Universal (iPhone / iPod / iPad)

cosmic
Quality
Education
Entertainment
Value
Child Friendly
Summary
Cosmic Paul is an early learning app that helps children practice their alphabet and spelling skills using a unique and very entertaining search and find concept. Interactive, educational, and tons of fun, this app is great for children of all ages!
4.8

App Info

Price: $1.99
AppStore User Rating: 5
Download on the App Store

Overview

Cosmic Paul is an interactive learning app that helps children practice recognizing the alphabet through a fun, seek and find concept. With loads of exciting interactive images, five environments, and endless hours of play, this app is great for young children.

Features include:

  • 5 Environments to explore
  • Hundreds of interactive illustrations
  • Spelling practice

Quality

It’s clear that the developers have put a great deal of effort into the interactive images and illustrations included in Cosmic Paul. In addition to the easy to use interface, each of the interactive bits are quite intricate with fun sound effects and surprises that help bring the app to life as children tap and touch their way through the app. Cosmic Paul has an incredibly intuitive interface that allows even the youngest of players an opportunity to enjoy hours of play.

Education

With a focus on learning the alphabet and recognizing various letters, this app offers young players a fun environment to learn. The concept is fairly simple as it provides children with a word for each activity in which they need to find the corresponding letters for. By tapping and touching their way through the various interactive images, they locate each letter. While the main idea is to teach letter recognition and alphabet practice, children also have a chance to practice their spelling as well.

Entertainment

In addition to the educational value that players will receive from this app, there are a lot of entertainment components as well. Cosmic Paul is full of interactive images that make this app tons of fun for children to play. The seek and find concept is also a lot of fun as children get to explore the variety of images and interactive bits throughout the app. With 5 various environments and lots of different letters to find to spell each word, this app offers hours of entertainment.

Value

Priced at just under two dollars this app is a great value. With five environments to explore, loads of words to spell and hundreds of interactive illustrations to explore, this app is one that offers hours of fun at a price that won’t break the bank.

Child Friendliness

In addition to being incredibly easy to use for children of all ages, Cosmic Paul is completely safe too. With no external links, advertisements or social media links to worry about, this app is great for children of all ages. With an interface that requires children to use their natural curiosity to tap and touch their way through the app, Cosmic Paul is perfect for children of all ages.

  • NO social media
  • NO external links
  • NO in-app purchase
  • NO 3rd party ads

image (1)
Quality
Education
Entertainment
Value
Child Friendly
Summary
Lingokids is a sampler app that allows parents and children to try out five lessons to teach English vocabulary to young children using engaging animated activities related to groups of eight vocabulary words.
4.2

App Info

Price: Free
AppStore User Rating:
Download on the App Store

Overview

Lingokids offers English lessons for young children on three levels (individual words, phrases and sentences) that cover over 3,000 words within the paid subscription version. Lessons are grouped by word function and by parts of speech and are conducted using simple interactive games.

Features include:

  • 5 free lessons to sample the program
  • Supplemental activities available with purchase of subscription
  • Adaptive technology creates a unique learning experience for each child
  • No prior knowledge of English necessary
  • Offline play and multiple student accounts available with subscription

Quality

Lingokids is a high quality app that will encourage young children to play with English words, phrases and sentences. It includes an array of different types of interactions, colorful animations, and engaging sound effects. Developers also included some simple suggestions to help parents make the most of the learning experience with their children.

Education

This app provides a wealth of leveling options to guide young players into the right activities. When the app first begins, users have the opportunity to choose the child’s age and level of experience with English. It would be nice if there were a way to access this screen later in case a parent wanted to change the level, but I could not find a way of doing so.

There are five lessons available in the free sample version of this app, with a total of twenty lessons currently available with the subscription. In addition, subscribers can see records of their child’s performance, download supplemental activities, and activate offline play for times when an internet connection is unavailable.

Each lesson presents a set of related words (such as items for personal care or foods). The words are read out loud, but the corresponding pictures are not highlighted. This seems to be a missed teaching opportunity, and could cause a good deal of frustration for beginning students as they attempt to play the games. The games present pictures of the words in context (personal care tools are in the bathroom, for example), and the narrator asks the student to interact with them in some fashion. In the clothing lesson, children are instructed to choose specific articles of clothing from the set and then hang them to dry or iron them.

Parents and teachers should be aware that the app focuses primarily on receptive language. Children who use it will not become proficient speakers of English, though they may well improve their ability to understand basic sentences in the language.

Entertainment

Young children are likely to enjoy the activities in this app. They are very relatable, and will seem very familiar to kids. The characters are funny and the animations and sound effects are engaging. The artwork is simple and bright, and will appeal even to young toddlers. There is a nice variety of types of interactions, but all are quite intuitive and developers have embedded clues such as pictoral directions and shaking items that should be touched.

Value

This app is free on the App Store, and is intended as a sample for the complete program. There are five lessons available for free, and a total of 20 lessons currently. The app indicates that an additional five lessons are “coming soon.” However, in order to see any of the additional features, such as the supplemental activities, the offline play feature, the record keeping, and so forth, users must sign up for the one month free trial. The app indicates that additional months will be billed at $4.99 per month, but during the sign up process, users discover that they are expected to pay $54 automatically at the end of the free period for a one year subscription. It was very unclear to me if there was a monthly payment option available, and the information within the app did not seem to match that provided in the description in the App Store, which indicates that the monthly fee is $9.99. This is quite confusing, so be sure you understand the terms of the subscription and cancellation policy before you commit.

Child Friendliness

There are a number of links that are visible to children, but that should be in a “parents only area,” such as upgrading to a paid subscription, supplementary activities, reports, and so forth. The links all seem to be protected with an effective parent gate, but it would be better if they were not visible to children at all.

  • NO 3rd party ads
  • YES in-app purchase (protected, but visible)
  • YES social media (protected, but visible)

weatherpuzzlessun

Weather Puzzles: Science for Kids

Quality
Education
Entertainment
Value
Child Friendly
Summary
No matter the weather where you live, kids can experience all kinds of weather with Weather Puzzles: Science for Kids.
4.2

App Info

Price: $2.99
AppStore User Rating:
Download on the App Store

Overview

Weather Puzzles: Science for Kids is a fun puzzle app that, not surprisingly, is full of jigsaw puzzles related to the weather. All of the puzzles features bright, happy images related to the weather, and are designed to entertain kids of different ages, from toddlers just learning to solve jigsaw puzzles to more advanced puzzle solvers in early elementary school. As kids complete the puzzles, they’ll learn a little bit about the weather and may also be inspired to go outside and experience the weather where they live.

Features include:

  • Multiple levels of difficulty
  • Different types of weather represented
  • Bright, happy pictures
  • Virtual jigsaw puzzles

Quality

The main screen of the app is a little bit busy. All of the available puzzles appear in a horizontal line across the screen and kids can swipe through them to choose the puzzle they want to solve. Below the line of puzzles are icons for the settings area and parent area. Between those icons in a larger box that displays additional apps kids can download. The apps displayed in the box rotate, drawing kids’ attention to them.

Once kids select a jigsaw puzzle to play, the is fairly simple. Kids drag and drop the pieces into the correct places on the puzzle until they have completed the picture. The pieces move smoothly and it’s easy for kids to place them. In the settings area, parents can turn on/off the puzzle outline and the background image to make the puzzle easier or harder for kids to solve.

Education

There are two educational components to the app: the puzzles themselves and the weather pictures. While the app has “Science for kids” in its title, it doesn’t include much information about science. The puzzles are just cute pictures related to the weather. It’d be nice if they also included some weather facts or even words to tell kids what type of weather was being depicted. For example, the smiling sun could say, “It’s sunny today” when kids complete the puzzle. Parents and teachers who are working with kids as they complete the app should engage them in conversations about the weather to help enhance the educational value of the app.

The puzzle component of the app offers a bit more educational value. While the puzzles are fairly simple, the app provides multiple ways to increase their difficulty. In the settings area, parents or kids can choose from a range of puzzle sizes from 9-24 pieces. They can also turn off the background image and outline to make the puzzle more difficult to solve.

Entertainment

Little kids, in particular, will enjoy this app because of the bright happy pictures. Even thunderstorms are adorable when depicted in this app. There are plenty of puzzles for kids to solve, so kids will get many hours of entertainment out of the app’s content.

Value

Given the number of puzzles kids can solve and the various levels of difficulty at which they can solve them, this app offers a fairly good value. It is particularly valuable to kids interested in the weather and kids who like to talk about the weather.

Child Friendliness

One area where the app could use some improvement is its child friendliness. A “rate this app” box occasionally pops up when you first open the app and it’s not protected by a parental block. On the main screen, kids will also see fairly large advertisements for additional apps. While these advertisements, and the parent area, are protected by a parental block, they’re a bit annoying and the block could be stronger.

  • Protected parent area
  • NO external links
  • NO in-app purchase
  • NO 3rd party ads
  • YES rate us (occasional, unprotected)
  • YES more apps (protected, but visible)

mathjungle

Math Jungle: Grade 1

Quality
Education
Entertainment
Value
Child Friendly
Summary
Run through the jungle in Math Jungle, collecting bananas and answering first grade math problems along the way. How many bananas can you collect?
4.8

App Info

Price: $1.99
AppStore User Rating: 5
Download on the App Store

Overview

Monkeys like bananas and in Math Jungle: Grade 1, the monkey really likes bananas. In fact, he likes bananas so much that all he does is run through the jungle to collect them. Kids can help the monkey collect bananas in this fun arcade-style math game. In the game, kids move the monkey through the forest, stopping along the way to answer random math questions. The more questions kids answer correctly, the more bananas the monkey receives.

Features include:

  • Aligned with Common Core
  • Fun arcade-style game
  • Positive reinforcement
  • High-score tracking

Quality

Math Jungle: Grade 1 features a fairly simple design. When kids first open the app, they’re introduced to a smiling monkey and they see a large play button. Tapping on the button takes kids directly into the game. To play the game, kids simply use their finger to move the monkey up and down as he runs across the screen. The goal is to collect the bananas and avoid the rocks and other obstacles in his way. At the top of the screen is a tracker which displays the amount of bananas that have been collected and also contains a bar to mark the high score kids need to beat. At various intervals throughout the game, the monkey stops and kids must answer a multiple-choice math problem in order to move on.

Education

All of the math problems contained within the app are aligned with the Common Core standards. Multiple standards are covered with in the app. Kids are presented with basic addition and subtraction problems, as well as problems related to number sequencing, comparing numbers, and using plus, minus, and equal signs. The question in the app are designed to be used for practice, not instruction. Kids are given multiple opportunities to answer each question (they earn more bananas for answering correctly on the first try), but if they answer a question incorrectly, there is no explanation or other guidance to help them answer the question correctly. The app also does not track kids’ performance by standard or allow kids to work on a single standard at once.

Entertainment

The simple arcade-style game is really entertaining for kids. They will enjoy guiding the monkey through the jungle and watching the tracker fill up with bananas. They’ll also be motivated to play the app multiple times to attempt to increase their high score. The monkey himself is animated and a positive character for kids to interact with.

Value

This app is full of practice math questions to help kids build their early math skills. It combines those questions with a simple, but fun game. Parents or teachers looking for new ways to get kids to build their math skills will appreciate the app.

Child Friendliness

Kids won’t find any content in the app designed to take their focus away from math practice and fun. Aside from the opening screen which simply contains a play button, the app only contains one area for play.

  • NO external links
  • NO social media
  • NO 3rd party ads
  • NO in-app purchase (protected)

mega
Quality
Education
Value
Child Friendly
Summary
MegaPro Calculator 5000 isn't your typical calculator! This calculator actually teaches children how to add and subtract large numbers in a visual way. Well done!
4.8

App Info

Price: Free
AppStore User Rating: 5
Download on the App Store

Overview

MegaPro Calculator 5000 puts a new twist on the traditional calculator apps that most of us are used to. Instead of simply providing an answer for math problems that players enter, it presents a visual representation of how to do the problems. With both addition and subtraction problems available, this app is great for children who need a bit of practice with adding and subtracting large numbers and is especially helpful for visual learners.

Features include:

  • Addition/Subtraction functions
  • Visual learning
  • Easy to use

Quality

MegaPro Calculator 5000 is a very simple, yet highly effective learning app for kids. The developers have done an excellent job creating easy to follow visuals and functions that allow children to better understand and practice how to do addition and subtraction. Unlike a regular calculator, users actually see how the answer is calculated using cards that offer a visual representation of the problem. With an easy to use interface, users need only to tap and drag the images in order to complete the problem. The developers have also added a ‘help’ option within the app to help players if they get stuck. Overall this app is well done.

Education

This app is meant to not only help players calculate the answer to various addition and subtraction problems, but also actively teach them how to do them on their own. This isn’t your typical calculator as it is designed to teach real math concepts using visuals to highlight the large numbers. For children just learning these concepts it can be a bit tricky to understand, however for children who are using this as practice or additional help, it can be a fantastic tool.

