Piiig Forest Explorer: Natural Science for Kids by Piiig Inc. – Review

Piiig Forest Explorer: Natural Science for Kids by Piiig Inc. – Review



iPad Screenshot 3

What we love…

Beautiful graphics, fun and simple with easily digestible trivia for the very young

What we’d love to see…

audio replay button, completed puzzle interactivity, home button, volume settings

Summary

A excellent primary science app introducing children to  forest animals and their habitats

Our Rating

 

Piiig Forest Explorer:... iconForest Explorer by Piiig Inc., developers of award winning Piiig Labs, is an app designed to introduce little ones to the few forest animals. It is an early science app, best suited for children up to first grade, and can be played in 8 different languages: English, French, Japanese, German, Swedish, Russian, and Chinese.  Read our review of one of the other apps in the story, Piiig Labs.

The game begins with a chipmunk peacefully sleeping inside its burrow. When you tap on the chipmunk it awakens and scampers up, revealing that the opening to its burrow is a hole in a tree stump. Now it’s time to explore the forest to search for food and meet some new friends. Guide the chipmunk by tapping the area on the screen you want it to go to.

On the top left of the screen, you will see a grayed-out puzzle of a chipmunk. Clicking on it will reveal 12 animal silhouettes. They are of a chipmunk, a beaver, a deer, a frog, a rabbit, a turtle, a woodpecker, two bees, a blue bird, a mole, a skunk, and a spider. All these animals, except the chipmunk, are hidden in the forest. When you find an animal, its silhouette is replaced by a full color icon of the animal, and a puzzle featuring it is unlocked. As for the chipmunk, you have to figure out what special action it needs to perform to unlock its icon and puzzle.

The puzzle consists of 16 large pieces. The pieces are revealed one at a time, and the game will guide you where to put the very first piece. Subsequent pieces revealed will always connect with one that is already placed on the puzzle board. You have 6 seconds to figure out where to place the new piece before the app tells you exactly where to put it. After all the pieces have been placed, the puzzle comes to life with a cute little animation. The animal’s name is shown in colorful letters, and an audio plays that tells you something interesting about that animal. For example, you will learn that frogs drink water through their skin and lay eggs that hatch into tadpoles underwater.

Guiding the chipmunk around is simple and a lot of fun. You can direct it to different objects to see if it will interact with it. It will climb trees, hop on rocks, run inside hollow tree trunks, eat berries, and more. You may also find something different happening in a scene that you have visited before. For example, the deer family can either be sleeping or grazing when you come upon them.

Would I recommend this app?  Absolutely!  It does a fantastic job of introducing children to forest animals and their habitats.  If you have young children, this is definitely worth checking out.

Forest Explorer is excellent for little ones. They are a few thing that I feel would make it even better. First, I think that there should be a replay button so that children can hear the animal trivia again if they want to without having to exit the puzzle and solve it all over again. Second, I think it would be great if the completed puzzle would include some interactivity to enhance learning. Children would benefit from hearing and seeing the name of the objects they tap on. On the frog puzzle, for example, children should be able to tap on the frogs, tadpoles, water/pond, and lily pads. Third, I would like a home button to return to the home screen, so that parents can access the settings without having to exit or close the game completely. Finally, the settings should also include a volume control or toggle switch for the background music and audio. I found that the background music was sometimes too loud, overpowering or competing with the animal trivia audio, which is more important for children to hear and listen to.

A excellent primary science app introducing children to  forest animals and their habitats.



Piiig Forest Explorer: Natural Science for Kids Piiig Forest Explorer: Natural Science for Kids by Piiig Inc.

Price: $2.99 USD

*Please check before downloading* --> NOT compatible with iPhone 3G/3GS, iPhone 4/4S, iPad (1st generation), iPad 2, iPad Mini (1st generation) & iPod touch (1st to 5th generation).

Did you know.

Fides and her husband have been married for 16 years. They homeschool their 4 children: two amazing sons and two beautiful daughters. Fides likes to walk and jog outdoors everyday and has as very difficult time resisting a slice of paradise cake.
 My Cat at Home in the Wild by Jennifer Rogala- Review and Giveaway

My Cat at Home in the Wild by Jennifer Rogala- Review and Giveaway



iPad Screenshot 1

What we love…

Hand painted illustrations, how the book shows the parallels between domestic and wild cat behavior.

