Mathemagics Multiplication by SlimCricket – Review



screen mathemagics

What we love…

An effortless approach to learning the times tables using fun stories.

What we’d love to see…

Include the narrative text in the stories and a story quiz in the training mode to help students better recall the details of the stories before attempting the multiplication questions to ensure greater success.

Summary

Mathemagics Multiplication offers an unconventional but effective story mnemonics technique for memorizing the times tables of 1 to 10.

Our Rating

How do children learn the multiplication tables? First, they learn how to multiply, then they need to memorize the multiplication tables so that they can quickly solve math problems. This usually means lots of practice through boring drills and repetitive exercises. But what if we present you with an approach that can help speed up the memorization process while being fun at the same time? Will you give it a try even if the approach is unconventional or untested?

Mathemagics Multiplication by SlimCricket is a new app that aims to help students memorize the multiplication tables in a whole new way using stories. While memory techniques using songs and stories are not new, it is still uncommon to have students use stories in memorizing the times tables.

But even if you are skeptical, it’s still worth your time to download Mathemagics Multiplication’s free lite version app to read the parents’ guide and let your child have a go at the trial.

Before getting to the stories, students are introduced to the characters in the stories. These are actually the numbers 1 to 10, each with its own name and a personality that helps define how they interact with other characters (numbers). The first section of the app ‘I discover’ is devoted to this character association using a character quiz. This is easy as each character is shaped like its number counterpart.

Once the student has successfully completed the quiz for a character, he can then proceed to watch the multiplication stories for that number in the ‘I learn’ section. Each story is a short cartoon animation and works on the child’s visual memory of what the story is about. There is no explanation for how the times table work, students just need to watch and learn the story. The unique stories help students to form a memorable association between the characters/numbers in a multiplication fact so that when they see the numbers, they remember the stories and then the multiplication facts that they represent.

IMG_9340

What I like in this section is the ’trick’ to help students remember only half of the tables. Your child (or even yourself) may not be aware of this because this is often not highlighted. This trick works well in this app because students don’t need to work through each table by repeatedly adding the same number. They just need to learn the stories and the stories for half of the tables are the same, for example the story for 2 X 4 is the same as that for 4 X 2.

After the students have gone through all the stories from a times table, they can then move on to the levelled exercises in the ‘I play’ section where their memory of the stories is tested. Here, they can choose between the training or game mode, the difference is that points for correct answers are only given in the game mode. The multiplication questions in the ‘I play’ section are first presented in the form of the characters and then the mnemonics are gradually phased out as the students progress.

IMG_9335

After completing the tests in the ‘I play’ section, students can go on to do even more practice in “My challenges’ and earn rewards. Besides the mnemonic training, this app packs in lots of levelled quizzes and challenges to help your child master their times tables in the shortest time possible.

To keep students motivated to complete more quizzes and challenges, points collected from the game mode can be used to buy a house and the furniture for each character in ‘My rewards’ section.

For parents and teachers, you can track up to 3 students’ progress in the full version app ($4.99) while the school version app ($7.99) allows you to create up to 40 profiles.

For children, memorizing a silly story is definitely easier than a multiplication fact. This app takes advantage of children’s innate ability to retain information that has been presented to them visually. It does not take away the importance of understanding the concept of multiplication. It just provides students with a quick and easy way to memorize the tables which in turn speeds up problem solving and reduce frustrations.

You may not be comfortable with this non-traditional method of mastering the times tables, but do keep an open mind and let your child try it out. The free trial version of the app allows your child to learn some of multiplication facts from the 4 times table. My youngest hasn’t gone through all the stories yet but for those that he did, he gave faster and more accurate answers after using the app. This app is definitely worth a try and you may be surprised at how well it works for your child.

Like on Facebook:


Facebook
Website
Twitter

Mathemagics Multiplication
Mathemagics Multiplication-School Edition

Mathemagics Multiplication Mathemagics Multiplication by SlimCricket

Price: $FREE

The FUN way to learn MULTIPLICATION TABLES!!!

With this free version, kids can try out multiplication tables for the number 4. The full version of the app can be unlocked with an in-app purchase.

 

 

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.

