Dr. Panda Town by Dr. Panda Ltd. – Review

Dr. Panda Town by Dr. Panda Ltd. – Review



iPhone Screenshot 1

What we love…

open ended creative play that helps kids in a variety of community settings use imaginary play skills

What we’d love to see…

a rack for clothing, ability to kick and play with the soccer and basket ball

Summary

Dr. Panda Town is fun and just enough different from other apps on the market which make it enjoyable for my kids to play.   Each of the three areas are fun and have unique content like a water scene inside the park or a picnic or even shopping at the grocery store.

Our Rating

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.

Inside the house, there is a living room, kitchen with variety of foods as well as the ability to cook and mop the floors.   Upstairs in the home is a bathroom and a kids bedroom. My kids in particular liked the attic where they found treasures like a rocking horse and antique television.   The characters are down at the bottom by the Dr. Panda logo and you can add and move them around within the different portions of the app.  I also liked the recycling in each of the locations as well.  Inside the grocery store reminds me a lot of Dr. Panda Supermarket with items to place inside your basket as well as different items like soap, toothpaste and milk.  When we played, I actually gave my younger son a “picture list” of items for us to place inside the basket prior to checking out.

iPhone Screenshot 4

My toddler also  liked the soccer ball and wanted to “kick” it with the characters – something we couldn’t figure out how to do, we also tried to bring it to the park to play with as well as the basket ball but couldn’t make it work.  We also cooked on the grill outside.  My toddler loved the park – he enjoys going to the park and he loves Dr. Panda Ice Cream so he was delighted to see the ice cream stand in the park.  My son’s favorite part was dispensing each of the candies from the machines as well as eating the cookies.    Inside the park there is a variety of playground toys like a see-saw, slide and even clothing to change into as well as a picnic.    We enjoyed giving dog a ride in the boat – although he needs a life jacket!  Playing in the skate park was fun as well going back and forth.   My toddler loved the animations of the airplane and motorcycle as the characters rode them.

Up in the attic it would be fun if the television played promos for other Dr. Panda apps – right now there are a variety of random images with characters from the app but no real cohesive things shown.  My toddler also wanted to “talk” using the phone which currently just rings and lets you take it off the hook.  My older son asked if we could decorate the treats inside of the supermarket as he is getting older and likes to help me cook — perhaps a baking app might be in the future?  Other enhancements might be using money to put into the slot for the candy or to pay for the vending machine and cafe in the park.  I’d love to see some of the items we make in other Dr. Panda apps incorporated here to give kids a taste of some of the great fun they can have with other apps.  I would also like to see a clothing closet or rack for all of the different outfits to change into – perhaps this could be on the bottom with all of the characters?  My older son also wanted more “healthy” options for the picnic including fruits and veggies so we must be doing something right!

For me, once I tested the house, I knew I wanted more and got the combination of the supermarket and park for $2.99 IAP because my kids hate being locked out of anything.  That makes them all the more determined to use it!  In app purchases are protected with a parental gate which requires your year of birth and then you are pulled to iTunes.

Dr. Panda Town is fun and just enough different from other apps on the market which make it enjoyable for my kids to play.   Each of the three areas are fun and have unique content like a water scene inside the park or a picnic or even shopping at the grocery store.

You can download it free with in-app purchases on Google Play.

Dr. Panda Town
Dr. Panda Town
by Dr. Panda Ltd

Category: Education
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone4-iPhone4, 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: 125.56 MB

$FREE

Screenshots
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Screenshots for iPad
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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.

 

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.
 MotionPen Kids – stylus for children by MotionPen Kids – Review

MotionPen Kids – stylus for children by MotionPen Kids – Review



motionpen_kids_product-640x640

What we love…

easy to use stylus that is kid friendly for kids of all ages, the companion apps are amazing especially for drawing and exploring the human body/hide and seek.  I loved the Palm Rejection for my younger son who used his second hand to stabilize when he was “drawing” on the iPad.

What we’d love to see…

the pen number etched into the stylus somehow, a bump or something to show which side of the stylus to use and ability to use other apps with the MotionPen

Summary

Overall, the MotionPen Kids Stylus and companion apps are a fun way to introduce a stylus to kids both younger and older.  I was happy to see how fast each of my kids adapted to using the stylus despite the wide variation in their ages.  This stylus is definitely something I will keep in my purse or bag when we have to go somewhere that might have a wait.