What we’d love to see…

Word highlighting as it is read, options to turn off narration and background music

Summary

This book app featuring a house cat called Kingsley and a variety of wild felines will be a hit with young animal lovers. The story does not have any interactivity but does feature an interactive game, puzzles and an opportunity to learn more about wild cats.

Our Rating

My Cat At Home In The Wild My Cat at Home in the Wild is the first book app from children’s author Jennifer Rogala and is based on her print book of the same name. It is accompanied by hand painted illustrations from artist Dwight Kirkland. As well as the story the book also includes some extras-  a game, jigsaw puzzles, and information about big cats. The story does not contain any interactive elements- it is more like an eBook, all the interactive elements are in the extras. The story is narrated, there is no “read by myself” option. I really like the background music – it has a slow drumbeat and haunting feel, that reminds me of Native American music. The narration and music can not be switched off without muting the iPad.

The story introduces the reader to a grey tabby named Kingsley. Kingsley is an indoor city cat, but her owner imagines that she dreams of being in the forest, jungle or savannah like her wild cousins. The story tells us not only about Kingsley’s daily life, activities and quirks but also about wild cats who do similar things. e.g. “She climbs the curtains, like a snow leopard climbing the icy mountains of Asia.” At the start of the book each page is accompanied by a painting of Kingsley, as the story progresses many of the illustrations are split screen showing both Kingsley and one of her wild cousins behaving similarly.

iPad Screenshot 2

I liked the parallels the book draws between wild and domestic cats, the peaceful background music and the hand painted illustrations. I would like to see some options added to support emerging readers- word highlighting as it is read and ability to switch off the narration. I also felt that the narration seemed rushed at times, so I’d like it read at a sightly more relaxed pace. Much as I like the background music it would be good to be able to lower it or switch it off for children who find background music distracting.

Extras

In the story children are introduced to a whole range of wild felines including familiar ones and others that may be new to them. If their interest is piqued they can learn more in the “Big Cats” section. This has a picture, information and sound recording for eight types of wild cats featured in the book: lions, tigers, leopards, jaguars, cheetahs, pumas, servals and caracals.

iPad Screenshot 4

Game

The reader is shown a picture of Kingsley from the book and challenged to find the matching picture of a wild cat doing a similar action. This is a fun activity and also acts to reinforce what the reader has learned in the story –  the names of the wild cats and their behavior. There are 15 pictures to match.

iPad Screenshot 3

Puzzles

Each of the 15 pictures can also be enjoyed as a 32 piece puzzle. The pieces automatically are in the correct orientation and click into place when put in the right spot. This is a fun extra but it would be nice to see an option to vary the number of pieces so that it can be enjoyed by a wider age range, as it may be hard for some of the youngest readers.

iPad Screenshot 5

Summary

My Cat at Home in the Wild is designed for children from 4-8 years old. I think it will appeal most to 3-6 year olds, but slightly older animal lovers will also enjoy it. It features Kingsley, a house cat, and a variety of wild felines, and will be a hit with young animal lovers. It features beautiful hand painted illustrations and a haunting background music track. I like how the book shows the parallels between domestic and wild cat behavior. The story does not have any interactivity but does feature an interactive game, puzzles and an opportunity to learn more about wild cats. It would be nice to see some features added to support emerging readers.

 

iTunes Link: My Cat At Home In The Wild – Jennifer Rogala

My Cat At Home In The Wild My Cat At Home In The Wild by Jennifer Rogala

Price: $0.99 USD

Four Stars from TheiMum.com and Digital-Storytime.com. “Will be a hit with young readers... the book shows the parallels between domestic and wild cat behavior.”

From igamemom.com “It is .

Giveaway

If you would like to win a promo code for this app, please enter via the widget below. Winners will be emailed and must redeem their code within 48 hours to claim their prize. This giveaway is open to everyone, worldwide, and an iTunes account is required to claim the prize. Please ensure you have read and understand our Terms & Conditions. Good luck!

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Code Drop March 3oth

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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.

Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).
 Math Tales – The Jungle: Nursery rhymes and math games for kids by Marshmallow Games – Review

Math Tales – The Jungle: Nursery rhymes and math games for kids by Marshmallow Games – Review



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Math Tales – The Jungle: Nursery rhymes and math games for kids by Marshmallow Games is a delightful animal story book which cleverly incorporates different types of math exercises to show how math can be found everywhere, even in the jungle.