Ladybug Band by Rain Boot Media LLC – Review and Giveaway



screen ladybug band

Ladybug Band by Rain Boot Media LLC is a 28-page rhyming musical storybook app that introduces children to different kinds of sounds and gets them involved in a musical performance with the Ladybug Band.

What we love…

Children are able to sing or play along with the band and have it recorded.

What we’d love to see…

Words highlighted in sync with the narration, repeat button for narration.

Summary

Ladybug Band is filled with colorful illustrations, different interesting sounds and fun interactive activities that will appeal to preschool children.

Our Rating

The 4-member Ladybug Band lives on the island of Kacha and they love to perform every night by the sea. There is Squiggle on the microphone, Bouncer on the strings, Dotley on the drums and Cheeks on the reeds (a wind instrument). Readers are introduced to the sounds of these 4 musical instruments – voice, strings, drums and winds as each member appears on stage.

Then the story invites the readers to be a part of the music with a variety of actions like shaking the iPad, drawing the campfire, clapping and dancing to the beat! More interesting sounds are heard and these include the sound of the waves breaking, the crackling sound of the campfire, the scratching sound of drawing in the sand and the whistling sound of the wind. This book app is quite a treat to the senses!

But the most enjoyable part for kids must be the chance to be a member of the Ladybug Band, singing or playing their musical instruments to the Coconut Jamboree tune and recording (audio only) their performance in the app.

IMG_9142

Up to 6 recorded sessions can be saved. When the recording is full, you just need to delete a previous recording to free up space for a new recording. These recordings are easily accessible from the home page which means that kids can come back frequently for a quick jamming session with the Band.

IMG_9204

There are 2 reading modes – children can either read along with the app or read it by themselves. For the read along mode, I hope that the app will add a word-by-word highlighting feature to facilitate words recognition for younger children. It would be awesome if this feature is also added to the Coconut Jamboree lyrics in the sing-along section.

IMG_9009

The story is simple but children will be happily engaged by the many interactive activities that are found in all its pages. The app is also easy and safe for young children to play by themselves. This is a delightful musical book app that gets children singing, dancing and performing together with the Ladybug Band.

Like on Facebook:


Facebook
Website
Twitter

Ladybug Band

Ladybug Band Ladybug Band by Rain Boot Media LLC

Price: $1.99 USD

"This picture book app is so much fun, and educational on so many levels!"
- Sara Tate Goldstein, Principal
Accelerated Schools of Overland Park

"My 7 year old loves recording her own voice.

Promo Code Giveaway

1. http://redeem-now.com/444d0e4057bb
2. http://redeem-now.com/d37a8c6717ff
3. http://redeem-now.com/214776f1cdf4
4. http://redeem-now.com/fc0ae934cd8b
5. http://redeem-now.com/8212dbb5da96

 

 

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.

Animal Rescue by PatrickGeorge Ltd – Review



IMG_8958

Whether we like it or not, our kids frequently witness activities that are cruel to animals thinking that these are acceptable and they may never find out about the realities behind these practices. As adults, we too don’t think much about the consequences of our actions on the plight of the animals around us. Do we continue to visit animal shows where animals are kept in confined spaces? Do we question where our food come from and how the food industry is run? Are there animal-friendly alternatives to our fashion and food preferences? Are we guilty of contributing to the rising number of abandoned pets? Do we educate our kids enough about animal welfare and wildlife conservation?

What we love…

The creative use of transparent pages to visually show the opposite effects of our harmful/compassionate actions on the animals around us.

What we’d love to see…

Discussion guide for parents.

Summary

Simple but impactful, Animal Rescue is full of surprises and thought provoking actions for both children and adults.

Our Rating

I started to think about these issues after sharing the book app, Animal Rescue by PatrickGeorge Ltd with my youngest. This is actually a fun picture book for children to play animal rescue hero but strangely it was thought provoking at the same time. My son enjoyed freeing the animals and with a little prompting, he began to ask why the animals were not happy and wondered why certain actions were wrong. He was also curious to know what happened after he saved them? It is a simple yet powerful app that provided us with lots of learning opportunities.

While Animal Rescue is easy to play and seemingly simple, it is full of surprises for kids to discover. There are 14 animals to be saved in the app. Two side-by-side pages are devoted to each animal – the picture on the right shows the animal in captivity (or cruelly treated) and the left shows a scene where the animal rightfully belongs. A transparent page lies in between the two pages and it has a picture of the animal printed on it. This overlay completes the pages on both sides.