Entertainment

Not rated for entertainment

Value

Parents will most certainly appreciate the fact that this app is not only highly educational and easy to use, but it’s completely free. For children who need a bit of extra practice with adding and subtracting large numbers, this app is a great value!

Child Friendliness

At first glance, MegaPro Calculator 5000 may not seem to be super simple to use, however there is a “help” screen that walks players through how the app works that is especially helpful for young children. Once children get the hang of how it works, they will have no problem moving through the app with ease as they practice their math skills. Parents will also be happy to know that this app is safe for children of all ages as the parent’s area is protected so it isn’t likely children will be getting into areas they shouldn’t be.

  • Protected parent area (can contain external links & social media)
  • NO social media
  • NO external links
  • NO in-app purchase
  • NO 3rd party ads

maths
Quality
Education
Entertainment
Value
Child Friendly
Summary
Crazy Math Adventure is an engaging, educational app that allows children to practice their year 1 and year 2 math skills with an exciting game like platform. Full of adventure and tons of fun this app is great for children of all ages.
4.6

App Info

Price: $2.99
AppStore User Rating:
Download on the App Store

Overview

Crazy Math Adventure offers children an exciting video game like theme to practice their math skills. With increasing difficulty as children play, this app offers a progressive practice that parents can track in the settings. This app takes math practice to a new and exciting level that kids will love.

Features include:

  • 41 Levels
  • Increasing difficulty
  • Addition/Subtraction
  • Multiplication/Division

Quality

The developers have done an excellent job making this app visually appealing and engaging for little ones. While math concepts can be a bit boring for some, this app creates a sense of adventure and fun for kids as they move through the levels. With illustrations and background music that create a video game like feel, children are going to stay engaged as they help to clear Maths Land of all the wicked spells that have been set. Well done and easy to use for children of all ages.

Education

Crazy Math Adventure is an awesome app for kids who want an engaging and exciting platform to test their math skills. With a fun and adventurous backdrop, children become the hero by using their addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and other year 1 and 2 math skills to defeat the bad guys who are taking over Maths Land. This game is full of magic, wonder, spells, and of course awesome math problems for children to complete.

Parents will also be happy to know there is an option to check each player’s progress to see where they may need extra support. With each lesson and level clearly outlined (for example sequencing 2s etc.) parents and teachers can go back and review the material if needed. Overall this app is creative, educational, and fun for kids to use.

Entertainment

It’s always wonderful to find an app that offers a nice balance between education and entertainment and Crazy Math Adventure offers exactly that. With a game like concept that encourages children to keep moving forward in order to save Maths Land, players are going to be eager to complete the necessary problems and incidentally they will get lots of practice with their math skills. With each level increasing in difficulty and timed lessons scattered throughout, this app offers lots of challenges and fun for young children.

Value

Priced at just under four dollars this app may be a bit more than parents are used to spending for similar apps, however when you consider the multiple levels, progress options, multiple math functions, and the overall game-like feel, it really is worth the price. This is one app that will get a lot of playing (and learning) time from little ones and parents are sure to appreciate that.

Child Friendliness

Parents will be happy to know that this app is not only easy to use, but it’s safe too. The developers have done an excellent job creating an app that offers visual prompts and support throughout the problems with a very intuitive interface. This app is also free from social media links and external links, however there is the occasional ‘more apps’ button that appears, but it is protected. Overall, the developers have done a nice job keeping this app easy to use for young children.

  • NO social media
  • NO external links
  • NO in-app purchase
  • NO 3rd party ads
  • YES “more apps” (protected, but visible)

image
Quality
Education
Entertainment
Value
Child Friendly
Summary
Pepi House gives users an in-depth look at daily life within a household by offering an interactive dollhouse-like experience that will stimulate language skills, imagination, and creativity.
4.9

App Info

Price: $2.99
AppStore User Rating: 5
Download on the App Store

Overview

Pepi House offers a digital version of a classic doll house that is perfect for children ages three to seven. Each of the eight interactive rooms allow children to experiment and play, and then to act out countless pretend scenarios with the family and its pets. There are hundreds of animations and interactions to explore, and an endless array of scenarios that can be acted out, both realistic and completely fantastic.

Features include:

  • Eight areas that together represent a household
  • Dozens of interactive household objects to play with
  • Working elevator to transport people, pets and things from place to place
  • Engaging animations and sound effects
  • A perfect stage to experiment and pretend about family life

Quality

Pepi House is a high quality app that is completely intuitive to use. There is no reading required, making it perfect for young players to use on their own. Each area on the four floors is abundantly supplied with household items that can be moved around and that will animate and produce sound effects when used. The app has a lot in common with simulation games designed for older players in that users can create personalities and interactions for the characters as they see fit. One minor concern was in the parents’ section-the area is well-protected from young users, but I was not sure that it was working properly. It showed social media links, ratings, and contact info as I believe was intended, but there is a section marked “About Pepi House” that shows a “loading” notice and never seems to finish loading. I’m hoping there is information in there about how to use this app in an interactive fashion, with kids and adults playing together, and details about how important this kind of play is to young children, but I can’t tell for sure.

Education

Pepi House is an outstanding educational app that will encourage and nurture independent imaginative play as well as interactive pretend play with an adult mentor. The app is essentially a digital version of a classic doll house, with a family, pets, moveable furniture, and lots of household items to play with. And like a doll house, children will love arranging the lives of the residents and acting out small plays about their family life. They will also have a ball exploring the digital interactions-which are very unlike a real doll house, but oh, so much fun!

On the sales page in the App Store, the developers also suggest that the app can be used to encourage adult-child interaction, to role play and model schedules, routines, desirable behaviors, and much more. These are great ideas, and should be included in the Parents’ Area in the app so they don’t get overlooked.

Playing with this app will nurture imagination, independence, language and vocabulary skills, and much, much more. It will do so all the more if parents take time to play with their kids, but playing independently also will yield its own set of benefits such as self-direction and maintaining attention. Either way, the app is a winner!

Entertainment

Pepi House is highly entertaining. In the real world, doll houses are often a favorite toy for children for a number of reasons including the encouragement to pretend and use the imagination, the ability to control and be in charge of a miniature world, and the sheer joy of making up and acting out stories for the characters. This app encompasses all of this traditional fun as well as adding digital twits that will keep kids coming back again and again.

Pepi House is a load of fun to play with. Kids will delight in exploring all of the animations and sound effects as they click on various objects, and they can move people and things from room to room and floor to floor as their stories unfold. The app invites experimentation with surprise animations, sound effects, and even character reactions that vary according to what is happening.

Value

Pepi House is a good value on the App Store at $2.99. There are multiple ways to play with the app, so children will enjoy it for quite a while since they can change the way that they interact with it. It also makes a great parent-child activity, so with a little parent guidance, kids will learn new ways to play.

Child Friendliness

  • Protected parent area (contains external links & social media)
  • NO 3rd party ads
  • NO in-app purchase
  • YES “more apps” (protected, but visible)

twingo

TwinGo London

Quality
Education
Entertainment
Value
Child Friendly
Summary
Learn all about London when you travel there with Alicia and Theo in TwinGo London.
4.7

App Info

Price: $2.99
AppStore User Rating:
Download on the App Store

Overview

Alicia and Theo are headed to London and they’re inviting kids to come along with them. TwinGo London helps kids learn all about the sites and sounds of the capital of England. They gain information as they read through the interactive story and put what they’ve learned to the test through a series of fun activities.

Features include:

  • Animated characters
  • Fun activities
  • Facts about London
  • Beautiful artwork

Quality

The app opens with an animated introduction that introduces kids to the characters in the app and the trip they are planning to take. From there, kids are flown to London and begin their journey. As they go through the story, kids are given opportunities to interact with the app and find clues to solve the mystery. The app moves smoothly, but the characters are a bit stiff, which may turn kids off a bit.

Education

Kids will learn a ton of information about London. They’ll also get to put on their detective caps and find clues to solve mysteries within the app. As kids go through the app, they’ll have to pay close attention to the scenery and to everything the owl says. At times he can be a bit wordy, which means kids have a lot to remember. However, they’re tasked with using the information throughout the app, so it’s not too overwhelming.

Entertainment

Kids will enjoy the games found throughout the app. By playing games, they earn coins which allow them to gather more clues and get to different places. While the games are fun and involve activities such as flying a plane and popping balloons, they tie into the game so they’re educational at the same time.

Value

The app is priced comparably to other interactive ebooks. It also comes with lots of activities for kids, helping to increase the value. This app is particularly ideal for kids looking to learn more about England, particularly London.

Child Friendliness

The app does not contain any in-app purchases or other content designed to take kids out of the app. In the free version, kids are encouraged to download the full version of the app to continue on their adventure.

  • NO external links
  • NO social media
  • NO 3rd party ads
  • NO in-app purchase (protected)

image (49)
Quality
Education
Entertainment
Value
Child Friendly
Summary
World of Liberty: Paintings, Planes, and Pioneers is a great app to encourage young elementary children to learn more about specific aspects of our country’s history and geography while encouraging the overall values of love of learning, research, and finding connections with other times, places and peoples.
4.8

App Info

Price: $0.99
AppStore User Rating: 5
Download on the App Store

Overview

World of Liberty: Paintings, Planes and Pioneers is the third in a series of ebooks designed to ignite interest in learning about history, geography and connections between peoples. The main characters, eleven-year-old Liberty and her imaginary friends Truman the magical airplane, Ellie the sheepdog, and Georgie the toy eagle, use a computer to access a world where they can go anywhere and do nearly anything and research ideas, events and people that interest them.

Features include:

  • Includes read to me, read to myself, and autoplay modes
  • Includes four jigsaw puzzles
  • Includes reading comprehension questions and activities
  • Highlights words as they are read
  • Uses professional narration and sound effects

Quality

World of Liberty: Paintings, Planes, and Pioneers is an outstanding app that is well-designed for the target age group of early elementary students. The developers included an intuitive set of controls, the ability to choose pages, several modes of play, and many other features that make the app easy to use. The narration is high-quality, and the sound effects are well-conceived, complementing the story rather than overpowering it. Most pages include appropriate animations that are connected to the story.

Education

This app is very educational. It is part of a larger series focused on various social sciences/social studies skills, including geography, history, inclusiveness, and more. The main character, Liberty Lane, has adventures in the real-life world as well as in her imaginary world inside of her computer. In this episode, her school class visits the Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum, prompting a closer look at Amelia Earhart. Connections are made in the story between Earhart, pioneers, Kansas, Mexico, a Mexican artist named Frida Kahlo, and more. Throughout the story, the interconnectedness of our shared history and society are emphasized. Other values stressed include the value of visiting museums, the fun of imagination, and the sheer joy of learning.

The story ends by including a number of comprehension questions for children to consider verbally or mentally, but has the option of checking the answers as needed. Developers also encourage readers to find locations from the story on maps at home, and provide four different jigsaw puzzles showing scenes from the story. All activities are well-designed and fun to use.

Entertainment

World of Liberty: Paintings, Planes, and Pioneers is quite entertaining. Each page of the rather lengthy ebook includes appropriate sound effects and animations that will keep children’s attention much more completely than simply reading the text would. The questions at the end of the book are very non-threatening in nature, simply encouraging users to access the information again mentally.

My one concern is that the opening sequence (which can be skipped if adults feel it would be better) tells the story of how Liberty’s toys Truman the airplane and Georgie the toy eagle, came to be inside the computer. It involves a lightning strike into Liberty’s bedroom, and while most children will realize the fanciful nature of the events described, some more sensitive kids or those who have not yet fully separated fantasy from reality may become unduly upset by the thought that such things might really happen. It would be important for parents or teachers to be aware of children who may have uncomfortable feelings about things like this, and who may need to be sheltered from or guided through this part of the book.

Value

This app is an excellent value at $0.99 in the App Store. There are 125 pages in the ebook, and to go through it in the “Read to Me” mode takes approximately thirty minutes. In addition, there are puzzles and questions about the story. The app is also included in a three-app bundle of other stories about Liberty that is available for $1.99 in the App Store.

Child Friendliness

This app is very child-friendly.

  • Parent area (contains protected external links & social media)
  • NO 3rd party ads
  • NO in-app purchase
  • YES “more apps” (protected, but visible)

image (25)
Quality
Education
Entertainment
Value
Child Friendly
Summary
Sound Salad-Help Mr. Ear by Sorting Sounds is an enjoyable app that will help children between ages of three and seven to build auditory processing, memory and attention skills, which form the foundation for later academic learning including phonics knowledge.
4.7

App Info

Price: $2.99
AppStore User Rating:
Download on the App Store

Overview

Sound Salad-Help Mr. Ear by Sorting Sounds is a sound sorting and memory game for young children. Players are challenged to match short sound effects to pictures, using discrimination, memory, and attention skills.

