Featured App: Read with Phonzy by MeowTek



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Read With PhonzyRead with Phonzy by MeowTek is a free universal app for iOS which features speech recognition to understand how well kids pronounced words using a character named Phonzy who provides prompts on the words.  The app requires that you opt in via email to use it and understand the terms and conditions.  It utilizes speech technology which recognizes and assesses the specific word that you are focusing on in the sentence.  It works best with children and does work well in a noisy environment like a busy home or a place where there is background noise.  As children pronounce words correctly, they can unlock the word which is then put into a gallery.  It also helps kids build confidence in reading (especially sight words) and improves skills of sentence building and thinking quickly.  We tested the app in a variety of environments including with a television on in the background, at a local park and in a classroom with other children.  Each time Phonzy was able to zero in and understand the words being spoken without picking up the ambient noise.

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One of the great things for me about the app was that I could help my son focus in on specific word types which he would learn and then as he got better with the pronunciation we were able to go back and re-listen to where he might have previously stumbled.  The app helps you correctly pronounce words and encourages children to read out loud – without a lot of corrections “in the moment” which then helps to build self confidence and sounding out skills.  MeowTek collects the audio recordings to improve the speech technology of the app and increase recognition, but no personal information about your child is collected.  Phonzy currently focuses on key words and important phrases, with the end goal of understanding the entire sentence.  The app is PRIVIO certified which means that MeoTek has COPPA compliant privacy practices to protect your child’s information and the verification via email is the method of ensuring that a parent understands that their child is using the app.

To use the app, Phonzy presents the user with a simple sentence similar to the one above with one specific word highlighted.  Your child reads and records the sentence and if the highlighted word is pronounced correctly, you get the object which is then placed in your gallery.  The words presented are appropriate for children from late kindergarten through mid-elementary school or approximately end of grade 3 according to the ones that I saw.  My son gained huge amounts of confidence when reading with Phonzy aloud because I wasn’t always trying to correct him and he didn’t feel “pressured” to perform on the spot.  My son liked that Phonzy would recognize his words most of the time and that he could easily re-record them as needed.

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Phonzy is currently working to understand additional speech and speech recognition technology.  Currently, Phonzy is programmed to understand the specific highlighted words, very occasionally he will misunderstand a user however, as my son used the app more we found that Phonzy was correct in 18/20 trials.  The data collected from the app is made anonymous and is used to build and improve on speech recognition technology, it is never shared with any third parties and neither are the actual recordings.  I also loved that I could save the sentences that my son was saying and share them with his speech therapist to show his progress over time.

Overall, this is a great free app that encourages children to increase the number of words that they can read and earn some fun gallery prizes doing so.  It was a great self confidence booster for my son who struggled at times reading out loud and now has built up some confidence as he works through using the app and practicing new words.  We also liked knowing that we were helping Meowtek improve their speech recognition technology and perhaps, learn from some of the challenges that my son was having.

 

by

Category:
Requirements: Compatible with
Size: 0 MB

$


Also available on Google Play and Amazon

NOTE:  This post was sponsored by Meowtek but all opinions expressed are mine and are given honestly

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


Wonster Words – ABC Phonics Spelling Games for Kids by 77Sparx Studio, Inc. – Review & Giveaway



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What we love…

bright colorful app that focuses on specific words and sight words to help emerging readers learn how to spell

What we’d love to see…

ability to sound out individual letter sounds – via a setting instead of phonemes or target sounds only for specific words

Summary

Fun app designed to help kids focus on word families and letter sounds to make words

Our Rating

Wonster Words - ABC Phonics Spelling Games for Kids (by Puzzingo) Wonster Words by 77 Sparx  is a universal app for iOS that helps you focus on letters and phonics via word families, spelling, digraphs, language sounds as well as phonemes. The app is also available on Amazon and Google Play.  The spelling is presented using word families like “at” as well as specific themes like “racers”.  As you work to put the word in, letters are highlighted and you can add them to the word out of sequence.  As you touch the letter, it makes the letter sound while you place it.  For some more complex letters that go together like “at” they go together as you put the word together.  Once you finish the word, you get an animation that demonstrates the word you just spelled as well as definition and a graphic representation.  Other times, instead of just spelling the word you get fun mini games like popping balloons before the letters come onto the page, or playing with the cat and giving her a bath.  This app targets preschool and early elementary school aged children working on sight words as well as in the more complex levels harder words with word families.

