Universal (iPhone / iPod / iPad)

IMG_0886
Quality
Education
Entertainment
Value
Child Friendly
Summary
Mighty Colossus Storybook is a powerful, yet flexible system for creating digital storybooks using built-in characters, backgrounds, and props, or user-generated artwork, pictures, and other content.
4.8

App Info

Price: $3.99
AppStore User Rating: 5
Download on the App Store

Overview

Mighty Colossus Storybook is a digital book production app that allows users to create ebooks using provided characters and original text as well as imported photos and drawings. The books can be saved to a variety of formats, and exported or shared in a number of ways.

Features include:

  • Select from a variety of backgrounds and props, or provide your own
  • Change characters’ facial features, poses, colors, and more
  • Choose text fonts, colors, sizes and positions
  • Use an intuitive user interface to create and edit books
  • Share in a wide array of formats

Quality

Mighty Colossus Storybook is a high-quality app that offers users a seamless experience of creating, sharing, and reading digital storybooks. Developers have worked hard to build a powerful platform to satisfy nearly every creative urge while keeping the interface simple enough for all ability and technical levels. They included clear help options and a comprehensive tutorial to assist beginning users. Books can be saved, shared digitally in a variety of formats, or exported as PDF or PNG files for printing.

Education

This app does a great job of removing technical barriers from the process of creating digital storybooks. It is powerful, yet simple to use. Users can choose from an array of provided characters with editable poses and features, or they can import their own photos or drawings. There are objects and props to add detail to the story, as well as seven provided backdrops for each page. Users can add text in speech bubbles or directly onto the pages, controlling fonts, colors, and sizes. There are three starter books provided, with option to add to each story to finish it, as well as the tutorial book that explains how to use the app’s features.

Book creation has a wealth of educational value. It nurtures creativity and self-esteem, provides practical and hands-on experience with design and language, and promotes self-expression and language skills. This app is so easy to use that it will complement nearly any educational setting as well as provide hours of fun to families. It could even inspire some authors to share stories to a wider audience.

Entertainment

While this app is not really intended for entertainment, users will have fun creating and sharing their own stories. The embedded creatures and characters are whimsical and fun, and the provided props are quite creative. Best of all, users can import their own artwork or photographs as backgrounds, props or characters, leading to an array of possibilities. Mighty Colossus Storybook will encourage creativity, which is nearly always fun for all.

Value

This app is a fine value at $3.99 in the App Store. Most children will adore the opportunity to be creative and share their books with family and friends. The app is powerful and flexible, and can grow with the user. This one’s a keeper!

Child Friendliness

This is perhaps the only drawback to this app. While developers have taken pains to avoid third party advertising and tempting purchases, the app does have unprotected links to email and the main website. It would be much better if these could be protected from children who are too young or whose parents do not want them to have access to such things.

  • NO in-app purchase
  • NO third-party advertising
  • YES external links, email link, all easily accessible

myteethalien

MyTeeth All Inclusive

Quality
Education
Entertainment
Value
Child Friendly
Summary
Help kids learn to brush their teeth with the interactive timers and how-to resources in MyTeeth.
4.4

App Info

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

Overview

Parents looking for a tooth brushing timer for their kids may have found the answer in MyTeeth. This interactive tooth brushing timer allows kids to choose from four different characters that show them how to brush their teeth. Included in the app is also a wealth of information for parents about brushing techniques. This app is designed to motivate kids to brush their teeth and ensure they brush them properly.

Features include:

  • Four different characters
  • Customizable settings
  • Information about toothbrushing
  • Tooth brushing timer for kids

Quality

When kids first open the app, they’re shown a basic home screen. The screen features the four main characters. A small info icon takes users to some information about the app’s developers. The How & Why button takes parents to an overview of the tooth brushing process. There’s also a share button at the bottom of the screen that is protected by a parental lock. Within the actual timer, parents have the option to create separate settings for each character. These settings allow them to select the music kids hear and choose different elements of the brushing process. Those elements include toothbrush hand, order, brushing technique, and timing for each section (side teeth, middle teeth, chewing surface).

Education

MyTeeth is focused on helping parents and kids learn the right way to brush. In the “How & Why” section, parents will find information related to the basics of tooth brushing, different brushing techniques, and strategies to help kids brush their teeth. There are a few small typos in this section, but otherwise, the information is good. The interactive timer portion of the app is laid out in a way that is much more kid-friendly. The characters brush their teeth in the proper sequence (parents can choose a specific sequence for the character to follow) and a timer counts down the time, breaking each section up into smaller intervals to make it easier for kids to follow.

Entertainment

Kids can choose from four different characters to use while they brush their teeth: Lenia, Linus, Lisa, and an alien. Each character has a big smile and knows the proper brushing technique. As kids brush their teeth, they can imitate the character they chose. Kids can also listen to the in-app music or select a song that’s already on their device to make the process even more fun. Many kids will also enjoy watching the countdown timer.

Value

If you search for a tooth brush timer app, you’ll find plenty of different options. Many are free, while others have in-app purchases. Out of all of the toothbrush timer apps, MyTeeth is priced slightly higher. However, it is one of the only apps that comes with extensive how-to documents to help parents teach their kids how to brush their teeth. While you may be able to find this information for free online, you would have to look at multiple sources. You also wouldn’t have it organized as nicely as developers have organized it within the app.

Child Friendliness

On the info screen, kids can tap on links to developers’ Twitter profiles, e-mail addresses, and external websites. However, all links and any additional content not appropriate for children are protected by parental blocks. Most of the how-to content is written more for adults. However, it is all appropriate to be viewed and read by kids. The one big negative is that in some of the how-to documents, kids may see small ads for products related to oral hygiene.

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

IMG_0885
Quality
Education
Value
Child Friendly
Summary
Lewis Dot CHEMISTRY is a handy reference tool to aid high school and early college students in understanding Lewis Dot diagrams and also to connect various traits of compounds to their structures.
4.8

App Info

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

Overview

Lewis Dot CHEMISTRY is a reference app designed to help chemistry students practice and review basic chemistry concepts, particularly those related to Lewis Dots. Students can look at specific compounds and see how the electrons and bonds are arrayed in Lewis Dot nomenclature, see basic information about the compound, an explanation of the compound and its traits, as well as review the rules for depicting compounds using Lewis Dots.

Features include:

  • Extensive (nearly 100) list of compounds referenced
  • Picture of the Lewis Dot structure for each molecule
  • List of the rules for Lewis Dot Chemistry
  • Handy periodic table
  • Explanation of the information contained on the Periodic Table

Quality

Lewis Dot CHEMISTRY is a high-quality app that is relatively intuitive to use. Developers have, however, tucked a lot of information into corners of the app, and users would benefit from a quick tutorial or at least a list of features to look for and how to access them.

Education

This app is a useful reference and practice tool for high school and early college chemistry students who are befuddled by Lewis Dots. Each of the nearly 100 compounds has a one page reference that shows the structure, indicates the charge, shows where bonds are, and more. The page lists statistics about the compound such as the molar mass, melting and boiling points, state at standard temperature and pressure, and more. There is a simple, step-by-step list of instructions for creating Lewis Dot diagrams for other compounds.

The app also includes a periodic table with all of the usual information about each element. A reference page about the periodic table includes basic and more advanced information about how to read the table and the information about groups of elements, reactivity, and more.

There are a few inconsistencies, however (noted by my resident professional chemist). The developers may want to consider adding more information about how to determine the charge for each molecule, as this might be unclear, especially to struggling students. Some compounds apparently do not show resonance as the developers indicated they should, and the geometry of some ionic compounds is shown in crystalline form instead of molecular form with no explanation about why this should be so.

Entertainment

This app is not intended for entertainment.

Value

For $1.99 in the App Store, Lewis Dot CHEMISTRY offers an inexpensive and handy reference tool. Students can surely find similar information available for free on the web, but this app balances its small investment with the convenience of not having to search each individual compound to determine its structure or to check many homework assignments.

Child Friendliness

This app is intended for high school students and older. There is a ratings pop up as well as a system to contact developers to submit Lewis Dot diagrams and information for compounds not yet included in their database.

