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

Toddler Kids Puzzles Puzzingo – Educational Games Toddler Kids Puzzles Puzzingo – Educational Games 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.

Hoopa City 2 by Dr Panda Games – Review



iPad Screenshot 3

What we love…

beautiful interactive graphics, ability to have a variety of cities and building your own characters

What we’d love to see…

ability to play worlds across multiple devices, ability to “customize” and design the outside of buildings

Summary

Great app with hours of playtime, the ability to create multiple cities and have your kids experiment to bring their vision alive makes this a keeper!

Our Rating

Hoopa City 2 by Dr. Panda Games is the newest app in the collection, this app is universal and features a building theme which encourages speech, creative play and role playing depending on the activity in the city.  The app appeals to kids from preschool through elementary school, and I found myself even enjoying playing with one of my son’s cities.

My son really liked all the content in the app.  He enjoyed putting people in the buildings, role playing and switching from day to night.  He liked building his own characters as he progressed within the app.  As a mom, I liked the amount of content that was offered and the variety of options for building, playing or simply interacting with the city.   The 3D graphics are beautiful and my son enjoyed experimenting to create the different buildings and testing out combinations to see what bigger and better buildings he could make.  I loved hearing him narrate as he explained, first I do this, then I touch this and then I get this.  He also enjoyed the activities like going shopping, seeing a wedding, and even created a few different cities depending on his mood at the time.  I also loved how creative he was able to be and building the city which was in his mind to completion.  He also loved finding all the combinations and has spent many hours with me testing out the app.  A tip, Hoopa’s Building Book was great to remind us of all of the combinations that he made within the app so that we could easily recreate them.  My son loved being so creative and showing me all of the different things that he could create and even played the app during his free iPad time frequently.

iPad Screenshot 5

At times my son was sad because he wanted a city that was on my iPad or iPhone or vice versa we couldn’t figure out how to transfer the city from one device to another even though they were saved.  My son’s least favorite thing to do was fixing the wind turbines which seemed to “break” frequently – at times he tapped it too many times and would get frustrated.  My son loves art and wished that he could design the colors and shapes of his buildings – something he would have liked because he loves to do art work.

Overall, this was a fun game that both my 8 year old and I enjoyed playing with.  It has hours of playability and it can be customized to be easier or harder depending on the child that is playing with it.  It appeals to a wide variety of ages and can tap into your children’s creative side and allow you to see the different things that their imagination may bring to life.

Check out a fun video demo!

Dr. Panda Hoopa City 2
Dr. Panda Hoopa City 2
by Dr. Panda Ltd

Category: Education
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: 162.47 MB

$3.99USD

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.

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.

Tiny Cyan – How Many Colors Can You Make by approviders ltd – Review



iPad Screenshot 4

What we love…

teaches mixing of primary colors

What we’d love to see…

a help button if a child can’t figure out the color combination

Summary

Fun app that encourages the playing with of colors which gets more complicated the more you use it.  Encourages critical thinking and experimenting to make the right color combinations

Our Rating

Tiny Cyan – How Many Colors Can You Make by approviders ltd is a universal app for iOS which helps children understand how colors can be created by three colors (red, yellow & blue).  The app helps kids understand primary and secondary colors by encouraging them to mix them together.  The app starts with simple mixing of colors and then moves on to more complicated mixing and matching.  The app encourages critical thinking and experimenting to help kids understand how colors are made.  The app is designed for toddlers and preschoolers, but would be great for anyone interested in art and experimenting with different color combinations without the mess of real life art.

My son loved mixing all the colors together to see what would happen.  He loves to do artwork and thought it was fun to see what colors he would create.  I liked that it was in real time and didn’t make a mess!  As each level got progressively harder – the color mixing got more complicated.  It went from primary colors to secondary colors and more colors were required to be mixed together.  After successfully completing each level you got a checkmark and then were able to unlock the next level.  If you had trouble with a level you could easily go back and re-do the level as many times as you wanted.

Did you know that all colors are created by 3 colors (red, yellow, and blue) In this app your child will learn how to create primary and secondary colors and more.  Each level gets harder and sometimes, you have to unmix the colors in order to move forward within the app by touching the colors to break them up.  I loved that it encouraged him to be creative and test out different color combinations and that if he made a mistake – it was easy to fix.   I loved the simplicity of it – showing that just a few colors made a rainbow!

At times, my son mixed the colors all together and they turned black.  He got frustrated with this a few times as he couldn’t figure out the exact match.  I would like to see a “help” button if a child gets frustrated after missing the color combination more than twice.   Also – a few times the screen splashed off my iPhone 6 during gameplay and the buttons were hard to hit.  I did not experience this with my iPad mini so I’m not sure why it happened with my iPhone.