Features include:

  • 8 Levels, including timed
  • 96 sounds and objects
  • Funny reward animations at the end of each section
  • Correct matching rewarded with animations
  • Set for choice of 11 languages/accents (applicable to intro and level control labels)

Quality

Sound Salad is a high quality app that is designed to be easily used by young players. There is no reading involved, and the controls for the levels of difficulty are accessible and intuitive. Developers did a fine job of creating a range of difficulty, so children from ages three through about seven will enjoy the app, and the play can grow with them. The app did close unexpectedly twice during my review (though I could not figure out what caused the glitch and I couldn’t replicate it). Developers may want to consider an explanatory parents’ area, as well. As an educator, I’m well aware of the importance of the skills nurtured by this app, but many parents may overlook their importance in the development of auditory processing and memory.

Education

This app provides an entertaining way to develop an often-overlooked set of readiness skills: auditory skills. Most people don’t think about it, but auditory skills such as those nurtured by this app form the foundation for later learning about phonics, reading and spelling, and they also are crucial for school success in general, since so much of classroom time is spent listening.

Sound Salad presents from two to four pictures and players must match the correct sound to each. The levels adjust from just two pictures and sounds to match up all the way to four pictures with sounds, and the upper levels provide a choice of two challenge levels: a simple matching game and a memory game. There is also an eighth level that introduces an element of speed by adding a timer for responses.

The app encourages children to pay close attention to the sounds they hear, to logically consider which pictures they match, and to do so by navigating increasing complexity at successive levels. Some sounds are obvious, such as a barking sound to match with a dog, while others are quite challenging, such as discriminating between the cawing sound of a crow or a parrot. Each picture erupts into a cute animation when a correct match is made, and after two or three correct matches, Mr. Ear makes an appearance as he climbs in various ways to reach his goal.

Entertainment

Sound Salad is entertaining for young children. With 96 different pictures and matching sounds, there is a lot of material to cover, and each has its own animation to enjoy when the correct matches are made. Solve several puzzles (the number varies by level), and be rewarded with a short animation featuring Mr. Ear. Everything is positive and upbeat, and even if a player makes an incorrect match, the app simply rearranges the pictures and offers another chance.

Value

This app costs $2.99 in the App Store, which is a good value. Kids will be able to play it for a while, since it can “grow” as their skills grow. I do wish that the levels were more randomized, so that the challenges would seem fresher when children repeat levels.

Child Friendliness

This app is very child-friendly.

  • NO external links
  • NO social media
  • NO 3rd party ads
  • NO in-app purchase
  • YES “more apps” (hidden and protected)

image (33)
Quality
Education
Entertainment
Value
Child Friendly
Summary
Curious George Train Adventures is an entertaining app that gives young children a great opportunity to practice vital thinking, predicting, and problem solving skills while they enjoy the antics of one of their favorite characters.
4.9

App Info

Price: $1.99
AppStore User Rating: 4
Download on the App Store

Overview

Curious George, the perennial favorite character of children the world over, is up to his old tricks. In this adventure, George accidentally drives a supply train to get parts to workers building a theme park. Along the way, he must contend with numerous obstacles and problems that threaten to spill supplies from his train. The app challenges young users to solve many types of problems as they help George drive his train.

Features include:

  • Focus on critical STEM skills, including prediction and problem-solving
  • Allows focus on exploration, discovery, building and more
  • 10 levels with increasingly difficult challenges
  • Earn star rewards for successful completion of each level
  • Enjoy George’s antics with fun animations

Quality

Curious George Train Adventures is a high-quality app that is sure to please Curious George fans everywhere. The puzzles include clear graphic hints to help young users along and the play is intuitive. Developers may want to consider including an explanatory parents’ section to help adults better understand the value of the games, though. Also, the parent gate protecting the privacy policy and the “more apps” section can malfunction, preventing adults from easily entering these areas. On several occasions, it asked for the value of 7 x 11, but the correct answer was not on the list of choices.

Education

This app provides great experiences for young children in the realms related to STEM learning (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). Curious George’s train ride to take supplies to the builders in the new theme park is disrupted by various obstacles and challenges along the way, and to keep the train rolling, children will have to do quite a bit of problem-solving.

Along the way, George runs into various obstacles that are likely to jiggle supplies off of his train, such as steep hills that require players to slow the train, a teeter-totter, piles of things on the tracks, and even a bridge that needs to be raised before the train can cross. Each problem demonstrates physics responses that would happen in real life if the player does not solve them correctly. For example, running the train into a pile of pineapples will stop the train with a bump and knock some of the cargo overboard. The number of stars awarded at the end of each level is dependent on how much of the cargo arrives safely.

Entertainment

This app provides appropriate and fun challenges for the target age group. George is a motivating character in the first place, and the ability to control what happens to him on his adventure is hugely satisfying. Preschoolers and young elementary-aged children will have a lot of fun with this adventure of his.

Value

Curious George Train Adventures includes ten levels of fun for $1.99 in the App Store. There are additional worlds available as an in-app purchase, but kids are likely to enjoy this one for quite a few play sessions.

Child Friendliness

This app is very child-friendly.

  • Protected privacy policy
  • NO external links
  • NO social media
  • NO 3rd party ads
  • YES “more apps” (protected, but visible)

nano
Quality
Education
Entertainment
Value
Child Friendly
Summary
Nano Bear Rainforest Animals offers a fun way for children to learn a variety of rainforest animals and their sounds through exploratory play. Easy to use and great for young children.
4.6

App Info

Price: $0.99
AppStore User Rating:
Download on the App Store

Overview

Nano Bear Rainforest Animals is a cute early learning app that teaches children a variety of sounds of common rainforest animals. With bright colors, realistic sound effects, and a simple to use user interface, this app is great for young children of all ages to enjoy.

Features include:

  • 11 Animals
  • 4 Quizzes
  • Easy to use

Quality

The developers have done a great job creating an app that is not only easy to use, but beautiful to look at. Nano Bear Rainforest Animals is full of amazing graphics with bright colors that are sure to keep little ones engaged and learning. The sound effects are also very well done and add to the overall realistic feel of the app. With arrows at the bottom of each page and simple tap and touch functioning throughout the app, children are going to have no problem at all playing and learning with this app.

Education

The main concept for Nano Bear Rainforest Animals is for children to learn a bit about the rainforest animals. As each new animal is presented, players can tap on the animal to hear it’s sound. They can then test what they have learned with the quizzes as they hear a sound and must select the correct animal. While this app doesn’t teach children the name of each animal it does offer a learning opportunity for children using sounds etc. Of course adding the name of each animal as an added feature would increase the overall educational value of the app.

Entertainment

While the concept is simple, little ones are sure to have a ton of fun with this app exploring the wide variety of animals included. With frogs, snakes, rhinos and more, this app offers lots of fun animals to find, learn about and explore as they play. The quiz activity also adds a bit of interest as children are able to test what they’ve learned with ease.

Value

Priced at just under a dollar this app is priced very well for what you get. With 11 animals, 4 quizzes, and a safe and easy to use interface, parents are sure to be happy with all that this app has to offer at such a great price.

Child Friendliness

Not only is Nano Bear Rainforest Animals incredibly fun and easy to use, it’s safe too. The developers have done a great job protecting young players from being exposed to any external links or other areas they shouldn’t be in. With simple tap and touch functioning and the help of arrows at the bottom of each page, this app makes is easy for children to learn, play, and explore. Great for preschoolers and toddlers to enjoy!

  • Protected parent area (can contain external links & social media)
  • NO social media
  • NO external links
  • NO in-app purchase
  • NO 3rd party ads

mussila
Quality
Education
Entertainment
Value
Child Friendly
Summary
Mussila is a highly interactive and engaging music app that teaches children to recognize instruments, rhythms, and a variety of other musical lessons in one place. Easy to use and loads of fun, this app is great for children of all ages!
4.6

App Info

Price: $5.99
AppStore User Rating: 5
Download on the App Store

Overview

Mussila is an interactive and fun app that teaches little ones all about music. This isn’t your typical music app, as it offers not only instrument recognition activities, but also teaches children to begin reading and understand music progressively. The best part is that even children with little to no music experience can gain a ton of great information and fun using this app.

Features include:

  • Instrument recognition
  • Interactive interface
  • Music creation and recording

Quality

There is no doubt that Mussila is a high quality app with its awesome graphics and engaging music and sound effects. Children are going to absolutely love playing with the various instruments, creating their own music, and interacting with the various musical monsters that star in this app. The developers have also done an excellent job making the app easy to use for children of all ages. The interface allows children to follow the numbered activity path to easily move through the various exercises as they play. Easy to use, engaging, and very well done.

Education

Mussila isn’t your typical music app as it offers children a great opportunity to learn and recognize a variety of instruments by their sound. It also includes activities for children to follow along and play songs as well as identify specific rhythms by reading notes. With a progressive learning experience, this app allows children to work their way through the app with activities increasing in difficulty and through experiential learning.

Entertainment

For music lovers, this app is highly entertaining. In addition to learning about various instruments and learning rhythms etc., players have the chance to customize their band, create music that they can record, and so much more. Mussila is educational and exceptionally engaging for children of all ages.

Value

Priced at just under six dollars this app is quite a bit more than parents might expect to pay for similar apps. While it is clear that the developers have put a lot of time and effort into this educational and engaging app, it seems to be a bit more expensive than many parents may want to pay. With that said it does offer experiential play and loads of educational information across 65 lessons so children are going to get a ton of playing and learning time out of the app.

Child Friendliness

Parents will most certainly appreciate the fact that this app is easy to use and totally safe for children of all ages. With simple tap and touch functioning, kids can easily move through the app while learning a bit more with each new lesson. The best part is that there are no distractions such as additional links, advertisements etc. that would take children away from the focus of the app.

  • NO social media
  • NO external links
  • NO in-app purchase
  • NO 3rd party ads

manuel
Quality
Education
Entertainment
Value
Child Friendly
Summary
Manuel’s Socks is an entertaining ebook with read to me or read to myself options. It includes some well-designed comprehension exercises as well as a fun additional activity that’s sure to delight young readers.
5

App Info

Price: $2.99
AppStore User Rating:
Download on the App Store

Overview

Manuel learns an important lesson about being himself and improves his self-esteem in this delightful story that intermixes engaging text with comprehension questions and entertaining activities for young children.

Features include:

  • Story is animated and interactive.
  • Includes reading comprehension activities
  • Read to me or read to myself modes
  • Stresses positive values and lessons
  • Includes interactive follow-up activities

Quality

Manuel’s Socks is a very high quality app that will delight young users in many ways. The art work is wonderfully unique, being made to look like the show is being performed by stick puppets on a stage. It’s colorful and fun, and touching the character puppets causes them to perform random actions that young children will find very silly, such as twirling their legs. The app is very responsive, and the activities work well with no delays. All in all, this is a very well-designed app!

Education

This app does a wonderful job of conveying some very positive values that most children need to hear a few times to incorporate them into their lives. It’s a fun presentation of such gems as “you are valuable just the way you are” and “be yourself.” It focuses on dealing with real feelings when there are perceived differences, and shows practical ways to overcome those feelings. Kudos to the developers!

As an added bonus, the story pauses a few times to allow children to respond to comprehension questions about the section they just finished. The questions’ format is somewhat unique-kids can hear the story and are presented with a few picture choices. Tapping the speaker near each one will voice what they are. Choose the correct one, and any remaining incorrect answers turn into stars for the user’s collection. Choose an incorrect one, and that one is eliminated with a gentle reminder to think about the story again. After the entire story is finished, players have the option of reading again, answering randomized questions, or creating their own stick puppets on the screen to play with.

Entertainment

Manuel’s Socks is a fun app that will entertain children in several different ways. The pictures on each page are interactive: users can touch the puppets and they respond in one of several random movements. Between sections of the story, comprehension questions are presented to gauge understanding, and choosing the correct answer releases a shower of confetti and also earns one or two stars for the collection at the top of the screen. At the end of the story, players have a choice of hearing or reading again, answering random comprehension questions, or assembling and playing with any one of the character puppets from the ebook.

Value

This app is a great value at $2.99 in the App Store. The story presents some wonderful character concepts, it’s engaging and fun, and it offers additional activities that will entice children to continue playing.

Child Friendliness

  • NO external links
  • NO social media
  • NO 3rd party ads
  • NO in-app purchase

daycape

DayCape - Daily visual planning

Quality
Education
Entertainment
Value
Child Friendly
Summary
Manage your child's daily schedule with DayCape, a visual planning app designed to help kids feel in control as they go throughout the day.
4.3

App Info

Price: Free
AppStore User Rating:
Download on the App Store

Overview

Some kids need more help getting through the day than others. This may because they have autism or another disorder, or it may simply be that they have a lot of energy and need help staying on track. DayCape is a visual planning app that’s designed to help kids stay on schedule throughout the day. It allows parents, teachers, and even children to fill their days with scheduled activities, and then track the time spent on those activities with fun visual timers. Through the app, kids will feel more organized and more in control of their day.

Features include:

  • Animated timers
  • Customizable platform
  • Individual user accounts
  • Daily calendars

Quality

To get started with the app, parents or teachers must create an account on the developer’s website. There, there will create individual usernames and passwords and create activities. It’s easy to create an activity – simply enter a title, description, the time the activity should be started. and the time period during which the activity needs to be completed. Images can also be added to activities to make them easier to kids to understand. Activities can also be created within the app, as long as the setting is turned on.

