An Adventure of Our Own – Review

An Adventure of Our Own – Review



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Frequent communication is key to strong parent-child relationship and here is an interesting way to get kids and their parents to interact while reading and playing together.

What we love…

Lots of decision making opportunities and open-ended questions to encourage parents and children’s full participation.

What we’d love to see…

A ‘read to me’ option and ability to save progress.

Summary

A great book app for parent-child interactions, providing readers with hours of imaginative play and valuable insights into the children’s minds.

Our Rating

An Adventure Of Our Own by Two Way Play is an interactive read and play book app for children and their parents (or other family members or even friends) to create their own adventure story together. While the sequence of events is fixed, readers build up the story by adding the details using the props (provided in-app) and their collective imagination.

The plot is jointly decided by the players and can change each time they play with the book. Right from the beginning of the story, the two players have to work together to flesh out their story. They begin by imagining and talk about what kind of emergency call they need to attend to. Different options are offered for each element in the story. While some aspects of the story (e.g. the setting and rescue plan) are agreed upon together, others are decided individually as each player select their own outfits, gadgets, vehicles and tools for their adventure.

There are lots of decision-making moments in this book and each comes with an open-ended question to encourage players to elaborate on their choices. This gave me valuable insights into my youngest son’s mind – his feelings, thoughts and the experiences that shaped his thinking. I was also careful not to impose my thoughts on his responses.

However, this story making session went on longer than what I had expected. I wish the app would allow me to save the progress of our story to be continued at the next session, instead of starting all over after we closed the app. Or perhaps give us a way to skip the earlier pages in the story as our choices before the rescue tools have no impact on the rest of the story. Also helpful if there are prompts on what actions are required on each page when there is no response from the players for a long time. For example, when players have to choose more than 1 item in order to move on to the next page. An added option for audio narration will also greatly benefit young readers playing with their friends.

While its simple illustrations (that look like children’s drawings), the minimal sound effects and animation allow players to focus on their collaboration itself, the app may come across as amateurish for those of us who are accustomed to more sophisticated book apps. Perhaps this is intentional.

Nonetheless, I like this new and meaningful way of sharing a read and play book app. My son likes the imaginative names of the various items in the story (e.g. seeing eye crystal and 3-wishes poof powder) as they give him all sorts of fun ideas on how to use them. Our story got more exciting because of them. The end of the story is unusual too as readers are asked about their feelings and thoughts on their adventure together. Helpful words like brave, clever, heroic, successful and tired are offered to facilitate the discussion. The app ends with yet another opportunity to talk – take another selfie, go to sleep or go on another adventure?

Overall, I recommend that you check it out. An Adventure of Our Own is a great book app for parent-child interactions, providing you with hours of imaginative play and valuable insights into your children’s minds.

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An Adventure Of Our Own

An Adventure Of Our Own An Adventure Of Our Own by Two Way Play
Category: Books, Education
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: 122.1 MB

$0.99USD

 

 

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.
 Chortopia Chore App : Reward Kids with Story, Collectibles and Games – Review

Chortopia Chore App : Reward Kids with Story, Collectibles and Games – Review



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What we love…

Easy to implement and saves parents time.

What we’d love to see…

More and longer Advenchores per Book.

Summary

A great app for children to learn responsibilities and independence as they keep coming back to the app for more Advenchores and collectible cards to play.

Our Rating

‘Chores’ need not be a dirty word if we teach our children that everyone in the family has a role in maintaining the household and that their contributions are very important to keep the family happy. This makes them feel valued and more willing to do their part. We will also need a fair system of assigning chores and a proper system of recording if we want to see success.

Here is where Chortopia Chore App (free now) by Aurasync Studios, Inc. can help both parents and children work together harmoniously to get the daily chores done. To begin using the app, parents need to set up an account and select age-appropriate chores for each child (up to 4 accounts permitted). Tasks are color-coded and grouped into 3 categories – behavior (say please and thank you, help sibling, finish homework), outdoor (help wash car, help with garbage cans) and indoor-based (dust furniture, put clothes away).  There is also a compilation of favorite or frequently used tasks for your convenience. What is useful is that you can add your own tasks to the app!  Just remember to be clear in your instructions or expectations. When you have selected a chore set of 3 tasks, an Advenchore is created in the land of Chortopia. You can prepare up to 4 chore sets at any one time.

