Bluebee Pals App by Kayle Concepts LLC – Review



Bluebee Pals App by Kayle Concepts LLC – Review

What we love…

Bluebee Pals app is a fun educational app which encourages kids to practice daily routines, using words to narrate what they are doing, sight words and play

 

Summary

Overall, the Bluebee Pals app is a fantastic app which encourages kids to learn as well as have fun. I love seeing all the different ways that my kids interact with the app and try the various activities. The app is gender neutral and allows you to pick your favorite Bluebee Pal to play along OR choose your own Bluebee Pal.

Our Rating

Bluebee Pals App

Bluebee Pals App

Bluebee Pals app by Kayle Concepts LLC  is a universal app for iOS and Android.  As many of you know, I have been part of The iMums for a really long time!  I’m pleased to note, that I had a chance to help design this app.  The app brings BlueBee Pals to life using an app which teaches life skills such as; bathing, tooth brushing, washing hands, bedtime routines, as well as a kitchen which encourages your child to feed Bluebee a variety of meals and snacks.  The app uses scaffolded learning, the first mini game is generally easier and for younger children – if you tap the arrow at the bottom you are given a more complex game for example, lining up your ABC’s turns into sight words.  In the ice cream mini game, first you find the Bluebee Pals and then you have to match them to the appropriate beach chairs. You can learn more about the app on the Bluebee Pals website.

Upon opening the app, you are able to select your favorite Bluebee Pal – or one that you already have.  Then you can view an instructional video where you learn more about Bluebee Pals and how to connect them.  From there you can enter your child’s name – and while there touch each of the Bluebees to have them say their name and wave!  Choose your favorite color balloon, and a favorite activity.  A screen is presented with a variety of things you can do with your Bluebee Pals – did you know that Bluebee works with any Bluetooth enabled device ranging from a smartphone, laptop, smart TV, to a tablet?  After that you are brought to the hub of the app where you choose a room for your daily activity – which I will highlight below.

The app features narration and a variety of fun games as well.  Below I will highlight each – these can be accessed either from the house hub or via the Bluebee Pals library.

  • Kitchen – Enter and exit the kitchen to try a variety of meal options including: breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.  Be sure to enter and exit the kitchen multiple times so you can see each of the meal options.  The recycle bin lets you recycle items as well!  There are cups, plates, food and even a cake to put on the table.
  • Living Room – Enter the living room and tap on the various objects including the couch, iPad and laptop to hear their name
  • Bedroom – Enter the bedroom and see how Bluebee cleans his room and puts his sneakers away!  He also uses an animated guitar, shoe typing sequence and then a bedtime routine.  In this room you can also put Bluebee to bed, change the covers and then turn off the light.  After the Bluebee goes to sleep, you can go back to his bedroom and tap on the objects in the room.
  • Bathroom – Enter the bathroom and give your Bluebee a shower.  Turn on the water and then tap the sponge to wash Bluebee’s fur.  After getting out of the tub Bluebee needs to be dried with a bathtowel or blow drier.  Then, brush the fur so it’s soft and clean.  After bathtime, it’s time to brush teeth – kids move around the toothbrush to clean their teeth.  After 20 seconds, teeth are clean and it’s time to practice washing hands.  Then kids can tap on the items in the bathroom to hear their names.
  • Playroom – This room has learning and fun!  Kids can practice their ABC’s and sight words, drag Bluebee through the maze, find a Bluebee on the island and match them to chairs, move cars and trucks around the track and hear their horns.  Other mini games include a six piece puzzle, voice recorder so kids can record their voice — or parents can record their voice and have the app say it back.  There is also a robot game where you assemble robots, dress up and match fruits to the right color balloon.
  • Bluebee Pals Library – Using this library you can select a mini game for the playroom.
  • Bluebee Resource Section – this parental gated area requires a four digit date of birth where you can access resources including: voice recorder, activities along with app reviews, a letter from founder Laura Jiencke about Bluebee Pals.  This parental gated area does contain external links.

My son loves this app – one of his favorite mini games is the cars and trucks around the track.  He loves placing all the cars on the track at the same time and seeing them zoom around.  As a parent, I love that the app has both an educational and fun component to it.  My son will practice zooming cars, learning letters, practicing the names of foods and more!  I really liked that we can show a bath routine sequence, and then follow through in real life.  I also loved using the app with our Bluebee Pal Parker who speaks the narration and moves his head in time to the app.  My son also loved reading with Bluebee – for a full list of items that you can try with Bluebee – look in the resource section accessed from the main hub of the house or try this link.  The app contains a parental gated area with resources and external links.  I find that my son is repeating words that he learned in the app – especially in the kitchen and I’ve even gotten him to ask for a few foods like banana as a result of seeing them in the app.  Above, I have highlighted each of the individual areas and items within the app – my kids have spent hours discovering each section as well as practicing letters, puzzles, creative thinking to solve problems and more.