Overall, this is a fun app which teaches kids about how colors are made.  My son enjoyed experimenting in the app and then again when he was coloring with markers and tie dying to see what different combinations he could make! My son loves to mix paints together and this was a much simpler — and less messy way for him to do so in a digital format that encouraged experimentation!

Tiny Cyan - How Many Colors Can You Make
Tiny Cyan - How Many Colors Can You Make
by approviders ltd

Category: Education, Family, Educational, Games
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: 41.28 MB

$1.99USD

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.

Snot & Fluff – A Space Adventure by OhNoo Studio – Review



iPad Screenshot 3

What we love…

beautiful illustrations, music and fun story which encourages kids to use their imaginations as well as the tale of friendship

What we’d love to see…

ability to turn off the sound with the exception of the narration, collection spot for the stars and items that have been found through the story

Summary

My son hopes that there will be more Snot & Fluff adventures to see them journey through the galaxy now that they are back together.  He can’t wait to see what additional imaginative adventures that the two come up with on their journey!

Our Rating

Snot & Fluff - A Space Adventure Snot & Fluff by Onhnostudio is a whimsical space themed adventure story where Spot dreams of journey’s and Fluff is a cook testing new recipes.  The two are good friends and Snot decides to go on a space adventure to see if he can learn more about the galaxy who catches a comet with a lasso and gets ready for his adventure!  Unfortunately, Snot forgot to leave Fluff a note, and set off on his journey.  Fluff begins to get worried when he sees Snot fly away without his friend on the comet and he gets very sad about thoughts of losing his friend.  Fluff begins to tidy the cottage and decides to put together a space rocket to find Fluff – but he does improvise a bit while building it using his culinary creations including sticky custard to put the pieces together.  The app is designed for preschool through early elementary school and is gender neutral and appealed to both boys and girls when I tested it with them.   You can also page through and skip pages in the book to move to your favorite portion of the story.

iPad Screenshot 4

I love the beautiful illustrations of the book as well as the interactive elements and music on each page.  Some of the pages have mini puzzles like performing a series of tasks or collecting hidden stars (there are 88) to unlock a hidden page at the end of the book!  I also loved the imagination that was used throughout the story like using sticky custard to put together the space ship which was both smart and a great way to improvise to get the space ship put together.  My son also liked the hands that turned the pages.   Snot also goes on a mission to find a missing key for the pirates and after accomplishing the mission begins to miss his friend Fluff and his great desserts. The book has a theme of friendship as Snot and Fluff try to reunite.  The book is narrated and you can repeat the audio by tapping on the page after it is completed.  I also loved all the plays on words like “King Jelly”, “Broccoli Bandits”.  Snot heads to the Candinext planet to rescue his friend Fluff and the two are reunited!  Fluff is there making sweets and is very happy to see his friend.  Fluff tries to fix the kings missing horn – a task many have failed at and been put into jail using one of his confectionery creations which is successful!

 

In terms of improvements, my son asked for a counter or somewhere to keep his stars that he collected as well as the items that Snot lost including the pipe organ.  I would like a way to turn off the sounds/narration if a child didn’t want to hear them and wanted to simply focus on the text, currently I turned down my device but that meant that my son couldn’t hear the story.

There are external links including to the app store, but they are protected with a parental gate.  The story is available to be read and narrated in English, Polish, Russian, Chinese, and Spanish.

My son hopes that there will be more Snot & Fluff adventures to see them journey through the galaxy now that they are back together.  He’s currently busy drawing his own intergalactic adventure and wants to know the secret of the Broccoli Bandits!  This is a fun and imaginative book that encourages kids to touch and solve puzzles throughout the story and reunites the two friends Snot & Fluff.

Snot & Fluff - A Space Adventure
Snot & Fluff - A Space Adventure
by OhNoo Studio

Category: Books, 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: 281.21 MB

$2.99USD

Screenshots
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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.

Math Jungle : Grade 1 by Little Big Thinkers – Review



iPad Screenshot 5

What we love…

fun math app that aligns with common core standards and encourages kids to answer math problems in a fun and interactive way all while avoiding obstacles.  You beat your own “personal best” and can see progress over time.

What we’d love to see…

multi-user profiles, ability to answer the problems within the hint screen and choose specific problem types

Summary

Overall, this is a fun math app targeting first graders which is also perfect for preventing the summer slide and loss of math skills.  It is aligned with common core math skills which ensure that your kids stay on target and is a fun way for your kids to practice their math skills without having to do worksheets!

