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Gingham Games By Classic Kid Productions

  • July 18, 2011 7:53 am

Gingham Games By Classic Kid Productions is a surprisingly fun app that can really teach something to your child. I was initially impressed by the graphics in the app. Very retro looking and fun for a child.

The interface was a tiny bit confusing at first, but after a few minutes with a parent my four year old was able to use the app on her own. It is just something to note–parents need to be involved with just about any app and all apps are better learning tools when a parent is helping.

Sorting the ducks is a great game, picking the colored shapes has a nice interface, and overall the game is very enjoyable for my four year old.

Fun – 4
Learning – 4
Attention – 3
Total – 11

PopOut! The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin by Loud Crow Interactive

  • July 4, 2011 7:51 am

PopOut! The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin by Loud Crow Interactive is another fantastic book from Loud Crow. They have a knack for taking a book and turning it into an interactive application without overdoing the technology. The graphics are outstanding and have a real book feel. The story is read very politely and clearly as well.

Can you really enjoy “reading” a book like this with your child? Yes. take the ipad on a trip, switch from a great book to a fun game at anytime. It is a great tool on a long trip or just before bed.

My four year old starts up this book by herself and I hear it reading to her while she is politely listening and sometimes not so politely pressing on the screen. The interactive parts of the book are the most intriguing part. If there is a section or page of the book that is not as interesting as the others then she can click away while still hearing the story.

Fun – 4 (it is a book after all)
Attention – 4
Learning – 4
Total – 12

Lola’s Magic Cube by Beiz

  • June 6, 2011 7:26 am

I was pretty interested to see what Lola’s Magic Cube by Beiz meant for a game. The title could mean just about anything and we have seen another great game from Beiz. We certainly were not disappointed. In fact, I think this game is better than the last!

Lola’s Magic Cube by Beiz is a puzzle game. Simple as that. You have three levels each containing five puzzles. The puzzle pieces are mixed and turned, so there is more than one dimension to the game. At first it took me a minute to figure this out and show my four year old, but then she had it down. She quickly progressed to level two on her first turn with the game.

She still has fun with the game after a few weeks and I really think there is a good chance for some tactile learning. In Kindergarten (the first “grade” that kids attend in the U.S. for those of you from outside the U.S.) kids learn things like how to use paint, scissors, and glue. This game is similar to the scissors activity where it is teaching tactile skills. Fine motor skills as well as problem solving.

It has a great method of providing the game and learning together.

Attention – 5
Fun – 4
Learning – 4

Total – 13

Watch my four year old explore the game. It is fun!

Animal Sounds By Oak Multimedia

  • June 4, 2011 7:04 am

Animal Sounds By Oak Multimedia is a simple app for a small child. It has a set of animals that your young child can pick and listen to the noises they make. The animals are drawn well and the sounds are right on. It is great for a young child of 1+ years who is just learning their animal sounds.

I think it is a good app, but it has one flaw. The never really enjoy shaking my iPhone or iPad. It is hard for my four year old daughter to shake the device sometimes too. For a one year old it would be nearly impossible. . The developer has updated the app to address this issue and you now have the option to not need to shake the device! Awesome! That being said this is not the type of app that a small child would play with by themselves. It is a way for an involved parent to teach their child animal sounds in a new and interesting way.

I do recommend the app, but would like to be able to touch the animal to make it make its sound!

My four year old is giggling and having a fun time while she is playing with the app.

Attention – 4
Learning – 4
Fun – 4

Total – 12

The Going To Bed Book Sandra Boynton Loud Crow Interactive

  • May 30, 2011 7:46 am

We have come to love The Going To Bed Book Sandra Boynton Loud Crow Interactive. It is a neat book to read just before bed. Initially I wasn’t impressed with the voice, but realized that it is a very soothing voice for my daughter. She still gets to play with the characters as we have come to be accustomed to.

The book does a great job of getting you ready for bed. The characters all do the normal pre-bed tasks. You interact with them and my favorite part is the screen fogging up. A neat book by a great author narrated in a very appropriate manner.

Attention – 5
Fun – 3
Learning – 4

Total – 12

Sam Phibian By 3CD

  • May 26, 2011 7:41 am

Sometimes it is easier to get your child to play a game then it is to get them to learn. It can also be true that you want your child to learn in a few different ways. Counting numbers, reciting numbers, and counting backwards can be fun, but it abstract counting can be fun too. What do I mean by abstract counting?

Sam Phibian By 3CD gets your child to count and learn numbers by getting Sam Phibian the amphibian to eat a certain number of flies. It is fun, interesting to young children and makes them think about the colors and flies they have already gotten Sam to eat.