Overall, the Bluebee Pals app is a fantastic app which encourages kids to learn as well as have fun.  I love seeing all the different ways that my kids interact with the app and try the various activities.  The app is gender neutral and allows you to pick your favorite Bluebee Pal to play along OR choose your own Bluebee Pal.


Bluebee Pals Bluebee Pals by Kayle Concepts LLC

Price: $FREE

Bluebee Pals app is an interactive app which brings your Bluebee Pal to life! No Bluebee Pal is needed to use the app or you can use your own Bluebee Pal. The app features activities of daily living.

Google Play

NOTE: I was involved in the design of this app.  By clicking the link above and downloading this free app, you may help The iMums earn a small affiliate commission.

Alison, the American iMum is from Massachusetts. She lives there with her two sons and husband. In their spare time, they enjoy playing outside, enjoying nature and of course testing apps and fantastic products on their devices. My older son loves technology and loves testing out the “latest and newest” apps and tech. I love sharing information about apps and products with others to help them make decisions without feeling overwhelmed with all of the choices.

Learning Upgrade – Review


What we love…

Step-by-step instructions, summaries, examples in lessons are presented through fun videos and songs.

What we’d love to see…

An option to remove or adjust the timer for the final challenge in each course.

Summary

A complete Math and English learning app that keeps students engaged and motivated to learn and upgrade.

Our Rating

Is your child having problems mastering a particular Math or English lesson no matter what you do to help? My youngest has been struggling to remember the basic rules of writing a simple sentence despite having done many written exercises. Then I let him have a go at the app, Learning Upgrade. To my surprise, he picked up the skills easily within the day!

What worked for my son (who is a visual learner) is the combination of teaching through catchy songs, lively animations and entertaining videos plus game-like exercises that are fun to do. Learning Upgrade is a very engaging learning app. It has lessons that he likes to watch again and again, pop-style songs (highlighting the key words) that he tries to sing along with and exercises that he is willing to redo because all the questions are attractively presented and it is easy for him to input his answers. He especially likes the app’s positive and enthusiastic response whenever he submits a correct answer.

What I like, on the other hand, is the use of visual representations, summaries and examples to teach, the helpful guided exercises that reinforce the learning points, the different ways of questioning to ensure a student’s full understanding of the topic, the comprehensive coverage and the gradual and progressive manner in which skills are being taught.

Students are allowed to progress to the next lesson only when they have earned 100 points (from correct answers) and attained at least 75% correct. A rewards system is in place to encourage students to repeat the exercises in order to improve on their scores. At the completion of a course, students have to pass the final challenge before moving to the next course. But you can also choose to unlock all the lessons in your account settings so that your child can jump to any lesson.

I appreciate how the app supports students who need a little extra help in answering the questions in the learning games that follow each video lesson. Lines in passages are underlined as they are read out. There is a speaker button to tap if students need to hear the questions or instructions again. For answers that require reading, students can hear the individual words before attempting to answer. They also have the opportunity to check their answers before submitting.

The app doesn’t miss any teaching moments either. A short animation repeating the answer follows the correct answer to give further reinforcement. When an incorrect answer is submitted, the correct answer is always demonstrated and the app does not move to the next screen until the student has enough time to review the answer.

Learning Upgrade is free to download and comes with a video on the course descriptions and 6 demo lessons (with exercises) – 3 each for Math and English. If you register with an email, you will have free access to 8 lessons for each subject. To begin, choose between English or Math and then decide between 3 starting points. You can choose to start from the beginning of the curriculum, take a placement test to determine a course that is appropriate for your child’s learning needs or just select a course level that you want to review.

Currently, the app offers 60 lessons for each of the English Upgrade level 1-5 and Math Upgrade level K-8 courses, that’s more than 900 lessons in total. A course on Algebra was also added recently. To continue beyond the free lessons, you have 3 subscription plans to choose from – $7.99 for 1 month access to all lessons, $19.99 for 3 months and $59.99 for 12 months. You can access your lessons from the web as well as your smart phones and tablets. An internet connection is required for loading the lessons and saving the student’s progress.