Education

The goal of this app is to help kids who need routines and schedules to get through the day and it generally does a good job of that. While it takes some time to set up all of the activities, once the activities are set up, kids will be able to follow them. Included in the app is a voice synthesizer option, so kids with difficulty reading or who need auditory reinforcement can hear the instructions read aloud. A few downsides to the ability of the app to truly meet kids’ needs in this area is that all times are given using a 24-hour clock, so kids in some areas might not understand that 16:30 is 4:30 p.m. The app also doesn’t appear to offer a way to stop a timer once it has been started, so kids may become frustrated if the app says they’ve completed an activity when they really haven’t. The inability to start activities before the designated time or stop in the middle of them also limits the types of activities for which the app can be used. For example, it won’t work as a checklist of activities kids need to get done at their own pace.

Entertainment

When kids log in to the app, they’ll see a schedule of their activities for the day. They can also add their own activities if parents/teachers opt to allow them to. When it comes time to complete activities, kids get to choose from a selection of animated timers and may enjoy watching the timers slowly move across the screen as they complete each activity.

Value

Despite its limitations, the app offers a lot of value to families looking for a visual planning at. It’s not nearly as complicated as many visual planning apps out there and it can be used by multiple children through the creation of individual user accounts.

Child Friendliness

Once kids log in to their individual accounts, they do have access to the settings screen. This allows them to pick a timer, determine the number of activity days shown, turn on/off the ability to create activities and turn on/off the speech sythesizer. Aside from the opening screen when the app is first opened, there are no external links or other content designed to take kids out of the app.

  • Protected parent area
  • NO external links
  • NO 3rd party ads
  • NO in-app purchase
  • NO social media

henrylittlefish

Henry the Little Fish

Quality
Education
Entertainment
Value
Child Friendly
Summary
Journey to the ocean to meet Henry, a little fish who wants to be everyone's friend, in the cute story Henry the Little Fish.
4.2

App Info

Price: $2.99
AppStore User Rating: 5
Download on the App Store

Overview

Journey to the ocean where you’ll meet Henry a curious little fish who comes from a big family. Like many kids, Henry is attracted to colorful and shiny things. He also likes to make new friends. As they read through the story, kids will have fun playing with Henry and his friends. They’ll also discover that Henry is a lot like them.

Features include:

  • Read to me and Read to Myself options
  • Interactive illustrations
  • Narrated text
  • Engaging story

Quality

This animated ebook features quality narration and illustrations. Henry is an adorable little fish and the other characters in the story are equally as cute. The app does suffer from a few quality issues. It takes a bit of time for the app itself to load and the narration does not always begin right away when kids swipe to the next page. Kids may also note a big of a lag when they tap on the treasure chest to see the animated component on each page.

Education

As kids read through the story, they’ll learn about different fish and the ocean. They’ll also learn about making new friends. Henry’s curiosity will encourage kids to not be afraid to ask, “Who are you?” and “Would you like to be my friend?”

Through the Read to Me and Read to Myself options, kids can interact with the story on the level that is most appropriate for them. Those who opt to read the story themselves will find that it offers simple words and sentences, making it easy for first and second grade readers to experience success as they read.

Entertainment

Kids will enjoy reading through the story, especially if they like the ocean or a certain film series that features animated fish. The app offers a very cute story with a nice message for kids. Many kids will also enjoy the animations that accompany each page, although many of them are very simple and designed more for younger kids.

Value

This story is priced comparably to other animated ebooks of its length. It does lag a bit and could use some more exciting animations to truly make it a value in the marketplace.

Child Friendliness

All of the content in the app is appropriate for children. The app is free from ads, in-app purchases, external links, and does not even offer a protected parent area. As a result, kids will stay focused on the story.

  • NO external links
  • NO 3rd party ads
  • NO in-app purchase
  • NO social media

image (32)
Quality
Education
Entertainment
Value
Child Friendly
Summary
Read-Kids Learn to Read and Write in 20 Lessons is an outstanding app that offers some simple, yet effective practice for early reading skills in the areas of phonics, sight word recognition, writing, and reading comprehension.
4.7

App Info

Price: $2.99
AppStore User Rating: 4.5
Download on the App Store

Overview

Read- Kids Learn to Read and Write in 20 Lessons is a comprehensive phonics and sight words activity suitable for young children. It pairs letters and letter pairs with the phonemes (sounds) of the English language, and has users practice by identifying letters that make the sounds, spelling simple words, tracing and writing the letters, and reading simple controlled-vocabulary stories.

Features include:

  • Combines whole language and phonics instructional methods
  • Offers 20 lessons with six parts
  • Offers dozens of supplemental lessons and activities
  • Familiarizes children with over 100 sight words
  • Choice of voice type and accent

Quality

Read-Kids Learn to Read and Write in 20 Lessons is a very high quality app. It is well organized and intuitive to use, and is perfect for the target audience of preschool and young elementary children. The app will keep track of multiple users’ progress through the exercises, though it does not provide information about performance, just completion. The exercises are colorful and clearly voiced. There are options in the settings section to control the pacing of the voice as well as the pitch. One minor drawback is that each exercise changes color scheme for print and background, and some of the combinations are relatively low contrast, making viewing somewhat difficult, particularly for students who have minor visual impairment.

Education

This app is a great introduction to the world of reading for preschoolers and young elementary students. It begins with lessons about the most common phonemes (sounds) of English, and introduces only five at a time in each lesson. Students move from identifying the sound to applying it to read syllables and words. The app also introduces 100 common sight words. By the time a student completes all 100 lessons and the companion supplemental activities, he or she should be reading at approximately the second grade level.

The app also includes a multitude of supplemental activities (including comprehension and writing exercises) that really enhance the lessons. Each activity has a selection of levels that correspond to the lessons introducing sounds. All in all, this app is very well suited to helping young children learn to read.

There is an explanatory section available with each lesson and each supplemental exercise that parents can access for further information and suggestions. These are quite helpful, and parents should consider looking them over.

Entertainment

This app isn’t intended to be flashy, but the reinforcement sequences do seem a bit more drab than they need to be. After each exercise, a piece of candy or other decoration at the bottom of the page lights up and the narrator gives a positive message. It might help if students were allowed to collect points or other motivators that gave them access to brief interactive games such as memory or a balloon-popping game.

Value

This app costs just $4.99 in the App Store, so it’s a huge value. Very few apps in this price range are as comprehensive, cover as much ground, and have comparable play value. If you have a preschooler or a young school-aged child, I highly recommend that you take a close look.

Child Friendliness

  • Protected parent area (contains social media, external links)
  • NO 3rd party ads
  • NO in-app purchase
  • YES “more apps” (protected, but visible)

Moonlight
Quality
Education
Entertainment
Value
Child Friendly
Summary
Moonlight Hide & Seek is an interesting storybook app with a mathematical twist. With great illustrations, a fun story, and a bit of subtraction practice too, this app is one that will keep little ones engaged while they learn.
4.5

App Info

Price: $1.99
AppStore User Rating: 5
Download on the App Store

Overview

Moonlight Hide & Seek puts a fun, educational twist on the traditional storybook app. This unique tale not only has a more handcrafted look, but also includes subtraction problems to keep children engaged and learning as they follow along. With lots of animals, great illustrations, and a unique set up, this storybook app is one children are going to love.

Features include:

  • Read to me/Read to myself
  • Subtraction
  • Hand crafted illustrations

Quality

It’s clear that the developers have put a lot of time and effort into the illustrations in this app. While not animated, the illustrations have a hand-drawn appeal that gives this app a ton of additional character and charm. The user interface for this app is also very well done with simple arrows to follow in order to turn the page and other tap and touch functioning to move through the story. With additional narration options, this app is great for children of all ages.

Education

Moonlight Hide & Seek doesn’t just provide children with a fun story about animals that come out at night, it also includes a bit of subtraction practice within the story. As readers move through the story, they get to select an animal and a number that helps dictate how the next part of the story will go. They are also provided with a subtraction problem as part of the story to keep them engaged and learning as they move through the story. This creative approach to learning provides an engaging experience that is great for young minds. Well done.

Entertainment

While there aren’t any specific entertainment only activities, this app is one that children will enjoy. The story is easy to follow and children have a chance to dictate how the story will go based on the animals they choose. With that said, it would add a bit more entertainment value to provide an additional gaming activity for readers to enjoy.

Value

Priced at just under two dollars, this app is a great deal. With narration options, math practice, and an engaging story as well, parents are going to be happy to find this app has a lot to offer.

Child Friendliness

Moonlight Hide & Seek is not only easy to use for children of all ages, but safe too. The added narration options allows young children to enjoy the story easily and the arrows at the bottom of each page makes it simple to move through the app. The developers have also done an excellent job making sure children are safe as there are no external links or parent only areas to worry about.

  • Protected parent area (can contain external links & social media)
  • NO social media
  • NO external links
  • NO in-app purchase
  • NO 3rd party ads

elemelon
Quality
Entertainment
Value
Child Friendly
Summary
Elemelons is a simple to play, yet highly addictive game that adults are going to love. Not recommended for children.
4.4

App Info

Price: Free
AppStore User Rating: 3.5
Download on the App Store

Overview

Elemelons is a new kind of addictive gaming app that is simple to use and lots of fun. For people who love a good challenge and are partial to beating their best score, this app offers literally hours of entertainment. While not recommended for young children as it has unprotected links, this is one app that older kids and adults will really enjoy.

Features include:

  • 4 Elemelons
  • Increasing difficulty
  • Easy to use

Quality

Elemelons is a very creative gaming app that offers awesome graphics and fun images. While the game itself is quite simple, the developers have added a ton of character and interest with the game increasing in difficulty. The functionality of the game is really easy to use as it only requires a simple tap and slide function to play the game. There is also a bit of a tutorial once you start the game to give players a feel for how it all works. Overall the quality is very good.

Education

Not rated for education.

Entertainment

Elemelons is certainly a highly entertaining and addictive gaming app. The concept is simple as there are only 4 Elemelons varying in color. The idea is to crash the correctly colored Elemelon to their corresponding side that is also color-coded and to do so quickly. As the game progresses, there are more Elemelons that pop up and occasionally the corresponding sides move around, creating a bit more of a challenge. While trying to beat the last highest score, this game can easily become addicting and one that players are constantly coming back to because of how fun it is. Simple concept, but highly entertaining.

Value

What’s better yet is that this app is totally free! When you consider the hours of entertainment players will have with this app, Elemelons offers a ton of value.

Child Friendliness

Unfortunately, while this app is easy to use and has a very simple concept, it is not one that parents will want their children playing as there are many unprotected links, video advertisements, and in-app purchase options that are not safe for children. Ideally these links would be protected through some sort of parent gateway making it a great app for kids, but as it stands, this is not recommended for children.

  • YES external links (unprotected, visible)
  • YES in-app purchase (unprotected, visible)
  • YES 3rd party ads (unprotected, visible)
  • YES “more apps” (unprotected, visible)
  • YES “rate us” (unprotected, visible)

image (31)
Quality
Education
Entertainment
Value
Child Friendly
Summary
Sago Mini Robot Party is an entertaining and creative app that will spark the imaginations of toddler and preschool users as well as encourage them to build self-expression skills and have a great time creating robots.
4.7

App Info

Price: $2.99
AppStore User Rating: 4.5
Download on the App Store

Overview

Sago Mini Robot Party allows young users to stretch their imaginations as they create literally billions of possible robots and then take the inventions to the Robot Party where they can make music, decorate cupcakes, swat at the piñata, and more.

Features include:

  • Easily mix and match robot parts to create an almost unlimited number of designs
  • Explore the party scenes and help the robot interact with the devices on the screen
  • Encourage young children to expand and use language and story-telling skills
  • Snap pictures of robots and save them in the Photos section
  • Play anytime and anywhere-app does not require an active internet connection

Quality

Sago Mini Robot Party is a wildly fun app for toddlers and preschoolers. The interface is intuitive, and kids will quickly figure out how to swap the various parts to create a new robot each time they play. Each screen is interactive, so there are lots of things to explore. The app includes a Parents’ section that will explain the value of this type of play. The one concern is that the “More Apps” section, called “Trucks and Diggers” in the lower right corner of the screen seemed to have some bugs in it-I tried it six separate times, and it opened correctly on two of those occasions. The other attempts hung up my device and showed the graphics at an extremely large size. It wasn’t a big concern, but since that section is easily accessible to the young players, it might be worth a look to find out what was going wrong.

Education

Sago Mini Robot Party is very educational in a free-form sort of a way. Children will love the independence of creating their very own robot figures each time they play, and then deciding what to have those characters do at the party. The app will certainly encourage language skills and storytelling, and with just a little guidance from a caring adult, can be a great boon to self-expression. It’s perfect for impromptu lessons on color, number, comparisons, same and different, and much more. Be sure to have the young users take time to name their robots and to describe both the appearance and the personalities of their creations. The app is designed to save each creation in the Photos section of the iPad, and so prized creations can be shared with others quite easily with just a little support from parents.