With a flip (swiping or tapping action) of the transparent page from right to left, kids feel empowered as they can transport the animal from captivity to freedom and instantly change the animal’s well being. They can also see the change taking place gradually if they turn the transparent page slowly. What I like best is the clever use of these transparent pages to make the animal from one page becomes part of the other page as we turn the transparent pages back and forth. This two-way flipping shows vividly the damaging effects of our actions and what needs to be done. What is interesting is that you don’t know what is the full story on the other page until you turn the transparent page.

IMG_8989

This picture book is also available in a physical book version but the app has the advantage in that readers can immerse in a more interactive environment with various sound effects like the sound of the animals, their natural habitat and the celebratory cheers when an animal is rescued. There are also light animations on each page to entertain the readers.

IMG_8967

There are no words in this picture book but there is really no need for them as the bright and colorful illustrations clearly convey the need for animal protection. Being wordless also allows you to pitch your conversations to your child’s level of understanding. It could be just a fun animal rescue story book that introduces your child to empathy for animals, or a conservation awareness book that prompts your child to take a stand on inhumane acts against animals, or an open-ended book to encourage your child to talk about how we can make a difference in the lives of these animals. It can be used for different age groups and purposes in that sense.

IMG_8974

Animal Rescue is a simple but educational and meaningful book app that makes a heavy topic easy for young children to understand. It’s a topic that we don’t talk about enough but the fun and ingenious transparent pages in this book app will have children coming back to play and talking often. Every child should have access to this wonderful book, be it at home or in the school.

Like on Facebook:


Facebook
Website
Twitter

Animal Rescue

Animal Rescue Book Animal Rescue Book by PatrickGeorge Ltd

Price: $1.99 USD

The animals need your help! Scroll across to tap any animal button or turn the page to navigate and then swipe the magic transparent page to rescue it!

Then watch the animals come to life in this.

 

 

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.

Life Stages by Storm Educational Software – Review



iPad Screenshot 1

What we love…

simple designs which make it easy to learn and understand life stages

What we’d love to see…

an update to fix tiny glitches and the introduction of more life stages of animals, insects and plants

Summary

We love it and want more!

Our Rating

Life StagesLife Stages is an educational app\that lets children discover the life stages of different creatures. It was created by Storm Educational Software who also make other great apps such as ‘Naming parts of the body’, ‘Seeds to Plants’, ‘Plant Nursery’ and ‘Looking after animals’.

Although the app is aimed at children aged five to seven years old, my three year old enjoyed learning about the life stages of a butterfly, a chicken, a flower, a frog, a human and a tree. With a little help, she was able to pick different images and position them onto different stages of the life process as I read out the stages to her. She liked the little dog dancing once the stages were completed successfully. She also found it interesting to listen to the little snippets of information on each stage photo. She loved the life stage of the chicken the most.

iPad Screenshot 4

The app has a simple design which works well with neat images, text and a clear voice. It explains the important life stages of different plants, animals and humans. It has an options page to select from English to Spanish, change the level difficulty from easy/medium/hard and sound on/off. It also has an instructions page as well as a reports page which lets parents and teachers check the child’s progress. This app has no in-app purchases or ads.

We experienced a few glitches at times when the image at the bottom changed which made it hard to grab an image and sometimes the same appeared twice, but I am sure this can easily be fixed. We would love more examples of life stages in animals, insects and plants. Some great additions would be the life stages of domestic, wild and farm animals.

Overall, we enjoyed this app which is a great educational tool for home and school for little ones and older children to grasp the concept of life stages. We want more!

LITE


Life Stages Lite Life Stages Lite by Storm Educational Software

Price: $FREE

How does a caterpillar turn into a butterfly? a tadpole turn into a frog? Let children discover the life stages of many types of animal with this early years science app for children aged 4 to 8 years.

Full version


Life Stages Life Stages by Storm Educational Software

Price: $1.99 USD

How does a caterpillar turn into a butterfly? a tadpole turn into a frog? Let children discover the life stages of many types of animal with this early years science app for children aged 4 to 8 years.