I suppose it also teaches hand eye coordination, abstract thinking, as well as number skills, but really it is a fun way to eat flies and act like a frog. Does it work? Yep. I just told my four year old to eat the number of colored flies shown at the bottom of the screen and she was off. She likes to get Sam to wear funny hats and be goofy, but she also gets the counting part too.

Fun – 5
Learning – 4 (you really only learn one thing, but that is ok)
Attention – 4

Total – 13

Check out my four year old and I playing with the app:

ABC Aliens HD by Cambridge English Online ltd

  • May 24, 2011 7:24 am

ABC Aliens HD by Cambridge English Online ltd. is a fun but really challenging ABC learning game. The idea is you have four games to play where you are asked to find the letters of the alphabet within 30 seconds. You can do it in upper and lower case and backwards.

Is the game fun? Yes it is. Does it teach the alphabet? Sure, it can work as a tool to do that. One of the choices is to have the alphabet read to you by an alien or a child’s voice. The alien voice is silly, but clear, and my daughter liked that.

My four year old knows the letters of the alphabet upper and lower case pretty well. She confuses d and b sometimes, but knows the letters pretty well. In this app she had a hard time getting the letters in 30 seconds. In the video she had a hard time getting 4 letters in that amount of time. As we played with the app more and more she could get further, but never all of the letters. It takes me 26 seconds. The backwards version is fun and makes for some interesting group gameplay.

Fun – 3 (it is mainly a learning app, but it is fun too)
Learning – 4 (it is a supplement to other alphabet learning tools)
Attention – 2 (your child will not want to play with the app for more than 10 minutes at a time)

Total – 9

Moo Baa La La La by Loud Crow Interactive

  • May 23, 2011 7:46 am

Moo Baa La La La by Loud Crow is another great book from Loud Crow Interactive. It has interactive characters, a simple story line, and my imaginative four year old loves it. My ten year old likes to make noise with it, but she reads it to her younger sister too.

These books by Sandra Boynton are simple fun stories. On the iPad or iPhone they become interactive, fun, and alive. Does it last forever? No. Are they attention keepers? yes.

In Moo Baa La La La by Loud Crow your child gets to learn the sounds that animals make while providing a learning experience. You can click on each word to have it repeated and as the words are read each is highlighted. I really consider those must-haves in these book/apps. I want my daughter to click each word and learn to recognize the sight words as soon as she can. I believe this leads to early “reading” or at least reading by recognizing the words on the page together.

This book was recommended by a reader and friend and it does not disappoint. In his case he reads it to his 3 year old. I have it read by the app to my four year old and I bet it is good for another year!

Attention – 5
Fun – 4
Learning – 4

Total – 13 – pretty good. If you are looking for a book/app for your child you cannot go wrong. iPad and iPhone version available.

Check out a video of my daughter playing with the book/app. She opened it again this morning and played for another hour!

Five Little Monkeys jumping on the bed by OceanHouse Media

  • May 10, 2011 7:49 am

Five Little Monkeys jumping on the bed by OceanHouse Media is a surprise favorite for my four year old. I recorded a short silent film of her playing with the app and interacting with it. Why is the video silent? She is wearing headphones! She has played with this app about 10 times since we received a promo for it and she loves the book.

We couldn’t find the exact match for the headphones she is wearing, but we like the Fisher-Price Kid-Tough Headphones Pink because they have the same muting and volume controls to protect her hearing.

It could be that this was a favorite song of hers when we would sing her to sleep. It could also be that she like the interaction and the way the story is played out. The book is read in a fashion that you are guided over the pages. You can still click on each word and have it read back and click on each item on a page and have that word said and displayed. It is a nice feature.

Check out the video of my four year old enjoying the book. Be sure to click the itunes link below to buy a copy of the book!

Fun – 3
Learning – 4
Attention – 4
Total – 11. A good solid kids book.

Horton Hears a Who and Berenstain Bears by Oceanhouse Media

  • March 7, 2011 7:26 am

We have review apps from Oceanhouse Media before. We love their reading apps. They do a great job and Horton Hears a Who and Berenstain Bears are two great additions.

First the books are classics, second they are written in a way that is different from book to book that might be paying homage to the original or just a nice change up from book to book. Horton Hears a Who is narrated in a very engaging manner and my four year old is just in love with it. She has a great imagination and the book really comes to life on the iPhone or iPad.

I think I remember the Berenstain Bears as a comic on Saturday mornings or something–whenever I watched it–it is familiar again now just as if I had the original book in front of me. It is nice to share some real classics.

The books will read to you or you can read them, and it remembers where you left off. A necessary piece of any book/app. It also highlights each word as it is read to your child, which again is a necessary item in any app/book. Your library should contain just about every Oceanhouse Media app as it comes out!

We give their books great reviews and these two are no different:

Attention – 5
Learning – 4
Fun – 5

Total – 14