Entertainment

This app has so much potential to create so many different robots that it will be tough for kids to tire of it. Imaginative children will people entire worlds, I’m sure, and will have imaginary robots interacting with one another as they create new friends during each play session. Parents should consider printing out the pictures and allowing the child to use them to illustrate a book or a scene from a robot party. The possibilities are nearly endless.

Value

This app costs $2.99 in the App Store, and that’s a good value because kids are likely to return to it again and again. The robots are silly-looking and sure to please most children, and who doesn’t love being given artistic license to create an endless variety of anything? This app would be a great investment, especially for families that have multiple young children or classroom settings where many kids could enjoy creating robots

Child Friendliness

Sago Mini Robot Party is safe for children to use, but it does have an easily-accessible section of more apps by the same developer. This section includes videos that are essentially commercials that kids could watch on their own. All links in this section are well-protected, but the videos are certainly designed to intrigue kids and make them want to bug their parents to purchase other products.

  • Parent area (contains external links & social media)
  • NO 3rd party ads
  • NO in-app purchase
  • YES “more apps” (protected, but visible)

monsterday
Quality
Education
Entertainment
Value
Child Friendly
Summary
Highlights Monster Day is an exciting and highly engaging app for little ones that allows players to explore a typical day in the life of a monster. Highly engaging, fun to play and very easy to use for children of all ages.
4.5

App Info

Price: $2.99
AppStore User Rating: 5
Download on the App Store

Overview

Highlights Monster Day is a cute, interactive app that allows little ones to explore a typical day in the life of a monster. Children get to play with each monster from the time they wake up, through fun daily activities, and until they go to bed. Loaded with exciting interactive bits to explore, this app is highly engaging and fun for children of all ages.

Features include:

  • 5 Monsters to explore
  • 13 Daily activities
  • Photo feature

Quality

The developers have done an excellent job of making Highlights Monster Day engaging and fun to play. With lots of great monsters with tons of personality, fun sound effects, and interactive activities that children are going to love, this app is highly engaging for children of all ages. The user interface is also very intuitive and easy to use as it only requires a bit of tap and touch to play.

Education

While this isn’t your traditional educational app it does provide an opportunity for children to learn a bit about caring for others and moving through their daily routine. With activities like helping the monster wake up, to feeding him, and brushing his teeth, children are going to love all that this app has to offer.

Entertainment

There is no doubt that this app is highly entertaining and engaging for children of all ages. With loads of sound effects and fun activities to explore, players are going to love all that this app has to offer. From waking up their monster friend, to feeding him breakfast, doing fun school activities, and brushing his teeth, little ones are going to be entertained for hours with this app.

Value

Priced at just under three dollars, this app is priced well for what you get. With 5 monsters to explore, 13 fun activities, and endless hours of fun, parents can certainly appreciate the price tag for this app as it certainly won’t break the bank.

Child Friendliness

Highlights Monster Day is very easy to use for children of all ages and offers a highly intuitive user interface that allows little ones to move through the app with simple tap and drag functioning. Parents will also be happy to know that all external links and parent only areas are protected so children aren’t likely to get into the areas they don’t belong. Overall, this is a very child friendly app.

  • Protected parent area (can contain external links & social media)
  • NO social media
  • NO external links
  • NO in-app purchase
  • NO 3rd party ads
  • YES “more apps” (protected, but visible)

shapesbuilder
Quality
Edcation
Entertainment
Value
Child Friendly
Summary
Shapes Builder is an easy to use, early learning app that uses geometric shapes and puzzles to help children practice their problem solving skills. Easy to use, fun, and perfect for children of all ages.
4.5

App Info

Price: $2.99
AppStore User Rating:
Download on the App Store

Overview

Shapes Builder is an early learning app that helps little ones work on their problem solving skills as they use geometric shapes to piece together fun puzzles. With a bit of magical play and wonderful graphics, this seemingly simple app will inspire and delight young minds as they play and learn on their own. Great for children of all ages.

Features include:

  • 36 Puzzles
  • Fun music and graphics
  • Easy to use

Quality

Shapes Builder is full of great graphics that come to life with a bit of magical play. The developers have done a great job overall of creating an app that offers both engaging and exciting music, illustrations, and a fun concept that is perfect for young users. The user interface is designed to allow young children to explore the app and piece together puzzles on their own without a ton of assistance from parents which is ideal. Very well done.

Education

Not only will children get a chance to learn a bit about various geometric shapes, they also get to work on their problem solving skills as they piece together various puzzles. Each activity offers an outline of an image and players must correctly place the geometric shapes that pop up in order to complete the puzzle. With fun images like castles, parrots, and other fun themes, this app offers lots of problem solving practice in an engaging environment.

Entertainment

While the main focus of this app is for educational purposes, it does offer a bit of magic and wonder as children complete each puzzle. After their puzzle is complete they can wave a fun magic wand to reveal a more real version of their puzzle as it comes to life. This little added bit of wonder goes a long way and will keep children engaged as they move onto the next puzzle.

Value

Priced at just under three dollars this app is one that offers great educational value at a price that won’t break the bank. While some parents might like to see some additional entertainment activities within the app, the 36 puzzles included offer lots of educational material that is really a great value.

Child Friendliness

The developers have done a great job keeping Shapes Builder easy to use for children of all ages. With simple drag and drop functioning and a very intuitive interface, little ones will have no trouble playing the app on their own. The developers have also done a good job keeping parent only buttons and links protected so children are safe.

  • Protected parent area (can contain external links & social media)
  • NO external links
  • NO in-app purchase
  • NO 3rd party ads
  • YES “more apps” (protected, but visible)

peyote

Peyote

Quality
Education
Entertainment
Value
Child Friendly
Summary
Explore Rainbow Town with Peyote, a little blue dog who loves music and adventure.
4.6

App Info

Price: $1.99
AppStore User Rating:
Download on the App Store

Overview

What kid wouldn’t love paying a visit to a place called Rainbow Town? In Peyote kids get to explore the colorful town as they interact with Peyote, a little blue dog, and his friends. From the moment ring the bell to let Peyote know they’ve arrived, kids are bound to have a lot of fun. They’ll make music, make their way through mazes, and enjoy many more entertaining activities.

Features include:

  • Interactive activities
  • Fun music
  • Entertaining animations
  • Non-verbal sound effects
  • Available in English and Turkish

Quality

Peyote features a bright, colorful landscape with peppy background music that will entice kids from the start. Flashing stars guide kids from activity to activity, so it’s easy for them to figure out what to do. The app features quality graphics and kids can zoom in and out of the landscape by tapping on the magnifying glass. It’s perfectly designed for little fingers.

Education

Developers have mixed some educational content into the app’s activities, but the educational games are not the focus of the app. A few activities have kids count, put together puzzles, and locate shapes, but the majority of the app focuses on encouraging kids to explore the world that Peyote lives in. Some may wish for more educational activities, while others will appreciate the fact that kids will simply complete the activities without realizing they’re learning something.

Entertainment

Peyote is definitely designed to be fun for kids. As they walk along the road with Peyote, they’ll discover a wealth of activities to enjoy. While all of the activities are fun and appropriate for kids, there are some that are not very interactive. Instead of completing puzzles or playing games, kids simply tap on most of the stars to reveal a sound or a funny animation. Many of the activities are also spread out along the road. While kids may not mind the lack of interactivity in some areas, they might get bored walking along the road in search of the next activity. When kids close the app and return to it, they start back at the beginning. This may prove a bit frustrating for kids who have already walked a long way with Peyote or want to quickly return to a favorite activity.

Value

The app’s price is comparable to similar apps. It may be worth a purchase for toddlers and preschoolers who will enjoy the musical components and silly animations more than older kids who desire more interactive activities.

Child Friendliness

The app is free from ads and in-app purchase. A protected parent area contains the terms of use and links to the app store. Otherwise, all of the content in the app is geared toward kids and easy for them to use.

  • Protected parent area
  • NO external links
  • NO 3rd party ads
  • NO in-app purchase
  • NO social media

veggiesand fruits
Quality
Education
Entertainment
Value
Child Friendly
Summary
Veggies & Fruits offers a fun way for little ones to get excited about and learn a variety of vegetables and fruits through exciting activities. Simple to use and great for children of all ages.
4.3

App Info

Price: $1.99
AppStore User Rating: 5
Download on the App Store

Overview

Veggies & Fruits is a cute early learning app that teaches children a variety of fruits and vegetables with fun games and activities. This bilingual app includes fun illustrations of each fruit and vegetable as well as the name of each to help players learn through sight, sound, and reading. With interactive games to test what they’ve learned, this app provides simple entertainment for children of all ages.

Features include:

  • English & French
  • 4 Activities
  • Flashcards

Quality

The developers have done a great job making this app fun and easy to use. With simple cartoon illustrations, realistic sound effects, and an easy to use interface, Veggies & Fruits is one app that children of all ages can play and enjoy. With simple tap and drag functioning and narration throughout, this app makes it easy for children to learn and have fun.

Education

The main object of this app is to teach children a variety of vegetables and fruits by using pictures and narrated words. The flashcard exercise allows little ones to scroll through each fruit and veggie in order to see the image and learn the name. The developers have also added a bilingual function so children can learn the names in English and French. Another great addition to the app is the quiz activity that allows children to test what they’ve learned by selecting the correct image based on the word the narrator says.

Overall the educational value in this app is very good. The only thing that is a bit puzzling is the usage of the word ‘ananas’ for pineapple in the English portion of the app. This could be confusing for children as it’s not the typical name that is used in English.

Entertainment

The developers have also done a great job including entertainment pieces in the app that children will love. With activities like the memory match game, puzzles, and coloring pages to enjoy, children will not only be learning the names of each fruit and veggie, but they can play too! The quiz activity can also be fun for children to test their knowledge and what they have learned.

Value

With an investment of just under three dollars this app is priced very well for the value you receive. With so many activities, flashcards, and the ability to learn in English and French, this app provides not only great educational material, but a ton of entertainment as well. Parents will certainly be happy with all that this app has to offer at a price that won’t break the bank.

Child Friendliness

Overall the developers have done a nice job keeping this app simple to use for children of all ages. With simple tap and drag functioning and narration throughout, little ones are sure to be able to play the app without much assistance from parents. One thing parents will want to be aware of however, is the fact that it does include external links under the ‘?’ button. This button provides access to additional information about the developers as well as unprotected buttons that take players out of the app. These buttons should really be located under a protected parent area especially since young children will be using this app the most.

  • NO social media
  • NO in-app purchase
  • NO 3rd party ads
  • YES “more apps” (unprotected, but visible)

comomolapirates

Comomola Pirates

Quality
Entertainment
Value
Child Friendly
Summary
Take the helm of your pirate ship and sail the seven seas to unlock hidden treasures in Comomola Pirates.
5

App Info

Price: $2.99
AppStore User Rating:
Download on the App Store

Overview

Throw on your pirate hat, grab your sword, and prepare to sail the seven seas with Comomola Pirates. This engaging app lets kids captain a pirate ship as they go on a journey through uncharted waters. Whether they’re popping bubbles to free fish or jamming with a maraca-wielding octopus, kids are destined to have a good time.

Features include:

  • Choice of characters
  • Interactive animations
  • Free play
  • Fun pirate theme/li>

Quality

One of the first things kids will notice in the app are the fun characters they can choose to interact with as the captain of the ship. Kids can choose to play as an adorable pirate kitten, bunny, dog, and a host of other animals. They can also opt to be a pirate boy or pirate girl. Once they choose the character of their choice, they’re off. A set of maps help kids navigate from scene to scene within the app. Once they pick a scene within the app, they largely have free reign over what to do. Some animations appear automatically and non-verbal clues guide kids to interactions they should complete, but the speed and the level at which they interact with them is entirely up to the kids who are in control of the ship.

Education

This app is not being rated for education.

Entertainment

There’s no doubt that this app has been designed for fun. As kids captain their pirate ship, they’ll get the opportunity to explore a variety of different settings by foot, by ship, and by submarine. Along the way, they’ll discover a host of delightful sea creatures and other animated characters. They may discover a skeleton who wakes up and turns on the TV, a fighting octopus who trades his swords for maracas, a funny genie, and even a mysterious ghost ship. They’ll also be encouraged to keep moving through the app by the opportunity to earn keys along the way and a fun map to show their progress.

Value

This app offers a lot of value for the price. Kids can interact with six different settings and uncover multiple hidden keys and other surprises. It’ll keep them entertained for a significant amount of time and they’re likely to want to return to the app again and again, especially because they can choose to play as a different character each time.

Child Friendliness

Comomola Pirates is entirely kid-friendly. Not only is free from more apps icons, in-app purchases, and 3rd party ads, but it also does not contain a protected parent area. Instead, all of the content within the app is designed for kids to explore.

