Dr. Panda Town: Mall from Dr. Panda Games – Review


What we love…

fun interactive mall that has a number of great activities for kids to play ranging from hair, dress up, cinema, food court and more!  Lots of great role play and language activities to describe the scenes.

What we’d love to see…

ability to add photos in the app to the camera roll, also more “boy” themed dress up and characters like a security/police officer

Summary

Overall, this is a super fun addition to the Dr. Panda suite of apps.  There are lots of new adventures to play with Dr. Panda friends and my kids spent hours inside the mall.

Our Rating

Get ready to shop until you drop!  Dr. Panda Town Mall the newest app from Dr. Panda Games is a free app with IAP for the full game.  Inside the mall there are six different locations to visit on three floors including a cinema, pet store, food court, hair salon, clothing store, toy store and even a place to snap a selfie!  This app features the traditional Dr. Panda characters and now adds some fun children to the mix.  Game play is simple – open ended role play which allows your child to go through the mall picking and choosing from their favorite activities with no rules – just fun!  There are sixteen different characters you can choose from within the app which means everyone has a chance for fun!  You can even open and close the shops by a simple tap.  You can read more reviews of previous Dr. Panda apps here.  I also helped my son narrate as he played which let us practice language, naming items and more!

Inside each of the shops at Dr. Panda Mall there are different activities that you can do and when you have finished you can use Dr. Panda money from the ATM to pay for your services, a crane game to try to get a favorite toy (how i wish the real life one was this easy!), a bouncing car, an interactive fountain and lots of fun elements to tap and touch!  There are also a wide variety of interactive elements including wrapped gifts (and the ability to wrap you own), a restroom and more!

Hair Salon: Activities in the hair salon include: styling hair, coloring your hair, washing your hair, getting a quick snip/.style, having a drink and reading a magazine.

Cinema: Buy your ticket and head into for a show.  The cinema features three different movies and a variety of activities including: getting a drink, snacks at the concession stand, picking up your 3D glasses and even trying on fun costumes while you wait for the movie to start!

Food Court: Hungry for a snack?  Simply hop on the escalator up to floor three and you can get your character their favorite snack.  Items range from coffee/juice to muffins, rolls, sandwiches, smoothies and more.  My younger son loved making his own smoothie.

Pet Store: Head inside the pet store to play with a variety of animals including a hamster, kittens and lizards.  You can also buy pet food, carriers for your pet, accessories and more!  A favorite of my son was dressing up the animals in the pet shop.

Selfie Snap: No day at the mall is complete without photos.  Gather your favorite characters, pets and accessories for a quick photo which you can then post on the photo board.

Costume/Clothing Shop: Head inside and gather your favorite outfits and costumes for dress up!  Head inside the dressing room for a quick change for your next destination!

Toy Shop: This is a toy store of any children’s dreams – it features a flying rocket, airplane, ring stack, dinosaur and many more toys!  As a parent I personally loved the train.  My kids also loved the various dress up options, bouncing balls and musical instruments.Having the performance on stage was a bonus – they especially liked opening and closing the curtains.

I loved the open ended play of this app.  My son could spend as much or as little time on each activity as he wanted to.  He enjoyed each of the shops and the various games and interactions within.  I noticed that each time we played – he would often go back to the hair salon and cinema before heading up to the food court for a snack and a selfie!  He also enjoyed the pretend play with various dress up objects and we pretended that we were a variety of Dr. Panda characters as well as a Mom and a child heading to the mall.  As a parent I liked the diversity of the characters and variety of dress up clothes.  Navigation within the app is straightforward and you can always go to a map to start over in a new clean mall.   Inside the parental gate there is the ability to turn on/off sounds and background music as well as promotions.

My son wanted to be able to save the photos to our camera roll – but right now they are just saved within the app and when the board gets full there is no way to save your favorites.  My son also asked for additional dress up options like a construction outfit, security/police and a firefighter.  My older son asked for a toy building where he could construct his own stuffed animal – we found lots of clothes but he couldn’t make his own animal.

Overall, this is a super fun addition to the Dr. Panda suite of apps.  There are lots of new adventures to play with Dr. Panda friends and my kids spent hours inside the mall.  A great new addition to your Dr. Panda library.  This app is free with in-app purchases for the various stores/games within the app.  In app purchases range from $0.99 – $4.99 for all the shops and add ons.


