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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

Zombie Grammar Force By Brian West

  • March 8, 2013 6:56 am

Zombie Grammar Force – Brian West is a tool to teach kids grammar. Nouns, prepositions, adjectives, and the rest of the sentence structure is presented to the child in a way that is fun, interesting and rewarding. My 12-year-old really took to the app and was challenged by missing one of the items on the first few rounds. There were even some large words added in that she wasn’t yet familiar with – learning opportunity!

I was challenged by Zombie Grammar Force – Brian West right away. It took me a minute to remember what each word was frankly. I did well enough and had a bit of fun too.

Zombie Grammar Force – Brian West is a fun way to remind/teach/reinforce your child of some basic grammar topics. Choosing which pirate they want to be and gaining access to larger canons is just another bit of fun added in. Your child isn’t likely to spend hours with Zombie Grammar Force – Brian West, but will spend enough time to get the point. This is probably 10 minutes each time you remind them to pick up the app. Kids are smart. They know when they are learning something. Zombie Grammar Force – Brian West does a good job of shielding this, but the results wont be hours of fun, but perhaps many minutes!

Fun – 3
Attention – 3
Learning – 4

Total – 10

i Learn With the Mighty Jungle: Animals ! HD – Life sciences educational game for kids in preschool and kindergarten

  • December 7, 2011 7:00 am

i Learn With the Mighty Jungle: Animals ! HD – Life sciences educational game for kids in preschool and kindergarten is a really good learning app. Your child is asked in one, two, or three steps to identify the animal in question.

My four year old really likes i Learn With the Mighty Jungle: Animals ! HD – Life sciences educational game for kids in preschool and kindergarten because she can have some fun while learning. It is a real challenge, but in an age appropriate manner.

My four year old likes to play with i Learn With the Mighty Jungle: Animals ! HD – Life sciences educational game for kids in preschool and kindergarten but for a short period of time. It is a challenge and can cause her to lose interest pretty quickly. With a little guidance she hangs on longer, but this app is not for a back seat rider.

Learning – 5
Fun – 4
Attention – 2

Total – 11

Of course we have our iPad covered with the Big Grips iPad2 Frame. We love it.

iTunes Link

I Can Count Pro By NPC Unlimited

  • December 1, 2011 10:40 am

I Can Count Pro By NPC Unlimited just might help teach your child to count. The app is designed, according to its developer, for three to seven year olds to learn to count. In a single way this is true.

I Can Count Pro By NPC Unlimited teaches counting in a single manner. It shows you a set of animals somewhere between one and twelve and you are asked to count them and choose the number of animals from the choices at the bottom of the screen. It is very simple and effective in that single task.

Why am I not raving about the app? Well it is listed right now at $2.99 and it amounts to a set of flash cards. Other apps in this category ask your child to add or subtract, or have a few more features like the ability to choose a level. For $2.99 I would expect a bit more.

Attention – 3
Fun – 1 (it is a learning app, this is ok!)
Learning – 4

Total – 8

Of course we protected our iPad using the Name Your Link and we love the case/cover. Be sure to click the special offers just below the price to get the stand and case for a discounted price.

iTunes Link

Big Grips Frame for iPad and iPad2

  • November 25, 2011 1:35 pm

We have had the Big Grips Frame for iPad 2 – Pink in our house for about 45 days. We were waiting for today, Black Friday, to publish our review. A month is long enough to get it a little dirty (it cleans up with a damp rag) and fall in love with it. If you are sharing your iPad with a small child (and if you aren’t you must REALLY like games made for kids if you are here) the Big Grips Frame for iPad 2 – Pink is a must have accessory.

The Big Grips Frame for iPad 2 – Pink is made from a soft yet firm foam. The colors are vibrant and as I mentioned before, it cleans up easily. Does the Big Grips Frame for iPad 2 – Pink protect the iPad? Definitely. I would be comfortable with my four year dropping or even tossing the iPad a few feet! It sounds crazy, but this is some serious protection.

Not only does the Big Grips Frame for iPad 2 – Pink protect the iPad, but the Big Grips Stand, Matching Color for Big Grip Frame – Pink that goes along with it is great for playing games and the iPad just about lives in the Big Grips Stand, Matching Color for Big Grip Frame – Pink now too.