  • NO external links
  • NO 3rd party ads
  • NO in-app purchase
  • NO social media

IQSafariMATH_icon512x512
Quality
Education
Entertainment
Value
Child Friendly
Summary
IQ Safari MATH is an outstanding app for providing finely-tuned computation practice at the elementary levels (simple addition through division with five digit numbers) in an upbeat and friendly way. Kids will love the array of awards and incentives, so they just may forget that they are learning!
4.9

App Info

Price: $2.99
AppStore User Rating:
Download on the App Store

Overview

IQ Safari Math is an engaging and fast-paced review of basic math concepts from simple addition through complex division. It also covers rounding, counting and place value.

Features include:

  • Multiple user accounts
  • Customizable avatar
  • Unlockable levels
  • Admin mode to access user records
  • Six languages

Quality

IQ Safari MATH is a very high quality app that exceeds expectations on nearly every front. The app performs well for users and includes several creative practice activities. It’s a real plus to have multi-user record-keeping, making the app very useful for classroom settings. The app moves users along in a progressive fashion, as they are successful, but adults can access the admin section to unlock upper levels for students who don’t need to progress through them. The app could use a more detailed parent/teacher guide, so that users could more easily and quickly find features and learn how to use the app.

Education

This app offers outstanding coverage of basic computation skills as well as several related concepts such as place value and rounding. It provides several different practice options as well as a testing mode for each skill, and includes a number of levels that will suit nearly any learner in elementary school. There are nine levels, beginning with simple basic addition facts and progressing through challenging long division problems involving numbers in the ten thousands. There are three modes of play: Lessons, test, and games, as well as a practice section that is individualized to the given player’s current level. Lessons offer problems in increasing order of difficulty with multiple choice options. Tests are timed and require speedy work as well as the ability to switch back and forth between problem types and formats. The games section has three different games that also adjust to the player’s level: Treasure Hunt, Bubble Pop, and Memory Cards. All involve some sort of matching problems and correct answers.

Entertainment

IQ Safari MATH has many features that will keep kids coming back for more practice and learning. Players get to choose their avatar, which is fun. High performance earns stars that lead to earning up to thirty different “achievements. Accuracy on problems also gives players puzzle pieces which automatically assemble into one of sixty collectable cards. These awards are all accessible by players and can be collected and monitored.

Value

This app costs $2.99 in the App Store, and it’s an outstanding value. It includes enough range to be useful for nearly any elementary student, and could also be used for middle school students who need to review basic skills and build speed and accuracy. Combined with the kid-pleasing reward systems, it will be tough to beat this app for focused, no-frills computation practice.

Child Friendliness

This app is very child-friendly. The parents’ area is unprotected, but does not include any outside links.

  • Protected parent area
  • NO external links
  • NO social media
  • NO 3rd party ads
  • NO in-app purchase

bluebird
Quality
Education
Entertainment
Value
Child Friendly
Summary
Blue Bird Academy is an early learning app that provides little ones with an engaging way to learn the alphabet, shapes, numbers, and other objects. Simple, educational, and easy to use.
4.5

App Info

Price: $2.99
AppStore User Rating: 4.5
Download on the App Store

Overview

Blue Bird Academy is an easy to use early learning app that aids children in learning the alphabet, shapes, numbers, and other objects to prep them for school. This app offers simple music and an engaging playing area that is safe for children of all ages to use.

Features include:

  • 5 Language options
  • 4 Learning activities
  • Easy to use

Quality

Blue Bird Academy is a simple to use early learning app that is perfect for young children of all ages. The developers have done a great job keeping the app easy to use as it offers simple swipe functioning for children to uncover the the pictures for each learning activity. The background music and narration used throughout also adds to the overall quality of the app making it engaging without being overwhelming for kids.

Education

This app is really designed to give children a fun way to learn skills and concepts they will use once they enter school. With four activities including the alphabet, shapes, numbers, and objects/concepts, players have lots of material to learn within the app. The concept is quite simple for children of all ages to use which is great. As players enter the app they can select an activity/subject area and within the activity they swipe the screen in order to see the image beneath. This app also includes narration which adds an additional auditory element to the learning process which is great.

One thing that would take the educational value to the next level in this app would be to add an option to show the word at the bottom of each image to add a visual learning component. This would allow older children to get some practice with word recognition prior to entering Kindergarten and would a bit more educational value to the app as well.

Entertainment

While this app is more specifically an educational app, it doesn’t have much of entertainment component other than the additional images section that are a bit more vibrant in color. It would be nice to have some simple animation or a game activity that children can enjoy in addition to the educational material.

Value

Priced at just under two dollars this app is priced well for what you get. With 5 different languages included along with 4 learning activities and the easy to use interface, parents will appreciate the value they are getting in this app without a hefty price.

Child Friendliness

Parents will also be happy to know that this app is easy to use for children of all ages and is also very safe. All parent gateways are completely protected so children won’t be getting into any areas they shouldn’t. There are also no ads or other links to distract little ones from the activities included. Overall , very child friendly app.

  • Protected parent area (can contain external links & social media)
  • NO external links
  • NO in-app purchase
  • NO social media
  • NO 3rd party ads

onegigglygorilla4

One Giggly Gorilla

Quality
Education
Entertainment
Value
Child Friendly
Summary
One Giggly Gorilla tells a delightful story that kids will want to read again and again.
4.8

App Info

Price: $3.99
AppStore User Rating:
Download on the App Store

Overview

Near the jungle floor, one giggly gorilla sits on a branch longing for a banana. As he swings higher and higher in search of bananas, he meets more gorillas. This delightful story introduces kids to the gorillas and gives them a chance to interact with them. As kids move through the trees with the gorillas, they’ll practice basic skills such as counting and number recognition. They’ll also learn to follow directions as they try to reach the bananas at the top of the tree.

Features include:

  • Interactive illustrations
  • Early learning tasks
  • Highlighted text
  • Read to Me option/li>
  • Read to Myself option

Quality

Overall, One Giggly Gorilla is a quality interactive story for kids. The text appears at the bottom of each screen and the narration is clear. Kids can tap on a leaf to turn the narration on or off depending on their needs. Other leaf icons allow kids to go back to the main page or to read the text on the page again. Words are also highlighted as the story is read. A few parts in the story contain missing or misplaced punctuation marks, but most kids will be so focused on the action on the page that they’re not likely to notice.

An about screen provides kids with a simple explanation of how to move from page to page within the app. Kids simply drag down the gorillas and fling them toward the next branch. Each page provides clear directions on which gorillas to move first.

Education

As kids read through the story they get the opportunity to practice basic skills and learn how to follow directions. Each page contains directions that explain how to fling the gorillas from branch to branch. One one page, kids must fling the gorillas in order from 1-9. On another page, they must fling the gorillas by the color of flower they are holding. These simple instructions require kids to pay careful attention to the story. Because the instructions are given within the actual story, they won’t feel like learning activities to kids.

The story itself is also good for learning. The read to me option features highlighted text so kids can associate the words on the page with the words they hear. A rhyme scheme is also present throughout the story to help hook kids.

Entertainment

Kids will find that flinging the gorillas is a lot of fun. On each page, a new gorilla appears, which means kids can have even more fun. At the end of the story, kids are encouraged to tickle the gorillas and can listen to them laugh with glee. If the gorillas aren’t entertaining enough, kids will also enjoy searching for the hidden toucan on each page.

Value

This app is priced slightly higher than interactive books of a similar length and quality. However, it is such a fun story and kids will want to read it so many times that you’re likely to get a lot value out of it.

Child Friendliness

On the main page, parents will find leaves that lead to an about page and a protected parent area. The about page includes basic instructions for reading the app and some basic credits, but is entirely safe for children. The protected parent area contains external links to the developer’s website, social media pages, and privacy policy. Parents can also sign up for a newsletter through the protected parent area.

  • Protected parent area (contains external links, app rating & social media)
  • NO external links
  • NO 3rd party ads
  • NO in-app purchase

image (28)
Quality
Education
Entertainment
Value
Child Friendly
Summary
Professor Astro Cat’s Solar System is an educational and entertaining app that offers a close look at the sun and each of the eight planets in the solar system using fun facts, graphics and infographics, games and activities.
4.9

App Info

Price: $2.99
AppStore User Rating:
Download on the App Store

Overview

Professor Astro Cat’s Solar System is an informative app that goes over basic facts and information about the sun and planets that make up our solar system. It includes informational graphics, interactive screens, and games to help players remember the information.

Features include:

  • Detailed diagrams and infographics of each planet
  • “Unzip” feature gives access to the inner workings of each planet
  • Challenging games to encourage memory and learning
  • Motivational activities keep kids playing longer
  • Information suitable for multiple levels of learning

Quality

Professor Astro Cat’s Solar System is a very high-quality app. It’s responsive and every features works seamlessly. Players can easily swipe between planets and features, moving from learning to playing modes effortlessly. The app supports records for multiple players and includes a protected parents’ area that will help adults uncover the various features of the app, as well.

Education

This app provides outstanding coverage of topics related to the solar system, sun and planets. It makes a great introduction for younger students, a fantastic review for students in upper elementary grades and middle school, and a fun pastime for any space nerd that you may have in your household. The information presented ranges from the very basic to rather complex, such as the layers of the sun and the workings of solar flares, all in bite-sized nuggets that will capture nearly any young astronomer’s interest.

Each section features facts about the planet, an “unzip” feature where players can open up the planet and see what’s inside, fun activities such as birthing a new star or calculating your age in Mercury years, and a game to encourage memory for the information presented. Players are rewarded within the game, they earn stars for completing sections, and they also are allowed to earn pieces to build their own rocket ships.

One suggestion for developers: the reading level in some of the sections of this app is on the high side for younger users. It would be really helpful to set up a glossary where users can touch an unfamiliar word to see its meaning, and to create a “read to me” option that will open the app to struggling or inexperienced readers.

Entertainment

Professor Astro Cat’s Solar System is quite fun to play with since it includes so many motivating activities and rewards. Any student who has an interest in space will be fascinated. It was a great idea to include an activity and a game within each section! Reluctant learners would benefit from some additional game activities, maybe a game that ties everything together as well.

Value

This app costs $2.99 in the App Store, which is a great value. The app makes a great reference and study tool for the subject matter, plus it’s just plain fun. Kids, especially kids with an interest in space, are likely to return again and again.

Child Friendliness

This app is very child friendly. The parent area is protected by an age question, which a persistent child might figure out how to open, but it’s not likely that the kids will be that determined.

  • Protected parent area (contains external links, ratings, & social media)
  • NO 3rd party ads
  • NO in-app purchase

wordmatch2

Spelling Bug: Word Match

Quality
Education
Entertainment
Value
Child Friendly
Summary
Practice your spelling words with a fun matching game in Spelling Bug: Word Match.
4.4

App Info

Price: $1.99
AppStore User Rating:
Download on the App Store

Overview

If you’re looking for a fun way to get kids to practice their spelling words, look no further than Spelling Bug: Word Match. This educational app combines spelling practice with a fun matching game. Kids can match their spelling words by picture, word, sound, and letter outline. The app comes with word lists and adults can add customized word lists to help take kids’ practice even further.

Features include:

  • Create customizable word lists
  • Record word pronunciations
  • Play in multiple ways
  • Track progress

Quality

One area where the app could stand a bit of improvement is in its quality. It features the bright colors and cute graphics kids enjoy, but the graphics could stand to be refined a bit. It’s clear the images used on the flashcards are from free clip art banks and many do not appear centered on the cards. Despite the lack of quality in the graphics, the app runs well and includes other neat features, such as the ability to track kids’ scores as they complete matching games and the ability to record the pronunciation for each word. Words from lists that come ore-loaded in the app already contain crisp, clear audio pronunciations, but adults can choose to record their own if they wish.

Education

Kids can practice matching spelling words on lists pre-loaded in the app or custom words added by an adult. The pre-loaded lists include essential words, 1st grade words, 2nd grade words, and Easter words. Each word is accompanied by an image and an audio pronunciation. In the matching game, kids can also match identical words instead of pictures or block outlines of the words. While the block outlines are a unique way to encourage kids to remember the spelling of the words, they seem somewhat confusing and unnecessary for kids. If adults choose to add custom word lists, they can add up to 50 words, but are not able to add pictures to accompany the words which limits the types of matches kids can make.

When it comes to making matches, kids can choose how many cards appear on the screen at once. They can also compete at different levels. For the pre-loaded word lists, this means kids see shorter, less difficult words first and move up to more difficult words as they advance through the levels.

Entertainment

Despite their simplicity, kids tend to really enjoy matching games. This app enhances the matching experience by allowing kids to match the words to different attributes, so they may go through multiple levels matching pictures, and then try to challenge themselves by going through multiple levels by trying to match outlines. The app provides kids with positive reinforcement at the end of each level and gives them a rating of 1-3 stars and a points total to encourage them to do better. If kids earn enough points, they can color in fun bug pictures.