Bamba Surprise by Mezmedia – Review (FREE APP!)



iPad Screenshot 5

NOTE: Based on our feedback, Bamba has made a number of enhancements to this free app which include the removal of letters on the gumball machine, simpler more age appropriate words that align better with my first grader’s learning.  The words appear to be aligned with simpler sight words and are typically between four and eight letters along with an image which allowed my son to “de-code” the words a bit more easily.

What we love…

catchy music, engaging for kids, great way to teach spelling with a few tweaks

What we’d love to see…

a correlation between the letters as the egg goes down the gum ball machine to the final spelled words, more consistency on the types of words

Summary

Good functionality, needs to have some tweaks to make it more user friendly

Our Rating

Bamba SurpriseBamba Surprise by Mezmedia is a universal app designed for iOS that features a coin turning gum ball machine which features a coin that is dropped in the machine and an egg is dropped down to the bottom.  A tap on the egg cause it to open up and you are presented with letters and an image of the word you are trying to spell.  After successfully completing the word, it is stored in the closet that you can go back to and look at.

The graphics in the app were well done and vibrant.  My son enjoyed playing with the gum ball machine and spelling out words.  Some of them were a bit higher than his current reading level, but since the letters were there it made it easier for him to spell them out.   Perhaps the letters in the machine (Z,Z, W, P) in my most recent word puzzle could be used as a fill in the blank in a different puzzle.  There are three different game machines that can be played.

iPad Screenshot 3

One of the challenges I had was when you dropped the item into the machine, four letters appeared, (D,C,G, W) for example and the word was quill.  It would have been nice if there was a correlation of the letters to the spelling word.  I also wished there was a way to turn off the background music, currently if you mute it then you can’t hear the letter sounds as you place them.  This is an app that I would not be able to suggest for learning readers especially since they take cues from various pieces and not having any correlation between the gum ball machine and the word can be problematic.  I’d also like to see the ability to input your own spelling words as this is a catchy app that engaged my son, some of the words were simply too hard and ran the gamut between words like “quill” to “pancakes”.

The app does contain advertising for other Bamba apps, but it is protected by a parental gate in the form of a math problem.  There is also a cog wheel on the front page of the app, which if you tap on it and it lights up contains external links to Facebook, Twitter and the iTunes store.  The arrows at the top of the splash screen allow you to scroll to the other Bamba apps, but are protected with a parental gate to ensure that kids do not get in there unless they solve the math problem.  I would like to see a stronger parental gate for the social media links.

Overall, I liked the functionality of the app and the fact that my son engaged with playing with it, but having words that were too hard, or that didn’t match the letters was a bit frustrating.  My son and I played it together, and he was able to complete 15 puzzles in about 25 minutes with help for some of the harder words.

Bamba Surprise - Peekaboo with Words and Letters, Collect Special Toys and Learn English Words
Bamba Surprise - Peekaboo with Words and Letters, Collect Special Toys and Learn English Words
by Mezmedia

Category: Education, Games, Educational
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: 263.65 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.

NOTE: This video does not represent the newly updated app, but I wanted to include it to get a general overview of the app.

Ozobot Bit 2.0 by Ozobot – Review



Ozobot Bit 2.0 (Titanium Black)

What we love…

super easy to use out of the box, encourages learning both on and off of a device as well as teaches kids basic programming skills and following directions

What we’d love to see…

a bit more information about what paper to use when drawing your Ozobot a design on physical paper as well as a link to all of the STEM learning sites

Summary

Fun, interactive must have science and learning toy which will teach your kids the fundamentals of Blocky programming while they are having fun and grooving to the music!

Our Rating

 

recommended-by-the-imums

Ozobot Bit 2.0 (Titanium Black)Ozobot Bit 2.0 is a small robot, about the size of your hand.  Don’t let the small size fool you, this handheld robot brought hours of fun to my seven year old.  My son loved having dance parties, STEM and science inspired learning, computer programming, cooperative play and more.  The Ozobot Bit was ready to play with as soon as you opened the box.  The Ozobot uses twin motors to drive quietly and precisely while using a sensor at the bottom of the robot which allows it to scan the path.  Ozobot Bit can see color, follow lines (both on your device as well as drawn on a piece of paper) and detect intersections.  My son drew intricate patterns using a Sharpie marker as well as using the included app.  The Ozobot Bit runs for about an hour on a single charge, and charged in about two hours.  I loved that it included STEM lesson plans which helped me tailor learning to him both on and off of the device.