I thought this was a good app that can help kids who are learning how to read – emerging readers put letters into a sequence for words.  I also like that new content is being added to the app on a consistent basis which encourages kids to continue using the app even after they have learned the word families.  My son enjoyed the animations after he completed each of the words and then after a specific number of words he earned a present which encouraged him to keep playing.   My son enjoyed playing with the holiday pack especially near the holidays.  My son also liked Ari’s space adventure which is a new multi-part space adventure as well when he was testing out the app with me.  My son is a second grader and we found words on grade level for him especially as we looked at the more complicated ones.  Also to note, I had a few times when I thought the sound wasn’t working, but the toggle switch on my iPad was mistakenly flipped – it wasn’t an error with the app, it was simply my device in silent mode.

In terms of enhancements, it would be nice if parents could switch to individual letter sounds instead of phonemes or language sounds within a specific word.  Ability to require letters in a specific sequence rather than just letting you add them at any point.  It would also be nice for more complex words, if you spell it that the app would pause and sound it out by syllables.

The app can be purchased either in the “full version – pro” or you can try it with a free version that has in-app purchases to make sure you like it.  This is a great addition to your device to help your kids work on letters and words in a fun yet entertaining way.  For the free iTunes version, you can upgrade to Pro for $14.99 and purchase individual letter sounds for a price ranging from $0.99 to $7.99.  During the Google promotional period of 12/28-1/6, the All Access pass for Wonster will be discounted to $9.99 on Google Play. The regular price was $14.99. Please note: the discount is only on Google Play, not iOS or Amazon.

Wonster Words Learning
Wonster Words Learning
by 77Sparx Studio, Inc.

Category: Education, Word, 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, iPhone8-iPhone8, iPhone8Plus-iPhone8Plus, iPhoneX-iPhoneX
Size: 60.38 MB

$FREE

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Screenshots for iPad
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Wonster Words (Pro Edition)
Wonster Words (Pro Edition)
by 77Sparx Studio, Inc.

Category: Education, Family, 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, iPhone8-iPhone8, iPhone8Plus-iPhone8Plus, iPhoneX-iPhoneX
Size: 203.49 MB

$14.99USD

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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.

Giveaway

If you would like to win a promo code for the iOS version of this app, please enter via the widget below. Winners will be emailed and must contact The iMums within 48 hours to claim their prize. This giveaway is open to everyone, worldwide, and an iTunes account is required to claim the prize. Please ensure you have read and understand our Terms & Conditions. Good luck!

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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.


Happy Daycare Stories – Playhouse game for preschool children and toddlers by PlayToddlers – Review



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What we love…

Adorable app perfect for children who enjoy free play and doing activities that relate to real life at daycare, preschool etc

What we’d love to see…

A few glitches with small items fixed as some items are hard to grab and move around

Summary

A very cute and colourful app full of surprises and stories to create

Our Rating

Happy Daycare Stories - Playhouse game for preschool children and toddlers, by PlayToddlersHappy Daycare Stories – Playhouse game for preschool children and toddlers is by developer Guillermo Gonzalez, creator of cute educational apps such as Animal Puzzle, Shapes Builder, Preschool kit and more.

Happy Daycare Stories is an adorable game for children 2 years and over where kids can run their own daycare! Kids can explore 7 different rooms with 5 cute characters always ready to interact and play with all the daycare toys. The aim of this app is to let children’s imagination go wild by letting them create their own daycare story, explore the daycare centre rooms with the characters and take care of their new little friends

This is another cute app that my daughter is enjoying at the moment, she loves playing with her ‘new friends’ especially serving them food, giving them a bath and putting them to bed. For some reason, she is obsessed with those three rooms at the moment! I think it’s a great way to reinforce routines in little ones’ lives and making every day tasks fun with the little characters.

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We love this app as there is so much to do in every room to keep the little ones busy, do some role playing and play with everything and anything in the daycare centre. It is very cute, colourful, lots of fun and has beautiful background music! Little ones can name, play with, feed, have their own band and do all sorts of fun things with their own characters. Kids can relate to this app whether they attend playgroups, daycare, playground or kindergarten. You can drag the characters around the rooms, bring them all in the same room or leave some in certain rooms.

The only thing that we would suggest changing is that sometimes the little toys or objects are hard to move around which can be tricky for little fingers.

There are no ads or in-app purchases in this app, the only extra windows are the More Apps window and the Settings window which are both Parent lock controlled.