Dr. Panda Town: Mall Dr. Panda Town: Mall by Dr. Panda Ltd

Price: $FREE

Go on a fun-filled shopping spree in Dr. Panda Town: Mall! With so many shops and other things to discover, there are endless stories to be told and adventures to be had.

EXPLORE THE MALL
Explore.

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.

 

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.


Early Lingo Spanish Language Learning for Kids-Review



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What we love…

Uses total immersion method of language learning. Has real life video clips of kids, variety of activities and lessons build on previous ones

Cons …

Can only use in landscape orientation, would like to be able to use in portrait also. Buying all parts of the program can be pricey

Summary

Early Lingo Spanish is a well made program to introduce Spanish to children from 3-9 years old . It uses total immersion with video clips, interactive workbooks and flashcards

Our Rating

Early Lingo Spanish Language Learning for Kids Early Lingo is a company that produces language learning educational products for children. They have produced a series of language learning DVDs since 2011 and now have their programs available via iOS apps. They currently have programs available in Spanish, French, German,  Italian, Mandarin and English.  We are reviewing the Early Lingo Spanish Language Learning for kids app. It is free to download and contains in-app purchases to unlock content. Jojo the monkey and Lulu the bird are the children’s guides throughout the app. In the app there are 6 different adventures, each one targeting different vocabulary topics. Each lesson builds upon the last and reinforces previous activities. When they complete an adventure it unlocks a corresponding game.

 

The app uses the Total Immersion Method i.e. there is no translation. It is suitable for children from approximately 3-9 years old. In an Immersion Program kids learn the language much the same way as we learn to speak our native tongue – by seeing the language in action by native speakers. My oldest son attended a Spanish Immersion Elementary School for 6 years, and I really think the immersion model is the best way for children to learn a second language. He started Kindergarten knowing no Spanish at all and rapidly learned to understand, speak, read and write in his new language. He was taught 100% in Spanish from the first day, half of his classmates were native Spanish speakers and half native English speakers, the English speaking kids learnt what to do by watching the Spanish speaking kids. The Early Lingo app works on the same principle, it includes videos and learning activities and throughout the app the only language spoken is Spanish.

 

The Early Lingo Spanish app is free to download for a limited amount of content, and then you can choose to buy the six adventures individually, or as a bundle. An adventure consists of a series of video clips with learning activities in between the clips, that reinforce the vocabulary words they have just learned. There are both cartoon videos of Lulu and Jojo and real life video clips of children. Each time a vocabulary word is introduced the child not only hears the word and sees a picture or video clip that represents it, but also sees the word written on the screen.

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In the first adventure Jojo and Lulu go to the park. Whilst at the park they learn about colors and things at the park, but also learn other vocabulary terms such as balloons, painter, sun, girl, apple, cookies, crackers, milk, dog, eating, drinking and playing.  After watching a video clip there are reinforcing activities in the form of an interactive workbook. There are 4 videos in the first adventure with workbook activities in between each clip. The first clip introduces colors, the second things that happen in the park such as children playing and eating, the third focuses on shapes whilst reinforcing colors and the last video expands upon the vocabulary of objects that can be found in a park such as play equipment, trees, butterflies and flowers.

The workbook exercises start very simply- touching pictures to hear the name of the object or concept, and gradually increase in complexity- such as touching a picture that matches what is said. Towards the end of the adventure the child leans to answer more complex questions such as “De que colores es?” (what color is?) “un pez anaranjado.” To answer first they touch the correct object (fish) from a choice of 6, then they pick the right color (orange) from an artist palette that pops up when they correctly identify the object.

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I like that each new object or concept  is presented in a variety of ways which helps generalization. The real life videos of children playing are a nice addition to the cartoon videos and still pictures. Although the app concentrates on teaching simple objects and actions these are brought together to form phrases and more complex concepts.  For instance after learning food, shapes and actions such as drawing and eating, they see  a child drawing a circle and Jojo drinking milk and hear how to describe these actions in Spanish.