  • NO social media
  • NO 3rd party ads
  • YES “rating” pop-up

alanabanan

Alana Banana

Quality
Education
Entertainment
Value
Child Friendly
Summary
Sing fun songs, laugh at silly puppets, and go on tons of adventures with the Alana Banana app.
4.9

App Info

Price: Free
AppStore User Rating: 4
Download on the App Store

Overview

The Alana Banana Show is a combination of real-life actors, puppets, and animation designed to spark kids’ imagination and help them learn basic skills. Through the Alana Banana app, kids can watch episodes of The Alana Banana Show, play music with Alana Banana, color pictures of characters from the show, and play fun memory games. The high-quality app, featuring an extremely fun show, is a great app to add to you collection. It’s perfect for children ages 2 to 5.

Features include:

  • Watch episodes of the Alana Banana Show
  • Color fun coloring pages
  • Play themed memory games
  • Learn popular children’s songs

Quality

Alana Banana is a high-quality, fun app for kids. All of the content contained within the app is organized into categories on the main screen: videos, music, coloring, and memory. If kids aren’t sure what to do in the music, coloring, or memory portions of the app, they can click on a question mark to view a helpful animation to get them started. In the videos section, all of the videos of The Alana Banana Show are well-organized. They display clearly in the app’s video player. The app is also full of bright colors and fun background music (which can be turned off through the sound icon on every screen) that make it very appealing to kids.

Education

Much of the educational content in the Alana Banana app comes from the videos of The Alana Banana Show. During the different episodes of the show, kids can go on adventures with Alana Banana and her puppet friends. They’ll learn basic concepts, such as fast and slow. The show also talks about different topics through the Letters to Grandma segment, where Grandma Phone answers kids’ questions. Many of the videos are labeled by topic, so kids and parents can look for topics that interest them. For example, kids may want to watch the video about farm animals or listen to Alana Banana read the book Humble Bumble.

Entertainment

There are plenty of activities within the app designed to entertain kids. Kids can color pictures of Alana Banana and her friends. They can play memory games that feature themes such as space, farm, dog, dinosaur, and silly. Kids can also play songs along with Alana Banana, tapping the notes on the piano as they appear, or making up their own tunes with piano, guitar, or silly monkey sounds. The highlight of the app, however, is the videos of The Alana Banana Show which feature a mix of puppets, animation, and real-life characters and settings to provide kids with plenty of entertainment.

Value

Given the large amount of content contained within the app, Alana Banana is a great value. With the free version, kids can access many videos of The Alana Banana Show, play a memory game, make music, and color pictures. Downloading the full version of the app simply gives kids more of the same content. If kids decide they like Alana Banana and her friends, which there’s no doubt most will, then parents should download the full version of the app.

Child Friendliness

A protected parent are provides parents with additional information about the app. This area also allows them to purchase the full version of the app, and directs them to additional apps for download. The app itself is free from ads and “more apps” information.. In the coloring book section, kids can give the app access to the photos so they can save their creations. Parents who don’t want their device’s photo library full of coloring pages may want to go into the app and disable access to photos before letting children play.

  • Protected parent area
  • NO social media
  • NO 3rd party ads
  • NO more apps

spookyhollowapp

Spooky Hollow - Interactive Children's Book

Quality
Education
Entertainment
Value
Child Friendly
Summary
Discover why all of the pumpkins are different colors in Spooky Hollow, a cute animated story for Halloween.
4.5

App Info

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

Overview

Spooky Hollow is a cute story about a skeleton who grows pumpkins that end of being all different colors instead of orange. As kids read through the interactive story, they’ll be anxious to find out what the skeleton will do with all of those colorful pumpkins. The ending of the story may surprise them.

Features include:

  • Halloween-themed story
  • Animated illustrations
  • Narrated text
  • Auto-read option

Quality

When kids open the app, they’re shown a bookshelf which features the cover of the story and an icon labeled “Games.” A small information icon allows kids to turn on/off Auto Read Mode and enable/disable Graphics Lite Mode, a nice feature that reduces the amount of heavy animations to prevent the app from crashing, particularly on older devices. The narration in the story is clear and everything runs smoothly. It’s easy for kids to navigate through the story and tap on the illustrations to enjoy the animation.

Education

The theme-based story is narrated and easy for kids to follow along with. The story itself incorporates a nice problem/solution format that will engage kids and help build their reading comprehension skills. It works as a Halloween-themed story or a fun story to use while teaching suspense during the school year.

Entertainment

The story features very likable characters, an engaging storyline, and colorful and interactive illustrations for kids. Kids will enjoy reading through the story and tapping on the illustrations to see what happens. They’ll also enjoy the suspense that comes from wondering what the skeleton will do will all of the colored pumpkins. Will he be able to make them orange again or will he find the perfect use for them? The only downside to the app is that the games are included in a separate app.

Value

The app is free to download and allows kids to read the first few pages for free. After that, they’re prompted to purchase the full story to continue. The story is priced comparably to other interactive narrated books for kids. However, unlike similar apps, no games are included with the story. Instead, they must be purchased and downloaded separately.

Child Friendliness

Once kids read the first few pages of the story, they’re given the option to purchase the full story to find out what happens. On the main screen, kids are also shown an icon for games which (beyond the parental block) takes them to the App Store to purchase a pumpkin flinging game.

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

IMG_0830
Quality
Education
Entertainment
Value
Child Friendly
Summary
EduGuru 3-5 Maths is a fun and entertaining way for preschoolers and young school-aged children to practice crucial math skills such as counting, number recognition, geometry, relative sizes, and more.
4.9

App Info

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

Overview

EduGuru 3-5 Maths offers eight simple games to support the development of math concepts in preschoolers, including counting, shapes, time, money, simple computation, and more.

Features include:

  • Supports the UK National Curriculum
  • Intuitive interface
  • Keeps records for multiple users
  • Colorful, engaging graphics

Quality

EduGuru 3-5 Maths is a high quality app that works exactly as expected. It’s responsive and entertaining for preschoolers. Most of the games operate on a drag-and-drop or a tapping interface, which will be easy for children in the target age group to learn, yet there is an array of tasks that accomplish the goals so things won’t become boring. The parents area contains good information about what skills are covered in each game and also explains some about why these skills are important.

Education

This app provides a nice, well-rounded foundation for practicing a number of crucial math skills with preschoolers. Hands-on learning is very important in this age and stage, and apps such as this are one way of helping kids learn.

The app includes 8 games that cover skills in counting, number recognition, number sense, concepts of relative size, simple computation, time, money, geometry and more. Each of the games is centered around a kid-pleasing theme, such as outer space, farms, and pirates. The first and easiest level of each game is available when the game is first used, then additional levels are unlocked as players achieve prerequisite scores, which helps the game adapt quickly to a child’s age and ability.

American parents should be aware, however, that this game is from Great Britain, and while it includes a nice section on coins and money, the currency being used is the Pound, not the American Dollar. This is not likely to be too practical for children in this country! The rest of the app, however, more than makes up for the minor shortfall in the money section.

Entertainment

Developers did a good job of choosing themes for the games offered in this app. Each one seems to be more of a kid-pleaser than the last! It’s easy to switch between the Meadow, the Solar System, the Pirates, and the Fishing Hole, as well as a few other popular themes besides. The games are all easy to play, and players earn special badges for completed levels and accurate work.

Value

This app is a good value at $1.99 in the App Store. Kids will be able to play for quite a while as they progress through the levels in each topic. They will even get some beginning instruction in more challenging skills, such as multiplication and division. With all of the topics and levels available, this app will have a good long useful life.

Child Friendliness

This app is very child friendly. Young children could, however, find their way to the page that shows apps that developers are planning to launch in the App Store at a later date. There are currently no active links on this page, but it would be wise to monitor the situation. The recommendation would be for developers to protect this area with a parent gate if the links are to made live at a later date.