Another cute app from developer Guillermo Gonzalez which lets kids have fun while letting their imagination run wild and in the case of this app, learning some social and role playing skills along the way and caring for some cute characters.



Happy Daycare Stories (Full) Happy Daycare Stories (Full) by PlayToddlers

Price: $2.99 USD

You are in charge of this daycare, a small and fully interactive world where everyone is welcomed and the only rule is to use your imagination to create amazing stories. Explore 7 different rooms, with.

Catherine is a mother of a little miss almost 3 years old. Originally from France she now lives in Melbourne, Australia. She loves to explore their beautiful city with her daughter and sharing their adventures with other parents. Catherine has a passion for social media, blogging, technology and food. Before the arrival of her daughter, Catherine was studying and working in the field of IT and still loves all things tech! She loves finding new apps for her daughter to learn and play with and share great apps with other parents.


Dr. Panda Bath Time by Dr. Panda Games – Review



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What we love…

the app encourages a routine during bath time and kids are given specific easy to complete tasks

What we’d love to see…

more toy choices for the bathtub, a towel for each bath related activity even if you take both a bath and a shower

Summary

Overall, this is a fun themed app that encourages kids good habits and routines during bath time and time using the  bathroom.

Our Rating

[APP ICON] Dr. Panda Bath Time from Dr. Panda Games is the newest universal app for iOS.  In this themed bath app you can complete a variety of bath related activities including: brushing your teeth, using the toilet and then washing your hands, taking a bath or a shower, picking out clean clothes to wear, washing dirty clothing.  This app is designed for toddler through preschool age and is helpful especially for kids to learn routines or practice them.  The game opens with a character entering via the door – it’s a random entry of who will appear and which tasks you will be asked to complete.  After completing each item in the selected routine you earn a green checkmark.  There is no spoken language or direction within the app, and lots of creative play opportunities as you can do items within the app that are not part of the “routine”.

iPhone Screenshot 1My younger son loved setting up the animals bubble bath, but by far his favorite part was playing with the scuba mask and toys.  He’s a bit younger than the demographic age of 3, however, he’s used my iPad a bit and I limited the screen time that he played while I played with him. As a mom, I liked that the app encouraged a routine, putting dirty clothes in the laundry, using the toilet, taking a shower or bath and brushing teeth.  My son enjoyed running the bubble bath a lot and adding his favorite colored bubbles – which were of course green!  The shower was fun with the expressions of the animals if the water was too hot or too cold! The hairdryer with the rainbow air was a cute addition to the app.  I loved that it encouraged “fun” while mixing in the tasks and allowed you to go off routine if you wanted to and complete additional tasks.  He also really liked doing “laundry” with taking off the dirty clothes, as well as the ones in the basket and then washing them.  I also liked the self care aspect and that it wasn’t hard to complete each of the tasks.  It was nice that it was a comprehensive app that focused on many aspects of items you would do in the bathroom rather than a singular activity – which can be great but at times means you have to get additional apps to target specific skills.

My son loves to “earn” toys for his bath.  He asked for more toys – it seems to be random what you will get, sometimes it’s a boat while other times it’s a rubber ducky.  Also, if you take a bath and then a shower, you don’t get the towel or the hair dryer a second time – which was a bit confusing for my son because that’s “not how we do it” and he asked “why?”.   Other fun enhancements to the app could be the addition of being able to do your hair after a bath either brushing it or blow drying it, the ability to use the fun accessories on the wall including necklaces or sunglasses.  There were also some shoe options, but we never could get to them to put them on.

You can turn off the promotion screens as well as on and off the music and external sounds within the app as well via the main screen.  There are no in-app purchases or external advertisements.  There is a pop up for other Dr. Panda Games as well as the ability to rate it in iTunes but there is a parental gate which requires you to enter your year of birth to proceed which means little fingers are less likely to get through.

Overall, this is a great themed app which will help younger kids practice routines in the bathroom.  It is simple enough for toddlers and preschoolers to complete – even with short attention spans and teaches some great habits like cleaning up after yourself and washing hands after using the toilet.  The app encourages open ended play and it doesn’t take long to complete the two tasks asked of your child which means you can play it for as few as five minutes or longer if you want to do more of the activities.

Dr. Panda Bath Time
Dr. Panda Bath Time
by Dr. Panda Ltd

Category: Education, 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, iPhone8-iPhone8, iPhone8Plus-iPhone8Plus, iPhoneX-iPhoneX
Size: 168.15 MB

$2.99USD

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.

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

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