Our Rating

 

recommended-by-the-imums

As a mom, I have tested a lot of styluses including those designed for kids.  I recently had a chance to test the MotionPen Kids Stylus by Widevantage and was pleasantly surprised to see how fast my 8 year old adapted to drawing with it. Widevantage is a South Korean company   The stylus works with any Bluetooth enabled device including an iPhone/iPad, Android Tablet.  It does not use Bluetooth or have a battery.  The apps know the stylus is there, because you enter the number of the pen which is printed on the side.  The stylus is also waterproof which means if it’s accidentally dropped, unlike those that have electronics a puddle will not mean that it is damaged.    Pens need to be registered with their unique ID and an email address, they can be paired with up to 3 devices at once, but this can be changed on the go so if you have a different device than one it is paired with you can easily add it.

One of my favorite features of the MotionPen is “Palm Rejection” this means you can rest your palm on the surface of the iPad while only the tip of the stylus is used.  My older son didn’t use this feature as much, but my 2 year old who is just learning how to grip things often used his other hand to stabilize the stylus and I was happy to see we didn’t get any errant marks.

MotionCrayonMotionCrayon was my older son’s favorite companion app to use with the stylus.  This app is essentially a drawing app which turns your stylus into a crayon, marker, colored pencil or regular pencil.  You can control the thickness of the tip and even erase by flipping over the stylus and hovering it over the app.  We used this stylus at a recent doctors appointment where my son and I played Pictionary in real time while we waited all from the comfort of an iPad.  There is a coloring book with 48 different images, a free form blank canvas that you can draw on, and even a magnifying glass that lets you zoom in for more detail.

MotionLampMotionLamp is an app where your stylus turns into a lamp and as you move it around on the iPad your device lights up and shows you the different objects in the picture.  There are two modes to this app, one is a search and find the hidden object, and the second is an “explore” mode where you memorize items in the image and find the correct answer after time is up.  My son did find the explore mode a bit frustrating at times because he would run out of time while trying to find the objects.  I’d suggest an untimed version of the explore mode especially for those just learning how to use it.

MotionGamesMotionGames includes six mini games including Jurassic Travel where you turn unto a stegosaurus dinosaur, a Jenga game where you have to remove the blocks without making the tower fall (much easier said than done even for me!), Pinwheel where you experiment with the wind to keep six pinwheels spinning at the same time for as long as you can, Claw Crane where you try to reach and grab the objects like the real life arcade game, Sling Shot where you try to pop all the balloons before they fly away and finally Rocket Riding where you travel through space to shoot asteroids.  Each of the games has varying levels of difficulty, my two year old was able to play the Sling Shot with my help while my older son got frustrated with the Jenga game because it was harder than he thought it should be.

MotionPenMotionPen is a app that essentially acts as a whiteboard where you can create notes, make notes on photos, drawings and diagrams and then share them via social media. I used this app on my iPhone but due to the social sharing did not let my kids use it.

 

 

 

MotionWebMotionWeb is a web browsing app that lets you browse using the pen instead of the traditional mouse or your fingers on your iPad.  You can zoom, scroll in/out, hover, used tabbed browsing and interact with the web in a way that I never really imaged prior to trying it.  As I would move the pen slightly, I could be able to move around on the web pages.  This was an app I used, not my kids simply because it was a bit more difficult to explain to my 8 year old who doesn’t regularly navigate the web using a tablet.

 

MotionBodyMotionBody teaches your kids about the human body.  The pen allows you to “peel away” the layers of the human body and discover how different parts interact with each other and better understand the structure of the human body.  This is an app that really brings the MotionPen to life, I was able to show my son recently what happened within certain parts of his body and how the blood circulated.  It also shows organ function and animation.  This uses the “hover” function as well as 3D animation.

 

 

The stylus has some heft to it which means that it’s not heavy per se, but it reminds the user that they have something in their hand and encourages them to grasp it properly.  With my older son, he quickly was able to adjust his grip while using it to draw as well as experiment with angles.  The free companion apps can encourage learning including drawing, writing, science, whiteboard, and even browsing the web.  I loved how he was creative and came up with the idea to play Pictionary during a recent doctors appointment and then we guessed what the picture was and he was entertained at the same time.