As the child completes the workbook activities Jojo’s face at the top of the page is gradually colored in. Once he is in full color (all activities completed for that adventure) this unlocks a learning game such as a motorcycle race where Jojo’s progress depends on the child correctly identifying the named object from 3 choices.

There are also flashcards that the child can use to practice the words they have learned. For more mature learners there is also the option of creating their own vocabulary book by writing in the names of the objects in an interactive book. I did find that this didn’t save well from visit to visit though- when we wrote the names initially they were under the correct pictures but when we returned to use the book later the names were written randomly across the page so we had to erase them and start again. The app appears to be only useable in portrait orientation, it would be more convenient to also be able to use it in landscape, especially as some cases and stands don’t work well in portrait.

Other adventures follow a similar format, but introduce new vocabulary as Jojo and Lulu visit different locations and learn about new things. The other adventures are: Numbers & Counting at the Farm, Opposites at the Beach, Alphabet at School, At the Market (food and kitchen objects) and In the City.

The app is free to download then $3.99 to complete the first adventure, other adventures are $8.99 each, flash cards are $3.99, or  you can purchase a bundle that includes all the adventures plus flashcards for $48.99.  The full unlock of the adventures includes over 450 words and phrases. For each adventure there is also an option to purchase a longer video version (which are the same as the DVDs sold via the Early Lingo website). They are the same videos that are featured within the apps, just in longer format. These cost $10.99 each or $54.99 for the bundle (we did not test the full length videos.)

Overall, I really like the immersion method of language learning for kids. I think Early Lingo Spanish provides a good introduction to Spanish for kids in pre-school and early elementary school. It has a good range of videos and interactive activities and I like how the concepts are reinforced and built upon as the adventures progress.  It can get pricey by the time you have bought all the adventures, especially if you also buy the full length videos. It can also be a little tricky working out what is included in your purchases, so it would be nice to see the addition of a separate locked parents area (in English) that explains everything included in the app and the purchasing options with links to buy them. If you have a child in the target age range that you would like to introduce to Spanish, my recommendation is to download the free content and try it with your child. If they enjoy the content I would pay the $3.99 to unlock the first adventure, after your child has completed that you can decide if they are enjoying it enough to invest in the rest of the adventures.

iTunes Link: Early Lingo Spanish Language Learning for Kids – Early Lingo

Early Lingo Spanish Language Learning for Kids
Early Lingo Spanish Language Learning for Kids
by Early Lingo

Category: Education, Word, Games
Requirements: Compatible with iPad2Wifi-iPad2Wifi, iPad23G-iPad23G, iPadThirdGen-iPadThirdGen, iPadThirdGen4G-iPadThirdGen4G, iPadFourthGen-iPadFourthGen, iPadFourthGen4G-iPadFourthGen4G, iPadMini-iPadMini, iPadMini4G-iPadMini4G, iPadAir-iPadAir, iPadAirCellular-iPadAirCellular, iPadMiniRetina-iPadMiniRetina, iPadMiniRetinaCellular-iPadMiniRetinaCellular, iPadAir2-iPadAir2, iPadAir2Cellular-iPadAir2Cellular, iPadMini3-iPadMini3, iPadMini3Cellular-iPadMini3Cellular, iPadMini4-iPadMini4, iPadMini4Cellular-iPadMini4Cellular, iPadPro-iPadPro, iPadProCellular-iPadProCellular, iPadPro97-iPadPro97, iPadPro97Cellular-iPadPro97Cellular, iPad611-iPad611, iPad612-iPad612, iPad71-iPad71, iPad72-iPad72, iPad73-iPad73, iPad74-iPad74
Size: 698.58 MB

$FREE

Screenshots for iPad
(Click to enlarge)

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

 

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).


Toddler Kids Puzzles Puzzingo – Educational Games by 77Sparx Studio, Inc. – Review



iPad Screenshot 1.

What we love…

fun interactive puzzle game that includes IAP to buy additional puzzles

What we’d love to see…

a way to save photos, a trophy case for the mini game achievements

Summary

Overall, this is an app that has wide appeal to kids young and old and can be played by yourself or in a multi-player setting with kids taking turns.  I really like all of the new updates that were included as did my kids!

