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.
How The Grinch Stole Christmas! – Dr. Seuss By Oceanhouse Media is another great book/app from Oceanhouse Media. This book is not my daughter’s favorite since it is sort of dark and scary, but it is still a very good book and some kids like different things. The book is well written and narrated in a man’s voice. Almost that of the Grinch himself!
The animations and drawings are done in a typical Dr. Seuss style, but with less color. I almost felt like I had downloaded a copy of the book before it was sent overseas to be colored I bet that is not the case and instead is meant to match the overall style of the original.
How The Grinch Stole Christmas! – Dr. Seuss By Oceanhouse Media is a classic Christmas book, story, movie, and now app. Just having the book to enjoy on a cold winter night makes the purchase worth it. I haven’t given it a try, but showing the app on a flat screen with the whole family via HDMI might make for some new traidtions!
Fun – 2 (it is a book)
Attention – 4
Learning – 3
Total – 9
Of course we watch the whole book in the best frame we have found for the iPad2 – the Big Grips iPad Frame. We love the case. Just yesterday (when the video below was recorded) our four year old was walking into the kitchen with the iPad in her case as it always is. She hit the doggy gate and nearly dropped the iPad! If not for the awesome grip the Frame provides the iPad would have been on the ground. We have a tile floor and without the case it would certainly have dented the iPad at least. I bet with the case it would not have even mattered.
The choices of things to color is very extensive. I haven’t counted, but there must be over a hundred different pages to color in the app. Of course you can color a single page over and over again, but choosing which page to color is half the fun!
My four year old had no trouble with the app and enjoyed the experience a lot. I think the app is really suited for a younger audience, but it should span all the way up to a 5 year old or so. Sometimes it is more fun to actually swipe your finger to color, but other times you want an app like Animals Coloring by theColor.com that just uses the paint bucket to do the dirty work!
Be sure to check out the video for the whole experience and as always note the Big Grips iPad Frame. We took that case to a restaurant the other day, to a gymnastics competition, and over to grandma’s house. We love it!
Monster Chorus By ReignDesign took a while to figure out. I suppose I should have read some instructions or followed through a tutorial, but I didn’t. It took some time to get used to the new app, but it soon revealed itself to be very entertaining. How entertaining is the question.
The idea behind Monster Chorus By ReignDesign is that your child will interact with the monsters by pressing on them, singing with them, or recording their own voice. The app ends up growing on you and starts to become fun. The voices are very well done and seemed very interesting to my four year old.
How long will it last? So far I haven’t encountered my four year old picking the app from the usual choices and jamming away. Usually just after introduction any app will get some play time and so far that isn’t the case with Monster Chorus By ReignDesign.
The app feels like it has a lot of potential and has been top app in the music category according to the publishers, but I just do not see it. I am going to add it to the list of apps to revisit.
Animal Words by Oh, Hello! Is a simple fun app for young children to learn about animal sounds. The interface is simple and clean–just what you want in an app like this. Your child selects an animal and hears the name of the animal. There are three different voices/languages to choose from. Two English and one is Czech I believe.
That is about it. Simple,fun, interesting, but ultimately a short lived app for a young child. Is it worthwhile? Sure.
We really like Tap to Learn. They create some great apps.Spelling With Friends is another good app. Not only can you spell with friends, but the app has some real learning potential. It isn’t perfect, but I think they can get it right.
The app has a lot of words. I mean a lot. I was shocked when I first heard the words she was asked to learn. As she played with the app more and more she really felt challenged by the learning experience. She did good, but man the words are hard to learn sometimes.
The app isn’t perfect. The app list is very long but it doesn’t seem to have a way to filter the words. There aren’t categories or anything like that. The testing is a positive since it provides a nice feedback to the user. It is like a spelling bee. You can check the definition and origin and see the word used in a sentence. Good things, but when it is used in a sentence you see how to spell it. Setting some scruples aside, as kids are quick to do, you can figure out the words quickly. In the challenge a friend mode I could just have a dictionary next to me and cheat. Just saying.
So not perfect, but since we are all involved parents, this is a solid spelling app with many, many words. I am sure the people at Tap to Learn will release an update to address some of the small issues and the filtering of words.