I’d love it if the number for the pen was etched in somehow, my son didn’t like the sticker on the stylus and took it off.  Luckily I stuck the sticker to the inside of the box just in case if ever becomes disconnected, but I know I might lose it at some point.  I also had to reregister my stylus twice, I’m not sure why but this was at times a bit frustrating.  I’d also love to see MotionPen Kids work with other app developers, especially those that include art to make it compatible.  For my older son, he knew where to place his fingers, but the ability to put a grip of some sort would have been helpful for my younger son who tried to “draw” with the eraser end – I just slid a chunky pencil grip on and solved it but this might help the younger users.

Overall, the MotionPen Kids Stylus and companion apps are a fun way to introduce a stylus to kids both younger and older.  I was happy to see how fast each of my kids adapted to using the stylus despite the wide variation in their ages.  This stylus is definitely something I will keep in my purse or bag when we have to go somewhere that might have a wait.

The MotionPen Kids Stylus is available for $22.95 from Amazon.

Free companion apps

MotionCrayon
MotionCrayon
by Widevantage Inc.

Category: Games, Entertainment, 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: 250.74 MB

$FREE

Screenshots
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Screenshots for iPad
(Click to enlarge)

MotionLamp
MotionLamp
by Widevantage Inc.

Category: Entertainment, Family, Educational, Games
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone3GS-iPhone-3GS, iPhone4-iPhone4, iPodTouchFourthGen-iPodTouchFourthGen, iPad2Wifi-iPad2Wifi, iPad23G-iPad23G, iPhone4S-iPhone4S, iPadThirdGen-iPadThirdGen, iPadThirdGen4G-iPadThirdGen4G, iPhone5-iPhone5, iPodTouchFifthGen-iPodTouchFifthGen, iPadFourthGen-iPadFourthGen, iPadFourthGen4G-iPadFourthGen4G, iPadMini-iPadMini, iPadMini4G-iPadMini4G, iPhone5c-iPhone5c, iPhone5s-iPhone5s, iPadAir-iPadAir, iPadAirCellular-iPadAirCellular, iPadMiniRetina-iPadMiniRetina, iPadMiniRetinaCellular-iPadMiniRetinaCellular, iPhone6-iPhone6, iPhone6Plus-iPhone6Plus, iPadAir2-iPadAir2, iPadAir2Cellular-iPadAir2Cellular, iPadMini3-iPadMini3, iPadMini3Cellular-iPadMini3Cellular, iPodTouchSixthGen-iPodTouchSixthGen, iPhone6s-iPhone6s, iPhone6sPlus-iPhone6sPlus, iPadMini4-iPadMini4, iPadMini4Cellular-iPadMini4Cellular, iPadPro-iPadPro, iPadProCellular-iPadProCellular, iPadPro97-iPadPro97, iPadPro97Cellular-iPadPro97Cellular, iPhoneSE-iPhoneSE, iPhone7-iPhone7, iPhone7Plus-iPhone7Plus, iPad611-iPad611, iPad612-iPad612, iPad71-iPad71, iPad72-iPad72, iPad73-iPad73, iPad74-iPad74
Size: 230.14 MB

$FREE

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

MotionGames
MotionGames
by Widevantage Inc.

Category: Games, Entertainment, Simulation, Arcade
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone3GS-iPhone-3GS, iPhone4-iPhone4, iPodTouchFourthGen-iPodTouchFourthGen, iPad2Wifi-iPad2Wifi, iPad23G-iPad23G, iPhone4S-iPhone4S, iPadThirdGen-iPadThirdGen, iPadThirdGen4G-iPadThirdGen4G, iPhone5-iPhone5, iPodTouchFifthGen-iPodTouchFifthGen, iPadFourthGen-iPadFourthGen, iPadFourthGen4G-iPadFourthGen4G, iPadMini-iPadMini, iPadMini4G-iPadMini4G, iPhone5c-iPhone5c, iPhone5s-iPhone5s, iPadAir-iPadAir, iPadAirCellular-iPadAirCellular, iPadMiniRetina-iPadMiniRetina, iPadMiniRetinaCellular-iPadMiniRetinaCellular, iPhone6-iPhone6, iPhone6Plus-iPhone6Plus, iPadAir2-iPadAir2, iPadAir2Cellular-iPadAir2Cellular, iPadMini3-iPadMini3, iPadMini3Cellular-iPadMini3Cellular, iPodTouchSixthGen-iPodTouchSixthGen, iPhone6s-iPhone6s, iPhone6sPlus-iPhone6sPlus, iPadMini4-iPadMini4, iPadMini4Cellular-iPadMini4Cellular, iPadPro-iPadPro, iPadProCellular-iPadProCellular, iPadPro97-iPadPro97, iPadPro97Cellular-iPadPro97Cellular, iPhoneSE-iPhoneSE, iPhone7-iPhone7, iPhone7Plus-iPhone7Plus, iPad611-iPad611, iPad612-iPad612, iPad71-iPad71, iPad72-iPad72, iPad73-iPad73, iPad74-iPad74
Size: 429.33 MB

$FREE

Screenshots
(Click to enlarge)
Screenshots for iPad
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MotionPen
MotionPen
by Widevantage Inc.