What we love…

Age-appropriate math activities within a story.

What we’d love to see…

Words highlighted in sync with the narration to encourage read along.

Summary

A 2-in-1 math and rhyming story book app, double the learning, double the fun!

Our Rating

In the story, the jungle animals are given various tasks to prepare a party to celebrate their elephant friend’s escape from the circus. These tasks are actually math activities involving logical sequence, shape/size/number sequence, visual and spatial perception, counting, comparison of quantities, puzzles, simple addition and subtraction.

There are altogether 9 chapters in the story, each with a different math activity. On the first reading, your child has to complete the math questions at the end of each chapter in order to unlock the next. However, upon unlocking all the chapters, it is difficult to know which is the next chapter as readers are automatically brought to the chapter menu. An option to advance to the next chapter or return to the chapter menu at the end of each chapter would be ideal here.

The math questions are different each time they are replayed. With sufficient practice, the learning goals that have been achieved will be highlighted in your child’s progress found in the protected Parent’s Area. Each learning goal is also explained here.

What appealed to me most in this app is how the math activities are made meaningful for the kids to do. For example, instead of completing a random logical sequence game, kids are actually trying to decorate the jungle with a festoon that follows a particular sequence. To position the elephant ballerinas for a performance, kids have to arrange them according to their size. I also like that the addition questions involved adding different types of objects together instead of the usual task of adding the same type of objects.

Math Tales – The Jungle could be your preschooler’s first experience with a chapter book and one that is told in rhymes. It would be a refreshing change for our young learners. Completing fun math activities in between chapters also breaks the monotony and keeps them engaged. My son loved the encouraging comments on how well he was doing and he enjoyed the story just as much as the math activities.

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Even though the math games are the highlights here, the story itself offers great learning opportunities as well. I especially like the message for children to reflect and be good at the end of the story. Educational and meaningful, Math Tales – The Jungle: Nursery rhymes and math games for kids gives your child more learning while they are having fun.

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Math Tales – The Jungle: Nursery rhymes and math games for kids

Math Tales - The Jungle: Rhymes and maths for kids Math Tales - The Jungle: Rhymes and maths for kids by Marshmallow Games
Category: Education, Educational, Games, Family
Requirements: Compatible with iPad2Wifi-iPad2Wifi, iPad23G-iPad23G, iPhone4S-iPhone4S, iPadThirdGen-iPadThirdGen, iPadThirdGen4G-iPadThirdGen4G, iPhone5-iPhone5, iPodTouchFifthGen-iPodTouchFifthGen, iPadFourthGen-iPadFourthGen, iPadFourthGen4G-iPadFourthGen4G, iPadMini-iPadMini, iPadMini4G-iPadMini4G, iPhone5c-iPhone5c, iPhone5s-iPhone5s, iPadAir-iPadAir, iPadAirCellular-iPadAirCellular, iPadMiniRetina-iPadMiniRetina, iPadMiniRetinaCellular-iPadMiniRetinaCellular, iPhone6-iPhone6, iPhone6Plus-iPhone6Plus, iPadAir2-iPadAir2, iPadAir2Cellular-iPadAir2Cellular, iPadMini3-iPadMini3, iPadMini3Cellular-iPadMini3Cellular, iPodTouchSixthGen-iPodTouchSixthGen, iPhone6s-iPhone6s, iPhone6sPlus-iPhone6sPlus, iPadMini4-iPadMini4, iPadMini4Cellular-iPadMini4Cellular, iPadPro-iPadPro, iPadProCellular-iPadProCellular, iPadPro97-iPadPro97, iPadPro97Cellular-iPadPro97Cellular, iPhoneSE-iPhoneSE, iPhone7-iPhone7, iPhone7Plus-iPhone7Plus, iPad611-iPad611, iPad612-iPad612, iPad71-iPad71, iPad72-iPad72, iPad73-iPad73, iPad74-iPad74
Size: 170.39 MB

$2.99USD

 

 

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.