Our Rating

Math Jungle : Grade 1Math Jungle by Little Big Thinkers is a universal app for iOS that aligns with first grade math and common core math standards.  The app features a monkey who runs through the level trying to capture banana’s while trying to avoid obstacles like rocks and prickly bushes.  Every so often there is a math problem which must be solved before you move on within the level.  As you collect banana’s you can try to beat your own personal best.  A variety of math skills are practiced including addition, subtraction, counting, adding a series of numbers, understanding the meaning of an equal sign, greater than/less than, counting and adding within a series of numbers.  Other apps by Little Big Thinkers include Rocket Speller Plus which is still a favorite of The iMums.  The app features a wide variety of math problems and my son enjoyed thinking about which type would be next.  A field of three choices is given for the answer of each of the problem types and if you get it wrong, the wrong answer is eliminated.

The app is fun and I liked how it aligned with common core standards while practicing a number of skills that my son had learned in first grade related to math.  When you open it up the math problems appear to be random as you work to complete the level and get to the end.  I liked the variety of math problems that popped up and encouraged my son to answer on the fly – while practicing his skills to keep them sharp. I liked that he could do skip counting or finger counting to work on the answers and that there was no time limit which meant he didn’t feel pressured to get the right answer so quickly.  The app also features hints for the math problems which helps kids to “reframe” the question if they get stuck.  I really liked this because sometimes my son would get confused if the math seemed hard, but then when he saw the graphical representation he was easily able to solve for the problem.   I also liked that kids could beat their own “personal best” over time.

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In terms of enhancements, I’d like to see user profiles so that more than one child can use the app at a time.  My son enjoyed using it, and then he tried to share it with a friend but the friend found the content was a bit too hard for him to complete, and it made it easier, which then in turn frustrated my son because the problems were too easy!  I’d also like a way to choose specific types of math problems so you can target skills.  If my son hadn’t learned a math concept, I could see him being frustrated if he couldn’t easily answer the question.  My son also asked a few questions about each of the levels – right now when you complete the level stars are given and then you “restart” it over again to beat your personal best and get more banana’s.  My son would have liked to see the ability to progress and show completion with either different types of math problems or something to show he had completed the level.  It would be nice in hint mode if you could choose from the answers – rather than having to hit the x to exit and answer the problem.

There are no in-app purchases or advertising contained within the app.  There are also no external links.

Overall, this is a fun math app targeting first graders which is also perfect for preventing the summer slide and loss of math skills.  It is aligned with common core math skills which ensure that your kids stay on target and is a fun way for your kids to practice their math skills without having to do worksheets!


Math Jungle : Grade 1
Math Jungle : Grade 1
by Little Big Thinkers

Category: Education, Educational, Games, Arcade
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: 208.76 MB

$1.99USD

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.

Curious George Train Adventures by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt – Review



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What we love…

bright cheerful graphics and our friend Curious George bringing us on a science and math inspired adventure which requires problem solving and self regulation.

What we’d love to see…

the entire app included in the purchase price, ability to make it easier or harder depending on the age of the child

Summary

Great app featuring Curious George and working on STEM based activities.  This app includes IAP for additional worlds within it which isn’t clearly noted in the app description.

Our Rating

Curious George Train Adventures by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is a universal app for iOS featuring Curious George on a train as he travels through a variety of different scenes.    The app works on fine motor, creative thinking to solve obstacles and puzzles as well as working memory and understanding the speed of the train.  As you go through the game, you control the speed of the train by using a lever at the bottom of the screen which ranges from 0 (stop) to green (fast).  Obstacles appear in the game including ones you can touch away, boards that you have to climb up with the train as well as making a bridge come up or avoiding falling into a hole.  Concepts practiced here included increasing and decreasing speed, opening gates, navigating obstacles like flowers and pineapples as well as raising bridges.  As you complete the level you are star rated based on how many objects remained in your train during the journey – if you go to fast over an obstacle you can lose objects and have to redo the level in order to unlock the next level of the app.  This app includes IAP for additional worlds within it which isn’t clearly noted in the app description.

iPad Screenshot 4

I liked the graphics in the app as well as the fact that you had to control the speed with your finger at all times.  This encouraged my son to regulate the speed and he would look forward to see that a warning sign was coming up and he would anticipate that he would need to slow down the train in order to continue on.      This encouraged him to be observant so that he didn’t have to redo the levels over and over again.  I also liked that the obstacles got progressively harder with each level – pulley’s and cranks made it interesting for my son as he asked me questions about how they worked and it became a discussion point as we tested them out.  What happens if you go on the bridge without turning the crank.

