Nighty Night Construction Trucks by Alexis Purcell – Review and Giveaway

Nighty Night Construction Trucks by Alexis Purcell – Review and Giveaway



iPhone Screenshot 1

What we love…

Construction truck theme, incorporation of a bedtime routine; story changes pace, light dims and lullaby plays as bedtime nears

What we’d love to see…

Interactions only working once narration complete, ability to hide games at bedtime, narration in name matching game.

Summary

Nighty Night Construction Trucks is a sweet and simple construction themed bedtime story. It’s truck theme is sure to be a hit with many young children, and it has a nice calm, peaceful feel to it, making it a great bedtime story for the under 5s.

Our Rating

Nighty Night Construction TrucksNighty Night Construction Trucks is the 4th Book app for young children from author Alexis Purcell. Her previous book apps are: The Turkey who Forgot How to Gobble; Twinkle, Twinkle Hear My Prayers and Twinkle, Twinkle Nighty Night.  Nighty Night Construction Trucks is a sweet and simple bedtime story for little truck lovers, and includes ‘read by myself’ and ‘read to me’ options, with word highlighting as it is read. Page turning is via tapping on a  arrow and a page navigation guide makes it easy to revisit favorite pages.  All external links are in a locked parents area at the end of the book and are accessed via division questions.

The story is told with simple rhyming verse and bright, cheerful, colorful, cartoon – style illustrations. The background music can be switched off independently, but does a nice job of setting the mood- becoming more calm and soothing later in the story as the trucks get ready for bed. Each page has interactive elements which let the child see how the trucks work and hear the sounds they make when working, sparkles guide the child to find all the interactions. The interactions are fun and relevant to the story, but I’d like to see them only work after the narration is finished on each page, so the child isn’t distracted.

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The construction trucks are busy at work all day building a school, and by the end of the day they are tired out and ready for bed. The child can help Max the construction worker with the bedtime routine for the trucks and their pet kitty.  The trucks are washed and cleaned, tires pumped and fuel tanks refilled so they will be ready for work in the morning.  The cat has some milk before settling down to sleep with the trucks. The sky gradually darkens and in the background a lullaby plays. In my favorite scene the child gets to put the trucks to bed one by one learning the truck names as they go, putting a blanket on the excavator and a nightcap on the dump truck. Max locks the gate and turns out the light as the trucks and kitty snore away.

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Many young boys and girls love playing with construction trucks and are sure to love this construction – themed bedtime story. It is a very simple, gentle book with a calming feel just right for bedtime.  As a bonus it includes a memory match game with the trucks from the story and a “match the truck with the name” game. With the match the name game the name is only written I’d like to have it spoken if the written name is touched. The games are a nice bonus but I would like an option to hide them when reading the story at bedtime.

Overall, this is a sweet and simple construction themed bedtime story. It’s truck theme is sure to be a hit with many young children, and it has a nice calm, peaceful feel to it making it a great bedtime story for the under 5s.

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iTunes Link: Nighty Night Construction Trucks – Alexis H. Purcell

Nighty Night Construction Trucks Nighty Night Construction Trucks by Alexis H. Purcell

Price: $2.99 USD

A fun bedtime truck book for any child who loves trucks and construction sites. A new favorite bedtime book! Complete with read along highlighted words, easy rhyming, and wonderful illustrations. Truck.

Giveaway

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

 

NOTE: A 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.

Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).
 Sago Mini Boats by Sago Sago – Review

Sago Mini Boats by Sago Sago – Review




iPhone Screenshot 1

What we love…

cute and easy game for little ones

What we’d love to see…

more activities and interactions

Summary

cute app for little ones to venture across the high seas. would love to see a bit more to keep it interesting

Our Rating

Sago Mini BoatsThe new Sago Mini Boats app by Sago Sago is a cute and fun game with a nautical theme, which is perfect for children 2 to 5 years old. Sago Mini apps never disappoint, this one is no different!

Little ones get to choose from five boat adventures, pack their suitcase, choose their boat from eleven choices, and set off on their little adventure! On the high seas, they can pickup some treats, meet some interesting characters, go underwater and cruise along until they meet their best friend.

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My three year old loved this app, she was very excited when she first saw it as she loves Sago Mini apps. It is very easy for little hands to use and get around. Options are easy to select and because adventures keep changing every time you go and select one, it’s never a bore.

Her favourite adventures are when she chooses a banana boat or shark boat for Harvey the Dog and sets off to meet his cat friend Jinja, eats lots of ice creams and cupcakes on the way, plays with a pirate fish, gives presents to friends, visits her ice cream vendor friend the octopus, plays with a giant beach ball and dips under water to pick diamonds.