Ozobot Bit is just over an inch tall and one inch wide.  Ozobot can be played with either using your iDevice (iPad) or by drawing lines on paper which it will trace.  You can also use OzoBlocky which lets you use your desktop or laptop computer, and create your own movement schedules such as how fast or slow you want your Ozobot to move, what light pattern you want it to flash, if you want it to go forward or back and how many times you want it to complete a particular movement pattern.

iPad Screenshot 2

When we opened Ozobot Bit there were several small cards which had pre-designed pattern templates designed to help you calibrate your Ozobot.  We drew out some designs while we waited for the Ozobot to get a full charge and be ready to go.  We also downloaded a few of the Apps including my sons favorite, the Ozobot Groove which had some pre-designed dance moves and then he could make up his own patterns.  I loved that my son was programming – without even realizing it as he worked step by step to create the dance moves he wanted his Ozobot to complete.  When we sat down at the computer, I explained that the moves we made on the screen would be brought to life using the Ozobot.  We used the Ozobot Bit to complete some science homework one night – which required him to write a simple program which I filmed using my iPhone to share with his teacher.  It was a win win because my son loved the activity and it brought science to life.  Some of the patterns he made were crazy – with lots of blinking lights while others were more choreographed and easier to follow along.

In terms of enhancements, I would suggest a bit better instructions when using a marker and paper.  We had to experiment a bit with the thickness of the paper as well as which marker to use.  Both Sharpies and Crayola markers worked well on plan white printer paper, while heavier weight art based paper with colored markers was a bit more of a miss.  I’m not sure why, but suspect it was because the thickness of the paper made it harder due to the lack of smoothness for the Ozobot Bit to follow along.

Ozobot Bit would be a great item to add to your kids holiday shopping list.  It’s fun, portable, easy to use and has provided many hours of fun to my seven year old.    It will provide skills such as early programming using Blocky, setting patterns and routines using the included iPad or iPhone app as well as off device fun.  The versatility, portability and fun of a robot that can work on many different surfaces from a tablet, to paper to a program run on your computer will have your child entertained for hours!  STEM learning at it’s best! My son asks if we can adapt his weekly science homework to somehow include the Ozobot Bit. I call that a win for sure!

The Ozobot Bit can be purchased for approximately $59.99 and is available from many retailers including Amazon and New Egg

New Egg (one pack)

New Egg (two pack)

 

Ozobot
Ozobot
by Evollve, Inc.

Category: Games, Family, Educational, Entertainment
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: 459.58 MB

$FREE

Screenshots for iPad
(Click to enlarge)

OzoGroove
OzoGroove
by Evollve, Inc.

Category: Entertainment, 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: 341.21 MB

$FREE

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

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.

 

Silly Billy – Hair Salon: Style Your Animals by wonderkind GmbH – Review



screen silly billy

What we love…

Use of modern hairstyling tools and fun little games.

What we’d love to see…

An in-app hairstyle magazine featuring all the creative work produced.

Summary

A fashionable hairstyling and styling app for the child designers with silly animations, sounds and games to multiply the fun.

Our Rating

Silly Billy Hair Salon by wonderkind is definitely the virtual Hair Salon for the modern kids. It is fully equipped with a range of contemporary hairstyling tools, fun hair colors and trendy tattoo stickers, and has clients chewing gum and dancing to funky music!

image

Kids first choose the animal that they want to style (Billy the Sheep, Leo the Lion, Peter the Panda or Hanna the Horse) and then pull a lever to find out what hairstyle the animal wants before stepping into their imaginary hair salon. My youngest enjoys this game of chance to see what hairstyle idea comes up on the screen, preferring these over the freestyle option. This is because he gets rewards for successfully reproducing the hairstyle that was chosen.