  • Parent area (unprotected, but no external links)
  • NO external links
  • NO social media
  • NO 3rd party ads
  • NO in-app purchase
  • YES “more apps” (not yet live but visible)

caroline
Quality
Education
Entertainment
Value
Child Friendly
Summary
Caroline's Camera is a highly entertaining app for kids that uses creative rhythms, music, and camera play to create hours of fun. Easy to use and great for children of all ages, this is one app that both parents and kids will love.
4.5

App Info

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

Overview

Caroline’s Camera is a fun app for kids that uses creative rhythms and music to challenge players to take pictures on cue. With loads of challenging levels, a free play mode, and lots of rewards to win in order to upgrade your virtual camera, this app is one both parents and kids will enjoy. It’s fun, interactive and quite the challenge!

Features include:

  • Easy to use
  • Increasing difficulty
  • Creative rhythms & music

Quality

The quality of Caroline’s Camera is incredible. With crystal clear illustrations, fun music and rhythms this app is great for kids who love musical apps. The user interface is easy to use as the developers have included practice options for new challenges and rhythms so players better understand how to play. They have also included a great way for players to receive feedback via a color system at the top of the screen that tells players if they snapped the picture at the perfect time, too fast, or too slow. Overall the developers have done an excellent job.

Education

One of the great things about this app is that it teaches children a bit about patterns and rhythm. It also helps players use not only their vision, but also their hearing to see and hear the rhythm as they play. The best part is that this app doesn’t come off as your typical education app as children are simply playing and learning along the way. While it may not teach traditional subjects, this app gives kids a bit more creative play as they learn.

Entertainment

The thing I love most about Caroline’s Camera is how entertaining it is! The basic premise is to follow the rhythm outlined and to snap a picture at the right moment based on the rhythm. Seems easy, until there are multiple different rhythms to follow and catch with multiple people included. It’s a game that is partially about reaction time, rhythm, and focus which is great for kids. The increasing difficulty levels make for even more challenging play.

There is also a reward system that allows players to earn coins that they can use to upgrade their camera and other equipment to take better pictures. The developers have also included a free play option that allows children to follow various patterns outside the structured challenges. And if that weren’t enough there are various locations including the forest, lake, and water environments for more play time. Truth be told, this app offers hours of challenging entertainment.

Value

Parents will be happy to know that this app is completely free which might be hard to believe with all that is included. The developers have really gone above and beyond the call of duty with all that this app has to offer and at no cost at all!

Child Friendliness

Not only is Caroline’s Camera a fun app for kids to play, it’s fairly easy too! The user interface is designed for little ones to get a bit of practice prior to diving into the more advanced challenges which is great. The increasing difficulty is also a fun way for children to test themselves and their skills in a fun environment.

While this app has everything you might want in a free app, it also has a few unprotected links and advertisements that are open for children. There aren’t a ton of unprotected links and advertisements and they are pretty deeply embedded and hidden in the app, they really don’t belong in a kids app, even if it’s free. For some parents that might be a deal breaker for this app, which is too bad because it really is a great app to play.

  • NO social media
  • NO in-app purchases
  • YES third-party ads
  • YES external links
  • gomath

    Go Math! Go - Fun learning for grades K, 1st, & 2nd

    Quality
    Education
    Entertainment
    Value
    Child Friendly
    Summary
    Go Math! Go offers high-quality, engaging skills-based math practice opportunities for kids in grades K-2.
    4.4

    App Info

    Price: Free
    AppStore User Rating: 4
    Download on the App Store

    Overview

    Go Math! Go makes a high-quality math curriculum accessible to parents and teachers. This interactive math app covers a range of skills for grades K-2. Skills are organized by grade-level and allow parents and teachers to track a child’s progress and he or she works through the app. While most of the questions are multiple-choice or drag and drop, the app offers relevant, quality math content to help children improve their math skills.

    Features include:

    • Skills-based math practice
    • Multiple problem types
    • Positive reinforcement and rewards
    • Parent and Teacher portal

    Quality

    Before using the app, parents or teachers must set up an account. The process is relatively simple, but parents and teachers should be prepared to complete this step before handing the app to children. From there, they can choose which sections of the app to unlock. Each of the three grade-levels must be assigned a child’s name and the same name can not be used for multiple grade-levels, which may be annoying for parents who want children to work on content at multiple levels. Once an account is created and the content is set up, the app is easy to navigate. The main screen displays a button for Grade K, Grade 1, and Grade 2, each labeled with a different cartoonish character. Once children tap on their grade-level, they’re shown a list of skills and can tap on the skill they want to work on. Each skill is labeled with stars that are filled in to show a child’s progress. Every time a child completes a subsection, a star is filled in.

    The questions in the app are well-written and function well. Kids will find plenty of opportunity to interact with the questions and will also enjoy the bright colors and animated elements.

    Education

    Questions in the app are organized by grade-level and skill. For example, kindergarten is broken down into skills such as Count 0 to 5, Compare 0 to 5, Count 20 and Beyond, 3-D Shapes, Measurement, and Sort and Group. Each individual section is also broken down into subsections. For example, Count 0 to 5 is broken down into Model 1 and 2, Read 1 and 2, Ways to Make 5, Order to 5, and so on. To complete a subsection, kids must answer a set of questions in the practice round and then answer a set of questions in the challenge round. Most questions are multiple choice or drag and drop. In kindergarten and first grade, questions are read aloud to help students. All questions also contain visual images, such as counting cubes and number lines.

    Entertainment

    The main focus of the app is to help children build their math skills. As a result, there are not a lot of fun elements. However, the content is presented in a way that is engaging to kids. Each set of problems is accompanied by a tracker at the top of the screen, so children know how many problems they must complete to get to the end of the set. After completing a set, children are also given the chance to participate in a challenge round, which encourages them to continue answering questions. Throughout the app, children will also get to interact with animated characters and will receive positive phrase and small rewards, such as watching an animated character play an instrument, for answering questions correctly. The questions themselves are also highly visual, making it easier for children to stay engaged with the content.

    Value

    Parents and teachers can create an account and download a sample set of problems for each grade. The sample set contains a full set of problems in one skill area. Access to the full set of problems can be obtained through an in-app purchase. Each grade must be purchased separately and the price is fairly high compared to similar apps. If parents or teachers opt to purchase all three grades, the price can add up. However, parents and teachers should consider that they are gaining access to high-quality content produced by one of the leading educational companies and also note that the content is full of visuals and other features designed to help students improve their skills.

    Child Friendliness

    Parents or teachers must create an account to access the content. Creating an account requires an e-mail address and other personal information. Birth date verification prevents children from creating an account on their own. However, children may find a way to purchase full access to the problems if parents/teachers don’t have their device set up to require a password when attempting to download items from the App Store.

    • NO social media
    • NO 3rd party ads
    • NO more apps
    • YES in-app purchases
    • YES account required

    mathdoozy

    MATHdoozy

    Quality
    Education
    Value
    Child Friendly
    Summary
    MATHdoozy comes with some technical difficulties, but has the ability to offer real-time math help to students.
    3.5

    App Info

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

    Overview

    MATHdoozy offers students a way to get help solving tricky math problems in real-time. The app allows students to take a photo of or type in a problem and submit it. From there, the problem is presented to one of the app’s solvers who works to provide an answer for the student. Problems are solved quickly and in real-time, offering students help when and where they need it.

    Features include:

    • Real-time problem solving
    • Ability to take a picture of problem
    • Purchase credits to solve more problems
    • Get benefits from referring friends

    Quality

    When students first open the app, they’re prompted to sign up or sign in. In order to use the app, students must have an account. Creating an account requires an e-mail address, phone number (optional) and password. Students are also prompted to select a username and their grade-level. On the opening screen, students will find a video tutorial to help them navigate through the app and understand the credit system. It is helpful to watch this video, but the app is easy to figure out even if they don’t. When attempting to sign up or login, the app often crashes, so it may take multiple tries to successfully login and get started. Students can access the same service by logging in online, but they must upload problems in a .pdf format.

    Education

    The idea behind the app is to help students get real-time math help. Students can upload a PDF of a problem, type in the problem, or even just take a photo of the problem. Then they submit it to the solvers. Developers note that the solvers have been tested and come from some of the top universities in the world. They are also available to help 24/7, so students can get help whenever they need it. When you’re able to use the app, the solutions do come quickly and are accurate.