In terms of improvements, I would suggest the entire app be available with the purchase of it.  It was a bit disappointing to my kids to learn that if they wanted to try another one of the worlds it remained locked unless we purchased the IAP.  Other improvements could include an age toggle so that the app could be made a bit easier for younger kids – the demographic of Curious George is preschool but some of the activities in here were aimed at elementary aged children which could lead to frustration.  I also found that the narration in the app was a bit echoed – and sometimes the Man with the Yellow Hat’s mouth moved but his voice was not in sync.  I’d also like to see colors and shapes included in the app – perhaps this could be something in a future addition – you could puzzle in the shapes to complete the bridge.

The app does include in app purchases to purchase additional worlds within in but it is protected with a parental gate.  The additional words are  Frosty Wonderland, Zany Meadows and Space Spectacular. Each world has 10 levels and can be purchased for $1.99.  The additional worlds have similar concepts but just different backgrounds.

Overall, this is a fun app for preschool through early elementary aged children that has some great skill building in it. I liked the puzzle solving portion of it the most as well as the regulation of the train which encouraged kids that it wasn’t always about getting there the fastest – something that I try to teach my kids on a regular basis.

Curious George Train Adventures
Curious George Train Adventures
by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

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: 194.87 MB

$0.99USD

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.

Words with Ibbleobble app by KidDotCo – Review



iPad Screenshot 2

What we love…

great graphics, cute characters, fun rewards and the great learning potential

What we’d love to see…

the words read out at first and then as children select them and once solved to reinforce learning

Summary

a great little app for children to learn new words in a fun and rewarding way

Our Rating

Children can learn new words in a playful and colourful way with the Words with Ibbleobble app by KidDotCo. KidDotCo are also the creators of such apps as Division / Patterns / Subtraction and Multiplication by Ibbleobble. Words with Ibbleobble is a word game which lets children, learn new words, improve their vocabulary and communication skills. Its simple format is easy for children to follow and understand and is a great app for children with autism.

Children choose a friend they want to play and learn with from a range of characters like Mr Mousey the mouse, Lola the chicken, Fin the hedgehog, Tom the frog, Nancy the sheep, Kelly the rabbit and Florence the fox. Each friend also has an info sheet to learn about them, their likes, favourite colour and favourite friend. Each character is linked to seven learning themes – Shapes & Colours, Food & Drink, At my school, On the farm, My home, Holidays & Travel and All about me.

Children can learn at their own pace or against a clock, can choose the game level of their choice – easy / medium / hard and can solve hundreds of different puzzles. When children answer correctly to a multiple choice word game of three words, the character is rewarded with their favourite treat or object which in turns makes the character happier as more games are solved and gives children an incentive to keep answering correctly.

My three year old liked the fun characters and rewards system. Although she cannot read, she understood the concept of the game. She knew what the images represented and took some guesses to the answer but even though she didn’t win all the time, she was shown the correct answer after a few guesses and as she played the same themes. I also read out the options which helped her understand the order of each word and in turn improve her visual memory of the words.

We would love it if each word was read out by the character at first and then as the child selects it to solve the multiple choice game. It would also be great if when solved the word appears and is read out too to reinforce learning.

We love this app as it has great graphics, simple concepts, it is easy for children to understand and learn from. We really like the use of cute characters, themes, rewards that children can appreciate as well as the multiple choice game. This app has no ads or third party advertisement or in-app purchases. There is however a parental area which has access to other apps from the developer as well as other options which is locked by a parental gate.



Words with Ibbleobble Words with Ibbleobble by KidDotCo

Price: $1.99 USD

Winner of the 'Highly Commended App' award at the Lincolnshire Digital Awards 2016.

Words with Ibbleobble is an incredibly fun word game that helps to teach children new words. The app will help.

Amos the Astronaut by Van Winkle Studio LLC – Review



iPad Screenshot 1

What we love…

Fun brightly colored app that encourages problem solving in a way that encourages preschoolers and older to engage with the app to complete the tasks as get Amos on his way

What we’d love to see…

even with hints some of the items are hard to find, my son also found the “backwards” navigation a bit challenging at times.  I’d also like to see more content in the app – after the one adventure the app is done.

Summary

Fun app that encourages kids to problem solve to help fix Amos’ ship by working with locals to put the pieces back together.  I’d like to see more content in the app at the current price point.