When you first hand over the app to your children, they will be introduced to the world of Chortopia and their role in helping to free a group of very important Chortopians (the Speakers).  They need to complete a series of Advenchores to journey deep into the lands of Chortopia in order to save Chortopia.  There are 4 parts to the Chortopia story (Secret of the Mystical Boxes) and Book 1: Mysterious Harvest is included in the app. Each book comes with 10 Advenchores that kids can unlock by doing chores.

Each Advenchore presents a problem for kids to overcome and they will need sufficient Chore Power to fix the problems. This power can only be earned from doing tasks (chores) specified in the app (remember that these tasks were chosen by you). Your kids simply tap on the tasks that they have finished, and have the work verified and approved by you before they can use the Chore Power. Tasks that are not done are sent back.

Getting the job done not only earn the players Chore Power to finish their Advenchores, they can also use the power to unlock mystical boxes to free Chortopians. Each freed Chortopian comes with a collectible character card that describes the Chortopian’s special power and power level. There are also bonus Legendary Chortopians to collect. Kids will like to spend time admiring their card collection or use them to play games like Card Scuffle in the app.

With separate accounts and each child being responsible for keeping track of their own work, maintaining the system is so much easier as parents just have to validate completed work in the app. It is simple to assign duties and kids get their rewards automatically in the app. There are no chores charts to maintain and kids are motivated to complete their duties (less nagging). Our only investment is to purchase the subsequent parts of the story for more Advenchores.

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I think kids will like Chortopia as it has the components that can hold the interest of kids of today’s generation – adventure stories, card collectibles and card games. As the story is illustrated and fully narrated, children at early elementary level or younger will have no difficulty in following the storyline. I used the app with my youngest and he was more cooperative than usual! This has definitely taken off some of my stress and I do hope that we can sustain this success…

Chortopia is a great app for teaching responsibilities and independence. Children can start with daily routine activities and then learn the more difficult tasks. They will learn many life skills that are more important than having a clean home. Download the app today while it is free and enjoy 10 sessions of fun Advenchores!

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Chortopia Chore App: Reward Kids with Story, Collectibles and Games

Chortopia Chore App: Reward Kids with Story, Collectibles, and Games Chortopia Chore App: Reward Kids with Story, Collectibles, and Games by Aurasync Studios, Inc.
Category: Lifestyle, Education
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: 366.28 MB

$2.99USD

 

 

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.
 Toad Sues God by iKidsReads – Review

Toad Sues God by iKidsReads – Review



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What we love…

the animals work together to solve a problem, fun illustrations and word highlighting

What we’d love to see…

Parental area which houses all of the links, ability to have the words come back after the action when being narrated

Summary

It’s a cute app that has a moral and fun illustrations to help kids understand that working together they can solve a problem.

Our Rating

Toad Sues GodToad Sues God by iKidsReads is a universal picture book app for iOS featuring a folktale from Vietnam about a frog who grinds their teeth and rain.  The story features four animals: frog, fox, bear and tiger.  After successfully capturing each of the four animals that God has released via the gates, Toad is given an audience with him.  Toad shares the story about how there is no rain in his area and God discovers that the rain manager has been playing rather than giving rain to the animals via the dragons.  God tells Toad if it does not rain, he must just grind his teeth and he will make it rain and does not need to return.  The book features two modes, read to me and read to myself.  With the read to me option, as the words are read they are highlighted which is good for emerging readers.  Navigation within the app is simple with a swipe, and there are four icons at the bottom of each page: a house which returns you to the main screen, a book with arrows which allows you to pick a page, a child face which means you can toggle between the “read to me” and “read to myself” mode, a video camera which shows a movie with the interaction to the page, and a box that allows you to make the words appear and disappear in the read to myself mode.