Grace was working in the fields of early childhood education and staff training before quitting to attend to her 4 children full time. She and her family live in Singapore, which is well known for her highly competitive education system.
 Kekotukos Origins – Review

Kekotukos Origins – Review



Kekotukos Origins 

What we love…

Colorful engaging characters, videos tying games together, good selection of mini- games

What we’d love to see…

Written parents section talking about the characters, explaining games and scoring; multiple player profiles

Summary

Kekotukos Origins is a promising start to a new series for toddlers, preschoolers and Kindergarten kids. I will be interested to see more in the series. It works on valuable skills such as visual perception, memory, fine motor and problem solving in a fun, playful way with cute colorful characters

Our Rating

Kekotukos: OriginsKekotukos Origins is the first of a new series of children’s apps starring a little boy named Keko and the Tukos who are friendly aliens from another planet. The app is designed for children 2-6 years old and contains 12 mini games. It is totally kid friendly with no adverts, in app purchases or external links. The app contains no spoken or written language so can be enjoyed by kids of any nationality. The app contains a lively “alien” themed background music and the volume of the music and sound effects can be adjusted or turned off in settings.

Each of the mini games is accompanied by a short animated video which together tell a story about the Tukos visiting Earth and being shown around and introduced to our customs by Keko.The Tukos are cute colorful creatures, each one its own unique shape and color. In the first video the Tukos are on their home planet doing every day activities such as, eating, sleeping and playing.

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The child can play the games in order or pick and choose the games they want to play. The videos play every time they play a game but they can press a skip button if they don’t want to watch. The mini-games work on skills such as memory, shape matching, hand-eye co-ordination and fine motor skills. The games adapt their difficulty level depending on how the child is doing and parents can view their progress in the reports section.

The Games

iPad Screenshot 2

There are 4 mini games that work on fine motor skills. In a dot-to-dot style game they fly the Tukon spaceship from star to star to map out constellations.The 2nd game of this group has Keko playing his electric guitar and the player needs to play along on the piano by tapping the marked keys. I found this game a little disappointing as tapping the correct key makes no sound, it would be nice for the player to hear themselves playing along.  A fun endless runner style game (that does end!) has Keko out for a run with the Tukos, there are lots of obstacles in his path and the player has to help him avoid them by jumping. In the final mini- game players have to fly the Tukon spaceship through space collecting colored sparkles to fill their tank before they run out of time but they must watch out for the meteors- if they get hit the spacecraft is temporarily disabled and unable to collect sparkles.

iPad Screenshot 4

4 mini-games work on visual perception skills. In a shape matching game players help Keko dress the Tukos up by matching the outline of an item of clothing or accessory to the real object. In another game the Tukons are playing hide and seek with Keko and the player must find where each one is hiding, their hiding place will wiggle to give a clue.  Players must think ahead when Keko is out for a walk by choosing the right direction at a series of intersections so he can reach his destination. My favorite game is a spot the difference style game with blueprints. Keko has 2 blueprints which each show a circuit diagram, the player has to tap each spot on the diagram that is different until the 2 match.

iPad Screenshot 3

In the first of the games to work on memory and problem solving a Tukos hides in a box which is shuffled with 2 other boxes in the style of the classic 3 cups game, the player has to help Keko find the right box and uncover his Tukon friend. In another game the Tukos are hiding behind trees in a forest and the player must remember which tree hides a particular Tukos. Keko is making lunch for the Tukos in another game and the player must remember increasingly complex food orders. In a memory match game, cards with matching symbols appear on the spaceship dashboard, and the player must find the match. This starts with only 4 cards but the number increases over time.

Overall Impressions

Kekotukos Origins is a promising start to a new series for toddlers, preschoolers and Kindergarten kids and I will be interested to see more in the series. It works on valuable skills such as visual perception, memory, fine motor and problem solving in a fun, playful way.  It has a nice variety of mini- games that have replay value and adjust to the child’s level. The videos link the games into a story and the children can enjoy playing them as a story, or play them sandbox style in any order they wish. The characters are cute colorful and engaging. I think the app for the children works well without any language but I would like to see some written information in the parents section explaining more about the games, skills worked on and explaining how progress is measured. As the games do measure progress and adapt to the individual I would like to see multiple player profiles so that it would work well for families with more than one child using it.

iTunes Link

Kekotukos: Origins Kekotukos: Origins by Kekotukos

Price: $2.99 USD

Leave planet Tukon with the Tukos, travel to Earth, and meet Keko! Go on a fun adventure with these charming aliens during their first visit. Help Keko teach them how to live here and go with them on .

 

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.

Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).

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