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Clara City – Canovia Studios S.L.

  • March 11, 2013 7:19 am

Clara City – Canovia Studios S.L. is a really well drawn app that is meant to guide a child through the city safely while accomplishing tasks set by her father. Your child gets to pick which child they want to be. The oldest, middle, or youngest. I bet 99% pick the oldest!

Once you have picked your character you are off to perform tasks. The detail in Clara City – Canovia Studios S.L. guides your child on to the next step. First you are assigned tasks then you have to explore a bit.

My 6 year old loved Clara City – Canovia Studios S.L. and returned to it later in the day. She was crossing the street and performing her tasks by exploring and clicking on anything (many things move when clicked, which is neat). She was having a lot of fun.

For both the iPhone and iPad.

Learning – 2
Attention – 5
Fun – 4

Total – 11

Cookid Teaching Jar By Juan Pedro Lozano

  • March 6, 2013 7:04 am

Cookid Teaching Jar – Juan Pedro Lozano is a great app for kids to learn reading, hand-eye coordination, matching, counting, and new animals at the same time. Oh. And my 6 year-old thinks it is fun!

I wasn’t so sure when I first started to play Cookid Teaching Jar – Juan Pedro Lozano. Yes I play each app before reviewing it of course – part of the fun! I wasn’t sure if Cookid Teaching Jar – Juan Pedro Lozano was a good app because I couldn’t seem to figure out how to get to the next level or “oven.” Turns out it is easy. I was just being a dumb dad.

Cookid Teaching Jar – Juan Pedro Lozano has three languages. Espanol, French, and English. Since I only speak and read English fluently, that is the language I chose, but I can see the other languages as great learning tools for an non-English speaker or if you wanted your child to learn some Spanish or French animals.

Cookid Teaching Jar – Juan Pedro Lozano is fun, educational, and rewarding. After the video my daughter insisted on playing with the app as she went to bed. Those cookies, the swiping, pinching, and pulling make for a challenge that should last a long while.

Attention – 5
Fun – 4
Learning – 4

Total – 13

iPad only.

Toddler Time! for iPad By Picoman Games

  • March 4, 2013 6:23 am

Toddler Time! for iPad – Picoman Games is a great app for your younger child to learn shapes, letters, numbers, and other objects. Toddler Time! for iPad – Picoman Games provides 80+ different objects to name and hear spoke aloud. A simple concept for learning that is certain to reinforce or teach some new object names.

Even with my 6 year old (this app is probably best suited for 2-4 years in my opinion) there were some objects we didn’t expect. Check out the video we made of Toddler Time! for iPad – Picoman Games and see what I believe is playdoh. Either way Toddler Time! for iPad – Picoman Games is a great app, very simple, some fun, lots of learning potential, and certain to keep your little one’s attention for a reasonable amount of time.

Fun – 3
Learning – 5
Attention – 5

Total – 13

Zuko Monsters By Goodbeans GmbH

  • February 28, 2013 6:07 am

Zuko Monsters – Goodbeans GmbH isn’t really a learning app at all, but rather a fun pokemon type role playing game. The story is well drawn and the game is sufficiently challenging for children 6 years and older.

The basic idea of Zuko Monsters – Goodbeans GmbH is that you are given the chance to fight the monsters who are the bad guys. You get to fight and capture using various little monsters who you need to keep healthy and grow their skills and abilities. You have certain tasks you need to accomplish and levels that you can pass.

Zuko Monsters – Goodbeans GmbH also includes a local challenge and gamecenter battle which is cool.

The fun is in the challenges and the quest. My six year old thinks the game is awesome as does my 12 year old. Fun? Yep? What do they learn? Some money management, some math, and some critical thinking.

The only caution I would give parents is there is the ability to buy credits in this app. Up to $99 at a time! Be sure to immediately require a passcode for in app purchases within your iOS device to be safe.

Fun – 5
Learning – 3
Attention – 5

Total – 13

Yumby Toss by PlayGearz

  • September 20, 2012 6:41 am

Yumby Toss by PlayGearz is our first app back from a short break and boy were we pleasantly surprised!