Just like a real hair salon, there are tools to trim, cut, shave, curl, straighten, wash (hot or cold water), dry, color and style the animals’ hair in the Silly Billy Hair Salon. The beauty of a virtual hair salon is that all actions can be reverse and mistakes rectified easily, allowing kids to experiment freely. To complete the new look, kids can continue to style the animals with different fun tattoo stickers, hair accessories, hats, eyewear and footwear.

image

At the end of the styling session, kids can capture the makeover in the photo studio against different color backgrounds for the client’s portfolio or even share it with others. In keeping with the makeover theme, why not have all the photos “published” in an animated Hairstyling Magazine? It would be so much fun!!

If you think that is all to it in the Silly Billy Hair Salon, you will be happy to know that kids can continue to play with the animals after the stying is over. They can feed the hungry animals and watch them practice some cool dance moves before sending the animals off to party. My youngest loves to see his animals chew bubble gum and burst the bubble after that! Fans of wonderkind’s Tiny Builders will also be thrilled with the guest appearance of some of their favorite characters from that app.

Sounds like a cool app to check out? Whether the finished look on the animals has been inspired by the ideas from the app or it is a drastic transformation, your kids will have fun playing with various hairstyling tools/techiniques and accessories, experimenting with different looks and enjoying their creations in their imaginary hair salon. Download the app for free to style the sheep now and if your children can’t get enough of the fun, get them the 3 other animals (and 15 new hairstyles) as well. Each animal is unique with its own funny animation and sound that will sure to entertain your children. Silly Billy – Hair Salon: Style Your Animals is definitely worth a download!

Like on Facebook:


Facebook
Website
Twitter

Silly Billy Hair Salon

Silly Billy Hair Salon: Styling App for Kids Silly Billy Hair Salon: Styling App for Kids by wonderkind GmbH
Category: Education, Family, Role Playing, 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: 159.68 MB

$FREE

 

 

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.

Yum-Yum Letters – learn how to write letters from A to Z and improve handwriting by Kindermatica – Review



iPad Screenshot 2

What we love…

step by step letter formation app that teaches capital letters for preschoolers

What we’d love to see…

lowercase letters as well as the ability to go “back” if your child struggles with a specific step – right now there is no option to do so.

Summary

This is a great app for preschoolers especially those learning early letter skills and helps them practice in a fun interactive way – much better than the worksheets I used to use when I worked with kids in preschool age!

Our Rating

Yum-Yum Letters - learn how to write letters from A to Z and improve handwritingYum-Yum Letters by Kindermatica is an app for iOS designed to help children learn capital letter formation by using a step by step teaching method.  Children can choose from either a winter snowflake or a summer caterpillar scene.  The app uses a step by step method which starts with tracing using dots, then moves to tracing a shape and finally freehand writing the letter.  After successfully completing the letter in three ways there is a mini game which provides praise for children. and lets them design a star object with “stickers”.  There are two fonts, the Zaner-Bloser (normal handwriting fot) and the HWT font which is better for kids with fine motor challenges.

There is a parental dashboard that lets you see the letters, number of tries, starting dots and gives you an idea of your children’s practice and skills achieved.  The dashboard shows how many times your kids may have gone outside of the letter border as well.  It also has an “easy” mode for younger kids and a “regular” mode for older kids which can be set as well as game limits and number of exercises to complete an award. You can also choose the handwriting font as well.  I also found that cleaning my device screen helped immensely when using the app especially when doing the tracing so nothing “extra” was on the screen.

I liked that this app encouraged a step by step process and required you to stay within the lines and follow a process in order to complete the letter.   The artwork was fun and bright and the letters when you drew them were clear and easy to read.  The directions were easy to follow for kids “find the starting point” which it would show, and then the encouragement to write the letter.  This helped kids stay on task and track to ensure the letters were completed correctly and properly.  If a child went outside of the letters, it would erase and then you would need to restart making that portion of the letter.  I liked the three step process as it encouraged mastery and practicing of fine motor skills.  The fading prompts were good to encourage kids to go on and master the letter skill.   We used both our finger and a stylus to complete the letter tracing activities and encouraged proper pencil grasp with the stylus.  The app lets you have multiple children and can do it in “ABC order” which is from A – Z or recommended order which starts with the letter E and ends with S which is much harder to form.  My son really liked that he could choose the season in the app to be either winter or summertime.