    Entertainment

    This app is not being rated for entertainment.

    Value

    While the app is free to download, it is accompanied by in-app purchases. Students aren’t given the solutions for free. Instead, each solution costs money. Students can opt to pay as they go or to buy a bundle. Adults can also gift solution packages to students. Solutions aren’t cheap, so students shouldn’t expect to use this app to get answers to ever problem. Instead, it’s designed as a tool to help when they really get stuck.

    Child Friendliness

    This app requires a student’s e-mail address and grade-level. It also suggests adding a phone number. Developers note that the solvers don’t know a student’s name. Students should take care not to include their names on any problems they submit. The app also has in-app purchases to allow students to purchase additional credits.

    • NO social media
    • NO 3rd party ads
    • NO more apps
    • YES in-app purchases
    • YES account required

    image (10)
    Quality
    Education
    Entertainment
    Value
    Child-Friendly
    Summary
    The free version of Highlights Shapes-Preschool Learning Puzzles does a good job of offering practice for toddlers and preschoolers to match, sort, and categorize 4 types of shapes and colors as they solve puzzles by sliding the correct shapes into the matching areas on the screen.
    4.8

    App Info

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

    Overview

    Highlights Shapes-Preschool Learning Puzzles offers toddlers and preschoolers a chance to practice matching shapes, colors, and sizes by dragging colored shapes to outlined sections of the screen. The app is virtually wordless, except for the narrator naming the attributes of each object when it is correctly placed.

    Features include:

    • Intuitive to use
    • Develops sorting, categorization, and other readiness skills
    • Incorporates fine motor skills
    • Provides a safe, ad-free environment
    • Improves matching skills

    Quality

    Highlights Shapes is a very high quality app that is easy to use for even the youngest toddler. Developers did a fine job of focusing just on the tasks at hand, and of scaffolding more difficult tasks by presenting plenty of practice on easier skills first. Players will easily be able to understand the tasks and to accomplish them in the no-fail environment. There is a parent section that explains some of the importance of the skills addressed.

    Education

    Toddlers and preschoolers typically are very interested in colors and shapes, and learning to match, sort, categorize, and identify these are very important pre-reading tasks that all young children need to master. This app will help even the youngest players get started on these reading readiness skills. Children need to learn to manage skills such as sorting, matching, and categorizing before they can learn to distinguish letters and words with slight differences, such as b and d, or cat and can.

    This app uses a no-fail system, where an incorrect shape (or color) cannot be accidentally dropped into the bay reserved for another item. This means that children must place the shapes correctly, or they will return to their original position. There is absolutely no chance of confusion because of the way this app is set up to work.

    Entertainment

    Highlights Shapes is a very relaxing and soothing app to play. The quiet background music sets a mood of concentration without undue anxiety. The app has several sections in the first level (the part that is available for free), with variations in scenery and focus, which will help children to maintain their interest. Developers mention a “story” being told in the app, but I’m having trouble seeing it. It might be good, if that is the intention, to be a bit more obvious in the visual telling so children realize there is meaning to the pictures other than a change of scene.

    Value

    Hightlights Shapes is free to try on the App Store. The free version includes level one of the game, which goes over four shapes and a few colors. When level 1 is completed, users have the opportunity to purchase 2 additional levels, bringing the total to 11 shapes and 11 colors. Users can also repeat level 1 as desired.

    Child Friendliness

    Highlights Shapes is very child-friendly, with effective parent gates on all links and adult areas. However, the in-app purchase that becomes available following completion of level 1 is put on the screen as soon as level 1 is finished. There is also a “more apps” link visible on the home screen that children could click into, but that they cannot access due to the gate.

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

    arties magic pencil

    Artie's Magic Pencil

    Quality
    Education
    Entertainment
    Value
    Child Friendly
    Summary
    Go on a drawing adventure with Artie and his magic pencil in an app designed to help kids learn to draw basic shapes.
    4.6

    App Info

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

    Overview

    Artie’s off on an adventure with his magic pencil. Just like in the classic story Harold and the Purple Crayon, when Artie gets in trouble or needs to help others, he calls upon the powers of his magic pencil and draws a solution. From trees and houses, to dogs to live in a dog house, Artie draws the world around him. He does so while following after a destructive dinosaur, which adds a bit of mystery to the app and presents an fun story for kids to follow.

    Features include:

    • Multiple levels
    • Positive reinforcement
    • Puzzle pieces to collect
    • Individual letter sounds

    Quality

    Most of the instructions found in the app are non-verbal. Light bulbs pop up next to Artie’s head or the heads of other characters in the story when there’s a drawing activity for kids to complete. Kids will find it fairly easy to move within the app and to help Artie travel throughout his world. When it comes time to draw the shapes, they may experience a bit of frustration, because the app requires them to draw lines that hit certain points on a shape. It’s okay if their lines aren’t straight, the app will straighten them, but kids must make sure their lines are long enough.

    Education

    Artie’s Magic Pencil offers two educational components. First, it teaches kids how to draw basic shapes and introduces them to the type of basic shapes that make up common objects. This is done by having kids create objects in Artie’s world. For example, one of the first tasks kids create is a butterfly, which is done by making two connected triangles. Kids also make other items, such as trees, buildings, and dogs. For each item kids make, the app has kids trace the item, shape by shape, and then shows them the final project.

    In addition to presenting an art lesson, the app includes a story for kids to follow. A dinosaur stomps around Artie’s world and destroys things in his path. As Artie repairs different items in his world, with the help of his magic pencil, the app reminds kids that the dinosaur is still on the loose, drawing their attention back to the story.

    Entertainment

    There are a few elements of this app designed to entertain kids. First, kids are encouraged to keep playing through to the end of the app with the appearance of the destructive dinosaur. They’re constantly reminded that the dinosaur is somewhere ahead of Artie and encouraged to follow him. As kids help Artie complete activities, they’re also rewarded with pieces of a heart. The app only focuses on three basic shapes, so kids might get a bit bored at times, but the promise of filling the heart and getting to the dinosaur at the end is likely enough to keep them going or keep them returning to the app, although they might not play it again once they’ve reached the end.

    Value

    In the app, kids will find access to 15 drawing activities and the embedded adventure story. For kids who need help with fine motor skills or who need to learn how to draw basic shapes, this app offers a different way to do it.

    Child Friendliness

    A protected parent area provides parents with information on how to play the game and the developer itself, as well as links to social media and the developer’s website. On the main page, kids will see rate us and more apps icons, but access to these sections is protected by a parental lock.

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

    screen
    Quality
    Education
    Value
    Child Friendly
    Summary
    ScreenGuide is a great app for parents and teachers that allows them to monitor and control kids' screen time. Perfect for use at home and in the classroom.
    4.9

    App Info

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

    Overview

    ScreenGuide is a parental control app that allows parents to monitor and control their child’s screen time remotely. With the ability to customize restrictions such as screen time, bed time hours, time out, and block certain apps, this app is great for parents and teachers who are looking for ways to create a monitored learning environment for children.

    Features include:

    • Customized restriction settings
    • Bedtime
    • Time out

    Quality

    ScreenGuide is a high quality parental app that allows parents to monitor their children’s screen time. The concept is pretty straight forward and allows parents to set up the app on their device so they can set up specific restrictions for their child’s device. By using specific settings for bedtime, time out, and the ability to hide specific apps and features on the child’s device, this app is easy for parents to set up.

    Education

    While this isn’t exactly an educational app since it is a parent’s app, it is one that allows parents to stay up to date with what their children are doing on their own devices. By being able to monitor their child’s activities and customize the applications they can use on their device, they are able to help keep their children safe and focused on the apps they want their children playing. This is also a great app for teachers to use in the classroom as it allows teachers to limit and monitor screen time for students.

    Entertainment

    Not rated for Entertainment.

    Value

    The best part about ScreenGuide is that parents and teachers can try it for free and check out all the great features before committing to the premium version that is just under three dollars. By signing up for a profile, parents and teachers can monitor multiple devices for children in one place which makes this app a great value. When you consider all that you can do with the ability to analyze the app usage, remove in-app purchases, set bedtime, and the time out feature, this app is one all parents will want.