Our five year old fell in love with Yumby Toss by PlayGearz immediately. She loves the characters, the game play is familiar, and the story was enticing for her. She has played Angry Birds in the past, but Yumby Toss by PlayGearz has an extra fun twist that can revive the interest in the genre.

Was it fun for just our five year old? No. Parents were playing too. Yumby Toss by PlayGearz is just too fun to pass up.

The developer is awesome and the app is currently free. There are some in app purchases available, so be sure to lock down the device to avoid unintentional purchases by the young ones.

As usual check out the video below of our first glance at the game.

Our ratings:

Fun – 5
Learning – 0 (it is a game!)
Attention – 5

Total – 10

Cell and Cell Structure By Emantras Inc

  • December 28, 2011 7:37 am

Cell and Cell Structure By Emantras Inc is a very well-done learning applications about cells. I am really impressed how much information is packed into Cell and Cell Structure By Emantras Inc. My ten year old loves to research anatomy, cells, and just about anything related to science and Cell and Cell Structure By Emantras Inc does not disappoint.

Cell and Cell Structure By Emantras Inc includes videos, awesome graphics, and very good descriptions of the science being demonstrated. The navigation of the app is outstanding and we love that we can turn off the background music without losing sound for the videos and other audio in the application. If your child is learning about cells or is interested in science, this is an engaging app that can teach them a lot about that one subject.

Not to say that Cell and Cell Structure By Emantras Inc is limited, but rather that the single subject it tackles is rather large in scope. There is a lot to learn about cells! I certainly learned something by playing with the app and my ten year old has returned to it several times and I still think she has some material to cover.

The quizzes are a great addition just to check your knowledge after each section, because again there is a lot of material in Cell and Cell Structure By Emantras Inc!

Attention – 5
Learning – 5
Fun – 2 (this is a learning app, but engaging while not “fun” it is fun as in Mr. Wizard (remember him?) fun!)

Total – 12

Of course my daughter is curled up with her iPad wrapped in the Big Grips Frame for iPad 2 – Pink. The iPad is so much more comfortable to hold in the Big Grips Frame for iPad 2 – Pink. Other than spills, there is little she could do to hurt the iPad in this frame!

Operation Math™ By Spinlight Studio

  • December 27, 2011 7:34 am

Operation Math™ By Spinlight Studio a very interesting, fun, and I am betting effective math app/game. Operation Math™ By Spinlight Studio allows for more than one player, automatically pulling in the competition that can drive from some constructive competition among peers. Of course this should be monitored, as in any classroom activity, but this idea makes Operation Math™ By Spinlight Studio really appealing.

My ten year old daughter’s classroom just received 10 iPads and I could see this app being installed on each one. The math isn’t hard, but the timer makes it challenging. You can see in the video my ten year old is making a few mistakes and really wants to get the right answer, but the timer adds some stress.

Can your child learn from Operation Math™ By Spinlight Studio? Sure. It takes your child through addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Your child will need to already know the answers, so Operation Math™ By Spinlight Studio is really a reinforcement tool and not an introductory tool. That is to say you would not use Operation Math™ By Spinlight Studio to teach your child division, but instead use it to reinforce the concepts your child already knows.

The graphics are great, and I mention in the video that this app is really geared towards boys, which is cool because I do not see a lot of that in the stores (I am a boy/dad!).

iPad only.

Attention – 5
Fun – 3
Learning – 5

Total – 13

Of course you will notice that we have our iPad wrapped in the Big Grips iPad Frame. Even my ten year old like the frame. It makes it more comfy to hold in a chair since the iPad can be sort of sharp without the Big Grips iPad Frame on it.

Be sure to check out the video:

A Charlie Brown Christmas By Loud Crow Interactive Inc.

  • December 24, 2011 7:30 am

A Charlie Brown Christmas By Loud Crow Interactive Inc. is the perfect book/app for Christmas eve! Read another amazingly interactive and almost 3-D book by Loud Crow Interactive with your children right before you put them to bed. Perhaps at lunch since A Charlie Brown Christmas By Loud Crow Interactive Inc. will probably get your little ones thinking about Santa and all excited.

