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Transports by Editions First-Gründ

  • July 11, 2011 7:36 am

Transports by Editions First-Gründ is a simple game my daughter really enjoys. She is four and loves to color. This app lets her explore different “transports” and interact with the items by coloring, counting, and hearing the sounds they make. The interface is easy to navigate and your child can learn more about the item on the screen by clicking panel.

I was afraid that she was not going to get the hang of the panel in the upper left corner but she took to it quickly. This is the second app of this kind and it works well. A simple interface that keeps your child interested for a good period of time. Is your child going to learn numbers or letters from this app? Probably not, but the fun coloring and learning about the different transports is worthwhile.

Fun – 4
Learning – 3
Attention – 4

Total – 11

MemNeon by Alchemista

  • June 1, 2011 7:37 am

Some apps are hard to describe. I guess it is good that we make videos of each app.

MemNeon by Alchemista is one of those apps that is hard to describe. It reminds me of a game I would play if I were a tron character. Awesome graphics, a great sound scheme, and an interesting game.

What type of game? Well I suppose it is like Simon says, but much more complex. This is like Simon Says for MENSA members. It is challenging and fun to try and remember the patterns. You get better at it. After playing for about an hour I was much better than when I started. Am I getting smarter? I am not sure I can tell. Perhaps sharper?

The video shows my ten year old playing the game. She was doing well, but you can see how quickly things can go wrong. If you like puzzles that are obvious yet difficult this game is for you. I enjoy it a lot. I think it is appropriate for a challenge competition. Probably ten and up at least.

I played it on my iPhone first and it was enjoyable. Plenty of room. We recorded it on the iPad, but one app fits all (I like it when developers do this).

Attention – 5
Fun – 4
Learning – 3 (I just cannot quantify the learning, but am sure it is at least making my brain work which is good).

Total – 12

Rainforest Survival Challenge Ruckus Media Group

  • May 18, 2011 7:49 am

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.

Total – 8

Thomas & Friends: Misty Island Rescue By Callaway Digital Arts, Inc.

  • May 2, 2011 7:22 am

Thomas & Friends: Misty Island Rescue By Callaway Digital Arts, Inc. is already one of my daughter’s favorites. I admit that I check out the apps before I let my four year old take a crack at them and this app caught my eye for its graphics and range.

Thomas & Friends: Misty Island Rescue By Callaway Digital Arts, Inc. gives you the chance to read a book–it is NOT short, do puzzles, color, draw by the numbers in a very neat way, and watch a short movie. It is a great app to keep your child occupied and interested for a good while.

I had to show my four year old how to open and close the menu once and she was set. After that she was moving around and choosing what she wanted to do next. The drawing app is as good as any other on the iPad, but does allow you to choose different paintbrush sizes, which was nice. The puzzle can be a bit touchy, but overall well done too. The book is read nicely, but does lack the highlighting of the words, so not as much learning there, but that is ok!

This is certainly a favorite app and one I would suggest if your child is familiar with Thomas (what child isn’t)?

Learning – 3
Fun – 5
Attention – 5

Total – 13

Swapsies by Spinlight Studios

  • April 25, 2011 7:05 am

Swapsies by Spinlight Studios is a fun app for kids to learn fine motor skills as well as some cognitive skills like matching and accomplishing lists. My 4 year old daughter loves the app on our iPad and likes to make the characters mismatch as well as match.

A nice addition to the app is the ability to choose a character. My daughter seems to pick a new child each time from the list. Sometimes a boy, sometimes a girl. I think she just likes to see the different faces in the different outfits. This isn’t an app that will last weeks or make it to your home screen, but it is an app that I bet your child will come back to and enjoy especially if prompted. It is hard not to laugh when you get an outfit correct and press the notes. A nice touch.

Attention – 3
Fun – 4
Learning – 3

Total – 10

Diggers by Lucy Hall

  • April 11, 2011 7:58 am

Diggers by Lucy Hall is really a hand-eye-coordination app. My DAUGHTER loves the app although I do not think she shares the common-in-boys obsession with big working trucks. I made the mistake of telling Lucy Hall that in the US we call these Back Hoes, which turns out to not be true since the app covers all sorts of “diggers” or heavy machinery.

The app itself lets the child build a “digger” by placing the puzzle pieces where they go. The pieces snap into place well and there are different levels for different kids. When the puzzle is complete you see the actual photo of the “digger” and it makes the “digger” sound effect. Is it a cool app? yes it is.

Why get this app? Well you need to keep your kids busy sometimes and it is a fun app. I like to talk about the education angle and this app teaches some hand-eye-coordination and is fun too.

Is it a must have app? No it isn’t. If your child likes “diggers” though, they will love this app for the iPhone or upsized for the iPad.

Learning – 3
Fun – 5
Attention – 4

Total – 12

Jack and Joe by Stupid Art Company

  • March 14, 2011 7:27 am

The Adventures of Jack and Joe by Stupid Art Company is a different kind of book. It is very interactive where other books move and read to your child the Adventures of Jack and Joe make your child perform tasks to continue. I do not want to give too much away, but it is clear when my youngest is playing this game.

It is narrated very well and has a very interesting story line. I read that it is 30 pages total, but I would have never guessed it didn’t have more.

My daughter likes to pick the wrong location for dog and make me pick the right spot. Check out the video to see more.

I do find it interesting that the dog purrs and looks like a cat. Is it me or is that a cat? My daughter didn’t mind and I have spent way too much time petting that catdog due to my daughters enjoyment of the game.

Fun – 5
Attention – 5
Learning – 3

Total – 13

Food Fight! – An Interactive Book by Glenn Melenhorst By Jelly Biscuits

  • February 7, 2011 7:35 am

Food Fight! – An Interactive Book by Glenn Melenhorst By Jelly Biscuits – we have already reviewed this app. It is fun, creative, interesting and now it is updated. We really wanted to have the app read to our child. Not because we are lazy, but rather that my 3 year old would rather control the app herself.

This book-app takes the reading to you a bit further and actually turns the pages for your child as well. I like this feature. This makes the book more of a movie for you child when you choose that mode. She can find the stars, click on the characters, and have fun doing it.

Of course you can still read the book as a traditional book, but I find real books work really well for this.

Check out the new video. I really like the accent of the narrator!

Attention – 5
Fun – 5
Learning -3
Ages 3-9

Total of 13. You aren’t here to learn necessarily, but reading is a lifelong skill.

Fun with Thandros by Thandros Media

  • January 17, 2011 7:14 am

Fun with Thandros by Thandros Media is a neat app for kids where they can interact with a friendly robot. I am confident we have not yet found all the things you can do in this app, but my 3 year old’s favorites are the story time where you can pick your own adventure and twins. She sneaks into the “under 3” section every once in a while too.

This app needs a bit of guidance from the parent, so be prepared to help out a bit, but it is a fun and interesting app.

Fun – 4
Learning – 3
Attention – 3

Total 10. Not bad for a fun app that covers a lot of ages!

Nusery Rhyme Singalong by WookSoft

  • January 10, 2011 3:58 pm

Nusery Rhyme Singalong by WookSoft is a simple app that has about 15 preloaded songs for you and your child to, well, sing a long with. The interface is simple enough for a young child to figure out and the screen has some motion to keep your child interested while the song is playing. I would recommend the app for back seat rides for sure.

Attention – 5
Fun – 3
Learning – 3

Total – 13. It really is an app designed for a bit of learning, but more attention. Good job!