Dr. Panda Train by Dr. Panda Games – Review



iPhone Screenshot 2

What we love…

fun train themed app with great sound effects that encourages role play, creative play, counting and more

What we’d love to see…

ability to back the train up, a ticket that displays the passengers destination visually, other methods to power the train or even a subway

Summary

Fun train themed app that includes sharing, following directions and more!

Our Rating

Dr. Panda Train All Aboard the latest app from Dr. Panda Games this time with a train theme!  In this fun themed train app your kids serve as conductor and they drive the train and tour one of three landscapes which includes jungle, desert and a beautiful countryside scene.

Within the app, your child can drive the train either from a first person perspective inside the cab or from a distance.  They also can stop and visit the passengers to give them food, snacks, reading material and more.  My son even found some great tech to give the passengers.  Shovel on some coal to stoke the fire and make the train go faster to it’s next destination or simply blow the horn as the countryside goes by.  I liked that my kids could take turns playing with the app or putting passengers on and handing out items to them.  As you complete more of the game you earn extra items to give to the passengers – my kids favorites were of course the tech!    My kids also loved loading the cargo and carrying it from station to station.  While we loaded it we practiced counting or even deciding which item to load first – should we load the jelly beans or the chicken?  What happens if we don’t load any cargo.  I loved their responses which ranged from – “the passengers will be sad” to “will the chicken lay an egg?”  My toddler loved speeding up the train within the app or making it slower which shows cause and effect – although that concept was a bit difficult to explain.  As you get to each station stop, a thought bubble pops up looking for a specific passenger or item to be loaded on the train.  There is a maximum of four passengers, so if you have more, someone extra must exit the train prior to it moving.  Safety first!

As a mom, I loved that there was great role playing – should we be the conductor, the passenger or the person loading the cargo.  Tell me about their job.  What happens if there are too many passengers, how do we decide who gets on?  It was great for storytelling and having my older son describe his actions within the app.  At the station, it was great to unload the cargo and then pass it along to the proper recipients like the pig who wanted the chicken.  Each time you complete a task, you earn additional items to play with in the game which made my kids want to play more and more to see what else they would earn.  There are twelve different train stations throughout.  My son also enjoyed dinging the bell

In terms of enhancements, it would be fun if each passenger had to submit a ticket prior to getting on the train which would get stamped with their destination, currently once they are on the train you can punch the ticket but it does not show the destination.  That way, kids could prepare for which station they are getting off at.  My son also wanted to “back up” the train a few times to go back and look at scenery or to pick up something he might have missed.  I would also love to see other methods for powering the train – perhaps it could be electric and run on above ground power like the T does in Boston or maybe it could run like the subway does with a third rail.  My kids also thought it would be fun if each of the train stops coincided with other Dr. Panda Games like Daycare, Firefighter, Home etc.

There are no in-app purchases and there is a parental gate which requires year of birth.  You can turn off a splash screen which advertises other Dr. Panda apps in the parent area as well as turn on and off music and sound.

Super fun train themed app that kept my toddler enthralled for hours.  He kept finding little secret items and enjoyed loading and off loading the cargo.  Bravo Dr. Panda – or should that be Toot Toot!  Can’t wait to see what else you have planned in the future.



Dr. Panda Train Dr. Panda Train by Dr. Panda Ltd

Price: $1.99 USD

Dr. Panda Train has pulled into the station! Put on your conductor hat and take passengers on a journey full of fun and discovery!

DRIVE THE TRAIN! 
All aboard Dr. Panda Train! Show your passengers.

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.

 

News: Sago Sago launches Sago Mini Town A magical city-building app, built for little fingers



iPhone Screenshot 1

A magical city-building app, built for little fingers

 

Sago Mini’s new app ‘Sago Mini Town’ launches April 13, turning preschoolers into pint-sized city planners. Inspired by classic city-building playmats, Town gives kids the building blocks to create the city of their dreams.  Four unique locations and dozens of animated story tiles – familiar landmarks like roads, houses, shops and nature – create endless creative combinations, and an intuitive drag and drop menu gives little ones the power to build (and rebuild) all on their own.

Expect visits from favourite Sago Mini characters – kids can move Jack, Jinja, Robin and Harvey around their towns to watch them transform! The characters may cruise by in a car, strut their stuff with a funny hat or explore the seas in a pirate ship. The more they play, the more hidden tiles they’ll uncover – like a volcano, rocket launcher or the ever-elusive rainbow treasure chest!

 

Other features:

 

  • Four unique locations spark storytelling

  • Drag and drop story tiles create endless combinations

  • Animated surprises are uncovered as kids play

  • Promotes explorative play and creative storytelling

  • No rules or time pressure — kids can explore at their own pace

  • No WiFi or internet needed to play – perfect for adventuring

  • Ideal for toddlers and preschoolers, ages 2-5

  • Whimsical artwork and custom sound design

  • No in-app purchases or third-party advertising

 

  • Sago Mini Town
    Sago Mini Town
    by Sago Sago

    Category: Education, Entertainment
    Requirements: Compatible with iPhone3GS-iPhone-3GS, iPhone4-iPhone4, iPodTouchFourthGen-iPodTouchFourthGen, 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: 55.62 MB

    $2.99USD

    Screenshots
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    Screenshots for iPad
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    Sago Mini Town

    Google Play link: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.sagosago.Town.googleplay

  • Google Play

    About Sago Mini

    Sago Mini is an award-winning company devoted to play. With more than 17 million downloads, 21 apps, and a new line of toys, Sago Mini brings thoughtful design to life for preschoolers and parents worldwide. Based in Toronto, Sago Mini is a subsidiary of Toca Boca, the No. 1 mobile-first kids brand in the App Store. Both companies are part of Spin Master Corp., a global children’s entertainment company that creates, designs, and manufactures a diversified portfolio of innovative toys, games, products, and entertainment properties. To learn more, visit sagomini.com or follow on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

     

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    Category:
    Requirements: Compatible with
    Size: 0 MB

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    Build With Grandpa by Fairlady Media – Review

    

    iPad Screenshot 4

    What we love…

    fun building themed app that appeals to kids from toddler through early elementary school.  I loved that both of my kids could play the app and design different things.

