dr. Panda Handyman

Dr. Panda Handyman

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

 

 

Dr. Panda Home

Dr. Panda Home

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

 

 

Dr. Panda Hospital icon

Dr. Panda Hospital

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

 

 

Dr. Panda Racers

Dr. Panda Racers

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

 

 

Dr. Panda Firefighters

Dr. Panda Firefighters

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

 

 

Dr. Panda Toy Cars Free

Dr. Panda Toy Cars Free

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

 

 

Dr. Panda Space

Dr. Panda Space

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

 

 

Dr. Panda Mailman

Dr. Panda Mailman

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

 

Dr. Panda Swimming Pool

Dr. Panda Swimming Pool

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

 

 

 

Dr. Panda's Ice Cream Truck

Dr. Panda’s Ice Cream Truck

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

 

 

 

Dr. Panda Supermarket

Dr. Panda Supermarket

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

 

 

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

 

 

Dr. Panda Beauty Salon

Dr. Panda Beauty Salon

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

 

 

Dr. Panda Cafe

Dr. Panda Cafe

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

 

Dr. Panda Art Class

Dr. Panda Art Class

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

 

 

Dr. Panda Hoopa City 2

Dr. Panda Hoopa City 2

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

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

Stanley Stand by Distil Union – Review

What we love…

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

What we’d love to see…

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

Summary

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

Our Rating

recommended-by-the-imums

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

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

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

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

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

Product details

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

 

 

NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.The links in this post may contain affiliate links where The iMums will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on our link, this helps to support the costs of running this site and we appreciate your support.

 

Alison, the American iMum is from Massachusetts. She lives there with her sons and husband. In their spare time, they enjoy playing outside, enjoying nature and of course testing apps and fantastic products on their devices. They have a variety of devices including an iPad, iPhone, and an iPod and is often found with a device! My older son loves technology and loves testing out the “latest and newest” apps and tech. I love sharing information about apps and products with others to help them make decisions without feeling overwhelmed with all of the choices.
 Zap Zap Math – K6 Math Games by Visual Math Interactive Sdn. Bhd. – Review

Zap Zap Math – K6 Math Games by Visual Math Interactive Sdn. Bhd. – Review



iPad Screenshot 2

What we love…

Fun easy to use leveled math app that encouraged my son to practice his math skills

What we’d love to see…

ability to test out of content your child may already be familiar with, ability to turn off the sound affects within the app

Summary

I am looking forward to continuing to use the app with my son for his remaining homework assignments before school lets out and during the summer for part of his screen time to ensure that he stays on track with his math skills.

Our Rating

Zap Zap Math - K6 Math GamesZap Zap Math – K6 Math Games by Visual Math Interactive Sdn. Bhd. is a universal app for iOS that focuses on #commoncore math skills.  The free app with gated in-app purchases (IAP) includes content for children from kindergarten through sixth grade to learn, master and be quizzed on math materials using games.  The app itself contains over 150 games and over 180 math subtopics and is common core aligned to the Ontario Curriculum for Mathematics.  For purposes of the review, I was given a full user ID and tested using second grade material since that is the grade my older son is in.   The premium subscription is $9.99 USD and is charged on an annual basis.  For those that purchase the full subscription there is also a web-based dashboard so you can check on your child’s progress.

Skills practiced within the app include:  Addition, Subtraction, Fractions, Ratios, Multiplication, Geometry, Coordinates, Measurements, Angles, Time.  Each “year” within the app is a full school year’s worth of content which is fantastic for home practice during homework time, for homeschooling families or simply to prevent the “summer slide”.

Within the app, there are four different skill areas to use: training, accuracy, speed, mission.  There is no spoken language contained within the app, but there are written directions as well as video tutorials to show you what to do for each of the mini games.  After completing problems correctly, the words “good job” or stars are flashed on the screen.  After taking the quiz, you are shown the results of your work as well as given a time bonus (if completed faster than allowed) to give you a total score.

  • Training – this is the area where your child learns the skill and gets a tutorial about how to do it.
  • Accuracy – your child uses the skill to answer questions faster and more accurately
  • Speed Building – the skill itself is learned and now the focus is on completing the task in a faster manner
  • Mission – this brings all the pieces together when you rocket into outer space with a fun mini game

One of the things we liked was that there was a tutorial for each type of game.  This made sure we understood how to play it because it included step by step directions and a sample problem for you to complete.  My son in particular enjoyed the hive game as he had to connect different equations together to complete the problem.  At the end of each mission, you see your accuracy and score as well as a number of “Z” coins which are in app currency to purchase items.  We also liked the wide variety of games and frankly the huge amount of free content available to users without purchasing a subscription.  This app really allowed you to “try before you buy”.

In terms of enhancements, it would be nice if there were a way to “test” out of content.  My son was familiar in some cases with the content and kept telling me how “boring” it was to have to relearn a skill that he already knew.   I also would like to be able to turn off the background sound within the app, my son found the ticking and various noises distracting so we ended up muting our device, but it would be nice if there was an easier way to do it.  I’d also like a collaboration space, my son’s math curriculum is very visually based and several times he actually wanted to use the number line or draw out the math problem.  You can see the number line in the training mode, but you can’t manipulate it which was something he requested.  I would also like to see a parent gated area that contains the rating as well as a way to see the dashboard from my device in a future release.

Zap Zap Math

Above is a screenshot of a sample dashboard that shows what skills each student is practicing along with accuracy, amount of time played, number of attempts.  You can also click through to get a more detailed report.

I am looking forward to continuing to use the app with my son for his remaining homework assignments before school lets out and during the summer for part of his screen time to ensure that he stays on track with his math skills.  This is a great app to try and see if it works for your family, the $9.99 in app purchase/annually seems affordable for the amount of content contained within the app.  There are external links, however, they are parental gated.

Zap Zap Math/a>

Zapzapmath : K-6 Math Games
Zapzapmath : K-6 Math Games
by Visual Math Interactive Sdn. Bhd.

Category: Education, Games, Educational, 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: 618 MB

$FREE

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

NOTE: A fee was received to expedite this review to the top of our waiting list but this payment has not influenced the objectivity of the review and all opinions have been offered honestly.The links in this post may contain affiliate links where The iMums will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on our link, this helps to support the costs of running this site and we appreciate your support.

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

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