Our Rating

Toddler Kids Puzzles Puzzingo – Educational GamesAs a mom of two kids, Puzzingo by 77Sparx Studio, Inc, a universal app for iOS has saved me hundreds of hours of cleaning up pieces, trying to find missing ones or worse yet not being able to complete a puzzle in the limited time I had with my kids.   Puzzingo recently launched a bunch of new great updates which include new puzzles, more animations and sounds and encourages kids to look at the pieces to fit them into the right spot.  The app encourages kids to look at the pieces offered, and then figure out which of the spots they fit into.  This free version of the app includes a free daily puzzle as well as in-app purchases protected by a parental gate to purchase additional content.  You can set the puzzles to be “easy” or “super easy” and the music can be turned on or off.

Puzzingo has added a lot of great new content to the app this year which includes: pirates, music, bugs, sports, fairytales, as well as 15 new mini games just in 2016!

One of the things I like about the app is that it only gives two choices at a time when putting the puzzle together, that means that my two and a half year old isn’t overwhelmed by all the potential choices of which puzzle piece to pick.  I also love that when I use it with him we can talk about what the pieces are – for example we recently played with the new bugs puzzle, because what little boy doesn’t love bugs!  First, you “pop” open the present and then you are given two pieces which you have to fit into the puzzle.  I also liked that the names of the items are spoken and if it is put in the wrong place more than once, you are gently guided using a red arrow to put it in the right spot.  As you add more items to the puzzle, it becomes more complex and the picture begins to fill in.   After you finish the puzzle, you can then “create the bug” by picking your favorite choices of the interactive bug and when you are done you “exit”.  I also like the brightly colored illustrations which both my kids liked as well.  I also liked that once you buy a in-app purchase pack or if you buy the “all access pass” you continue to be able to keep your content. We also named the shapes and worked on shape recognition to realize what pieces fit into what spots.

My older son loves sports, so he was happy to see a new sports puzzle added to the app.  He loved the football puzzle the most and liked how the images filled in and completed the puzzle after he added the pieces. He did struggle a bit with the mini game where you kicked the football but finally figured out that if you tapped toward the right side of the he would be able to get a trophy.  I really like the illustrations and that the spoken words are clear, no matter what the language is.  There are visual and audio cues designed to make the app usable by toddlers and special needs kids.

 

There are parental gates which requires answering a simple math problem in order to access a parental control area which includes email, social media and internet.

In terms of enhancements, my son wanted to be able to “save” his completed puzzles to the camera roll.  We just did this by taking a snapshot of my iPad using the home and power button.  It would also be fun, according to him if we were able to save the mini games and trophies in a case.

Overall, this is an app that has wide appeal to kids young and old and can be played by yourself or in a multi-player setting with kids taking turns.  I really like all of the new updates that were included as did my kids!

Toddler Kids Puzzles Puzzingo – Educational Games

Puzzingo Toddler Kids Puzzles Puzzingo Toddler Kids Puzzles by 77Sparx Studio, Inc.

Price: $FREE

• Featured by Apple
Do your kid and toddler like puzzles? How about an educational puzzle game that is fun, packed with learning, and played by 8 million families around the world? Checkout Puzzingo.

Google Play

Amazon

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.

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.


Zap Zap Math – K6 Math Games iOS Universal Education by Visual Math Interactive Sdn. Bhd.



iPad Screenshot 4

What we love…

fun multi-player math game that covers a wide variety of topics and encourages kids to complete mini-games to learn more concepts using a multi-faceted approach to learning.  I also really liked the dashboard so I could see areas my son was struggling.  My son also liked the coins within the app which he earned for answering  questions correctly.

What we’d love to see…

a “redo” button if your child knows the answer is wrong, showing the correct answer if you answer incorrectly in the training module.

Summary

Remove this text and add your own here.