    What we’d love to see…

    ability to turn off spelling words mini game – this was hard for my toddler although he liked everything else

    Summary

    Overall, this is a fun construction themed app that has a wide appeal to kids that allows them to design different houses from start to finish and then take a photo of their creations!

     

    Our Rating

    Build With GrandpaBuild with Grandpa by Fairlady Media is universal app for iOS designed to help kids with a variety of building as well as teaching them about environmental re-use as kids knock down buildings, drive a construction truck and design a new home to be built.  The app includes six mini educational games which require choice of equipment from a field, addition which items add up to x number, painting, decorating, designing a house and more!  It appeals to preschool, toddler and elementary school depending on which things your kids like to do with the app.  Skills practiced in the app include, math to number 9, literacy through reading and identifying words, design, creativity, landscaping, problem solving, cause and effect.  It also teaches skills about construction and how you go through the process of building something.  This is the 13th app in the app store by Fairlady Media and among my younger son’s favorites.

    It was interesting to see my toddler play with the app – he was more into demolishing the old house and clearing the lot as well as dumping the gravel from the truck.   Since he’s only 2 I didn’t expect him to be able to do the higher level games which required addition or foundation words.  My older son on the other hand was interested in the process — and followed along with the app from start to finish and really enjoyed building a house from design to final build.  The two of them had played at various points – so my younger picked the design of the house while my older finished it up.  Both my kids equally enjoyed the different construction related video’s.  My younger son didn’t capture the idea that you could raise and lower the boom with the wrecking ball whereas my older son was much more deliberate with his actions.  To be honest, I was happy to see an app that appealed to both of them. My older son loved painting the house in primary colors and adding the windows, doors and finishing touches.  He loves doing art and design so I wasn’t surprised by this request. My older son would ask Siri if he didn’t recognize a piece of equipment used in the house and enjoyed parking the equipment after finishing the foundation.  I enjoyed both kids narrating the app and telling me what they were doing.

    In terms of improvements, I wish that I could turn on and off activities that either my kids liked or disliked or were too developmentally difficult (like math for my 2 year old!) and still be able to play.  My older son would have liked a paintbrush so he could do more detail work when finishing the house up.

    Overall, this is a fun construction themed app that has a wide appeal to kids that allows them to design different houses from start to finish and then take a photo of their creations!  There are no in-app purchases or advertising other than for other Fairlady Media games in the app.

    Build With Grandpa
    Build With Grandpa
    by Fairlady Media

    Category: Education, Family, Educational, 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: 87.81 MB

    $2.99USD

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

    Build With Grandpa

    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.

     

    Dr. Panda Town by Dr. Panda Ltd. – Review

    

    iPhone Screenshot 1

    What we love…

    open ended creative play that helps kids in a variety of community settings use imaginary play skills

    What we’d love to see…

    a rack for clothing, ability to kick and play with the soccer and basket ball

    Summary

    Dr. Panda Town is fun and just enough different from other apps on the market which make it enjoyable for my kids to play.   Each of the three areas are fun and have unique content like a water scene inside the park or a picnic or even shopping at the grocery store.

    Our Rating

    Dr. Panda TownDr. Panda Town by Dr. Panda Ltd is the first free app with in-app purchases or IAP offered by Dr. Panda games.  Dr. Panda was founded in 2012 and has a number of apps available for iOS and Android with great open free play options.  This app includes in-app purchases for a park and a supermarket as well as a home setting.  For purposes of this review, I will review both the park and supermarket settings contained within the app.  The app opens with Dr. Panda pulling up to the town in his yellow car.    If you try to open up the park or supermarket and have not purchased them a parental lock pops up before taking you into the iTunes store which requires you to enter your year of birth.  Of note, I got the app bundle on one device and had to “restore” my purchase on my second device to be able to access each of the three places.  We used language to describe each of the actions which made it great for practicing language.

    Inside the house, there is a living room, kitchen with variety of foods as well as the ability to cook and mop the floors.   Upstairs in the home is a bathroom and a kids bedroom. My kids in particular liked the attic where they found treasures like a rocking horse and antique television.   The characters are down at the bottom by the Dr. Panda logo and you can add and move them around within the different portions of the app.  I also liked the recycling in each of the locations as well.  Inside the grocery store reminds me a lot of Dr. Panda Supermarket with items to place inside your basket as well as different items like soap, toothpaste and milk.  When we played, I actually gave my younger son a “picture list” of items for us to place inside the basket prior to checking out.

    iPhone Screenshot 4

    My toddler also  liked the soccer ball and wanted to “kick” it with the characters – something we couldn’t figure out how to do, we also tried to bring it to the park to play with as well as the basket ball but couldn’t make it work.  We also cooked on the grill outside.  My toddler loved the park – he enjoys going to the park and he loves Dr. Panda Ice Cream so he was delighted to see the ice cream stand in the park.  My son’s favorite part was dispensing each of the candies from the machines as well as eating the cookies.    Inside the park there is a variety of playground toys like a see-saw, slide and even clothing to change into as well as a picnic.    We enjoyed giving dog a ride in the boat – although he needs a life jacket!  Playing in the skate park was fun as well going back and forth.   My toddler loved the animations of the airplane and motorcycle as the characters rode them.