Value

For the price, kids can access four pre-loaded spelling lists and add custom word lists. While this may seem like a good value, the app could include a few additional word lists, better quality graphics, and the ability to add images to custom words to help make it worth the price.

Child Friendliness

Adults will be happy to note that the app is free from in-app purchases, ads, and other non-child friendly content. The settings area allows kids to control the sound effects, track progress, and add to custom word lists or change word pronunciations.

  • NO external links
  • NO 3rd party ads
  • NO in-app purchase
  • NO social media

Easy swimmer
Quality
Education
Value
Child Friendly
Summary
Easy Swimmer-Starfish is the first in a series of five apps that help parents teach their kids how to swim. This step-by-step approach is easy to use and follow making it great for parent to follow along.
4.5

App Info

Price: $2.99
AppStore User Rating:
Download on the App Store

Overview

Easy Swimmer-Starfish is the first step in a five step app series that helps parents teach their little ones how to swim. This first app is specifically designed to help children ages 4-5 to get acclimated to the water and get comfortable so they can prepare themselves for the remaining lessons.

Features include:

  • 2 Levels
  • 3 Lessons within each level
  • Easy to follow

Quality

Easy Swimmer-Starfish comes equipped easy to follow videos with narrated instructions that make it easy for children and parents to follow along. The user interface is quite intuitive and allows parents to check off each lesson as it is completed. The developers have also done a great job making this app simple, effective, and full of information that is helpful for parents who are teaching their children to swim on their own.

Education

The purpose of this app is to provide a step-by-step system to introduce children to water and to begin to teach children the basics before they learn to swim. This particular app is the first in the series of five apps to teach children to swim and it concentrates on getting children comfortable with the water. Exercises like putting your face in the water, going underwater completely, and learning to go underwater and open your eyes are some of the lessons included. The developers have also added an equipment list as well as an ‘advice’ section to help support parents as they move through the app. Overall, the educational info included is very well done.

Entertainment

Not rated for entertainment.

Value

Priced at just under three dollars, this app is priced well for what you receive. With 2 levels and 3 lessons for each level (plus 4 activities within each lesson), parents are going to have a lot of help to teach their little ones how to swim. Each lesson also comes equipped with a fun game that parents can play with their kids to try what they have learned.

Child Friendliness

Since this app is primarily for parents to teach their children to swim, this is not an app that children will be playing on their own. With that said, it is child friendly and does not have any external links or in app purchases to worry about.

  • Protected parent area (can contain external links & social media)
  • NO external links
  • NO social media links
  • NO in-app purchase
  • NO 3rd party ads

savethepark
Quality
Education
Entertainment
Value
Child Friendly
Summary
Save the Park is an app that combines education and entertainment by using a fun runners-game to teach children the importance of doing their part to keep our parks safe and clean. This app is a great learning tool to be used at home or in the classroom.
4.6

App Info

Price: Free
AppStore User Rating: 4.5
Download on the App Store

Overview

Save the Park is a highly entertaining and educational gaming app that teaches children the importance of taking care of our environment and forests in a variety of ways. Not only does this app offer loads of fun facts for children to learn about various national parks, but it also includes a hands-on learning tool for children to understand the importance of caring for our parks and natural reserves. With a variety of characters, games, and fun hidden objects to find, this app does a great job of helping educating players while keeping them entertained.

Features include:

  • 4 Volunteer profiles
  • 3 Environments to explore
  • 25 Secret items to find
  • Runners game set-up

Quality

Save the Park is definitely one of the higher quality apps that I have seen that effortlessly weaves in educational information in an highly engaging game for kids. With an easy to use interface, great graphics, and an engaging game for children to enjoy, this app has it all. While the app does take some coordination, once children get the hang of using the controls and moving the various players around, they are going to have a ton of fun.

Education

The concept behind this app is to teach children the importance of saving our environments and particularly our national parks. Each volunteer has a series of challenges and tasks that players must help them with. They include helping visitors, posting important flyers, planting trees and protecting the natural habitats throughout the game. The developers have also included fun facts about various parks and reserves that children can read between game screens as they move through the app which is nice.

Entertainment

Save the Park is designed in such a way that children can easily learn about how to improve our environment, while at the same time giving them a fun outlet to play. The games are set up with 4 different profiles that can be unlocked by completing each previous task. Players must move through each activity by helping their volunteer achieve their given tasks such as posting flyers, cleaning up the park or helping visitors. With other fun items to find and additional environments to explore, this app offers loads of fun.

Value

What’s better than being able to play and learn about saving the environment? Being able to do that for free. Parents will be happy to know that this app is completely free which is an absolute steal considering the value included here.

Child Friendliness

While the majority of the app is completely safe and easy to use for children of all ages, there is one area that parents will want to be aware of and that is the ‘volunteer’ button. This button is not protected and includes a link to learn more info on how you can volunteer and help in your area. Since this is a kids app it would be best for it to be a protected link so young children don’t end up in places they shouldn’t be. With that said, the rest of the app is easy to use and great for children of all ages.

  • Protected parent area (can contain external links & social media)
  • NO in-app purchase
  • NO 3rd party ads
  • YES “external links” (unprotected, visible)

seterra

Seterra Geography

Quality
Education
Entertainment
Value
Child Friendly
Summary
Travel around the world and improve your knowledge of world geography all from the comfort of your own home with Seterra Geography.
4.4

App Info

Price: $0.99
AppStore User Rating: 4.5
Download on the App Store

Overview

How well do you know your world maps and flags? Find out your geography IQ when you play Seterra Geography. The app, which is available in five different languages, allows you to select different continents and countries to focus on as you put your geography knowledge to the test. Don’t know a lot about geography? The app also include a learn mode to help you build up your knowledge before you jump into a game. So what are you waiting for? Start testing and building your geography knowledge today!

Features include:

  • Identify countries
  • Locate states and territories
  • Discover natural landmarks
  • Play in five different languages
  • Track your progress

Quality

Seterra Geography is a very simple app. On the main screen, users see icons to take them to maps or flags. After choosing what to focus on, they’re shown a list of continents. Choosing a continent brings up a more specific list of continents. For example, selecting North American maps will bring up a list of North American Countries, North American Lakes, U.S. State Capitols, and a large selection of other continent-specific maps. Once users select an area to focus on they’re given the option to learn or play. Both modes consist of simply backgrounds with dots or flags that users can tap to identify them. The app tracks users’ high scores and the progress they have made in each continent.

Education

There are two main parts to the app: learn and play. Whether identifying countries, capitals, or flags, users can choose to interact with the app in learn or play mode. Both modes are very similar. In learn mode, users see a map with dots on it or a screen full of flags. Tapping on a dot or a flag reveals the name of the state, country, or capital associated with it. In play mode, users see the same screen and are told to find a particular location or flag. If they incorrectly identify the location or flag, they’re shown the name of the one they identified. For example, if you must identify Columbia, South Carolina, but tap on Raleigh, North Carolina, then Raleigh will appear next to the dot. At the end of each quiz, users are shown their score for the round. While the quizzes aren’t particularly innovative or entertaining, they offer a solid way to build basic geography knowledge.

Entertainment

One of the few downsides to Seterra Geography is that it’s not very entertaining for those who may not enjoy putting their geography knowledge to the test. Most quizzes feature a green map with little white dots and users must tap on the correct dot. In the flags section, users simply see a list of flags and must tap on the correct one. None of this is terribly exciting, but it is a good way to build recognition. The app does build in a bit of intrinsic motivation by tracking progress and allowing users to enter their names to appear on the high score charts.

Value

This app is full of geography quizzes that cover both U.S. and world geography. It also offers quizzes to test users’ knowledge of world flags. Because of the amount of content and the ability to track progress over time, this app offers much more than a one-time use and is worth a download.

Child Friendliness

In the settings area, users can turn the sound effects on and off and change the language. The settings area also contains links to share the app and send feedback. Neither is protected by a parental lock. After completing a quiz, users also have the option to share their score and this feature is also not protected by a parental lock.

  • NO 3rd party ads
  • NO in-app purchase
  • YES Send Feedback (not protected)
  • YES Share App (not protected)

aba
Quality
Education
Entertainment
Value
Summary
ABA Preferences is a great tool to help teachers, parents, caregivers, and others who work with special needs individuals to understand their students’ and clients’ preferences. This information can be very useful in designing effective learning and behavior management interventions.
4.8

App Info

Price: $0.99
AppStore User Rating: 5
Download on the App Store

Overview

ABA Preference provides an organized and reliable system for discovering rewards and reinforcers that are preferred by students or clients with disabilities. It does not require language skills, and only minimal motor control, and can be used with nearly any individual.

Features include:

  • Easy, accurate assessment of preferences
  • Provides percentage scores to compare reinforcers’ value
  • Easily create and share reports
  • Use your own pictures
  • Intuitive interface

Quality

ABA Preferences is a high-quality app that will provide reliable and accurate information about a student’s or client’s preferences. The interface is intuitive and works quickly and well. The app accesses pictures on your device as stimuli, so everything can easily be individualized. Record, save, and share information for multiple clients.

Education

Special education professionals know that many individuals learn best when they use a tangible reward system. This is particularly true with lower functioning clients and those with autism. However, language and cognitive impairments can make it difficult to figure out what items have value to the clients. ABA Preferences solves this problem by presenting pictures of possible reinforcers and having the client choose which they prefer. It’s activated with a simple touch, and no language skills at all are necessary. On the other hand, if a student or client does not have motor skills to voluntarily touch the screen, the teacher can ask which they prefer and touch for them.

The app presents pairs of pictures from the master group, and compares the number of times the pictures are chosen to calculate a percentage of value from the given group. For example, if the master group contains pictures of a dog, a campfire, flowers, and a rocketship, these pictures are presented in pairs and the client indicates which is preferable or which they are most interested in. The app returns a percentage that indicates how interested the client is in each picture. In the above example, the client preferred dogs 100% of the time and campfire 85% of the time. This information would be useful in planning the client’s educational program, because the teacher could know that the client has a strong preference for dogs as opposed to rocket ships. Real dogs, toy dogs, pictures of dogs, or even dog stickers might be useful to reward success at learning tasks.

Entertainment

This app isn’t really intended to be entertaining, but clients are likely to enjoy choosing pictures they find most interesting, given that the teacher put in valuable pictures in the first place. Most people like to exercise control over their lives, and this app could be perceived as a way to show that kind of control.

Value

This app costs $0.99 in the App Store and includes credits to do five preference assessments. Additional credits can be purchased at a cost of one for ninety-nine cents, ten for six dollars and ninety-nine cents, or a premium package of unlimited credits for nine dollars and ninety-nine cents monthly. It would be easy to find out if the app will fulfill a need in your program, but the per credit cost for assessments seems a little higher than many will want to pay, particularly if they are parents working with a single child or a classroom teacher working with a small number of children. I wish there was a time-based model that would be appropriate for use in families or small programs where a small number of credits could be added after a few months to accommodate parents and teachers who would like to keep current on their student’s or child’s preferences but who do not want to spend a lot of money. It might also be effective to charge more for the app and allow unlimited use.

Child Friendliness

This app is not intended for use by children.

  • Tutorial area
  • NO social media
  • NO 3rd party ads
  • YES in app purchase

cygnus
Quality
Education
Entertainment
Value
Child Friendly
Summary
Ready, Jet, Go! Space Explorer is a free app from PBS Kids that will get kids interested in the stars, constellations, and other aspects of the nighttime sky. With four modes of play, there’s something here for everyone, but the most exciting part is the app’s capability to “see” what is in the sky above the user and allow users to learn about objects in the sky that they can really see right now.
4.6

App Info

Price: Free
AppStore User Rating: 3
Download on the App Store

Overview

Ready, Jet, Go! Space Explorer from PBS Kids will allow children and parents to explore the night sky with interactive activities, fun facts, and games. The app includes information about planets, constellations, and more.

Features include:

  • Includes over 300 planet and constellation facts to explore
  • See real-world positions of the stars overhead by pointing and tilting the device
  • Create vivid “space art” by coloring and painting a masterpiece
  • Earn badges for playing games
  • See and hear facts and jokes about space

Quality

Ready, Jet, Go! Space Explorer is a very high quality app that works as intended. The app is fairly intuitive to use and will be enjoyed by preschool children on up. It includes a handy parents corner that has detailed explanations about how to use the app, which many will find helpful. The app uses swipe motions to move the view of the night sky around, and it can get quite confusing because things can rotate in unusual ways. It would be nice to have some way to reorient the screen when desired so users could get their bearings if they become lost.

Education

This app is highly educational. Younger children are likely to enjoy it most if they have an older partner or mentor, though, because it can get a bit confusing and frustrating. Some constellations have the outlines drawn and explanations of the meaning of names, locations, and fun facts available, but not all. Also, there is not a lot of indication about where to find specific constellations relative to one’s position on Earth. Locations are given solely in terms of proximity to other constellations, which may or may not be helpful to users.

It would also be very useful for the app to distinguish between constellations typically visible to the user and those that are only visible in other parts of the world, such as the Southern Cross.