Category: Utilities, Productivity
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: 16.61 MB

$FREE

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

by

Category:
Requirements: Compatible with
Size: 0 MB

$


MotionBody
MotionBody
by Widevantage Inc.

Category: Education, Games, Family, Educational
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone3GS-iPhone-3GS, iPhone4-iPhone4, iPodTouchFourthGen-iPodTouchFourthGen, iPad2Wifi-iPad2Wifi, iPad23G-iPad23G, iPhone4S-iPhone4S, iPadThirdGen-iPadThirdGen, iPadThirdGen4G-iPadThirdGen4G, iPhone5-iPhone5, iPodTouchFifthGen-iPodTouchFifthGen, iPadFourthGen-iPadFourthGen, iPadFourthGen4G-iPadFourthGen4G, iPadMini-iPadMini, iPadMini4G-iPadMini4G, iPhone5c-iPhone5c, iPhone5s-iPhone5s, iPadAir-iPadAir, iPadAirCellular-iPadAirCellular, iPadMiniRetina-iPadMiniRetina, iPadMiniRetinaCellular-iPadMiniRetinaCellular, iPhone6-iPhone6, iPhone6Plus-iPhone6Plus, iPadAir2-iPadAir2, iPadAir2Cellular-iPadAir2Cellular, iPadMini3-iPadMini3, iPadMini3Cellular-iPadMini3Cellular, iPodTouchSixthGen-iPodTouchSixthGen, iPhone6s-iPhone6s, iPhone6sPlus-iPhone6sPlus, iPadMini4-iPadMini4, iPadMini4Cellular-iPadMini4Cellular, iPadPro-iPadPro, iPadProCellular-iPadProCellular, iPadPro97-iPadPro97, iPadPro97Cellular-iPadPro97Cellular, iPhoneSE-iPhoneSE, iPhone7-iPhone7, iPhone7Plus-iPhone7Plus, iPad611-iPad611, iPad612-iPad612, iPad71-iPad71, iPad72-iPad72, iPad73-iPad73, iPad74-iPad74
Size: 379.75 MB

$FREE

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

Giveaway

If you would like to win a Motion Pen , please enter via the widget below. Winners will be emailed and must contact The iMums 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!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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.
 Square Panda Phonics Playset by Square Panda – Review & Giveaway

Square Panda Phonics Playset by Square Panda – Review & Giveaway



Square Panda Phonics Playset

What we love…

ability to use a multisensory approach to learning letters which includes apps and physical letters placed on the playset to form words; included parental dashboard to track your kids progress

What we’d love to see…

ability to customize words in all apps, a mobile friendly version of the Square Panda Playground website

Summary

The Square Panda Phonics Playset is a great demonstration of how you can use your iPad and integrated playset to provide learning both on the screen and using tactile letters to complete a goal – I can’t wait to see what else this company will bring.

Our Rating

 

recommended-by-the-imums

The Square Panda Phonics Playset by Square Panda which features a bluetooth enabled playset to engage kids in learning a variety of activities from learning letters, spelling, letter sounds, rhymes, learning new vocabulary words and more.  The set consists of 45 Smart Letters, a Playset box which you pair to your iPad and holds your device while in use, access to the Square Panda Playground where you can manage a parent account, see information about your child’s progress and additional learning opportunities as well as 4 AA Batteries.  The Square Panda Playset requires either iPad 3, iPad 4, iPad Mini, iPad Air 2 or iPad Pro in order to run and you must be running iOS 8.x and above.  The Square Panda Phonics Playset provides a multisensory tactile learning experience which combines content on your iPad with letters and visuals within the app. It includes 14 levels of phonics play as well as an integrated dashboard to track progress.