    Up in the attic it would be fun if the television played promos for other Dr. Panda apps – right now there are a variety of random images with characters from the app but no real cohesive things shown.  My toddler also wanted to “talk” using the phone which currently just rings and lets you take it off the hook.  My older son asked if we could decorate the treats inside of the supermarket as he is getting older and likes to help me cook — perhaps a baking app might be in the future?  Other enhancements might be using money to put into the slot for the candy or to pay for the vending machine and cafe in the park.  I’d love to see some of the items we make in other Dr. Panda apps incorporated here to give kids a taste of some of the great fun they can have with other apps.  I would also like to see a clothing closet or rack for all of the different outfits to change into – perhaps this could be on the bottom with all of the characters?  My older son also wanted more “healthy” options for the picnic including fruits and veggies so we must be doing something right!

    For me, once I tested the house, I knew I wanted more and got the combination of the supermarket and park for $2.99 IAP because my kids hate being locked out of anything.  That makes them all the more determined to use it!  In app purchases are protected with a parental gate which requires your year of birth and then you are pulled to iTunes.

    Dr. Panda Town is fun and just enough different from other apps on the market which make it enjoyable for my kids to play.   Each of the three areas are fun and have unique content like a water scene inside the park or a picnic or even shopping at the grocery store.

    You can download it free with in-app purchases on iOS and Google Play.

    Dr. Panda Town
    Dr. Panda Town
    by Dr. Panda Ltd

    Category: Education
    Requirements: Compatible with iPhone3GS-iPhone-3GS, iPhone4-iPhone4, iPodTouchFourthGen-iPodTouchFourthGen, 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: 118.59 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.

     

    Article: Character and Kids in a Digital Media World

     

    digital_character

    Build Character Strengths with Quality Media

    How to support kids’ character and life-skills development through media — and parenting. By Caroline Knorr

    How to support kids’ character and life-skills development through media — and parenting.

    Every parent wants to raise kids with strong character. Grateful, humble, compassionate, brave: We know these strengths lead to improved well-being, better relationships, and sound communities.

    Still, figuring out which characteristics to teach, how to reinforce them, and even whose job it is to do it (parent, teacher, coach?) is a thorny issue. And when kids are spending several hours a day glued to a screen — possibly on a personal device with earbuds in — it can be difficult to find opportunities to reinforce character lessons. Here’s the good news: Media — from video games to TV shows to movies — can help teach character. But it doesn’t just happen. Parents have to make it happen by choosing quality media, focusing on character-building ideas, and talking about the messages.

    You’re probably already doing some of this, by watching TV with your kid and asking why a character made certain choices; playing a video game and helping your kid learn to take turns and be a good sport; and discussing responsible online behavior.

    You’re on the right track. The days of simply restricting kids’ media use for fear that it hinders character growth are over. With kids using media for everything from playtime to learning to creating to communicating, it’s essential that parents use these opportunities to strengthen kids’ social-emotional development.

    Why It Matters

    In today’s digital world, many parents worry about the loss of character as more kids spend time alone on a computer or communicating through a screen. But research shows that kids can and do learn from media — what matters is which messages they’re absorbing and how those messages get reinforced.

    Whether it’s from a preschool show about sharing or a teen video game about war, lessons about character can positively affect kids’ behavior and self-esteem. Most importantly, parents who are involved in their kids’ media lives — parents who co-view, co-play, and talk about TV shows, movies, books, and games — reinforce their own values as well as the media’s pro-social messages.

    Character-Trait and Life-Skills Media Advice by Age

    As former FCC commissioner Nicholas Johnson put it, “All television is educational television. The question is, what is it teaching?” You can apply this question to all media. By choosing shows, movies, apps, games, and books geared toward your kid’s age and developmental stage, you can better support character lessons.

    Tips for Parents of Little Kids
    Tips for Parents of Big Kids
    Tips for Parents of Tweens and Teens

    Character Traits, Life Skills, and Media Picks That Support Them


    Tips for Parents of Little Kids
    Watch, play, read, and talk. Simply enjoying a show, a book, or a game together and discussing a character’s behavior and actions helps kids better understand the internal motivation behind character traits. At this age, kids will soak up whatever they see and hear, so look for media with positive role models, messages about sharing and being a good friend, and managing feelings. These tips can help:

    Books, TV, Movies

    • Keep things simple. Stories with one main idea that’s supported by the action are most effective for preschoolers. Look for short TV shows that stick to pro-social messages. Little kids often think that it’s the threat of punishment that makes a protagonist behave a certain way. Help them understand that it’s important to do the right thing even when, for example, you won’t get caught.
    • Don’t expect young kids to understand the moral of the story. Folktales and fables are fun, but their messages don’t necessarily get through to preschoolers (especially when the characters aren’t human). No need to push it if the moral is lost on your kid.
    • Look for characters and situations your kid can relate to. Kids who see themselves in a protagonist are more likely to understand and copy their pro-social behavior. A show about the importance of honesty, for example, will go over better if your kid has something in common with the character — say, a new baby sister or a dislike of broccoli.

    Interactive, Digital Media

    • Model digital citizenship. Put your phone away when you’re not using it — and explain that you don’t want your phone to get in the way of your time with your kids. When you go online, explain to your kids exactly what you’re doing. Tell them that you’re respectful of people you’re talking to and texting with. (Get more screen-time tips.)
    • Set limits around screen time. Establish rules about when kids can play with your phone to help develop self-control.

    Tips for Parents of Big Kids
    Help kids translate positive media messages to their own behavior. Co-viewing, co-playing, and modeling good digital citizenship continue to be important. Once kids can read, write, and go online independently, character lessons can extend to how you expect your kids to act in the online world. These tips can help:

    Books, Movies, TV

    • Simple is still better. This age group still has some difficulty understanding character lessons in complex stories. They need to see the basic cause-and-effect sequence of how a character’s motives are connected to actions and consequences.
    • Fables can wait. Children are typically unable to extract lessons from fables until fourth grade. Younger children tend to retell specific parts of the story instead of absorbing a more general principle. Enjoy them if you want to — just don’t expect kids to learn the morality message.