Toad is very clever and brings animals with him when he goes to visit God.  When they arrive, Toad goes to hit a drum outside of the kingdom while the other animals hide in the bushes.  An angel comes to see who is hitting the drum and discovers that Toad is hitting on it – he reports back to God who sends out chickens that are captured by fox.  Then a dog is sent to deal with fox only to be caught by bear, and Tiger scares away the guards.  The book contains 15 pages with narration and word highlighting as well as animation on each page.

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I liked that the story had a moral to it – that showed that children should not give up or be discouraged and they should work together to solve a problem. It also shows that animals are an important part of the ecosystem to help keep our world working well.  The illustrations are cute as well and typical of what you would see in a fable.  I liked the complexity of the parental gate which included both regular and negative numbers as well as multiplication which ensures kids didn’t get into an area they were not supposed to. The app has a parental gate – you solve a math problem and then it unlocks external links which include iTunes and the internet.  The math problem is multi-part and unlikely to be solved by younger children which is a huge plus!  My son enjoyed pressing the camera button so he could see the animation over and over again.

In terms of enhancements, I found that some of the narration sounded a bit “hollow”.  I’d also like to see more interactivity on the pages, currently if you are in the “read to me mode” and want to go back and hear the story again on the page or tap on a specific word it is not read aloud a second or even third time. The words disappear on the page after it is read aloud but do come back after a period of time, I’d like to see it so that the words would stay or allow you to tap on them, or to make it do the action again.  It would also be nice if there was a parental area where you could turn on and off the various icons as well as hiding the links.  It might also be fun if there was a last page which featured the moral/song of the story.

Overall, this was a cute fable about a Toad who stands up to God to get rain to come to their part of the world.  It isn’t scary per se for younger kids, although I would say the title of the app is a bit of a misnomer given that there’s no courts or lawsuit in fact involved.  It’s a cute app that has a moral and fun illustrations to help kids understand that working together they can solve a problem.


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Requirements: Compatible with
Size: 0 MB

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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.
 The President´s New Clothes by El Pudu Studios – Review

The President´s New Clothes by El Pudu Studios – Review



What we love…

fun adaptation of a classic fairytale complete with puppet characters and hidden mini games

What we’d love to see…

hidden social media links, easier narration for younger children.  Narration available in each of the languages not just English

Summary

Overall, this app is a fun twist on a classic and my son really enjoyed playing the mini games rather than engaging with the story.

Our Rating

The President's New Clothes

The President’s New Clothes  by El Pudu Studios is an adaptation of the classic  Hans Christian Andersen The Emperor’s New Clothes with a few fun twists using puppet characters, hidden mini games and interactive elements on the pages designed to engage children into the story.  The app features narration as well as interactive elements and a mini game on each of the eight pages.

My son and I enjoyed this twist on the fable where the President feels that he needs new clothing and two crooks take advantage of him to make new “non-existent” clothing.  We loved the fun twist that you can flip over your device even you are mid page to create a fun interactive element and games!  I also used it as an opportunity as a parent to explain to my son that being President is about much more than just wearing the latest suits and hairstyles.

In terms of improvements, I would like to see a “simplified” navigation for younger readers that allows them to page through without having to choose the next page.  This feature while it is effective for older readers especially when using the arrows can be a bit confusing to younger ones.  In addition I would also like to see the option to hide the social media buttons on the front page of the book – although they are parental gate protected, it would be nice if the links to Facebook, iTunes app store and more games were somehow hidden so children didn’t know to ask for them rather than having them so prominent on the front page.  I also found on a few pages that the narration would begin before we actually saw the image and the page was still black.  With the mini games they were fun for my older son, but they could be confusing if you turned the device in error .  Word highlighting would be another nice addition in the future for emerging readers.  I also would have liked to see the narration available for the other written languages in the story, currently it’s only available with the English words on the page.

Overall, this app is a fun twist on a classic and my son really enjoyed playing the mini games rather than engaging with the story.  The characters are puppetlike and after hearing the text on each page you can flip it over for a fun interactive game such as capturing the gold or helping to clothe the president in his suit.  This app is best suited for young elementary aged children and I would suggest reading it over with a parent the first time.


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Category:
Requirements: Compatible with
Size: 0 MB

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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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