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We would love more activities and interactions along the high seas as some areas are very basic. Another option would be if Harvey the dog played with his best friend after he reaches land.

The app has no in-app purchases or third-party advertising which is great. It does have a parents section which is locked by a swipe. There is however a More Apps section which is also guarded by a swipe.

Overall, we loved this cute easy to use app and would recommend it. It is fun and simple to use and as always with Sago Mini apps the characters and graphics are very well designed and don’t disappoint. A few additions would make this app even better.

iTunes Link: Sago Mini Boats – Sago Sago

Sago Mini Boats Sago Mini Boats by Sago Mini

Price: $2.99 USD

Pack your bags and set sail with Harvey the dog. Pick a destination, select a boat and sail the high seas. Choose a tugboat, a super-fast speed boat or even a pirate ship! “Yarr!” Sail around the .

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.
 Forestry – Funny Animals by Ingame- Review

Forestry – Funny Animals by Ingame- Review



iPhone Screenshot 1

What we love…

colorful and engaging illustrations with cute, cartoon character animals and realistic sound effects

What we’d love to see…

more consistent hints, more steps in some games

Summary

Forestry – Funny Animals is a gentle interactive app for young children with charming illustrations. The mini-games work on dragging and dropping, hand eye co-ordination, visual perception and color matching. If you have a child under 5 it is worth downloading the free version to see if it appeals to your child, and if they enjoy it $1.99 seems a fair price for a full unlock.

Our Rating

Forestry - Funny AnimalsForestry – Funny Animals from Ingame is an interactive app for iPhone and iPad designed for children under 5. It is set in a forest scene and features a cast of whimsical animals. It is free to download with an in-app purchase to unlock the full game. The app has 7 animals with interactive games: a bear, a squirrel, a beaver, a moose, a hedgehog, a wild boar, and а hare. The bear’s 4 games are unlocked in the free version, the other animals are unlocked by an in-app purchase (currently $1.99 to unlock all animals.) In the unlocked app there are 17 mini-games in total. This review is of the fully unlocked app.

There are 8 language options: English, German, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Russian, Chinese, and Japanese; but these are only for navigating the app, no written or oral language skills are needed to play any of the games. There are no adverts but there are social media links and a single in-app purchase, these are behind a parental gate with a simple addition problem. The app has lively background music and sound effects, the music can be switched off in settings.

In manual play mode the child can explore a forest scene with the 7 animals in it, tapping on any animal brings up icons for that animal’s games, if the child has previously completed a game it has a green check mark. Once the child selects a game, if they do nothing, a visual hint will appear on the screen showing the action they should complete.

In one of the mini-games they help the beaver build a dam – first he cuts down the tree with his axe then chops the branches off one by one and places them on the dam. He must put the branch onto the dam before he can cut the next branch. Once he finishes building the dam it fills with water. In the next mini-game the beaver is ready for a bath and he has rigged up a contraption to use the dammed water,  and the child needs to help him fill the tub.

The other games :

Rabbit has 2 games: help rabbit in his garden by planting, watering and harvesting carrots; and help rabbit dress in his winter clothes.

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Moose has 2 games: feed moose tasty food from the forest and see what he will or won’t eat; and help Moose walk to his campfire.

Wild Boar has 2 games: help the boar dig up roots  with his fork and eat them; help boar feed his child by knocking acorns from the tree.

Hedgehog has 2 games: feed hedgehog by putting the right colored grubs into his bin; help get hedgehog ready for bed. Feeding the hedgehog games works on color matching.

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Squirrel has 3 games: help squirrel find the hidden mushrooms and hang them on tree branches; help squirrel find the hidden hazelnuts and fill his basket; and switch off squirrel’s light so he can go to sleep.

Bear has 4 games: help bear find the hidden berries and fill his basket; help the bear collect honey; help the bear catch fish in his net and put them in his bucket; switch of bear’s light so he can go to sleep. The fishing game is good for working on hand-eye co-ordination.

After completing all an animal’s mini-games the child is brought back to the forest clearing to pick another animal. The mini- games also have hidden interactions too e.g. insects and flowers that react when touched and hidden animals. Hints are always available at the start of a mini-game but I found them more variable if the child got stuck within a game. For instance when looking for berries for bear, when his basket has berries in but the game has not completed no hints show up as to what to do next, leaving the child unsure whether they have just missed a hidden berry or if there is some other action they need to complete the game. It would be nice if consistently after a set period of inactivity a hint appears to show what action is needed. Some of the mini-games have multiple steps to complete such as in the dam building game where you cut down a tree, cut multiple branches and add them to the dam, others just involve 1 action e.g. switching off the light in the 2 bedtime games or having the moose walk to his campsite. It would be nice to see more steps added to these games e.g. at bear’s bedtime putting on PJs on, brushing teeth, washing face, bedtime story then lights out.