    Child Friendliness

    This isn’t the kind of app that is likely going to be used by children. It is designed for parents to use and monitor on their child’s device so children aren’t likely going to be using the app and it’s features.

    image (9)
    Quality
    Entertainment
    Value
    Child Friendly
    Summary
    Jurassic GO-Dinosaur Snap Adventures is a fun game where users seek out fanciful dinosaurs in their natural habitats, photograph them, and can get the best pictures hung in the museum they build and operate. The game offers a lot of ways to earn points, unlock levels and other perks and generally advance quickly.
    4.5

    App Info

    Price: $3.99
    AppStore User Rating: 5
    Download on the App Store

    Overview

    Jurassic GO-Dinosaur Snap Adventures puts users in charge of taking photos of unusual dinosaur specimens and using them to fill a museum that attracts visitors from all over. Take trips into different settings to find the fanciful creatures, test your reactions as you try to capture the very best photographs, and then submit them to the Captain to see if they pass muster to display in the museum. Along the way, users can earn points to use to open new worlds, add to the museum and much, much more.

    Features include:

    • Dozens of dinosaurs to photograph
    • Four Worlds with loads of adventure to unlock
    • Build a museum
    • Get your photos evaluated by the Captain
    • Hours of relaxing game play

    Quality

    Jurassic GO is a very high-quality app. There is a walkthrough with printed documentation explaining each new feature as it is unlocked, vivid animation, and a touch-sensitive “camera” that will challenge observation and reflex skills to snap great photos of each make-believe dinosaur. Developers should consider including a parents’ guide, though, so that mentors could more effectively guide young users towards success-it took me quite a bit of trial and error to figure out what was going on and how to use the app.

    Education

    This app is not really intended to be educational.

    Entertainment

    Jurassic GO is highly entertaining and addictive! The more a user plays and becomes involved, the better the game play becomes. Players are invited to explore several different “worlds” in search of elusive dinosaurs to photograph and display in their museum. The dinos are cute and animated, and all very different. Some are sneaky, fast and require fast photography reflexes, while others are slower and take their time waddling around. That makes them much easier to photograph. Nearly every trip will yield at least one or two sightings and hopefully pictures. Once the trip is through, users can show their pictures off to the Captain, who evaluates each for several criteria. Points are awarded for positioning, size, and angle, and if a shot is perfect, it can go in the museum. Medium quality shots are “sold as postcards” as well to help players move forward in the game. Points earn opportunities to get new equipment, expand the museum, and unlock new worlds.

    Value

    Jurassic GO-Dinosaur Snap Adventures costs $3.99 in the App Store, which is a good value, especially if your child enjoys seek and find games, dinosaurs, or any type of game that unlocks privileges for points earned. It’s pricey enough, though, that it would be nice to have a trial version of some sort so families could decide if the game is right for them before they invest.

    Child Friendliness

    This app has unprotected links to ratings, emails, and the open internet.

    • NO 3rd party ads
    • NO in-app purchase
    • YES unprotected access to the internet
    • YES unprotected email and ratings systems

    image (8)
    Quality
    Education
    Entertainment
    Value
    Child Friendly
    Summary
    Blimp Code is a computer programming puzzle that will challenge reading comprehension, memory, and logic skills as players follow along with tutorials and hints, and then attempt to solve the puzzles to save the world.
    4.6

    App Info

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

    Overview

    Blimp Code presents computer coding and logic puzzles based on the backdrop of a futuristic story about saving the planet from ecological disaster. The app has 15 puzzles arranged in order of increasing difficulty, with helpful tutorials and hints to move players along and help them develop skills.

    Features include:

    • Clear tutorials
    • Hints for players
    • Capability to save game progress
    • Settings to control background music and similar features

    Quality

    Blimp Code is a very high quality app that works reliably and without glitches. The tutorials provided prior to starting level one are accessible throughout the game, and are very clear and succinct. Optional hints are provided within each level, as well.

    Education

    Blimp Code is a good tool for helping youth learn the basics of computer programming and develop logical thinking skills. Even if students are not planning a career in programming, learning about the logic of these languages promotes important thinking skills that can be useful in nearly every type of learning. In order to be successful at this game, players must attend to the tutorials and hints very carefully, then apply the information in the game. This exercises comprehension and memory skills, as well.

    Entertainment

    The app begins with a bit of a backstory about how mankind had polluted the world so badly that new creatures were engineered to clean the air. These hybrids between living things and computers got into trouble when sunspots disrupted their mechanisms, and the player’s job is to repair them and so save the world.

    The premise is cute, and the puzzles seem more relevant with the backstory. Some players, though, especially younger ones, are likely to lose interest after a few levels. The complexity increases fairly sharply, so it may be challenging for some to be successful.

    Value

    This app normally costs just under $3 in in the app store, which is very reasonably priced. If your child or teen enjoys computer programming or logic puzzles, then it will make a good addition to your collection. If your child is not into these things, or if he or she has never tried them, it might make more sense to find a programming game that is less expensive to be the first taste of the genre.

    Child Friendliness

    This app has an unprotected link to the internet leading to the developers’ website.

    • NO social media
    • NO 3rd party ads
    • NO in-app purchase
    • YES unprotected link to the internet

    trilospelling

    Trilo Spelling

    Quality
    Education
    Entertainment
    Value
    Child Friendly
    Summary
    A series of unique spelling activities that naturally progress in difficulty will help kids build basic spelling skills in Trilo Spelling.
    4.7

    App Info

    Price: $4.99
    AppStore User Rating: 5
    Download on the App Store

    Overview

    Trilo Spelling is a phonics app designed to help kids improve their knowledge of letter sounds and learn how to spell common words. This is done through a series of simple activities that have kids spell words and identify pictures related to the words they hear. Along the way, they collect puzzle pieces and receive positive reinforcement from the characters in the app. With multiple levels of play and a variety of activities, Trilo Spelling is a quality app that can help children improve their spelling skills.

    Features include:

    • Multiple levels
    • Positive reinforcement
    • Puzzle pieces to collect
    • Individual letter sounds

    Quality

    In general, the app features quality graphics, sounds, and animations. The background, which features a series of mountains, can seem a bit busy at times, especially when kids must create words on top of it. If you accidentally turn of the sound in the info area, you may also have to restart the app to get it to turn back on. Other than that, the app responds well to kids’ actions and features the bright colors and fun sounds that kids enjoy.

    Education

    Included in the app are five different levels of play. Parents will find a detailed explanation of levels in the info section. The levels focus on topics such as short vowel sounds with CVC words, initial and final consonant digraphs, the floss rule, intial blends, and final blends. All of the levels build on one another and are designed to help kids build their skills gradually.

    Each level has kids rotate through a series of phonics activities. Some activities have kids look at a picture and/or listen to a word that they must then spell. Other activities have kids listen to a word and then choose the picture that fits the words. Even activities that are generally the same are presented in multiple formats to help kids stay focused.

    Entertainment

    As kids complete the levels, the characters in the app pop out to provide them with positive reinforcement. This includes phrases such as “that’s the spirit” or “wow.” Some of the activities are also timed to make them more exciting for kids. For example, kids must spell a word before the plane drags a picture related to the word off the screen. Completing words helps kids earn fuel for their plane which they can use to explore the island. They also collect puzzle pieces.

    Value

    This app is priced somewhat higher than many of its counterparts. However, it comes with five different levels of practice, with multiple practice activities at each level. The app was also developed by teachers and uses tried-and-true techniques to help kids build their phonics skills.

    Child Friendliness

    The app is free from social media, external links, ads, and in-app purchases. There is not a protected parent area, however, parents can read through the info screen (accessible through a small icon on the bottom of the main screen) to learn more about the design of the app and the different levels it contains.

    • NO social media
    • NO 3rd party ads
    • NO in-app purchase
    • NO rate us
    • NO more apps

    mullemeck

    Mulle Meck's Cars

    Quality
    Education
    Entertainment
    Value
    Child Friendly
    Summary
    Kids design their own cars and then test them out with Mulle Meck's Cars.
    4.7

    App Info

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

    Overview

    In Mulle Meck’s Cars kids are invited to come into the shop and design their own car. Once they’ve finished, they’re given the opportunity to take the car for a test drive on a mini obstacle course. As kids test out their cars, they learn a little about physics too. This app is a fun way to teach kids a little about science while allowing them be creative at the same time.