In terms of future enhancements, I would like to see the ability to go “back” if your child gets stuck on a specific step – say they can successfully trace and fill in the letter but have trouble on the “free mode.”  I’d also like to see lowercase letters as those are another important early learning skill for kids to master.  I would also like to see an option to turn off the splash screen advertising the other Kindermatica app as it might be distracting for some.

This is a great app for preschoolers especially those learning early letter skills and helps them practice in a fun interactive way – much better than the worksheets I used to use when I worked with kids in preschool age!  There is a parental gate but there are no in app purchases or external links.



Yum-Yum Letters: handwriting for kids, abc tracing Yum-Yum Letters: handwriting for kids, abc tracing by Kindermatica Ltd.

Price: $3.99 USD

***Yum Yum Letters is a great way to encourage your child to engage in repeated practice for production of alphabet letters, in order to foster beginning handwriting skills. - AppyMall.com ***

.

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.

1. http://redeem-now.com/5f7edfa39789
2. http://redeem-now.com/a292d2f8070b
3. http://redeem-now.com/0ea1b99d988b
4. http://redeem-now.com/c0bb4060e285
5. http://redeem-now.com/3085ac083119

Fishing With Grandpa by Fairlady Media – Review & Giveaway



grandpa

What we love…

bright colors, realistic fishing game that incorporates educational elements like counting, spotting the difference, find an object and more

What we’d love to see…

the ability to change the number of puzzle pieces, the ability to tap on the “thought bubble” and have Grandpa tell us what he’s thinking again

Summary

Fun app designed to work on a number of skills with Grandpa that has a wide appeal to the audience.

Our Rating

Fishing With GrandpaFishing with Grandpa by Fairlady Media is an iOS app designed for preschoolers that focuses on a variety of skills including, object identification (find an object from a field), counting (find the groups of x fish) , find the treasure using the crab in the maze, putting together a six piece puzzle, spot the difference (look at the objects and determine which one is different), find everything that matches the description (find all the “green” fish), simple video’s to explain fishing and then the opportunity to pick a lure and cast a line and catch a fish which you reel in.  Once you catch the fish, they are measured and you pick the right number from the measuring tape and then add it to your “collection”.  It practices fine motor skills, early math skills, object identification and more.

This is a fun app designed for late preschool through early elementary school which features positive reinforcement (stars) when you complete an activity correctly.  I liked that it used realistic in showing colors with the fish as well as the action and movement of the app.  The narration is clear and easy to understand with Grandpa speaking in his patient voice telling us, please find x and encouraging kids even if they get the wrong answer.  The colors are bright and fun and help children truly understand what it is like to go fishing.

iPad Screenshot 2

In terms of future enhancements, I’d like to see the ability to change the number of puzzle pieces (perhaps range from a four piece puzzle to an eight piece puzzle), the ability to “row” grandpa’s boat as well as if you have trouble finding an object in the field the ability to tap on the “thought bubble” above Grandpa’s Head which currently just says an object like “hook” but it does not repeat if you either tap it or pick the wrong object.  Right now, the wrong object will disappear reducing the field , but it does not see, I want the fishing hook or I want my hat.  I’d also like especially for younger kids who don’t know how to read the ability to see the number of objects they are looking for.   My first grader also commented that he wanted to see an “end” to the maze not just the treasure as it gave him a better way to trace the direction for the crab as well as a spot for him to “sit” in the boat since it is currently filled with Grandpa’s gear.  He also noted, that Grandpa doesn’t have a life jacket – something we talk about a lot as we enjoy water based activities.  Personally, I’d also love to see a frog catching game as that was a fun part of going to the pond for me.

The app features a parental lock which allows the parent to choose which games are included in the app, they range from find the gear to fish groups, mazes, puzzles, reel it in, measurement and more as well as the ability to turn the music on and off.  There is also an advertising section for the other Fairlady Media apps which features a pop up video and advertising, but you can’t click beyond to email or access iTunes without entering in your year of birth.

Overall, this is a fun game aimed at the slightly older preschooler through early elementary aged child. The ability to choose from the ten different games as well as choosing which ones are most appropriate for your child means the app has wide appeal for kids and adults alike.  I even caught myself playing along as I enjoyed watching the video’s about the different fish as well as catching the different fish.  This is a great addition to the Fairlady Media Suite of apps featuring Grandma and Grandpa.  I can’t wait to see what comes next – perhaps a crafting with Grandma app?  Only time will tell!



