Dr. Panda Plus: Home Designer – Review



Dr. Panda Plus: Home... iconDr. Panda Plus: Home Designer is a physical toy which includes cards as well as the ability to take a photograph of them and display them on your device.  Inside the box are 51 flashcards, 12 non-toxic erasable markers and a QR code which activates the app.  Cards inside the box include everything you would find in a home ranging from bathroom items (sink, tub, toilet, towel rack); bedroom (crib, loft bed, bunk beds, lights, flooring, characters, clothing for the characters,rocking chair, bookshelf,  ); kitchen (table, counters, plant, laundry basket, stove, cabinets and living room (couch, stereo system, chair.)  Note these are not all of the items – they are selected ones that I picked out.

What we love…

fun interactive app that showcases what an iPad can do using a physical toy and merging it with 3D design

What we’d love to see…

ability to save your creations on the camera roll, ability to move from house to house more easily, an outside space for kids to design and play in

Summary

Super fun app which brings Dr. Panda to life in physical play.  It can be played for long or short periods of time or longer periods of time.  Dr. Panda Plus Home Designer provides a fun augmented-reality like experience which helps kids be creative with art and design while helping to familiarize letters and words.

Our Rating

 

recommended-by-the-imums

To play, first you launch load the app on your device.  Next you scan the QR code which is located inside the Dr. Panda Plus box to activate the app.  Then you can take out the cards and start creating.  When playing with Dr. Panda Plus: Home Designer with my kids – I usually separated the cards into categories like bedroom, characters, clothing and then also by room to make it easier for my toddler to follow along.  Each card is double sided – one that kids can color in using the included dry erase markers and the other is already colored in.  Once the card is done, you simply hold it up and take a photo of it using the camera on your device.  The object is rendered into 3D and then you can place it within the home.  My younger son loved taking photos of all of the objects to make his dream house – there were lots of flooring changes along with multiple beds in the bedroom,  With my older son – he’s a third grader he picked out specific cards he wanted to color prior to even launching the app.  He then colored them in using the included markers and making his own designs.  He was a bit more thoughtful in how he organized the house making a kitchen, bathroom, living room and bedroom as well as designing all the clothes for the various characters.  To wipe off the cards we used a baby wipe although any soft cloth will work.  A few times, my older son didn’t want to erase his creation so it did take a bit more “scrubbing” to get it off.  Each house has four rooms – and you can choose where you want the rooms to be placed.  When you take a photo the image can be lined up and then it “pops” into 3D mode for placing.  When you take the photo it also brings out letters which encourage kids to spell the name of the object they are creating – kids can choose to bypass this.  If you accidentally take a photo of an item or too many you can simply place it in the recycle bin.

I loved how easy this app and game were to use.  No rules no fuss!  I could play one way with my younger son and then with my older son he could be independent and color in his own cards to create the room and design it as he wished.  We could use the pre-designed cards or use the cards that we colored on/decorated and play.  I found it was easiest to scan things in bunches to complete one room at a time just to make it more fun.  My kids also enjoyed making multiple houses – they made one for Dr. Panda, another for Tao and a third for Meimi junior.  The also created a bunch of cute clothes for each character to wear.  In addition – my older son had a larger set of dry erase markers that he was able to use with the cards so he had more color choices.  The box holds the game and markers making it easy to keep everything together.  The cards are made of a sturdy cardboard that has stood up to repeated uses and did not bend despite the best efforts of my younger son.  The game can be used across multiple devices which was great as it meant my older son could play on his own iPad while my younger son and I could use a different iPad.

In terms of improvements – it would be neat if you could go from house to house within the app rather than having to open each house separately.  In addition, it would be nice if there were a “holding area” for you to scan your cards and that way you could wipe them off and make a different design without losing the first design.  We tried a few different ways to do this without success.  It would also be nice if there were a way to “back up” the QR code just in case something happened to the box.  It might also be fun to include mini games within the app from the various Dr. Panda titles to provide different activities for kids to do.