    Interactive, Digital Media

    • Teach digital citizenship. Explain your rules about responsible online behavior.
    • Choose cooperative games. Find games that depend on players working together to solve a problem.
    • Failing is OK. Look for apps that reward you for trying and trying again.
    • Think outside the box. Introduce games and apps that emphasize creativity and curiosity vs. those that are simply goal-oriented.

    Tips for Parents of Tweens and Teens
    At this age, kids can make clearer distinctions between right and wrong. As digital savvy increases, tweens and teens appreciate what they have — and the responsibility that they have to make the digital world a positive environment. These tips can help:

    Books, Movies, TV

    • Seek out complexity. Tweens are emotionally and mentally mature enough to understand others’ perspectives and to engage in abstract reasoning. At this age, you can discuss how a character acts when he’s conflicted.
    • Stay involved. The ability to summarize the gist or main theme of a story develops late, often not until age 14. Tweens and teens still need parents to guide them through the intended moral takeaway.
    • Don’t be obvious. Tweens and teens often reject moralistic messages to protect their sense of freedom and/or reassert their independence. Offer titles in which there’s a moral dilemma and no clear-cut choice. When older kids interpret books, movies, or shows as agenda-less, absorbing, and relevant, they are most likely to really get the moral lessons they model. Instead of pointing out the lesson, ask them what they think and engage them in critical thinking.

    Interactive, Digital Media

    • Discuss online ethics. Talk about the importance of staying true to yourself even in seemingly consequence-free situations. It’s easy to cheat or copy work, for example, but that damages your integrity.
    • Teach kids to be upstanders. Help them develop compassion and empathy by talking about the importance of standing up for people who are victimized online or in person.
    • Talk about anonymity. At this age, kids may not yet understand how their seemingly anonymous behavior can have a real effect on real people. Help them develop a sense of empathy with their online relationships.
    • Stress respectful communication. Kindness is only part of it. Explain how to comment constructively and contribute productively on social media.
    • Help them protect their and others’ privacy. Discuss what should remain private and what’s OK to put out there.
    • Put “likes” in perspective. It’s not necessarily a bad thing when kids compete for followers on Instagram or other social media. But help tweens and teens realize that their self-worth isn’t determined by how many likes they get — and that a little humility is a positive virtue.
    • Remind them of the value of their devices. However it works for you — whether it’s having your kid contribute money or chores or making them pay outright for downloads — it’s important for kids to develop gratitude by understanding that these things are a privilege.
    • Encourage your kid’s school to teach digital literacy. So much of what happens at school is mirrored in the online world. It benefits the entire community when kids learn to be responsible digital citizens.

    Character Traits, Life Skills, and Media Picks That Support Them

    Common Sense Media worked with researchers and educators to identify and define 11 key characteristics that embody life skills, moral choices, and personal virtues. We then mapped each trait to movies and TV shows so you can easily find shows and use our reviews to start conversations.

    Communication
    Listening attentively and appreciatively, expressing yourself clearly and sensitively, and honoring differences.
    Movies That Promote Communication
    TV That Promotes Communication

    Compassion
    Caring about others and behaving toward others with affection, generosity, and concern.
    Movies That Inspire Compassion
    TV That Inspires Compassion

    Courage
    Taking on challenges even when there’s risk. Speaking up for what’s right even if there’s opposition; acting on your convictions.
    Movies That Inspire Courage
    TV That Inspires Courage

    Curiosity
    Having a strong desire to learn or know something — a search for information for its own sake. Actively seeking out challenges and new experiences.
    Movies That Inspire Curiosity
    TV That Inspires Curiosity

    Empathy
    Understanding the feelings and perspective of another person; putting yourself “in their shoes.”
    Movies That Inspire Empathy
    TV That Inspires Empathy

    Gratitude
    Being aware of and thankful for the good things that happen in your life and taking the time to express appreciation and return kindness.
    Movies That Inspire Gratitude
    TV That Inspires Gratitude

    Humility
    Not regarding yourself as more special or better than others.
    Movies That Promote Humility
    TV That Promotes Humility

    Integrity
    Speaking the truth. Acting in a sincere way. Treating people equally and taking responsibility for your feelings and actions.
    Movies That Inspire Integrity
    TV That Inspires Integrity

    Perseverance
    Persisting in a course of action in spite of obstacles. Steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.
    Movies That Promote Perseverance
    TV That Promotes Perseverance

    Self-Control
    Being able to appropriately manage your thoughts, feelings, and impulses. Requires paying attention to your emotions and feelings.
    Movies That Promote Self-Control
    TV That Promotes Self-Control

    Teamwork
    Working respectfully and effectively with a group and doing your share.
    Movies That Promote Teamwork
    TV That Promotes Teamwork

    About the Author: Caroline Knorr

    As Common Sense Media’s parenting editor, Caroline helps parents make sense of what’s going on in their kids’ media lives. From games to cell phones to movies and more, if you’re wondering “what’s the right age for…?” Caroline can help you make the decision that works best for your family. She has more than 20 years of editorial and creative marketing writing experience and has held senior-level positions at Walmart.com, Walmart stores, Cnet, and Bay Area Parent magazine. She specializes in translating complex information into bite-sized chunks to help families make informed choices about what their kids watch, play, read, and do. And she’s the proud mom of a teenage son whose media passions include Star Wars, StarCraft,graphic novels, and the radio program This American Life.