Learning Upgrade is a comprehensive Math and English learning app that complements the school curriculum. Lessons are professionally done and enjoyable. Review exercises are varied and effective. Whether your child is trying to catch up or stay ahead of the class, Learning Upgrade is an excellent learning companion to have.

 

 

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Learning Upgrade

Learning Upgrade Learning Upgrade by Learning Upgrade

Price: $FREE

Learning Upgrade is the best app for people of all ages looking to improve their English, reading, writing, listening, and mathematics skills!

It’s time to start learning English and math the.

 

 

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

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

Nampa Holiday by Nampa Design AB – Review


What we love…

fun app with no rules with a variety of travelling related mini games and no rules just fun!

What we’d love to see…

ability to toss the beach ball and personalize all the vehicles

Summary

Each of the mini games was fun – especially once you made it to the beach on your selected mode of transportation!  Don’t forget the sunscreen!

Our Rating

Nampa Holiday Nampa Holiday by Nampa Design is a universal app for iOS and Android that features a variety of transportation to go on holiday or vacation.  The app starts with the user selecting one of three modes of transportation, an airplane, a bus or train.  Once you choose your mode of transportation – it’s time for the fun to start.  With the airplane you start at the airport where you throttle up to take off – once in the sky watch out for the clouds!  There can be rain, fun objects coming out of them like a parachute or even lightening bolts!  Steering the airplane is done via a finger – and there is a slide that allows you to control how fast or slow you want to move through the air.  Inside the airplane you can also tap on the characters as you whiz through the sky.  If you choose the bus you are brought to a screen where you can choose to paint your bus or simply decorate it with flowers, stars or paint.  Then you are ready to get on the road – you drive the bus using controls at the bottom of the screen and then make strategic stops to pick up your passengers and their luggage.  As you go along you can stop and get fuel (my kids liked the heart fuel which came out of the tailpipe.  With the train you get to choose which way the train goes via a series of junctions and even get to blast the train horn.   My kids loved making the train go through the tunnels and seeing the countryside.  The games are fun interactive and contain nothing scary for younger kids.

This app can be used to practice fine motor – dragging and dropping, language to describe what you are seeing in the scene.  This is a fun app for toddlers and preschoolers and can help pass the time in the car to avoid the dreaded “are we there yet” – as I know many parents can identify with!

Once you reach your destination it’s time to disco!  My kids loved the magical disco ball and then picking the adventure.  Putting on sunscreen, hats and bathing suits was the first game once you got to the beach. Building sandcastles was one of my kids favorite parts especially the molded sand you pulled from buckets.  They built their sandcastle creations – with the crab scuttling along in the background and then decorated them with flags, jewels, shells and stones.  The next mini game involved floating and popping the beach balls.  The banana ride was fun too where three characters sat on the banana and caught the jumps as they flew through the air.  Once the reached the end it was disco time again.   My kids also loved the tube maze where you grabbed a character and dropped them in the tubes to come down to the bottom of the maze.  You had to watch because sometimes they got stuck or even went through the maze twice!  We had fun with this one and I had my kids help me guess where the character might come out.  We also tried the same character over and over to see if they were always going to go the same way – which they did not.

I liked the simplicity of the app – and that my younger son was engaged with it.  He could pick his favorite vehicle and be off for fun!  There is no speech or text for kids to read which means it’s fun with no rules!

In terms of enhancements, I’d love to see a “toss the beach ball” game instead of popping the beach ball.  Although my kids enjoyed it – and creating the spinning characters it was a bit hard for them to complete the first few times.  I’d also like to see the ability to personalize the train and the airplane like we did with the bus.

The app provided hours of entertainment for my kids — especially my toddler who would play for short moments while I needed to attend to other tasks. There are no ads or in app purchases contained within the app.   Each of the mini games was fun – especially once you made it to the beach!  I also love how it made my toddler remind me not to forget to sunscreen him!



Nampa Holiday Nampa Holiday by Nampa Design AB

Price: $2.99 USD

Here it is, the app that makes the travel distances feel shorter, rainy days sunnier and applying sun lotion one of the best parts of the vacation! And all this without ads or in-app purchases.

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.

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Alison, the American iMum is from Massachusetts. She lives there with her two sons and husband. In their spare time, they enjoy playing outside, enjoying nature and of course testing apps and fantastic products on their devices. My older son loves technology and loves testing out the “latest and newest” apps and tech. I love sharing information about apps and products with others to help them make decisions without feeling overwhelmed with all of the choices.



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.

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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.

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

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