Forestry – Funny Animals is a Forestry – Funny Animals is a gentle interactive app for young children. The illustrations are charming with cute cartoon character animals, and hidden interactions, realistic sound effects help to set the scene. The mini-games work on dragging and dropping, hand eye co-ordination, visual perception and color matching. If you have a child under 5 it is worth downloading the free version to see if it appeals to your child and if they enjoy it $1.99 seems a fair price for a full unlock.


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iTunes  link: Forestry – Funny Animals – INGAME OOO

Forestry - Forest Animals, Bedtime story for kids Forestry - Forest Animals, Bedtime story for kids by INGAME OOO

Price: $FREE

200000+ downloads worldwide!!! A lively, interactive application that will show your child a beautiful forest and life of its kind and wild inhabitants! • 17 wonderful fully animated locations! • .

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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Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).
 Cool Math Games for Kids & Toddlers by Kids Academy Co. apps- Review

Cool Math Games for Kids & Toddlers by Kids Academy Co. apps- Review




iPhone Screenshot 1

What we love…

Colorful engaging graphics and animations, 15 games in full unlock, works on important preschool skills

What we’d love to see…

Errors fixed, parental gate added to “rate me” button in 5 little monkeys, consistent reward system through all of the app.

Summary

A colorful and engaging app that works on: alphabet ; tracing and recognition of upper and lower case letters,  numbers 1-20 &10’s up to 90, shapes; addition and subtraction within 10; and fine motor skills.  The full game unlock is much better value than buying individual games

Our Rating

Cool math games for kids & toddlers: tracing numbers, addition, subtraction, free worksheets for preschool & kindergartenCool Math Games for Kids & Toddlers from Kids Academy is an educational game app for young children. It is free to download with in app purchases to unlock the full app content. The free download allows access to 2 games- “learn 1 to 10” and “simple addition”, but does have a pop-up asking you to buy the full app after every couple of questions, which can be frustrating for young players. Individual games can be unlocked for $2.99 -$3.99 each or a full game unlock is currently $9.99, which gives access to 15 games. This review is of the fully unlocked app, which has 3 student profiles. There are social media, email and iTunes links behind a parental gate on the home page, and the IAP’s also have a parental gate. Music, sound effects and narration can be controlled in settings.

The graphics in the app are very bright, colorful and engaging with cute animal characters and animations. When I first unlocked the app I thought it just contained 7 math games, but I was pleasantly surprised to find it also unlocks an additional 8 games under the “preschool all-in-one” heading. It is a little confusing as the “preschool all in one” looks like an advert for another app, but tapping on it gives full access to all 8 games- 6 early literacy games, 2 shape tracing games and a funny robot tracing game.

The 15 games included in the full app are:

Firefly Tracing Games:

There are 5 games that follow a similar format: Learn 1 to 10, Learn 11 to 20, “dozens” (which is mis-named it should be “tens”), Funny Shape Tracing and Funny Robot Tracing.

In “Learn 1 to 10” the child sees an outline of number 1 with an arrow and dotted line to show the correct stroke sequence. They trace the number once with an outline and dotted line, the 2nd time with just the dotted line. They repeat this for all the numbers from 1 to 10. As they trace the numbers their line goes over brightly colored fireflies  and they collect the fireflies in a jar. Once they have successfully traced all numbers in the set they get to release the fireflies (who spell out “thank you.”)

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The other firefly tracing games are similar in format:

In “Learn 11 to 20” they trace the numbers from 11 to 20

In “Dozens” they trace 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90

In “Funny Shapes” they trace a square, circle, triangle, rectangle, a rhombus (diamond), a hexagon (incorrectly described as a “hexahedron”), an oval, a star and a crescent.

In “Funny Robots” they trace 6 robot faces.

Dog and Bone Mazes

There are 5 games that feature a cute dog with a bone standing at the entrance to a maze. The child must drag the bone where they want the dog to go and he will follow. These games are: “Funny Easy Mazes”, “Simple Addition”, “Simple Subtraction”, “Learn Short Vowels” and “Learn Long Vowels”

Funny Easy Mazes

The child drags the bone to a prize such as a basketball, tennis racquet or paint palette  which triggers an animation of the dog using the object e.g. playing basketball or painting a picture. There are 10 mazes.