     

    Common Sense Media is an independent nonprofit organization offering unbiased ratings and trusted advice to help families make smart media and technology choices. Check out our ratings and recommendations at www.commonsensemedia.org.

    Dr. Panda Cafe by Dr. Panda Games – Review

    

    iPad Screenshot 2

     

    What we love…

    fun food themed app at a cafe where you get to serve customers food they order from start to finish

    What we’d love to see…

    a waiter to help take orders and manage the front as well as condiments/items for coffee like sugar and milk on the tables

    Summary

    Overall, this is a fun app with a fun twist on cooking and time management with our favorite characters from Dr. Panda.  My son enjoyed cooking for me at breakfast, lunch and dinner for a change and I loved having no dishes!  Super fun and entertaining for hours!

    Our Rating

    Dr. Panda CafeDr. Panda Cafe from Dr. Panda Games  is a new universal app for iOS which has your child making food and drinks in a cafe setting.  As you gain more customers, you have to balance time management, taking orders and making them as well as cleaning up.  As you serve more customers, you earn new recipes and foods to give to the customers.

    To play the app, first you seat the customer at a table – if the table is empty you can put the customer at it.  Once they are seated, you take their order and go back behind the counter as Dr. Panda to work on the order.  Items are broken into categories, and you tap on the correct category to make or brew the item.  Once you have made all of the items in the order, it’s time to serve it to the customers.  You can take orders from multiple customers at once, and make food the same way although it can bet a bit confusing!  Among the food choices, coffee/tea, cakes, pizza and as you get to know your customers better you can try to imagine what they might order in advance.  It was important to pay attention to the customers in order to keep them happy which in turn unlocked items after you earned stars and gave you more food and drinks to serve.

    iPhone Screenshot 2

     

    We liked how fun the app was and that it was easy to learn and engage with.  The graphics, like all Dr. Panda apps are top notch and we enjoyed how the items were grouped when we were making the different foods.  My son especially liked making espresso with a design on top.  As a mom, I liked that the player had to clean the dishes and clear the tables — if only I had a magically clearing table and washed dishes!  As you complete each of the items in the order, a new station unlocks so that you can fill the order.  My son liked putting the tea biscuits with the coffee as well as creating his own pizzas with toppings.  My son enjoyed playing with the different items in the cafe, like changing the blackboard, tapping on the musical instruments or feeding the fish when he went out to take orders.

    In terms of enhancements, my son was disappointed that he couldn’t earn new decor for the restaurant when he earned the coins.  My son also suggested that we had a waiter who took orders and made change.  He also wished for milk for the tea, and sugar on the table if the customers wanted to flavor their own items.

    Overall, this is a fun app with a fun twist on cooking and time management with our favorite characters from Dr. Panda.  My son enjoyed cooking for me at breakfast, lunch and dinner for a change and I loved having no dishes!  Super fun and entertaining for hours!

    Dr Panda Cafe

    Dr. Panda Cafe
    Dr. Panda Cafe
    by Dr. Panda Ltd

    Category: Education, Educational, 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
    Size: 123.32 MB

    $2.99USD

    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.The links in this post may contain affiliate links where The iMums will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on our link, this helps to support the costs of running this site and we appreciate your support.

    MTA Animals by My Toddlers App, LLC – Review

    

    iPad Screenshot 1

    What we love…

    fun personalized animal themed app that lets parents or caregivers record their voices to help teach their children about animals, also it uses real photos of animals versus cartoon depictions

    What we’d love to see…

    ability to more easily remove animals or categorize them by type

    Summary

    Fun animal themed app with educational value especially for toddlers and young children learning their animals

    Our Rating

    MTA Animals by My Toddlers App, LLC is a iPad only app that includes over 40 animal photographs designed to teach your toddler or children about animals.  The animals range from cats and dogs to whales and elephants using real photographs.  It is designed for preschool aged children and teaches image recognition as well as early spelling.  There are two ways to access the app, one is a “toddler/preschool” version which means they can touch the different animals; the “parent/caregiver” requires to either multi-tap or press and hold to access the setup.

    One of my 2 year old’s favorite parts of the app was seeing his picture as well as the animal and hearing my voice.  I always supervise my 2 year old when he is using my iPad and he seemed a bit surprised that he was hearing my voice from the iPad.  When you use the app, you are presented with a photo of your child/name, the animal and then a spoken statement.  This could be a great thing for grandparents to record so that your kids remain familiar with their voices. I also liked that once your child heard the name of the animal, you could tap on it to hear the animals sound over and over again.  One of the things that differentiates the app from others, is that the app uses actual photos of animals versus cartoon type animals.  I also liked that it was easy to add animals, but child safe in that my son couldn’t easy delete animals without following a multi-step process.

                       

    To add the animals, first you must tap on the “add” button three times, then you can choose the specific animal you want to add from a scroll of animals.  From there you record your voice (parent) reading a statement about the animal.  I’ll admit, there were a few times where I did add a word like “dog” and then said the name of my mom’s dog Lacey.  Once you have recorded the animals, your child can tap on the animal to see the photo of the animal as well as the spelling at the bottom which comes in while the word is pronounced.  When you first set up the app, you enter your child’s name and put a photo of them so they can see their photo as well as the image when using it.  Also in the settings, you can change the background color and text to your kids favorite colors!  By the time we were done testing the app, my son was practicing saying the names of his favorite animals – even ones he hadn’t been familiar with in the past.

    In terms of enhancements, it would be nice if could personalize the app for more than one child.  As it currently works, you can only add the name of one child/photo although I typed both of my kids names and put a photo of both of them together so one didn’t feel left out.  I would also like to be able to group animals by type – for example pets like dogs, cats and horse versus insects like ladybug or bee.  I would also like an easy way to “hide” or “remove” animals.  As I put more animals on, at times my son would just randomly scroll looking for animals and just kept tapping rather than engaging with the app.    It might also be fun if you could put in your own photos of your pets (like dog) instead of using the images contained in the app, in the future.