The case itself makes it easy for the youngest hands to handle the iPad safely and effectively. As soon as we put the Frame on the iPad my four year old started referring to her iPad as her computer instead. She gets mad if we call it her iPad now since it is a computer in the new case. Awesome! She has spent a lot more time in many of the apps because they are just easier to use now.

Most recently we were playing Real Racing 2 HD and she was able to drive like, well, you might expect a four year old to drive, but gripping the iPad was a piece of cake.

The case does add a bit of bulk, but with kids we are used to carrying an extra bag for diapers or snacks or whatever, and this case does not add too much bulk. As I note in the video it does make it harder to plug in the iPad, but there is a simple solution to that as I show in the video too. The extra padding keeps little fingers from the controls, which is good for younger kids while my four year old can get to the controls just fine.

Seriously. Get one of these things and check out the video while you are waiting for amazon to deliver it :)

Hokey Pokey Superheroes by Cambridge English Online ltd

  • May 25, 2011 7:56 am

I remember dancing to the Hokey Pokey at the local skating rink when I was kid. It was fun to make silly faces and dance around crazy to the song. Everyone participated–even the parents. It was a lot of fun.

Hokey Pokey Superheroes by Cambridge English Online ltd brings back that same fun and silliness. Hokey Pokey Superheroes by Cambridge English Online ltd makes the game fun again by playing the song so we can dance along. There are a few other treats in the app as well like a song that lets you add your own body part.

The point is the game is simple and fun. Camping? Play the app? Sitting around the living room with the kids and have five minutes before bed? Do the hokey pokey. It just works.

Fun – 5
Learning – 1
Attention – 5 (it isn’t that your kids will play for hours, but rather that you will play with your kids for a bit!)

Total 11

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

See.Touch.Learn by Brain Parade

  • May 12, 2011 7:18 am

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!

Robot Tycoon By Danta Entertainment

  • May 7, 2011 7:18 am

Robot Tycoon By Danta Entertainment is the first business learning app I have seen for the iPad or iPhone. The main purpose is to teach kids simple business skills like supply and demand, fixed and variable costs, and simple math too. Robot Tycoon By Danta Entertainment does a great job in a simple format.

The idea is you start by yourself selling robots. You find a customer who is either happy with what you offer or gets sad when you suggest a change. So you work until the customer is as happy as they can be. You see this visually by a smile on the face of the customer. You then build the robot and deliver it. You could stop there and have some fun, but the learning comes in when you realize that each robot has a different margin. You then start to try and “up sell” the customer on the best robot for your margin that they are happy with.

It gets pretty interesting quickly. You have a mentor that you can read advice from, but with a little parental support your child can build a factory, hire assistants and is provided with a summary at the end of the game. Great for aspiring CEO’s !

It is a necessary skill that is sure to be taught in 6-9 grade at some point, so learning it earlier is fun and makes it interesting. The game is well done with nice graphics (simple, clean, easy to understand–not Pixar but Wii). The flow is nice and directions are clear.

Fun – 4
Learning – 5
Attention – 4

Total 13. This is a learning app that is also fun. Make it a game or competition and you will play it for a while!

Super School Presented By WAITING FOR SUPERMAN

  • April 20, 2011 7:56 am

If you are a parent with kids in school, or just about to start school, you should have already seen the movie “Waiting for Superman.” If you haven’t checked the movie out or aren’t interested in sitting through the documentary, the Super School Presented By WAITING FOR SUPERMANapp will help anyway.

What is the big deal? Well teachers are paid the same amount each year regardless of skill or performance. Schools are struggling to produce students that can meet college entrance requirements. This is something I see every day as a college professor. It seems that most students are taking a remedial math course just to start college. Planning on sending your child to public school? Maybe not after watching this movie. Planning on a private school? It can be hit or miss there too!

The point is, as a parent you need to be well informed and you can also take some action. Super School Presented By WAITING FOR SUPERMAN is an app that will get you well informed AND allow you to quickly send emails to your congress people, and local leaders about issues that matter to you. It is presented in an easy to digest format and in a way that you can spend 10 minutes a day or two hours at a time with the app.

A must have for any parent of kids in grade school or about to enter.