Dr. Panda Plus Home Designer provides a fun augmented-reality like experience which helps kids be creative with art and design while helping to familiarize letters and words.  My kids have spent hours playing with the app and each time they create a new house or go into play it’s a fun new experience.  I encourage them to narrate and tell me what they are doing and making during the process which also helps familiarize them with various names of objects.

Dr. Panda Plus Home Designer is available on Amazon for $39.99.

Dr. Panda Plus: Home Designer
Dr. Panda Plus: Home Designer
by Dr. Panda Ltd

Category: Education
Requirements: Compatible with iPad2Wifi-iPad2Wifi, iPad23G-iPad23G, iPhone4S-iPhone4S, iPadThirdGen-iPadThirdGen, iPadThirdGen4G-iPadThirdGen4G, iPhone5-iPhone5, iPodTouchFifthGen-iPodTouchFifthGen, iPadFourthGen-iPadFourthGen, iPadFourthGen4G-iPadFourthGen4G, iPadMini-iPadMini, iPadMini4G-iPadMini4G, iPhone5c-iPhone5c, iPhone5s-iPhone5s, iPadAir-iPadAir, iPadAirCellular-iPadAirCellular, iPadMiniRetina-iPadMiniRetina, iPadMiniRetinaCellular-iPadMiniRetinaCellular, iPhone6-iPhone6, iPhone6Plus-iPhone6Plus, iPadAir2-iPadAir2, iPadAir2Cellular-iPadAir2Cellular, iPadMini3-iPadMini3, iPadMini3Cellular-iPadMini3Cellular, iPodTouchSixthGen-iPodTouchSixthGen, iPhone6s-iPhone6s, iPhone6sPlus-iPhone6sPlus, iPadMini4-iPadMini4, iPadMini4Cellular-iPadMini4Cellular, iPadPro-iPadPro, iPadProCellular-iPadProCellular, iPadPro97-iPadPro97, iPadPro97Cellular-iPadPro97Cellular, iPhoneSE-iPhoneSE, iPhone7-iPhone7, iPhone7Plus-iPhone7Plus, iPad611-iPad611, iPad612-iPad612, iPad71-iPad71, iPad72-iPad72, iPad73-iPad73, iPad74-iPad74, iPhone8-iPhone8, iPhone8Plus-iPhone8Plus, iPhoneX-iPhoneX
Size: 206.26 MB

$FREE

Screenshots
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Screenshots for iPad
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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 two sons and husband. In their spare time, they enjoy playing outside, enjoying nature and of course testing apps and fantastic products on their devices. 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.

We ARGH Pirates by Avokiddo Review & Giveaway


What we love…

beautiful illustrations, motley crew of characters in a fun pirate themed app with eight levels of adventure.

What we’d love to see…

removal of the pop up asking you to rate the app, an “easy mode” for younger kids who may get frustrated in some levels having to multi-task like the Bridge of Screams and Octopus and Battle Ship

Summary

Perfect for Pirate Day or any day – this app from Avokiddo delivers.  My son had hours of fun solving the adventures and pretending to be a pirate.  Argh Matey!

Our Rating

We ARGH Pirates by Avokiddo is an app for iOS and Android featuring Captain Rose and his crew.  The app features a cast of four who are searching for a adventure on the sea.  The app involves problem solving via puzzles, battle with sea monsters and digging for burred treasure.  Each of the eight levels has a different challenge to solve and a gem to find in order to advance to the next level.  Skills practiced within the app include fine motor, problem solving including planning ahead and solving each of the puzzles as well as being prepared for the unexpected.  The crew includes: Captain Rose, Claire ‘Long Hair’, Ruprecht ‘The Shovel’ and Zany Granny.  During each of the levels a specific task is required in order to advance to the next level.

Level 1: Catch the fish and magical sea bottle to move to the next level

Level 2: Run with Captain Rose and Ruprecht ‘The Shovel’ to solve puzzles along the way.  There are a variety of X marks the spot as well as challenges to solve including getting a slingshot and a sword within this level.