Entertainment

Ready, Jet, Go! Space Explorer is a lot of fun to use. It will make exploring the local night sky a snap since it uses location and device positioning to show exactly what is up above, with explanations and illustrations. The app includes a painting section, where users can create their own constellation illustrations, which is an enjoyable pastime. There is also a hide and seek game where the main character, Jet, takes off into space and hides, giving clues related to constellations and planets to help users locate him. This activity is quite challenging, especially for younger users. In fact, I was not able to successfully locate him on several different trials, I suspect because of my lack of familiarity with the constellations. It would be a good idea to use the app for a bit in other ways before trying this activity, particularly if the user can be easily frustrated.

Value

This app is free in the App Store, so it’s an outstanding value! It provides comprehensive information about the stars, constellations and planets, it’s engaging and fun to use, and it has several different play modes.

Child Friendliness

This app is very child-friendly. The parents’ area is not protected, but it does not have any links or other troublesome material.

  • Parent area
  • NO social media
  • NO 3rd party ads
  • NO in-app purchase
  • YES “more apps” (protected, but visible)

homey
Quality
Education
Value
Child Friendly
Summary
Keep your home clean and organized with this simple to use chore app. Homey is great organizational tool for families!
4.4

App Info

Price: Free
AppStore User Rating:
Download on the App Store

Overview

Homey is a unique chore app designed to help get every member of the family on the same page when it comes to taking care of the household responsibilities. With the ability to set up your household and unique chores for each member of the family, this app offers a great alternative to the traditional app chart. It includes leader boards, pre-loaded chore tasks, and the ability to take pictures of the tasks when they are complete in order to help households keep up with the ever-growing list of chores.

Features include:

  • Pre-loaded chore lists based on room
  • Multiple profiles
  • Easy to use

Quality

While the set up is fairly simple, Homey may take some getting used to in order to effectively utilize the app. Upon set-up, users create a list of tasks or chores and profiles for everyone in the family that might be using the app. Users then assign the tasks with corresponding due dates so everyone knows when their task is due. At a glance, users are able to see what is due and when as well as what has already been completed. While there isn’t much by way of illustrations and sound effects, users are able to add their own images for chores assigned and completed.

Education

While this isn’t a specifically educational app, it does provide an opportunity for children to take on more responsibility on the home front in a more organized and streamlined way. Parents have the ability of setting up specific profiles for family members and assigning the specific tasks to each member with a due date. There is also a fun leader board that allows parents to see who has completed the most tasks at any given time which can add a bit of a competitive edge to doing chores.

With more families and children having access to their own mobile devices, this app allows users to load the app on their device and keep track of the items on their own to-do list with a glance. As a learning tool for taking on more responsibility at home, this is a great app.

Entertainment

Not rated for entertainment.

Value

Parents will be happy to know they can keep their home organized and chaos-free with Homey and it won’t cost them a single penny. This organizational chore app is completely free and a great way for families to share the responsibilities at home and for parents to teach children a bit about caring for their space.

Child Friendliness

While young users may have a bit of trouble getting the most value out of the app, it is a great tool for families with elementary aged children on up. At a glance children and parents can both see what tasks need to be done and in what time frame with relative ease. Parents can also rest assured knowing that there are no outside distractions or links to worry about. This app is perfect for families!

  • NO external links
  • NO in-app purchase
  • NO social media
  • NO 3rd party ads

artstories

Art Stories Cities

Quality
Education
Entertainment
Value
Child Friendly
Summary
Explore some of the world's major cities through the geometric world of Art Stories Cities.
4.2

App Info

Price: $1.99
AppStore User Rating:
Download on the App Store

Overview

“Discover some of the most beautiful cities in the world!” That’s how kids are welcomed to Art Stories Cities. From there, kids are invited to select a country and explore one of the cities presented. Kids explore the city by matching the outlines of local attractions. After correctly placing each attraction, kids get a chance to learn all about it. This app offers a unique way to help kids learn about some of the major cities in the world and the attractions they contain.

Features include:

  • Explore the world
  • Learn about tourist attractions
  • Interact with illustrations
  • Available in Italian and English
  • \

Quality

Kids will find that the app is fairly easy to navigate. It opens on an inviting main screen where kids are prompted to tap an arrow on the banner of an airplane to get to the cities. Then they’re prompted to “Discover the world” by tapping on a flag on the world map. Once kids select a flag, they’re introduced to a city and they see a few outlines with a scrolling selection of buildings along the bottom of the screen. Kids must select the building that matches the outline and drag it into place. It’s pretty clear which building fits in each spot, but a few of the skyscrapers may get confusing. Once kids place the building, they’re treated to a description of the building. The audio is clear and read at a pace that is appropriate to kids. All of the details are also age appropriate. Once kids have correctly placed all of the buildings in a city, they get to enjoy a short interactive animation related to the city. This component is not immediately obvious and may be a bit trickier for kids to figure out.

Education

The app offers a lot of information about main attractions in some of the best-known cities around the world. Kids will learn fun facts about the buildings and other attractions, such as who designed them and when they were created. Unfortunately, the app only offers information about a limited number of cities. This leads to kids learning random knowledge rather than focused knowledge. If the app offered a larger selection of cities, teachers and parents might be able to make more use of it in the context of a larger lesson about a particular city or country or even to familiarize kids with a city before they go on vacation.

Entertainment

Younger kids will enjoy matching the structures with their outlines. They’ll also enjoy the animations and sound effects included in the app. Older kids will enjoy learning the facts about the different attractions. While all facts are kid-appropriate, many of the facts are likely to go over younger kids’ heads.

Value

Given the limited number of cities available in the app, it doesn’t offer the best value. If developers doubled or tripled the amount of cities, the app would have immensely more value and be worth a download by many different users.

Child Friendliness

In the lower left corner of the main screen, kids will find a more apps icon. A parental block limits access to the apps displayed when the icon is tapped. Kids can also change the language from English to Italian with the tap of a button or view info about the app, but there is nothing inappropriate in the info section.

  • NO external links
  • NO social media
  • NO 3rd party ads
  • NO in-app purchase
  • YES more apps (protected, but visible)

childspass
Quality
Entertainment
Value
Child Friendly
Summary
Childs Pass is a great parent app that allows users to search, find, and book fun activities for the family in a city near you. Great concept and easy to use!
4.4

App Info

Price: Free
AppStore User Rating: 1
Download on the App Store

Overview

Childs Pass is an innovative child activity app that allows parents to search for specific events and activities based on their location and interest. This on-demand app allows users to search, find and book specific events for fun family weekends on the go. With everything in one place, Childs Pass is a great tool to have all year round.

Features include:

  • Free to use
  • Book activities option
  • Easy to use

Quality

The idea behind Childs Pass is very exciting. As a parent to be able to easily search, find, and book specific family events on the go is a great opportunity and a time-saver. The app itself is very well done and includes clear graphics and an easy to use function that makes finding activities very easy. The ability to book activities within the app itself is really great so parents can do this on the go right from their phone with ease.

Education

Not rated for education.

Entertainment

While this isn’t a kids app and isn’t directly meant to entertain children simply by using the app it does offer an indirect opportunity for parents to keep children entertained. After setting up the specific profile for your children that includes gender, age, and interests, parents can search based on their city to see what activity options are available. The developers have also categorized the types of activities by including things like, ‘rainy day activities’ and ‘free’ options that make searching for things to do quite easy.

Unfortunately at this time there are only three cities listed for the U.S. which limits the usability of the app for many families. Currently the only cities included for the U.S. are Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco. As the app gains momentum there will be other cities available, however as it stands now it is quite limited in terms of who can effectively use the app.

Value

Parents will definitely appreciate being able to use this tool absolutely free. This allows users to search for activities for free and if they decide to book a specific activity they can use the app to make the purchase with ease. Adding more options in terms of locations is certainly ideal and would increase the overall usability and value of the app as well.

Child Friendliness

This app is not meant to be used by children. It really is a parents only kind of app as it includes payment information and gateways that children shouldn’t have access to. With that said, parents will want to make sure this app isn’t on devices children have access to as it could result in unintentional bookings since none of those buttons and options are currently protected.

  • NO external links

mindfulness
Quality
Education
Value
Child Friendly
Summary
Mindfulness for Children is a great app for parents and teachers to use in order to help soothe and calm children during quiet times or before bed.
4

App Info

Price: $5.99
AppStore User Rating: 5
Download on the App Store

Overview

It’s long been said that meditation is a great tool to calm, soothe, and keep children focused and Mindfulness for Children offers a variety of meditations to do just that. Perfect for use in the classroom or at home, this app offers guided meditation and soothing nature sounds to calm and relax little ones when they need it most.

Features include:

  • 5 Guided meditations
  • 4 Soothing nature tracks

Quality

When it comes to quality the most important thing to note for this app is the sound quality. It’s important for meditation and sound tracks to be free of background noise and to provide clarity of sound which Mindfulness for Children does. The voice used in the guided meditations is soothing and the simple bell sounds offer a nice calm feel as well. The nature sounds are also very well done and have a nice clean sound making it easy to listen and relax to.

Education

While this app isn’t designed to specifically educate children, it does offer a bit of information for parents as they use it. Each of the guided meditations also comes with a brief paragraph on how to expand on the experience for children. For example, in the connecting meditation, parents are asked to check in with their children and as questions regarding how they feel etc. so they get the most out of the experience. This is a great addition to the app and could even be expanded upon to offer more information for parents and teachers who may choose to use these meditations for their little ones.

Entertainment

Not rated for entertainment.

Value

Priced at just under two dollars this app is a good deal. With five guided meditations and four nature tracks, parents and teachers can both get a lot of use out of this app without breaking the bank. Perfect for quiet time in the classroom or as a relaxation ritual before bed, this app will certainly help little ones calm their bodies, minds, and souls before bed.

Child Friendliness

While the content of the app is very good, Mindfulness for Children unfortunately is not an app that children should be playing with. With lots of open links and unprotected social media channels, this app is one that is best used by parents or teachers instead of allowing children to use on their own. It would be nice to allow children to play with the meditations on their own provided the additional open links were protected under a ‘parents only’ section. As it stands now, it isn’t child friendly at all.

  • YES external links (unprotected, but visible)
  • YES social media (unprotected, but visible)
  • YES in-app purchase (unprotected, but visible)
  • YES rate us (unprotected, but visible)

forestexplorer

Piig Forest Explorer

Quality
Education
Entertainment
Value
Child Friendly
Summary
Explore the forest with Chipper the Chipmunk and learn all about his animal friends in Piig Forest Explorer.
4.2

App Info

Price: $2.99
AppStore User Rating: 5
Download on the App Store

Overview

Kids get to experience nature firsthand with Piig Forest Explorer which allows them to travel around the forest with Chipper the Chipmunk. They’ll discover new animals and facts along the way. For example, they’ll learn that mother birds are extremely protective of their eggs. They’ll also discover the names of 12 different animals. While all of the animals and scenery are animated, kids will feel like they really get to explore the forest on their own.

Features include:

  • Available in eight languages
  • Cute animated animals
  • Interactive components
  • Calm background music
  • \

Quality

When kids first open the app, they’ll discover a lush green globe that welcomes them with trees and rainbows. Kids can tap the play button to get started. Once the game loads, the screen opens on Chipper the Squirrel in his den. Kids wake up Chipper and head out to explore the forest. The game is well-designed and features quality graphics, sound effects, and background music. It is also well-organized and easy for kids to navigate. Unfortunately the app is plagued with technical issues. The app moves fairly slowly, so kids should be encouraged to tap slowly and take time to move around the forest rather than quickly changing directions. It also abruptly closes sometimes, making it a bit frustrating for kids trying to find all of the animals. While the audio narration is crisp and clear, it often plays at random times and sometimes plays in multiple languages.

Education

As kids work their way through the app, they’re given the opportunity to learn the names and key facts about 12 different animals. The ultimate goal of the app is to find all of the animals. As kids discover the animals, they learn about them both through how they interact with Chipper and through information that is provided through words and narrated descriptions of the animals. It’s a great way for kids to get some quick knowledge about animals and learn a bit about nature. Younger kids can also complete puzzles of the animals they find.

Entertainment

This app largely gives kids free reign to explore the forest. They can move Chipper any direction they want him to go. Some of the technical issues can make the app frustrating for kids because they may not move exactly where they want to go or the app may close when they’re in the middle of an activity. However, when they can move around successfully, they’ll find that they enjoy finding the animals and learning more about them.

Value

Piig Forest Explorer has a lot to offer kids. It includes tons of animal facts, lets them search for animals, and offers the information in eight different languages. Unfortunately, the quality issues really bring the value down.

Child Friendliness

A protected parent area is visible on the main screen. There parents can select the language, contact developers, and rate the app. Parents should select the desired language when they first open the app because sometimes the app does not open on the main screen after it has been initially opened. Aside from the protected parent area, the app is free from content such as ads and in-app purchases.

  • Protected parent area (contains external links, app rating & social media)
  • NO external links
  • NO social media
  • NO 3rd party ads
  • NO in-app purchase

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