Our Rating

Amos the AstronautAmos the Astronaut by Van Winkle Studio LLC is a universal app for iOS featuring the astronaut Amos and a journey he has to get his space ship flying again!  The interactive storybook format of the app has you with Amos as he searches for items to fix the broken space ship.  The app opens with a sequence of the ship crashing and then Amos starts searching the forest for various tools to fix his ship.  As you complete each activity then you are given additional places to go within the app.  As you gather items they are stored in the “inventory” or toolbox.  As Amos starts chopping down the tree he is captured by locals who put him in jail but lucky he’s is creative and finds a way out!  The locals then help him as he tries to fix his ship via a variety of tasks.  After gathering everything and working with the villagers, the adventure is solved and Amos flies off in his space ship.  This app is perfect for preschoolers and early elementary aged children. You can also read an “e-book” of the story here.

I liked the bright colors of the app as well as the word bubbles which helped my son as he’s starting to read so he could see them as well as hear them spoken (note they do not include word highlighting).    I also love that the app encourages problem solving – in a fun age appropriate way like finding a specifically designed egg or solving a problem like chopping on a tree. It provides sequential step by step – although at times it seems like you go “backwards” in your adventure instead of forward when you meet the villagers.  I also liked the various interactions on each page which encouraged kids to follow directions to help Amos make his fin.

In terms of improvements – some of the items were really hard to find even with the hints – my son especially struggled with the toolbox which essentially unlocked the app.  It might be useful to have a map that shows the locations of the various items.  Some of the animations like hammering the flint were not necessarily realistic – as the hammer is close to his head instead of his hand. Once the “adventure” is completed with the fin and Amos is on his way the app just ends – it would be fun if there were more adventures or a way to navigate around inside of his ship as right now the amount of content is a bit limited and once the adventure is solved there is nothing additional to do other than reset the app and start over again.

Overall, this is a fun find and seek app where you look for hidden clues to work and fix Amos’ ship.  There’s an underlying theme of problem solving where you find items to help complete the ship and work with local residents by making arrows, finding eggs, and working with the blacksmith.  There are no in app purchases or external links.


Amos the Astronaut
Amos the Astronaut
by Van Winkle Studio LLC

Category: Books, Entertainment
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: 250.21 MB

$2.99USD

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.

Dr. Panda Racers by Dr. Panda Ltd – Review



iPad Screenshot 3

What we love…

ability to make your own track and customize your car before race time, variety of surfaces to race on as well as ability to create your own car and track

What we’d love to see…

practice mode, more track, multiplayer functionality, ability to paint with a brush  rather than just spray paint

Summary

Fun racing app that is a bit different than the norm which encourages creativity and fun by allowing you to make your own cars and tracks

Our Rating

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

iPad Screenshot 1

When you build your car, you choose a front, middle and back.  Then it’s on to the tires.  If you are lucky enough to win a race, you can pick a piece of the opponents car to put into your garage of parts which you can then use to make another car.  After building the car it’s on to the pits where you can air up your tires, put gas in your car or simply give it a wash.  You can also choose which character you want to “drive” the car around the track from a variety of characters which are familiar from Dr. Panda games.

My eight year old loves this app!  He told me that it was fun to be able to design your own vehicle and test out tracks.  It was fun to see some of the combinations he put together.  The dirt and sand tracks were a bit challenging – but as my son got better at navigating the twists and turns as well as the unpredictability of the mud he got faster completing them.  He loved customizing his car with pieces he won from the various races and trying out a tried and tested car that he had won with on a new track.  When picking the different tracks a variety of “stunts” come up and you can tap on the stunt to switch it out for another – a feature my son liked as he got more savvy with each of the race tracks.   It would also be fun to have the child “race” the car in first person mode as well.

In terms of enhancements – I’d like to see an option to earn extra track – sometimes as my son got more advanced he wanted to create more complex tracks but ran out of the graphite/road to make them.  I’d also like to see a practice mode so you can learn how to do the track not in competition.  It would also be fun if there was a way to make this multiplayer so two kids could race against each other using the same or different iPads.  He also really enjoyed customizing his car – and asked me several times for a paintbrush option so he could do detail work that the spray paint was a bit to fussy for.

Overall, this is a fun racing app which encourages kids to be creative and practice both planning and fine motor skills as they navigate the twists and turns of the track.  This app is aimed at kids preschool age and up, although older kids will enjoy it because of the flexibility and ability to create their own cars and designs which will keep them entertained for hours!  There are no in app purchases and there is a parental gate does provide links to Dr. Panda content.

iTunes Link: Dr. Panda Racers

Dr. Panda Racers
Dr. Panda Racers
by Dr. Panda Ltd

Category: Education, Games, Educational, Family
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: 259.76 MB

$2.99USD

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.