Level 3: It’s time to ride the high seas with a pirate ship.  You must jump over rocks and in some cases capture cannon balls to shoot through rocks which are too tall to jump over

Level  4: The lost totem, Claire and Ruprecht use the slingshot to shoot down coconuts and put the various characters to sleep and outwitting themwhile attempting to capture the jewel

Level 5: Bridge of Screams, move each of the characters across a bridge while evading the crows flying using only a red balloon!  Use your finger to move up or down to avoid the crows

Level 6: It’s the Volcano of 1,000 caves where you go through various volcano’s and move up within the volcano.  Those caves are tricky and if you go through the wrong cave you can go upwards or downwards.

Level 7:It’s time to battle the Octopus using the battle ship – what seems to start as a sedate level similar to level 3 requires jumping over rocks, capturing cannon balls then adds in a crazy Octopus which you get rid of by having Ruprecht throw buckets at.

Level 8: This level brings you to the Cave of Treasures where you dig up one last treasure chest before putting your gems to work.  This was the hardest level for my son who had trouble following the gem song which required patterning and paying attention to move forward

This is a beautifully illustrated app with top notch illustrations and a fun mystery pirate theme.  It kept my son entertained for hours as he sailed the ship and captured the required items to move on to the next level.  As a mom, I liked that it just wasn’t an app he could run through quickly but one that required thinking and problem solving to move on to the next level.  Language in the app was at a minimum which meant that if you wanted to you could mute the various sounds within the app.  I loved all the skills that were practiced in a fun way that didn’t make my kids think that they were learning.
In terms of improvements, I wish there was an “easy mode” option for younger players.  My son got frustrated a few times with various levels which required multiple interactions in the same level such as jumping the ship, catching the cannon ball and making sure you shot down the rock all in one fell swoop.  In addition, I wish you could turn off the pop up asking you to rate the app.  It is protected by the parental gate – but it was a but frustrating for my son who saw it and had to repeat the level.

Perfect for Pirate Day or any day – this app from Avokiddo delivers.  My son had hours of fun solving the adventures and pretending to be a pirate.  Argh Matey! There are no third party ads and the app is COPPA Compliant.  External content is parental gate protected. Be sure to check out the other great Avokiddo apps for kids of all ages!

We ARGH Pirates
We ARGH Pirates
by AVOKIDDO

Category: Entertainment, Family, Adventure, Games
Requirements: Compatible with iPad2Wifi-iPad2Wifi, iPad23G-iPad23G, iPhone4S-iPhone4S, iPadThirdGen-iPadThirdGen, iPadThirdGen4G-iPadThirdGen4G, iPhone5-iPhone5, iPodTouchFifthGen-iPodTouchFifthGen, iPadFourthGen-iPadFourthGen, iPadFourthGen4G-iPadFourthGen4G, iPadMini-iPadMini, iPadMini4G-iPadMini4G, iPhone5c-iPhone5c, iPhone5s-iPhone5s, iPadAir-iPadAir, iPadAirCellular-iPadAirCellular, iPadMiniRetina-iPadMiniRetina, iPadMiniRetinaCellular-iPadMiniRetinaCellular, iPhone6-iPhone6, iPhone6Plus-iPhone6Plus, iPadAir2-iPadAir2, iPadAir2Cellular-iPadAir2Cellular, iPadMini3-iPadMini3, iPadMini3Cellular-iPadMini3Cellular, iPodTouchSixthGen-iPodTouchSixthGen, iPhone6s-iPhone6s, iPhone6sPlus-iPhone6sPlus, iPadMini4-iPadMini4, iPadMini4Cellular-iPadMini4Cellular, iPadPro-iPadPro, iPadProCellular-iPadProCellular, iPadPro97-iPadPro97, iPadPro97Cellular-iPadPro97Cellular, iPhoneSE-iPhoneSE, iPhone7-iPhone7, iPhone7Plus-iPhone7Plus, iPad611-iPad611, iPad612-iPad612, iPad71-iPad71, iPad72-iPad72, iPad73-iPad73, iPad74-iPad74, iPhone8-iPhone8, iPhone8Plus-iPhone8Plus, iPhoneX-iPhoneX
Size: 195.21 MB

$3.99USD

Screenshots
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Screenshots for iPad
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Google Play

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

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Alison, the American iMum is from Massachusetts. She lives there with her two sons and husband. In their spare time, they enjoy playing outside, enjoying nature and of course testing apps and fantastic products on their devices. 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.