Setup is quick and easy.  First, you set up an account on Square Panda with your email and other information.  That gives you access to the parental dashboard.  After that you can unpack the Phonics Playset, install the 4 included AA batteries, download the apps and be using them within 10 or less minutes.  I spent some time in the Square Panda Playground website because I wanted to check out the features there.  There are so many great things!  You can add your own custom words including your child’s name – and for me when I last had my son use the playset I included words from his spelling list that week!  When you enter custom words they are put into your child’s games and you can even upload a picture to go with them!  Words must be between 1-8 characters, so more complex spelling words won’t work here, however, it’s a great way to practice.  The Square Panda Playground also lets you choose words for specific types of situations like bathroom and body anatomy as well as even excluding a specific letter if you misplaced it from the playset.  You can also block specific types of words if you wish which gives you a great level of customization.

iPad Screenshot 1

The playset includes 45 smart letters.  Vowels are yellow and consonants are yellow to make for easier differentiation between the letter types.  These all stored inside the playset case when not in use.  You can have up to three players per playset, and the content dynamically changes depending on which user is selected so with my 2 year old we are simply working on even identifying letters while with my 8 year old he is working on spelling words and earning badges.  The Square Panda Playset includes access to two apps, and one of the two apps Square Panda Lagoon allows you to use the custom words that you have created.   Square Panda Bowling (above) has you bowl with your finger to knock down the pins and spell out words.  It combines a multi-sensory approach where you do an activity, get a letter with your finger on your iPad and then properly place it in the try to spell the word.  Kids are taught to spell words correctly from left to right which is the way that The National Reading Panel recommends as well as the way that reading is taught in school.

iPad Screenshot 4

First of all – this is not the plastic letters that I grew up with!  Many of us may remember growing up and having the magnetized letters that we used to spell things on our refrigerator.  I loved that the app required letters to be correct before allowing you to move on.  Letters are placed individually in a white box at the bottom of the playset.  The must be positioned correctly and placed on the playset in the correct order.  The photo above is from Square Panda Lagoon and includes a photo as well as the word below to reinforce learning.

It isn’t often as a mom that I find a toy that both my 2 year old and 8 year old can use.  One of my favorite things about the Square Panda Playset is the level of customization that is included especially with the Square Panda Lagoon.  I can see it is a great way to practice “trick words” or words my son might be having challenges with at school and having a great way to keep track of what he is learning in terms of letters.  With my 2 year old, we can work on understanding letters and teaching him that my iPad is a learning device.  I also liked that we could store the letters inside the playset which meant that they were not misplaced the next time we went to use it.  I use a Griffin Survivor case on my iPad Mini because even though it’s “mom’s iPad” my kids use it a lot and I loved that we could leave on the protective case even when it was in use with the Square Panda Playset, this isn’t always the case with other products on the market.  I really liked the Square Panda Playground where I could keep track of what my kids were doing with the apps – I knew what my 2 year old was doing because we were playing together but with my older son I usually help him learn how to use something and then let him try and figure it out on his own.  I liked seeing the badges of the items he accomplished as well as the ability to add in the custom words for his spelling list that week!

In terms of enhancements, I wish that both of the apps included the ability to use custom words, my son enjoyed rolling the bowling ball in Square Panda Bowling more than the Square Panda Lagoon game – I’m not sure why he preferred it more other than he enjoys bowling, so having the two app options was great.  Square Panda is planning to add more apps Letter Lab.  I hope that they include the ability to use custom words in this app.  I’d also like to see a mobile friendly version of the Square Panda Playground – I don’t often get time to sit down at my computer so I was trying to look at it on my iPad and it wasn’t as user friendly as I would have liked.

Play with letters and words today...

The Square Panda Phonics Playset is a great demonstration of how you can use your iPad and integrated playset to provide learning both on the screen and using tactile letters to complete a goal – I can’t wait to see what else this company will bring.  The Square Panda Phonics Playset retails for $119 USD and includes a standard one year parts and labor if the letters malfunction or the product itself malfunctions.  It can be purchased from Square Panda for $119 USD.

alison

This is not your mom’s letter playset.  This is a fun and interactive toy which can be used by younger and older children and can customize and provide data about what your child is learning.  It is a true demonstration of what the iPad can do versus other tablets on the market.

Apps


Square Panda Lagoon Square Panda Lagoon by Square Panda Inc

Price: $FREE

A goofy chameleon with a love for dancing introduces children to letter sounds and phonics in a fun, exploratory way where any combination of letters (both nonsense words and real words) create a learning.