    Overall, this is a fun animal themed app that encourages kids to learn more about animals in an easy to use toddler friendly app.  It includes over 40 different animals and can provide hours of fun for your kids as they practice seeing their favorite animals.

    MTA Animals

    MTA Animals
    MTA Animals
    by My Toddlers App, LLC

    Category: Education, 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: 23 MB

    $0.99USD

    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.

    MotionPen Kids – stylus for children by MotionPen Kids – Review

    

    motionpen_kids_product-640x640

    What we love…

    easy to use stylus that is kid friendly for kids of all ages, the companion apps are amazing especially for drawing and exploring the human body/hide and seek.  I loved the Palm Rejection for my younger son who used his second hand to stabilize when he was “drawing” on the iPad.

    What we’d love to see…

    the pen number etched into the stylus somehow, a bump or something to show which side of the stylus to use and ability to use other apps with the MotionPen

    Summary

    Overall, the MotionPen Kids Stylus and companion apps are a fun way to introduce a stylus to kids both younger and older.  I was happy to see how fast each of my kids adapted to using the stylus despite the wide variation in their ages.  This stylus is definitely something I will keep in my purse or bag when we have to go somewhere that might have a wait.

    Our Rating

     

    recommended-by-the-imums

    As a mom, I have tested a lot of styluses including those designed for kids.  I recently had a chance to test the MotionPen Kids Stylus by Widevantage and was pleasantly surprised to see how fast my 8 year old adapted to drawing with it. Widevantage is a South Korean company   The stylus works with any Bluetooth enabled device including an iPhone/iPad, Android Tablet.  It does not use Bluetooth or have a battery.  The apps know the stylus is there, because you enter the number of the pen which is printed on the side.  The stylus is also waterproof which means if it’s accidentally dropped, unlike those that have electronics a puddle will not mean that it is damaged.    Pens need to be registered with their unique ID and an email address, they can be paired with up to 3 devices at once, but this can be changed on the go so if you have a different device than one it is paired with you can easily add it.

    One of my favorite features of the MotionPen is “Palm Rejection” this means you can rest your palm on the surface of the iPad while only the tip of the stylus is used.  My older son didn’t use this feature as much, but my 2 year old who is just learning how to grip things often used his other hand to stabilize the stylus and I was happy to see we didn’t get any errant marks.

    MotionCrayonMotionCrayon was my older son’s favorite companion app to use with the stylus.  This app is essentially a drawing app which turns your stylus into a crayon, marker, colored pencil or regular pencil.  You can control the thickness of the tip and even erase by flipping over the stylus and hovering it over the app.  We used this stylus at a recent doctors appointment where my son and I played Pictionary in real time while we waited all from the comfort of an iPad.  There is a coloring book with 48 different images, a free form blank canvas that you can draw on, and even a magnifying glass that lets you zoom in for more detail.

    MotionLampMotionLamp is an app where your stylus turns into a lamp and as you move it around on the iPad your device lights up and shows you the different objects in the picture.  There are two modes to this app, one is a search and find the hidden object, and the second is an “explore” mode where you memorize items in the image and find the correct answer after time is up.  My son did find the explore mode a bit frustrating at times because he would run out of time while trying to find the objects.  I’d suggest an untimed version of the explore mode especially for those just learning how to use it.

    MotionGamesMotionGames includes six mini games including Jurassic Travel where you turn unto a stegosaurus dinosaur, a Jenga game where you have to remove the blocks without making the tower fall (much easier said than done even for me!), Pinwheel where you experiment with the wind to keep six pinwheels spinning at the same time for as long as you can, Claw Crane where you try to reach and grab the objects like the real life arcade game, Sling Shot where you try to pop all the balloons before they fly away and finally Rocket Riding where you travel through space to shoot asteroids.  Each of the games has varying levels of difficulty, my two year old was able to play the Sling Shot with my help while my older son got frustrated with the Jenga game because it was harder than he thought it should be.

    MotionPenMotionPen is a app that essentially acts as a whiteboard where you can create notes, make notes on photos, drawings and diagrams and then share them via social media. I used this app on my iPhone but due to the social sharing did not let my kids use it.

     

     

     

    MotionWebMotionWeb is a web browsing app that lets you browse using the pen instead of the traditional mouse or your fingers on your iPad.  You can zoom, scroll in/out, hover, used tabbed browsing and interact with the web in a way that I never really imaged prior to trying it.  As I would move the pen slightly, I could be able to move around on the web pages.  This was an app I used, not my kids simply because it was a bit more difficult to explain to my 8 year old who doesn’t regularly navigate the web using a tablet.

     

    MotionBodyMotionBody teaches your kids about the human body.  The pen allows you to “peel away” the layers of the human body and discover how different parts interact with each other and better understand the structure of the human body.  This is an app that really brings the MotionPen to life, I was able to show my son recently what happened within certain parts of his body and how the blood circulated.  It also shows organ function and animation.  This uses the “hover” function as well as 3D animation.

     

     

    The stylus has some heft to it which means that it’s not heavy per se, but it reminds the user that they have something in their hand and encourages them to grasp it properly.  With my older son, he quickly was able to adjust his grip while using it to draw as well as experiment with angles.  The free companion apps can encourage learning including drawing, writing, science, whiteboard, and even browsing the web.  I loved how he was creative and came up with the idea to play Pictionary during a recent doctors appointment and then we guessed what the picture was and he was entertained at the same time.