    Features include:

    • Customizable cars
    • Concepts related to physics
    • Fun driving game for kids
    • Translated into 9 languages

    Quality

    When kids first open the app, they’re shown the main screen. Tapping the play button in the middle of the screen gives kids access to the workshop. Once they enter the workshop, arrows appear to show kids how to choose the different parts of their cars. The graphics and animation found in the app are high-quality and are easy for kids to interact with. Kids will have little trouble figuring out what to do and how to get their car completed so they can drive it on the track.

    Education

    Developers have designed a course that helps kids learn a little about physics. The connections to physics are subtle and kids who only play the app a few times may not pick up on them. However, as kids test out different cars, they’ll begin to notice how cars with different weights and wheels sizes perform on the obstacle course. For example, a small car may go a lot faster up and down the hills than a larger car with a lot of weight.

    Entertainment

    With over 100 combinations, kids will spend a lot of time designing and testing out different cars. They can choose the front and rear of each car, as well as the wheels it contains. Then, kids are also able to paint the car. They can choose to paint it one color or multiple colors. There are so many possibilities!

    Value

    Kids who love cars will really enjoy this app. It’s priced comparably to other apps of similar quality and really can be a lot of fun for kids.

    Child Friendliness

    On the bottom of the main screen, kids will see small “rate us” and “more apps” buttons. Access to these areas, as well as the parent area, is protected, but the “more apps” button may still take kids’ attention away from the game. The parent info button opens up a webpage where parents will find more information about the app, as well as links to the developer’s social media accounts, and a second invitation to rate the app.

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

    image (7)
    Quality
    Education
    Entertainment
    Value
    Child Friendly
    Summary
    Inclusion Bridges is a simple game that requires players to raise a tower that will fall across a gap to bridge it. The app is intended to raise awareness of social injustices and potential solutions, but it does not do much toward that end, either.
    3.6

    App Info

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

    Overview

    Inclusion Bridges is an awareness tool that offers a simple video game to familiarize players with social problems such as religious discrimination, racism and violence as they also become familiar with solutions such as social programs, education programs, and inclusionary artwork. The game is built around the main character building bridges over gaps to turn the “monsters” into inclusion strategies, which is highly symbolic of the work that the consortium that has created the app, Erasmus and the “Social Inclusion Out of the Box” project, an international partnership representing a number of countries.

    Please note that developers of this app recommend that children under the age of 17 not download or use it due to unrestricted web access.

    Features include:

    • Representation of exclusionary monsters such as racism, unemployment and poverty
    • Representation of inclusion strategies such as school education programs, community artwork and so forth
    • Simple video game to represent changing exclusionary monsters with inclusion strategies
    • Contact information for supporting groups from the various partner countries

    Quality

    Inclusion Bridges is a quality app that allows players to participate in a simple video game to raise awareness of the issues causing exclusion around the world. The video game is symbolic, requiring players to build bridges over gaps by touching the screen to lengthen their bridge so it is just the right length to cover the gap. The app really needs more clear directions for users to make the game a bit more fun-I had quite a time understanding exactly what was needed to complete a level. The English translation has multiple grammar errors that make it difficult to understand the app’s purpose, as well.

    Education

    This app is not really intended to be educational in the academic sense, but rather a tool to raise global awareness of societal problems that force individuals and groups into marginalized positions. Each level lists three such problems, such as age discrimination, violence, and lack of education. When a player successfully builds a bridge, the “monster” turns into an inclusion strategy, such as intercultural activities and professional education. However, the inclusion strategies and the names of the problems only appear at the beginning of each level. After that, they are represented by stylized monster figures of different colors. An awareness tool should probably keep the target information in front of the user more consistently.

    Entertainment

    The challenge of Inclusion Bridges is to build bridges of the correct sizes to bridge the gaps but not to be too large or small. The bridges are built vertically by touching the screen, then they fall into place when the finger is lifted, and if not too long or too short, allow the main character to cross and proceed to the next area needing a bridge. It is very difficult to judge when the vertical line is the correct length for the horizontal gap. If it is too long or too short, the monster will crash the bridge, ending the level and posting a large “FAIL” sign with an option to repeat the level or go on anyway. The game play itself does not change between the 11 levels. In other words, many people would either give up in frustration or become bored with the limited nature of the play.

    Value

    This is a free app, but is not likely to offer much in the way of fun for kids. It also does not do a very good job of its intended purpose of raising awareness of social injustices for adults. As such, developers should include more information about HOW to address the problems listed, rather than simply offering names of types of programs that could eventually offer solutions. It would be nice, also, to see more information about how each of the participating countries are addressing these problems, especially since each level professes to be from a different country, and the app is available in eight different languages.

    Child Friendliness

    Developers of this app recommend that children under the age of 17 not download nor play this app due to unprotected internet links.

    • NO social media
    • NO 3rd party ads
    • NO in-app purchase
    • YES unprotected internet links

    us
    Quality
    Education
    Value
    Child Friendly
    Summary
    United States Map Quiz Education Edition is an easy to use app that allows children to practice their knowledge of U.S. states, capitals, and flags.
    3.8

    App Info

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

    Overview

    United States Map Quiz Education Edition is an all-inclusive education app that provides kids a fun platform to practice their geography skills. This app is packed full of a variety of ways for players to test their knowledge on states, capitals, and flags and would be a perfect addition to any classroom.

    Features include:

    • 15 Game modes
    • States
    • Capitals
    • Flags

    Quality

    While the content of this app is very good, the set-up is not as polished as it could be, especially for a paid app. The graphics and user interface are a bit clunky and not while it’s not difficult to use the app, it’s just not as clean as you might expect it to be. Using the app is fairly simple as players need only to tap the correct states in order to move through the quiz. Polishing some of the graphics and making it more visually appealing would most certainly increase the quality of the app.

    Education

    There’s no doubt this app offers kids tons of educational practice when it comes to knowing their states, capitals flags etc. With 15 different modes organized by type of quiz and region, this app allows children a wide variety of ways to test their knowledge. While this is much more a quiz app, it assumes children know the information ahead of time and are simply testing what they know. It would be nice to have a specific mode that allows children to study the states, capitals and flags in order to learn them prior to testing their knowledge.

    Entertainment

    No rated for entertainment

    Value

    Priced at just under three dollars, this app isn’t one that will break the bank, however the quality of the app leaves much to be desired. While it works well for a quiz app, it’s not as polished as you might expect from a paid app and might be a disappointment to some parents. With that said, it does offer an easy way for kids to quiz themselves on their knowledge about the U.S. states, capitals, and flags.

    Child Friendliness

    United States Map Quiz Education Edition is easy for kids to play and quiz themselves on what they know. With simple tap and touch functionality, children can easily select the correct answer for each quiz. They also have the option of swiping and enhancing the map in order to get a better look at the possible answers.

    While it is easy for kids to use, it’s not completely safe as there are unprotected external links. In addition to the “more apps” link, there is also a “rate this app” link that should really be protected or under a parent only gateway.

    • NO in-app purchase
    • NO social media links
    • YES rate us (unprotected, visible)
    • YES more apps (unprotected, visible)

    fietemath

    Fiete Math

    Quality
    Education
    Entertainment
    Value
    Child Friendly
    Summary
    Build addition and subtraction skills through a unique game that has kids cut up, combine, and group numbers.
    4.7

    App Info

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

    Overview

    Help kids build basic addition, subtraction, and counting skills with Fiete Math. This high-quality, entertaining app has kids build key math skills as they load blocks onto ships. If too many blocks appear on the beach, it’s up to kids to figure out how to get the correct amount onto the ship. Can they do it? This app offers them plenty of opportunities to get it right.