Square Panda Bowling Square Panda Bowling by Square Panda Inc

Price: $FREE

STRIKE! Letters meet their match in a bowling alley on a faraway island! With every roll of the coconut ball, your child learns the relationships between letters, sounds, and words. Compatible with the.

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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.

 

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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.
 Stack the States® 2 by Freecloud Design, Inc. – Review

Stack the States® 2 by Freecloud Design, Inc. – Review



iPad Screenshot 1

What we love…

beautiful graphics, fun educational learning app that has kids wanting more!

What we’d love to see…

more backgrounds to stack the states on, ability to have multiple chances to guess the answer

Summary

Fun educational app that has fantastic content and leaves kids asking for more iPad time so they can play and learn!  I call that a huge win!

Our Rating

 

Stack the States® 2Stack the States 2 is a fun new app from FreeCloud Design’s Dan Russell Pinson.  You learn state capitals, cities, shapes, landmarks, flags and then after you answer a question correctly you can drop the animate state on the screen – but watch out if you are not careful your hard work tumbles away!   In our house – my son doesn’t always realize how lucky he is to test out brand new apps before they are released in the app store.

I’m happy to say that Stack the States 2 is our latest “must have”!  My son woke up this morning and told me he had to show me how many new states he had earned and at the same time showed me that he had learned all of this great trivia and what states looked like what.  I call that a huge win especially because educational apps are not always his first choice to play during free time.

After successfully completing each level, you earn a new state.  The app allows you to set up multiple profiles so a parent can have a different profile than kids or multiple kids can play and the app can narrate and be based on what they have completed so far.  The app includes an interactive map with major cities and a 3D visual of each state with 10 different 3D scenes with various locations – we loved New York, Hawaii and Chicago the most especially the dolphins jumping.  As you become more proficient with the app, you earn new states and unlock new games.  I also liked that if you answered a question wrong, the app told which state you answered incorrectly and gave you the chance to learn.  The app contains new questions, two bonus games Connect 2 and Capital Tap as well as 3D models of 90 landmarks!  You can read our review of the original Stack the States which we also rated five stars here.  The questions are laid out in a simple format easy for early readers and in the Capital Game it also shows the state as well as a field of four choices to pick from.

iPad Screenshot 3

I love the graphics, the narration, the ability to practice motor planning to set the states correctly so they don’t tumble but most of all I love all of the educational value in the app.  The voice mode is very helpful for non-readers or early readers who are not yet able to read the trivia questions.  When you are in the trivia game and answer correctly you “drop” or place the state to stack them – it’s fun for a variety of reasons but with Chicago it’s even more fun because you get the bean shape to stack on.  I also loved that I could share tidbits about each state with my son – his class recently did a travel fair and learned a little about a number of states while focusing on a specific one.  I liked that he was able to translate some of the things he learned in school from the shape of the state to the capital and use that knowledge within the app.  When I was younger I had the opportunity to travel via motor home to many of the states in the United States – I’m glad I can share my love for states with my son via the iPad and he can experience it sooner than I did in a fun interactive way!  Even as a mom, I found myself playing Stack the States more than a few times.  It’s addictive, it’s fun and it’s a great way to practice critical thinking and recall skills.  My son studied Alaska for the travel fair and was excited to show me “what it really looked like” in topography as well as cities and landmarks including Mt. Denali.  It was great to see he took what he had learned through research and was able to translate that to the app.  I also liked that it did not have a timer which reduced the anxiety of my son to “be right” he could answer quickly if he knew the answer or narrow it down if he did not.

In terms of enhancements, I’d love to see more backgrounds to stack the states on.  I also found that at times I would earn the same state in the same game multiple times.  I’m sure some of this was because I missed questions or my son did, but to get the same state right after previously getting it was a bit surprising.  It might also be nice for younger users if you could toggle to have two chances to guess correctly – sometimes my 7 year old was able to narrow it down to one or the other and made a guess.

Stack the States 2 moves the bar higher from a traditional learn about this state app – to one that is more interactive and fun for kids to play.  I love seeing my son’s “aha moments” as he grasps new facts he has learned and shows me his knowledge within the app.  The bar has been set high here and I can’t wait to see what other apps come from FreeCloud design.  There are no in-app purchases, external links or integration with social networks.  It is pure geographic fun!


Stack the States® 2
Stack the States® 2
by Freecloud Design, Inc.

Category: Education, Family, Educational, 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
Size: 150.15 MB

$2.99USD

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

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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