    I’d love it if the number for the pen was etched in somehow, my son didn’t like the sticker on the stylus and took it off.  Luckily I stuck the sticker to the inside of the box just in case if ever becomes disconnected, but I know I might lose it at some point.  I also had to reregister my stylus twice, I’m not sure why but this was at times a bit frustrating.  I’d also love to see MotionPen Kids work with other app developers, especially those that include art to make it compatible.  For my older son, he knew where to place his fingers, but the ability to put a grip of some sort would have been helpful for my younger son who tried to “draw” with the eraser end – I just slid a chunky pencil grip on and solved it but this might help the younger users.

    Overall, the MotionPen Kids Stylus and companion apps are a fun way to introduce a stylus to kids both younger and older.  I was happy to see how fast each of my kids adapted to using the stylus despite the wide variation in their ages.  This stylus is definitely something I will keep in my purse or bag when we have to go somewhere that might have a wait.

    The MotionPen Kids Stylus is available for $22.95 from Amazon.

    Free companion apps

    MotionCrayon
    MotionCrayon
    by Widevantage Inc.

    Category: Games, Entertainment, Family
    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: 250.74 MB

    $FREE

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

    MotionLamp
    MotionLamp
    by Widevantage Inc.

    Category: Entertainment, Family, Educational, Games
    Requirements: Compatible with iPhone3GS-iPhone-3GS, iPhone4-iPhone4, iPodTouchFourthGen-iPodTouchFourthGen, 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: 230.14 MB

    $FREE

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

    MotionGames
    MotionGames
    by Widevantage Inc.

    Category: Games, Entertainment, Arcade, Simulation
    Requirements: Compatible with iPhone3GS-iPhone-3GS, iPhone4-iPhone4, iPodTouchFourthGen-iPodTouchFourthGen, 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: 429.33 MB

    $FREE

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

    MotionPen
    MotionPen
    by Widevantage Inc.

    Category: Utilities, Productivity
    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: 16.61 MB

    $FREE

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

    by

    Category:
    Requirements: Compatible with
    Size: 0 MB

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    MotionBody
    MotionBody
    by Widevantage Inc.

    Category: Education, Games, Family, Educational
    Requirements: Compatible with iPhone3GS-iPhone-3GS, iPhone4-iPhone4, iPodTouchFourthGen-iPodTouchFourthGen, 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: 379.75 MB

    $FREE

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

    Giveaway

    If you would like to win a Motion Pen , 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!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    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.The links in this post may contain affiliate links where The iMums will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on our link, this helps to support the costs of running this site and we appreciate your support.

    Elastic Alphabets By Pratik Machchar – Review

    

    elastic

    What we love…

    Great introduction to alphabet, ability to turn off sound and music

    What we’d love to see…

    removal of the new game icon from the front screen as it takes you to the app store and needs a parental gate

    Summary

    Elastic Alphabet is a wonderful introduction to the alphabet.  The individual letters give the child a chance to see and hear what letters are and the sounds they make.

    Our Rating

     

    Elastic Alphabets is an engaging app to teach young children about the 26 letters of the English alphabet. The app provides opportunities for kids to become familiar with both the upper and lower case letters.

    When the app is opened, the child is shown a red balloon looking letter that to me represents the letter C with eyes and a tongue.  This letter quickly stretches to reveal the home page of the app.  On the home page, the player is faced with 4 red circles: The settings wheel, an owl on a branch with a new game leaf, an arrow and a circle with ABC.  The settings and new game icon have parental controls (press for 3 seconds).  The forward arrows takes the kids to the first page of the game, where they can choose which letter to begin with; while the ABC circle leads them to the letter A. It was a little unexpected, that when you touch the new game icon, it actually takes you to a page to buy new apps, not start a new game.

    Within the settings there are different ways to customize the game (on off music, on off audio, upper/lower case, show titles, a suggestion button (email to developer), links to social media and a big present (which sends you to a page to buy more apps). I have to admit that there is an option to “show or hide the title text”, but I can’t see what it really does. The user guide is really not that useful.  There is no voice, only actions, leading the player to figure out what to do on each page. It would be nice to have some voice over instructions.

    Exiting the setting section, brings you back to the home page, to start playing. Here there are 2 choices for game play. The first one, the arrow, sends this child to the page where they can choose the letter to play.  The ABC circle starts the child off on the letter A. In this option, the letters are presented on a shelf.  The youngster chooses a letter and off they go.  There is a long rectangular “window” with 2 balloons on the side of the alphabet.  I am not really sure what purpose it serves, except maybe to mark the progression of number of letters that have been completed (as the letters are completed the balloons fly higher?).  There is also an X at the top to bring the child back to the home page.

    The second option of the ABC circle, brings you to the letter A. From this point, the game play is the same for each letter (and each option). On each letter page there are 4 icons, again, with the option of returning home. Or changing the game.

    What happens next is a little hard to explain, but intuitive once playing.  The first activity for each letter, is a series of animations that show how the letter is written. The player needs to swipe in any direction to change to the next animation. If left unattended, they are prompted to do something.  There are 5 different animations for the letter formation part (tracing, a pencil, sticks, balls aligning and a black line drawing). These are iPad generated animations.  The children cannot trace, write or manipulate the icons to create the letters. This would be a great addition to the game. The letters are announced as the actions are being done. Once the 5 animations are done, if the child does not press the arrow, but swipes again, the sequences are repeated. Once the arrow is pressed the next set of animations is exposed. In this “section” the kids are shown a variety of different animations centered on words that that begin with the selected letter.  Again, there are a variety of scenarios for each “word” that can be accessed by swiping.  Once the arrow is pressed, another series of animations appear. After 3 pages, the next letter is presented.  And the cycle begins again. On the letter and word pages there is voice over, announcing the word that is shown.  Once the letter z is completed, there is an option to play again.