Attention – 5
Learning – 5
Fun – 2
Total – 12. It isn’t fun, but it is learning. Buy the app
Saving the Rainforest is cool isn’t it? Aren’t we all concerned that the cure for cancer is actually sitting in the Rainforest waiting to be discovered? The cure is probably the saliva from a carrion eating bird or beetle “perfume.” To teach your kids more about the circle of life and the animals in the rainforest be sure to check out Rainforest Survival Challenge Ruckus Media Group.
At first look it is a complex card game matching animals against each other for survival. There is a heavy tutorial to get you started and I suggest you pay attention! Really the point is to understand what the animals on the card eat and what threatens them. You can see the name of the animal by clicking the card once and the details of the animal by clicking the card twice. Pretty good information, but it isn’t an encyclopedia (remember those?).
Is it fun? yes. My ten year old daughter and I played with the app as a team for about 30 minutes the first time around. She is certainly going to pick it up again as a quick 10-15 minute game to play. Can you learn something from the app? Certainly. If we are comparing this sort of app to a flash based game on nickjr.com there is really no comparison. This game teaches you tangible facts about a set of animals. That information by itself might not be valuable, but as a starting point for the next assignment about animals at school it might just be enough.
Fun – 2 (it is a learning app, but still kind of fun to try and win)
Learning – 3 The subject matter is limited, but that is ok.
Attention – 3 You will not play this app for more than 15 minutes at a time perhaps 30 like we did.
Grammar App HD by Tap To Learn is an app that teaches grammar in a fun yet somewhat traditional way. Within a few minutes of using the app I was impressed by the breath of information and the simplicity of it’s book like interface and simple testing feature. I do not think this is something my ten year old could be sent off on her own to use because it just isn’t a game. Supervision is needed to keep the child on track, but a half hour a day with this app would be reasonable.
The testing feature is simple and somewhat fun. It provides questions that are appropriately complex for the material. This is not a first grader’s app–it seems to be appropriate for at least a 3rd grader or higher grade levels. I know I was learning or re-learning some of the grammar rules as I spend 20 minutes alone with the app.
We were using the HD version of the app, but Grammar App HD by Tap To Learn is for both iPhone and iPad, so choose without too much worry. In fact I used the app on my iPhone 4 initially and only later realized it was on my iPad and that is where my four year old played with the app. I have to suggest the HD version for kids since the layout on the bigger screen is easier to use and they are both the same price!
Check out the video below. My ten year old was a little sick this past week and on some cough medicine, so a little giggly. She did a good job of showing the app regardless and has spent a few hours with it now in total.
Learning – 5
Attention – 4
Fun – 2
Total of 11, but remember this is a learning app. You certainly get your grammar lessons in this single app!
We review a lot of learning apps. Some apps are for a specific area of knowledge like math or fractions and other apps are reading apps, and yet some apps can fit just about anywhere.
See.Touch.Learn by Brain Parade is one of those anywhere apps. At its core it is a flash card app, but offers so much more to the involved parent. You can add your own lessons, organize them by what your child needs to know next or is struggling with, or just enjoy the available lessons.
Brain Parade just released 8 more categories of apps. Everything from fruit to noses and letters and numbers to pets–they have a flash card set for it. Can your child learn this way? Of course. If they can identify pictures and point they are capable of learning in this format.
See.Touch.Learn by Brain Parade allows the parent to control the learning structure and content. That being said, my ten year old wanted to create a lesson for my four year old. In the video you can see a first take at that situation. Later in the night she spent a good amount of time on a lesson and my four year old loved it!
Will you grow out of the app? Perhaps. Right now the content probably reaches two to seven year olds, but I believe they are working on the ability for a parent to add their own pictures and voice to the mix. I had mentioned that I wondered how long it will take my four year old to realize the number she is supposed to select it showing at the top of the screen and just start matching them up. I checked settings and there is a switch to turn off that display! Awesome!
Fun – 2 (It is a learning app, but fun to create lessons)
Attention – 3
Learning – 5
Total – 10
Check out the video of me and the kids using the app!