Nampa Holiday by Nampa Design AB – Review


What we love…

fun app with no rules with a variety of travelling related mini games and no rules just fun!

What we’d love to see…

ability to toss the beach ball and personalize all the vehicles

Summary

Each of the mini games was fun – especially once you made it to the beach on your selected mode of transportation!  Don’t forget the sunscreen!

Our Rating

Nampa Holiday Nampa Holiday by Nampa Design is a universal app for iOS and Android that features a variety of transportation to go on holiday or vacation.  The app starts with the user selecting one of three modes of transportation, an airplane, a bus or train.  Once you choose your mode of transportation – it’s time for the fun to start.  With the airplane you start at the airport where you throttle up to take off – once in the sky watch out for the clouds!  There can be rain, fun objects coming out of them like a parachute or even lightening bolts!  Steering the airplane is done via a finger – and there is a slide that allows you to control how fast or slow you want to move through the air.  Inside the airplane you can also tap on the characters as you whiz through the sky.  If you choose the bus you are brought to a screen where you can choose to paint your bus or simply decorate it with flowers, stars or paint.  Then you are ready to get on the road – you drive the bus using controls at the bottom of the screen and then make strategic stops to pick up your passengers and their luggage.  As you go along you can stop and get fuel (my kids liked the heart fuel which came out of the tailpipe.  With the train you get to choose which way the train goes via a series of junctions and even get to blast the train horn.   My kids loved making the train go through the tunnels and seeing the countryside.  The games are fun interactive and contain nothing scary for younger kids.

This app can be used to practice fine motor – dragging and dropping, language to describe what you are seeing in the scene.  This is a fun app for toddlers and preschoolers and can help pass the time in the car to avoid the dreaded “are we there yet” – as I know many parents can identify with!

Once you reach your destination it’s time to disco!  My kids loved the magical disco ball and then picking the adventure.  Putting on sunscreen, hats and bathing suits was the first game once you got to the beach. Building sandcastles was one of my kids favorite parts especially the molded sand you pulled from buckets.  They built their sandcastle creations – with the crab scuttling along in the background and then decorated them with flags, jewels, shells and stones.  The next mini game involved floating and popping the beach balls.  The banana ride was fun too where three characters sat on the banana and caught the jumps as they flew through the air.  Once the reached the end it was disco time again.   My kids also loved the tube maze where you grabbed a character and dropped them in the tubes to come down to the bottom of the maze.  You had to watch because sometimes they got stuck or even went through the maze twice!  We had fun with this one and I had my kids help me guess where the character might come out.  We also tried the same character over and over to see if they were always going to go the same way – which they did not.

I liked the simplicity of the app – and that my younger son was engaged with it.  He could pick his favorite vehicle and be off for fun!  There is no speech or text for kids to read which means it’s fun with no rules!

In terms of enhancements, I’d love to see a “toss the beach ball” game instead of popping the beach ball.  Although my kids enjoyed it – and creating the spinning characters it was a bit hard for them to complete the first few times.  I’d also like to see the ability to personalize the train and the airplane like we did with the bus.

The app provided hours of entertainment for my kids — especially my toddler who would play for short moments while I needed to attend to other tasks. There are no ads or in app purchases contained within the app.   Each of the mini games was fun – especially once you made it to the beach!  I also love how it made my toddler remind me not to forget to sunscreen him!



Nampa Holiday Nampa Holiday by Nampa Design AB

Price: $2.99 USD

Here it is, the app that makes the travel distances feel shorter, rainy days sunnier and applying sun lotion one of the best parts of the vacation! And all this without ads or in-app purchases.

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

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Alison, the American iMum is from Massachusetts. She lives there with her two sons and husband. In their spare time, they enjoy playing outside, enjoying nature and of course testing apps and fantastic products on their devices. 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: 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 two sons and husband. In their spare time, they enjoy playing outside, enjoying nature and of course testing apps and fantastic products on their devices. 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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