Fishing With Grandpa Fishing With Grandpa by Fairlady Media

Price: $2.99 USD

Let’s go on a fishing adventure with Grandpa! Grab some gear, play underwater games, choose a lure, cast a line, hook and reel in a fish, and add new fish to your collection! Grandpa needs your help.

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.

1. http://redeem-now.com/f5f31e0f75c7
2. http://redeem-now.com/295251e203ab
3. http://redeem-now.com/dbe59969b71e
4. http://redeem-now.com/fd9b74834c8c
5. http://redeem-now.com/b82f7e780d67
6. http://redeem-now.com/9e2a02e3b67e
7. http://redeem-now.com/f4834b86099d
8. http://redeem-now.com/ea7d44a02b1a
9. http://redeem-now.com/d7dffc0c3c3d
10. http://redeem-now.com/3e5f6d5baf8b

Wonster Words by 77Sparx Studio – Review & Giveaway



iPad Screenshot 1

What we love…

easy to use phonics and reading app that provides word families to encourage reading with phonics

What we’d love to see…

Stronger parental gate, more instructions for some of the mini games

Summary

Fun app for emerging readers that mixes monsters and fun

Our Rating

Wonster Words - spelling... iconWonster Words is an app for iOS which teaches kids words using word families, phonics, vocabulary words and digraphs in a fun interactive way using monsters as the underlying theme.  For example, the word families for “at” include “splat”, “cat”, “rat”, “bat”.  First you make the word with letters then you see a variety of ways it is illustrated “baseball bat” or “bat” the animal.  After completing the word, you move on to see it illustrated and then used in a “real world” setting.  The app is targeted at older preschool and early elementary aged children as it captures a number of sight words and can be used by pre-reading children as well as those working on sight words.

I loved when you were making words that the letters are sounded out individually as that helped my son clearly understand each of the words and the sounds that they made as well a describing what the word did.  For example, “hike” showed the word and then a nature hike.   There’s a nice carry over of skills here that encourages kids to engage in a fun way and continue using the app.  I also liked that you could scroll through the app and look for specific word families to practice on – my son in particular struggles with the “th” since it’s silent at times and he did well with this lesson and was able to practice the words in real time.  My son also commented that the monsters “were not scary” and he liked that.

In terms of improvements, I would like to see the word spelling required to be done in order rather than just dragging the letters in as it encourages kids to sound out the word.  I also wish that there were instructions for some of the games, the one with the monster falling where you need to capture the lightening bugs took a bit for my son to figure out – although he loved the obstacles and trying to catch all of them.  The price point for the app is a bit high, but you do get a lot of content for the dollar.  I would also like to see a stronger parental gate, perhaps one that includes a math problem rather than a “press and hold” model.

Overall, this app is a good one for teaching emerging readers. It did a nice job of practicing phonics and word families and helped my son understand the concepts of reading. The price tag is a bit high so I encourage you to try it and if you like it, then you can purchase it either via in-app purchases or by purchasing the pro version of the app.



Wonster Words - ABC Phonics Spelling Games for Kid Wonster Words - ABC Phonics Spelling Games for Kid by 77Sparx Studio, Inc.

Price: $FREE

• Award-winning ABC, phonics, and spelling app!
Is your child learning the alphabet, spelling or phonics? Does your kid or toddler like silly videos and fun educational games? If so, download Wonster.

Full version (no IAP)


Wonster Words (Pro Edition) spelling, ABC, phonics Wonster Words (Pro Edition) spelling, ABC, phonics by 77Sparx Studio, Inc.

Price: $14.99 USD

• Multiple-awards winning app from the maker of Puzzingo Puzzles!
Is your child learning to spell? Is your kid sounding out words with phonics? Does your kid like silly videos? If so, download Wonster.

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.

1. http://redeem-now.com/df4d0bd8f03e
2. http://redeem-now.com/b9baf8f29566
3. http://redeem-now.com/396eb11834f6
4. http://redeem-now.com/f47fa6c2a958
5. http://redeem-now.com/894dfacf265d