    Features include:

    • Multiple levels
    • Fun animals to unlock
    • Creative backgrounds
    • Interactive practice opportunities

    Quality

    Developers have created an easy-to-navigate app full of addition and subtraction practice opportunities for kids. The app is organized by level and sub-level and kids can easily get where they want to go. All of the sub-levels load quickly and feature high-quality sounds, images, and animations. The one negative of the app is that it can sometimes be difficult to “slice” the blocks to separate them. It’s possible, but it may take a few tries.

    Education

    The app is organized into different levels. These levels include Splitting Numbers, The Magic Five, Plus, Minus, and Practising. There are seven levels in all and each level includes ten sub-levels. At each level, kids must perform a different set of tasks to load the boat with the correct number. All of the tasks involve splitting, combining, or grouping the blocks to get the correct number. Sometimes kids must split a group of blocks multiple times. Other times, they don’t have to do anything to it. As kids complete the task, they learn about the basic principles of counting, addition, and subtraction. While many of the activities may seem repetitive, the app does a great job of helping kids master the concepts and encourages them to use logical thinking skills to get the answers correct.

    Entertainment

    Most of the levels of the game involve the same action – cut up, combine, or group blocks or animals to load the correct number on the ship. However, the developers have added in elements designed to entertain kids as well. These include funny animated characters that appear on the screen and engage in silly students and animal blocks that kids can unlock as they successfully complete levels. Each main level also has backgrounds that are representative of a specific country. For example, The Magic 5 backgrounds are representative of Brazil.

    Value

    Fiete Math has the same style and feel as apps such as DragonBox Numbers, but it comes with a slightly lower price tag. The app offers 7 different skills for kids to practice and 70 sub-levels of practice opportunities.

    Child Friendliness

    A settings section allows users to reset the levels and turn on/off the sound effects and music. This small icon only appears on the main screen. The rest of the app is focused solely on helping kids build their math skills through the creative activities.

    • NO in-app purchase
    • NO 3rd party ads
    • NO rate us (protected, but visible)
    • NO more apps (protected, but visible)

    image (6)
    Quality
    Entertainment
    Value
    Child Friendly
    Summary
    Fiete Sports offers a quick diversion for kids interested in sports by offering races for medals in track, hurdles, swimming, cycling, and shot put. Some will enjoy competing for the chance to stand on the first-place podium at the end of the competition, or trying to achieve a gold first-place medal in each sport.
    4.3

    App Info

    Price: Free
    AppStore User Rating: 2.5
    Download on the App Store

    Overview

    Fiete Sports allows players to “compete” with two opponents in running, cycling, swimming, hurdles and shot put as they trek around the world. Players control the main character by tapping and interacting with the screen, and can win a place on the podium and a medal at the end of the race.

    Features include:

    • Five sports competitions with four more coming soon
    • Funny animations to maintain player interest
    • Art includes flags and stylized landmarks representing many countries
    • Intuitive game play
    • Encouraging sound effects

    Quality

    Fiete Sports is a high quality app that works exactly as intended. Players interact with the screen to control the main character’s speed and performance in the various athletic events. The app is intuitive to use, and completely nonverbal, making it ideal for younger users or those with disabilities. It would be nice, though, if developers had included a parents’ area outlining the benefits of play, ways to extend the learning, and connections that some might not consider, such as the Olympics or other major sporting events.

    Education

    This app is not intended to be educational, but a with a little creativity, parents could add some educational value. Connect the virtual sports with the Olympics and have children play along. Discuss the various countries represented by the flags near the various sports. Go on a virtual scavenger hunt to discover famous landmarks in each country, then use other resources to find out about them.

    Entertainment

    Fiete Sports currently offers five different competitions where the main character (controlled by the player) competes with two computer-generated characters at running, swimming, biking, hurdles and shot put. For each event, the player must interact with the screen in the specified way to increase speed or performance. For example, to make the character run or swim faster, the player must increase the rate of tapping on the screen.

    At this point, this app seems like children would tire of it rather quickly. Even with a vivid imagination, there are only so many times you want to run the same race with a chance of winning first, second or third place.

    Value

    This app is free in the App Store, so there’s no reason not to give it a try if your child enjoys sports. It might engage the imagination, especially during times when sports are in the forefront of the news, such as during the Olympic games.

    Child Friendliness

    This app is child friendly, but does contain a link to “more apps” on the home page that is easily accessible by children. It is protected by a simple parent gate, easily circumvented by children who can add single digits.

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

    commoncore3rd

    3rd Grade Math Common Core

    Quality
    Education
    Value
    Child Friendly
    Summary
    3rd Grade Math Common Core uses a combination of visual images and math games to help students build key math skills.
    4.4

    App Info

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

    Overview

    At first glance, 3rd Grade Math Common Core from Math Galaxy doesn’t look very exciting. The app design isn’t very exciting and it appears a bit dated. However, if you can look beyond the exterior and get into the content, you’ll find an app that is full of math practice activities for students. All of the content in the app has been aligned to the Common Core State Standards and is well-organized, so students can easily get to the skills they need to practice. The questions are presented in a simple format, but they offer an easy way to get students to practice their math skills every day.

    Features include:

    • Illustrated concepts
    • Organized by skill
    • Score tracking
    • Interactive math games

    Quality

    While this app is full of content, its design holds it back from being truly exceptional. The format of the app feels a bit clunky and dated. The app uses a general platform of tables and frames to organize the concept. It doesn’t contain any fancy graphics, text, or sound effects. It’s all focused on math. Students can easily navigate throughout the different topics and answer the questions, but may feel a bit confused if they want to go back (the app only offers a quit button to return to the previous menu). In the review portions, students may also find the app to be a bit cluttered. Text appears in a small box on the bottom lefthand screen, while the visual components are in the larger upper box with tons of white space around them. Teachers can also supposedly record scores for up to 5 students, but figuring out how to set up student names and actually record the scores is a very confusing process. It should also be noted that while the app is designed to work on all devices, the design makes it difficult to use on a smartphone. The bigger the screen, the better.

    Education

    In their descriptions, developers note that this app was not designed to be entertaining. The focus of the app is education, particularly helping build third grade math skills. Students will find practice questions and activities in the main areas of the Common Core standards: Numbers in Base 10, Operations and Algebraic Thinking, Fractions, Measurement and Data, and Geometry. Within each area, the practice opportunities are broken down into subareas. For example, students who select Operations & Algebraic Thinking can work on multiplication tables, 1-digit multiplication, missing numbers, part of a group, 1-digit divisor, word problems, and patterns. Each section also comes with a general review which is presented as either a video or a slideshow within the app.

    Developers note that the concepts are presented in bite-size pieces and include visual elements to reinforce the concepts. While this is true, the design of the app keeps these elements from being truly effective. Students are likely to gloss over the visual images and may feel that even in the bite-size sections, the text can be somewhat heavy, especially in the review activities.

    In addition to the ability to learn about different areas, students can also opt to play one of three math games: Bridge the Swamp, The Money Trail, and Labyrinth. The Money Trail and Bridge the Swamp offer 1-player and 2-player modes, while the Labyrinth can only be played after earning robots for answering questions in the individual lessons.

    Entertainment

    This app is not being rated for entertainment.

    Value

    Those who purchase the app will find that it’s full of content, with a large amount of information and practice questions for each topic. The app works well as a supplement for a standard math textbook and may be worth a download for teachers who want to work additional practice problems into the classroom, particularly if they can display the app on an interactive whiteboard or other enlarged surface during instruction.

    Child Friendliness

    The app has been designed to keep the focus solely on the math. Students have access to the scoring screen that is designed for teachers and could potentially update or delete scores within the app, but they’re not likely to figure out how to do it. Otherwise, the app is free from ads, external links, and other content designed to take students’ focus away from the content.

    • NO in-app purchase
    • NO 3rd party ads
    • NO rate us (protected, but visible)
    • NO more apps (protected, but visible)

    zcooly

    Zcooly Time Ranch

    Quality
    Education
    Entertainment
    Value
    Child Friendly
    Summary
    Set the clock correctly to earn coins to purchase new animals with Zcooly Time Ranch.
    4.3

    App Info

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

    Overview

    Down on the ranch, the farmer needs a helping hand. While he’s busy planting, there are still animals that need to be fed. Kids are invited to come help him out. To feed the animals, kids must set the correct time on the clock. The more clocks they set correctly, the more food and coins they earn. The end result is a fun game for kids that also helps them build their time-telling skills.

