You are currently browsing

Story Train By SS Infotek Inc

  • February 27, 2013 6:52 am

Story Train – SS Infotek Inc., is a fun and simple game to teach your young one reading, letters, numbers, coloring, and some topics about animals and farms. Included in the game are two stories for free and four more than can be unlocked for .99. The drawing app is simple, but that is a positive. Your child is given either a blank slate to draw on or templates of letters, numbers, or coloring book type pictures of different objects. 19 coloring pages in all.

For .99 Story Train – SS Infotek Inc., is a great app to load on your iphone (it is an iPhone app, but scales ok on the iPad too) and head out in the car. My six-year-old spent 15 minutes with the app the first time she touched it and will likely pick it up a few more times in the future.

Learning – 4
Fun – 3
Attention – 4

Total – 11

Be sure to check out the video too:

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

Thomas & Friends: Engine Activities By Callaway Digital Arts, Inc.

  • December 26, 2011 7:10 am

Thomas & Friends: Engine Activities By Callaway Digital Arts, Inc. is another great activity app by Callaway Digital Arts. My four year old loves Thomas & Friends but she loves puzzles and coloring even more. Thomas & Friends: Engine Activities By Callaway Digital Arts, Inc. hits the spot for her. It is a lot of fun.

For some reason I think boys might enjoy Thomas & Friends: Engine Activities By Callaway Digital Arts, Inc. more than girls just because, well, Thomas is a train I guess, but my daughter still loves the app and game.

Is it typical that Thomas & Friends: Engine Activities By Callaway Digital Arts, Inc. would b so popular? Is it an easy formula to come up with a great activity app? It seems not. The activities in Thomas & Friends: Engine Activities By Callaway Digital Arts, Inc. are similar to those activities you would find in a traditional coloring book, puzzle, and matching game set. Three in one!

Attention – 4
Learning – 3
Fun – 4

Total – 11

If course we love the Big Grips iPad case. Be sure to check it out:

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:

The Berenstain Bears Trim the Tree By Oceanhouse Media

  • December 23, 2011 7:22 am

The Berenstain Bears Trim the Tree By Oceanhouse Media is another great book from Oceanhouse Media. We have mentioned this several times this week already, but we love the style of the books, the interactivity, the narration, and The Berenstain Bears Trim the Tree By Oceanhouse Media adds another touch – flaps to open and close.

We all remember the books with flaps as kids. By the time I got a hold of a book with this hidden gems they were all very well worn and easy to notice, some were ripped right off in fact. That is hard to do with the iPad version of these books. The flaps are a fun addition to the story and usually hide something silly and funny.

The Berenstain Bears Trim the Tree By Oceanhouse Media is a neat story of out favorite family of bears getting their tree ready for the holidays!

Fun – 4
Learning – 3
Attention – 4

Total – 11

It looks like the Big Grips iPad Frame is sold out! We love that iPad frame and hope that as you read this you already picked yours up or have one on order for Christmas. Check the other colors if Pink is out of stock. It is a no brainer. Buy the Big Grips iPad Frame.

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.

Santa’s Big Helper: 9 Christmas Apps in 1 By Wet Nose Design Ltd

  • December 20, 2011 3:05 pm

Santa’s Big Helper: 9 Christmas Apps in 1 By Wet Nose Design Ltd is a great Christmas app for kids.

We are pretty sure our ten year old has stopped believing in Santa, but our four year old is still a strong believer. This app sure can help that belief stay alive. As a parent I was able to add both of my children and naughty or nice. I was able to take a photo of my living room and show Santa appearing and delivering some presents! It is amazingly realistic.

Santa’s Big Helper: 9 Christmas Apps in 1 By Wet Nose Design Ltd is a fun app for kids to track Santa too! You can tell where he is at this moment and when he is to arrive. Personally I would skip the elf videos. I was a bit put off by the character, but the kids seemed to think it was funny enough.

Parental settings (to take videos and add children) are password protected, so set your kids free on the Santa’s Big Helper: 9 Christmas Apps in 1 By Wet Nose Design Ltd app!.

Your older child can even write a letter to Santa! My ten year old was not willing to participate, but it looks like a neat way to digitize that wish list!

Attention – 5 (for a few more days!)
Fun – 4
Learning – 0

Total – 9

The Night Before Christmas – Enchanted Tales By Oceanhouse Media

  • December 20, 2011 7:56 am

The Night Before Christmas – Enchanted Tales By Oceanhouse Media is a very interesting offering from Oceanhouse Media. At first I was almost sure it was the story of Scrooge, but I was wrong.

Of course The Night Before Christmas – Enchanted Tales By Oceanhouse Media has the usual outstanding images, narration, and story of all Oceanhouse books, but this time with an engaging story that I was not familiar with. I suppose I could have chosen the read it myself option and explored the book before I presented it to my four year old, but together we got lost in the story of the toy factory, the orphans, and the few antagonists.

The Night Before Christmas – Enchanted Tales By Oceanhouse Media is another book from Oceanhouse that you can choose to sit down and explore with your child, read it to them, have it read to them while they choose to turn the pages, or in “back seat mode” as I call it, you can have it self play. Together with a nice iPad Frame/case/stand like the Big Grips iPad Frame the “back seat mode” could be used to fall asleep to.

Can your child learn to read with The Night Before Christmas – Enchanted Tales By Oceanhouse Media? Perhaps not. But they can learn to LOVE to read. One of the benefits of reading a book to your child is that they learn the style of reading, the cadence, the pace, the stopping points, and the narration is key. You get all of the various forms of reading styles with this and many of the books from Oceanhouse Media.

Attention – 5
Fun – 3 (it is a book!)
Learning – 3 (there are some lessons in this book that are clearer to me)

Total – 11. A very good book. A must have.

How The Grinch Stole Christmas! – Dr. Seuss By Oceanhouse Media

  • December 19, 2011 7:40 am

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.