Loud Crow Interactive does an amazing job of bringing stories to life. It is as if the cartoon version of the story is melded with the book and made into an interactive story book movie on the iPad. It really is magical when you see your four year old engaged with Charlie Brown and friends just like you probably were 20, 30, 40? years ago! It is worth it. Believe me.

A Charlie Brown Christmas By Loud Crow Interactive Inc. retains the classic feel of Charlie Brown while taking advantage of the touch screen, gyroscopes, display, and processor power of the iPad. You can read a long with the book or have the volume turned off and read it all by yourself. The characters move, the snowflakes pop, and you can repeat paragraphs or single words if you want.

This is a fun to read book and you could use it as a reading reinforcement book, but it is not something I would consider a learning to read book. The words are just a bit too small. The story and graphics stand out, but it isn’t something I would use to teach my 3-4 year old to read with. That is just fine! I just wanted to point it out.

Attention – 5
Fun – 4
Learning – 3

Total – 12

There is no question you should be downloading this app right as you read this. Here is a link to make it easier:

Elf Rescue By Lapland Studio Ltd

  • December 22, 2011 7:05 am

Elf Rescue By Lapland Studio Ltd is a challenging but fun apps for kids and adults. I start playing with Elf Rescue By Lapland Studio Ltd with my four year old and thought right away that it was going to be too hard. I was not completely correct.

In the video you can see we struggled to get accustomed to the controls a bit. Getting the review so close to Christmas we rushed to record the video. Over the following weekend my ten year old and four year old picked up the app many more times and really enjoyed the challenge. I was asked to help my four year old a few times, but that is common with a game of this sort.

Elf Rescue By Lapland Studio Ltd isn’t really Christmas over done. Sure there is an elf, who dies a lot, reindeer, presents, and snow, but that is about as far as the theme goes. It seems pretty appropriate to me.

I wonder if Lapland Studio is actually located in the north of Norway or it is just a name themed on Laplanders since early on that is where St. Nick was supposed to have come from I think. In either case the game play is unique and fun and very challenging. The same experience as an Angry birds, where you are challenged and want to come back for more, but the game play is much more interesting in my opinion and those of my children! I played this game much more than I should have I guess!

Attention – 5
Fun – 5
Learning – 1 (some fine motor skills and the Zelda type of learning too)

Total – 11

Of course we have our iPad wrapped in the awesome Big Grips iPad Frame. We love that frame/case and still recommend it. My daughter can play the iPad in the car, at her grandparents, and just about anywhere else! Instead of worrying about her dropping the iPad we just need to ensure the iPad is charged and we are all set!

Picture Me Christmas Cutie By Oceanhouse Media

  • December 21, 2011 7:50 am

Picture Me Christmas Cutie By Oceanhouse Media is a really fun story book that let’s the whole family in on the fun. The idea is that you pick pictures from your media library or take new photos right there on the spot using either camera on the iPad or iPhone. We used a mixture of new photos and photos from our photostream in the app. Some photos worked better than others, but after we recorded the video we had a lot of fun picking some silly faces to use.

After you pick your photos the book begins and as you probably guessed, it uses your photos in the book. My four year old was very happy to see her own face in the book. She has seen apps like this before and they are always a big hit. This Christmas twist just makes it that much more fun.

Outside the novelty of picking your own faces the other faces in the book are a cute addition. They book is well done in tradition Oceanhouse Media format. I prefer this narrator to others for some reason and I can tell my four year old does too. I have a feeling Picture Me Christmas Cutie By Oceanhouse Media is an app that will remain on the iPad so that we can revisit it each Christmas. We have already went through the book about five times and will probably do it a few more times as different people come to visit over the holidays.

Fun – 5
Attention – 5
Learning – 1 (my four year old did learn to select the image and rotate it. She is working on her fine motor skills, so this counts!)

Total – 11

Of course we housed our ipad in the Big Grips iPad Frame. We love it and would never leave home without it.