Simple Addition and Simple Subtraction

The dog is working on a simple math problem e.g. 3+0. The child is given 3 possible answers, they must drag the bone to answer they think is correct and the dog will follow. If the answer is incorrect the child is asked to try again, if it is correct the dog shows the completed equation. All the numbers in the questions are under 10. Each game has 10 problems to solve, but the questions are randomly generated so players can actually answer many more  questions by just going through the problems again. As the questions are different each time it helps to keep the student motivated to play again.

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Learn Short Vowels and Learn Long Vowels

This time the dog is holding a flag with a vowel on, and at the end of the maze is a word that is missing that letter. Once he completes the word it is spoken, and the completed written word is shown with an image to illustrate the word. There are 10 words with short vowel sounds, and 10 with long vowel sounds.

 

Simple Sequences

These are simple dot to dot puzzles where children practice number sequences by following the numbered dots in numerical order. Once they have completed the puzzle it creates a picture which comes to life with a simple animation, there are 12 puzzles in all.

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5 Little Monkeys

This is bright lively rendition of the classic counting song. The 5 monkeys jump on their jungle bed of leaves, and it has bright colorful graphics and animations. At the end of the song the child can choose to replay it, but also has the option to “rate and review.” Pressing this button takes them directly to iTunes – unlike the other iTunes links in the app this one does not have a parental gate.

 

Full English Alphabet

These are animated alphabet flashcards. Each shows the upper and lower case versions of a letter, and pictures of an animal or object that feature that letter. Tapping the card triggers an animation, the letter sound is spoken (phonetically) and the word is written on the screen. Each card has 3 different animations for 3 different words. Touching the letter will cause the letter name to be spoken and touching the picture triggers that word’s animation.

Lower Case Letters and Upper Case Letters

These both have one card for each letter. They start by showing a picture of an object that starts with that letter, then a phrase appears on the screen e.g.  “The word queen begins with q.” The child traces the letter twice – first with an outline and dotted lines/ arrows to show the proper stroke sequence, and second with just the outline. The student can earn up to 3 stars for doing the letter correctly, they lose stars for going too far outside the lines, or missing the start or end point but not for trying to do the strokes out of sequence or reversed (these attempts just don’t show up). If they lost a star on the first attempt at the letter they are given a dotted line to follow on the 2nd attempt too.

Overall this is a colorful and engaging app for pre-schoolers that works on a number of important pre-school skills and some of the games e.g. addition and subtraction are useful for kindergarteners too.  Skills worked on include: alphabet recognition (both letter name and phonetic); tracing of upper and lower case letters; recognition and tracing of numbers 1-20, 10’s up to 90 and shapes; addition and subtraction within 10 and fine motor skills with dragging and dropping and tracing. There are some errors in the app that need correcting including “Dozens” instead of “Tens”, “hexahedron” instead of “hexagon” and an unprotected iTunes link that needs a parental gate.  I would like to see a consistent reward system throughout the app- the firefly tracing sections let children earn fireflies, but the other sections don’t. It would be nice if they could earn fireflies in all games and trade them in for stickers or other virtual prizes.

The in-app navigation is a little confusing with 8 of the games in a separate “preschool all-in-one” section- it would be nice to have all the games grouped together on the homepage as these are easy to miss.  The iTunes description is inaccurate too as it mentions multiplication and division which are not included in the app (and would not be appropriate for the target age range.) I did find the constant reminders to purchase in the free version annoying, but these disappear once you buy the full app. I would be disappointed at the amount of content if I bought all the games at $2.99 per game,  especially as many of the games are similar just working on different targets (e.g. writing 1-10, vs 11-20 or 10’s to 90.) However, at the current price of $9.99 for a full game unlock which gives full access to 15 games it is a decent value for money. I would also suggest the developer change the app name to reflect the fact that it covers more than just math skills, as I think they are underselling it by describing it as “Cool Math Games.”

Cool math games for kids & toddlers: tracing numbers, addition, subtraction, free worksheets for preschool & kindergarten – Kids Academy Co apps: Preschool & Kindergarten Learning Kids Games, Educational Books, Free Songs

Kindergarten Math Games for kids (singapore math) Kindergarten Math Games for kids (singapore math) by Kids Academy Co apps: Preschool & Kindergarten Learning Kids Games, Educational Books, Free Songs

Price: $FREE

* Proven 3-step learning plan specifically developed to teach math to kids
* Includes over 500 educational games, videos, activities and printable worksheets
* 100% SAFE — NO ADS — NO POP-UPS.

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.

Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).

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