Our Rating

Zap Zap Math - K6 Math GamesZap Zap Math – K6 Math Games iOS Universal Education by Visual Math Interactive Sdn. Bhd. is a universal space themed app for iOS which is free via iTunes and features a $9.99 annual subscription fee  to access the full content of the app.  The app includes math topics including: addition, subtraction, fractions, ratio’s, multiplication, geometry, coordinates, time, angles, and pre-school math.  It is also aligned with #commoncore math standards and materials are delivered in a module type manner meaning the types of math are not intermixed within a teaching topic.  The app allows for multiple profiles, meaning that you can use it with multiple children or users who can then practice specific types of content.  Also included is a web dashboard where parents and teachers can login to see specific types of skills practiced, accuracy as well as areas that their child may have struggled with.  The app does not require internet access to use it, however, in order for it to “sync” with the dashboard internet access is required.

The app opens with some test content for non subscribed users, for purposes of the review I used grade 1 content in a premium membership.  The app features a four pronged approach to teaching content. Each of the modules is presented as a game which encourages kids to engage and seems to be a better way for my son to learn versus traditional worksheets. There are five “levels” to complete for each of the modules below before you move on to the next skill.

Method

– Training: First you “train” which can include a tutorial on how to do a specific type of content.  The tutorial provides instruction on how to move within the module using arrows and then a shovel to answer the question.  Questions are poised which requires you to “jump” to the right answer using a number line, represented by boxes.  When you get to the correct answer, another math problem is presented.  Once you answer the problem correctly you are presented with a second problem and after every so many problems you are given a treasure chest to dig for.  If you answer incorrectly, the flag does not drop most of the time.  Your accuracy is tracked and given to you after you complete five problems successfully.  After completing the problems you earn “z” coins which can be used to “purchase” content within the app.  The coins are in-app currency and are earned by completing levels rather than something you purchase from the iTunes store.

– Accuracy: You are presented with problems to answer and after answering two problems correctly you can “fly” the space taxi.  You earn an accuracy score as well as a regular score and earn more “z” coins.  This level is meant to continue practicing the skill and improve your accuracy within the problems presented to mastery.

– Speed:  you are presented with “how fast” can you make the number, accuracy (answering correctly) and speed are key components of this level.  Typically you had to add two or more numbers to successfully complete the math problem.

– Mission: you are presented with a game to demonstrate mastery of a skill.  For purposes of the review, I used the “orb” where you not only have to answer a math problem you also have to correctly pattern the color.  This means that the problem may add up to 10 and there may be multiple colored orbs and you have to pick the right color pattern in order to answer the problem correctly.  If you get too many problems incorrect, you earn a lower rank and don’t demonstrate “mastery” to move on to the next level.

I really liked the overall flexibility of the app as well as being able to see the areas that my son worked on while he was within the app.  I used the dashboard to understand what areas he might have struggled with as well as looking to see improvement from the “training” to the “mission” modules.  I also liked that the content was in modules rather than mixing it together with a variety of different skills being taught in one portion of the game.  This is similar to how my son’s math is taught in school and a method we are familiar with.    The graphics and games were interactive and encouraged my son.  I also liked that by completing specific tasks my son could “spin” the wheel using his earned “Z” coins to gain additional items within the app.

In terms of enhancements, I would like to see the right “answer” shown if my child gets the answer wrong in training mode.  For me, training mode is an opportunity to test and learn new concepts rather than master them.  By putting a red “x” on the wrong answer from a field of 2 he knew he had it wrong but didn’t always understand why.  For some of the games, my son had trouble differentiating “day” versus “night” in the clock to understand why he got the answer wrong.  We did figure out the app was using military time versus what we traditionally used at home which is x time and AM/PM which then helped him get the answer correct.  My son really struggled in the time telling section and got frustrated.  I would also like a “redo” button just in case you select the wrong item by chance because there were times my son knew he had the answer wrong but had to continue with the “wrong” answer because we couldn’t figure out how to redo it.

Overall, I liked Zap Zap math because it aligned with common core learning standards and was much more fun for my son compared to written math sheets and he was still able to demonstrate that he knew a skill.  I also liked that it was multiplayer and could be used with multiple children which will make the cost of the subscription less if you divide it out.  The app could be a great supplement to classroom or even something you use with kids to prevent a summertime slide.  You can download the app here or below using our iTunes widget.  There are in-app purchases for the “premium” version and the app can be used across multiple devices using the correct student ID.   There is a parental gate which requires a math problem to give feedback.

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

Category: Education, Entertainment
Requirements: Compatible with 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: 251.06 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.

 

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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