    The graphics and animation are amazingly clear and colorful.  While not interactive, the app is engaging. The children I tried it with liked listening and watching, but did periodically try to move around the items on the page, or copy the patterns they were confronted with.

    I would give Elastic Alphabets for youngsters that are just entering the world of letters.  What I really like about this app was the wide variety and engaging animations. A big asset to the app is the ability to do the alphabet in order or choose the specific one you want. An added feature that makes this a 4-star app is the voice overs attached to the animated words and letters

    While not a lot of customizable options, there are a few to help with different levels of game play.  For the more distracted kids, turning the sound and background sounds on and off was great.

    I really like that the app is colorful and animated. The multiple different animations are visually appealing and kept the kids interest. I like that there is an option is either run through the alphabet in order or choose the letter you want the child to work on. There is also a back arrow to allow the letter to be repeated.   I also like that if the page is not “activated” after a certain amount of time, the child is reminded what to do, with both visual and voice prompts. The voiceover voice is pleasant and the words are well pronounced.

    Some of the things I don’t particularly like, and would like to see changed in a future build are mostly those that would make the app more “interactive” and hands on.   It would be great if the app would allow the children to trace the letters or move the items on the page around. I think this would increase the desirability of the app for older kids and maintain their interest for a longer time. There are only a limited number of pages where you can actually do something to the page (you can zip the zipper). If possible, it would be beneficial to have a setting that would make the letters to “disappear” or be marked for completion.

    Another advantage that would be great is, if there were more options for different voices (adults, girl, boy, accent). As well, it would beneficial if there could be spoken instructions in the user guide. I would like to see the removal of the label of “new game” from the home screen and the big present from the settings.  The label and the present are misleading, as they really only link to more apps by the developer.

    Elastic Alphabet is a wonderful introduction to the alphabet.  The individual letters give the child a chance to see and hear what letters are and the sounds they make.  The graphics are colorful and well animated.  As a sort of bonus, the app is an excellent introduction to the concept of cause and effect, as they must do something to advance and get a reaction from the app. Children of kindergarten age might find it lacking in extended play time. I would give this app a 4- start rating. With some minor changes and adaptations to this version, I would up the rating to a 5 star.

    Elastic Alphabets® for kids

    Elastic Alphabets® for kids : Educator recommended learning game for preschoolers
    Elastic Alphabets® for kids : Educator recommended learning game for preschoolers
    by Pratik Machchar

    Category: Education, Games, Family, Educational
    Requirements: Compatible with iPhone3GS-iPhone-3GS, iPadWifi-iPadWifi, iPad3G-iPad3G, iPodTouchThirdGen-iPodTouchThirdGen, iPhone4-iPhone4, iPodTouchFourthGen-iPodTouchFourthGen, 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: 82.02 MB

    $3.99USD

    Screenshots
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    Screenshots for iPad
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    Dr. Panda Farm by Dr. Panda Games – Review

    

    iPad Screenshot 2

     

    What we love…

    multi-step process to complete each station, fun artwork that encourages kids to complete each of the activities and early counting skills

    What we’d love to see…

    more stations for the customers to “shop” at, ability to keep items in progress at each of the “stations” , ability to make more than five items at a time

    Summary

    Super fun app that encourages kids to follow multi step directions to complete tasks as well as simple counting to five as you complete tasks.  It is best suited to preschool aged kids, but my 2nd grader enjoyed it as well!

    Our Rating

    Dr. Panda Farm by Dr. Panda Games is the newest addition to the Dr. Panda suite of apps.  This app has six different farming activities for you to do and explore such as milking cows, making flour for bread from  wheat, harvesting fruit to make jelly, collecting honey from bees, growing vegetables for salads and collecting eggs from chickens.  This app is aimed at preschool aged children and features a variety of fun activities like filling the orders of the customers as well as making the product for them fresh!  The app has you fill the customers orders and as you complete them you can earn additional items like the honey bees, salad station and eggs from the hens. It features counting and multi-step directions to complete a task.

    iPad Screenshot 5

    The art in this app is fun and interactive – as you click on each of the “stations” and complete an activity the next building pops up.  For example, to grow wheat, first you must water the fours and harvest it.  Then you spin the wheel at the grist mill to make the flour and then roll out the bread before baking it.  With the jelly, you must pick the berries, have them squished before they go over to the tub to boil and then have them go into jars and be capped.

    I really liked the multi-step process required to complete each of the activities as it encouraged kids to see that “bread” isn’t just something that appears.   After making an object it is loaded into a wheelbarrow and counts to five as items are loaded.  I also liked the art and the variety of mini games as it kept my son and others engaged and wanting to fill the grocery lists.  I liked that both a visual of the item was presented at the item itself as well as in front of the cart when the customer was looking for an item.  There is no language in the app which means non-readers as well as readers can use it.    Everything is represented with an icon which encourages you to explore and make sure the various items are in stock.

    In terms of improvements, my son would love to see more “stations” that he could earn, his suggestions included a veggie picking station for items like carrots or lettuce; feeding the pigs or other animals; as well as a station for making ice cream!  He also wanted to be able to keep items that he had started, but not finished prior to the wheelbarrow leaving with the five items.

    There are no in-app purchases or third party advertisements.

    This is a fun app that encourages kids to follow multi step directions to complete tasks as well as simple counting to five as you complete tasks.  It is best suited to preschool aged kids, but my 2nd grader enjoyed it as well!  I actually had my son help me this week when grocery shopping – and he treated it like his “customers” from Dr. Panda Farm so that was a huge win all around!

    Dr. Panda Farm
    Dr. Panda Farm
    by Dr. Panda Ltd

    Category: Education, Educational, 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
    Size: 94.35 MB

    $2.99USD

    Screenshots
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    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.