    Features include:

    • Digital and analog clocks
    • Fun farm theme
    • 10 different levels
    • Ability to earn coins to buy animals

    Quality

    When kids first open the app, they’re taken through a tutorial that introduces them to the different components of the app. Kids can also return to the tutorial at any time by tapping on the rancher’s icon. A settings section outlines what the various icons within the app mean and also helps kids navigate through the app if they feel confused, but they probably won’t. The app itself is fairly easy to navigate and, once kids start, they’ll be able to work their way through all ten levels without much of a problem. The one area where the app lacks in quality is the graphics. While generally clear, they move a bit slowly and lack a bit of the same polish that you’ll find from larger developers. This won’t prevent kids from playing the game though.

    Education

    Zcooly Time Ranch is, not surprisingly, an app designed to help kids learn to tell time. Kids can play the game using digital clocks, analog clocks, or a combination of both. Before kids start to play, they can practice setting the clock in the Practice section. There, they’re shown a clock and guided through the process of setting it to the correct time. When kids get into the actual game, they’re shown a clock and expected to set it themselves. As kids advance through the levels, the difficulty increases. For example, during the first few days, kids simply set the clock to a given time, but they’re quickly asked to set the clock to half past a specific time or two hours ahead of a particular time. Each individual sub-level tends to focus on one or two ways to set the clock. The app also uses slightly more advanced clock-setting language. For example, instead of saying it’s 12:45, the app will ask kids to set the clock so it is at a quarter to one.

    Entertainment

    While this app teaches kids how to tell time, it also gives them the chance to have a little fun. Every time kids set the clock correctly, they earn coins. They also earn food to feed the animals that can lead to more coins. If kids earn enough coins, they can purchase new animals for the farm. These animals range from typical farm animals to more unusual animals, such as a dinosaur. The more animals kids have, the more quickly coins add up. Some kids may want to save up their coins to purchase a bigger animal right away, but they may do better to buy a few smaller animals first.

    Value

    The app is priced higher than many of its counterparts. It does offer 10 levels with 7 sub-levels within each level and the ability to earn coins to purchase animals for the farm. For teachers or parents looking for a new way to teach kids how to tell time, the price may be justified.

    Child Friendliness

    When kids first open the app, they’re asked whether they want to allow the app to send them notifications. On the main screen, kids will also see an icon for another app and can tap to open a general info screen. This section encourages users to rate the app, but access to the links on the screen is protected, so kids will stay within the app.

    • NO in-app purchase
    • NO 3rd party ads
    • YES rate us (protected, but visible)
    • YES more apps (protected, but visible)

    moonmachine
    Quality
    Entertainment
    Value
    Child Friendly
    Summary
    Sofus and the Moonmachine is an adventurous storybook app that takes readers through a magnificent and interactive journey through space. Fun to read and highly interactive, this app is great for children of all ages.
    4.8

    App Info

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

    Overview

    Sofus and the Moonmachine is an adventure-filled storybook app that takes readers through three chapters of exploring space and helping Sofus on his journey. This interactive storybook app is full of beautiful illustrations, fun sound effects, and interactive activities that children will love as they read through this fun adventure.

    Features include:

    • Narration options
    • Interactive images
    • Gorgeous illustrations
    • Rhyming story

    Quality

    Sofus and the Moonmachine is one app that is full of unique and intricate illustrations that make this storybook app engaging and fun for children to read. The developers have also done an excellent job with the interactive bits throughout that allow readers to tap and touch the images to bring them to life. Overall this app is of very high quality and one that children of all ages will love.

    Education

    Not rated for education.

    Entertainment

    This app offers so much more than just a story for children to enjoy. In addition to enjoying three chapters of the adventurous space story written in rhyming prose, readers will also love the fun, interactive illustrations that help to bring the story to life. With animations, narration options, and a few fun space games throughout the story, this app offers loads of entertainment and adventure that children of all ages will love.

    Value

    Priced at just under four dollars, this app is a good deal. While it may be a little more than parents are used to paying for a storybook app, it is worth every penny. The developers have put a lot of time and effort into the presentation of the story including interactive illustrations and narration options that add a ton of value to this digital story. Overall it’s a great value.

    Child Friendliness

    Parents will be happy to know that the developers have done an excellent job of keeping this app easy to use and safe for children of all ages. It includes narration options so children can read on their own or with the narrator as well as move through the fun interactive bits that are included in the images and illustrations. There are arrows at the bottom of each page that also help little ones move through the story from page-to-page as well. While adding the text-highlighting feature would add a bit more of an educational component to the app, it is very well done as it is and parents will certainly appreciate the fact that there are no external links or advertisements to distract children from the app.

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

    Copy of bestappsforkids - design 2(18)

    Here are some great reviewed apps for spelling, phonics skills, listening skills, and more! These apps are perfect for second grade students.

    Copy of bestappsforkids - design 2(18)

    Planet Lettra

    Planet Lettra is a playground for word-building. Users are magically transported to the mythical Planet Lettra where letters float in bubbles in the sky. When the bubbles bump, the letters combine, and sooner or later, make words. The beings on the planet eat letter groups of various types. Together, the activities set the stage for productive letter play for prereaders, emergent readers, and experienced readers alike.

    Check it out on the App Store.

    Sound Salad

    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.

    Check it out on the App Store.

    Attributes by Math Doodles

    Attributes by Math Doodles will challenge users’ ability to find patterns and commonalities, to notice and distinguish among fine details, and to sort and categorize finely detailed drawings. Students who play will be amazed to find that math includes such a wide array of skills, and also to find that it can be so much FUN!

    Check it out on the App Store.

    Highlights: All About

    Highlights: All About allows young children to explore child-friendly topics in typical Highlights magazine style. Each section includes stories, puzzles and activity ideas that will help children take their understanding to the next level.

    Check it out on the App Store

    Spelling Bug Hangman

    Spelling Bug Hangman provides over 900 built-in spelling words and the capability to add your own words to a hangman game. Users can play alone or with a friend. Players also earn coins to use to purchase hints and other helps to improve their play.

    Check it out on the App Store.

    Copy of bestappsforkids - design 2(15)

    Here are reviewed and recommended apps for Kindergarten that will be great for your child or your classroom. The apps we have recommended cover important skills such as developing high-level thinking and spatial skills, building reading and written expressions skills, and mastering basic sight words.

    Check out these apps!

    Copy of bestappsforkids - design 2(15)

    Bamba Space Station

    Bamba Space Station is a fanciful outerspace playground filled with rooms to explore, machines to manipulate, and space friends to play with. The app encourages creativity, inventiveness, and storytelling as young users visit the many rooms on the Space Station.

    Check it out on the App Store.

    Learn Spanish with Stories By Gus on the Go>Learn Spanish with Stories by Gus on the Go

    Gus on the Go teaches basic Spanish vocabulary to express the characters and actions of familiar stories. It offers interactive exercises, an animated e-book, and a game to build fluency with the words and sentences.

    Check it out on the App Store.

    Winky Think Logic Puzzles

    Winky Think Logic Puzzles offer a ton of fun that is so engaging that users won’t even realize just how important the skills are to learning. Each puzzle provides a mental challenge that requires problem solving, logic, memory, eye-hand coordination and other skills that form foundations for learning.

    Check it out on the App Store.

    Letter Cross-Tracking

    Letter Cross-Tracking shows groups of commonly-confused letters and those that frequently cause issues with reversals and inversions on tic-tac-toe-like grids with four to nine spaces. Players need to look at a model showing two or three letters and choose the matching grids from the field of four to sixteen elements.

    Check it out on the App Store.

    Sentence Builder

    The Sentence Builder App helps students develop word recognition, listening, and sentence skills. It presents words in random order, then asks players to drag the words into place to make the narrated sentence.

    Check it out on the App Store.

    image (4)
    Quality
    Education
    Entertainment
    Value
    Child Friendly
    Summary
    Solar Family is a very gentle and somewhat fictional introduction to outer space and the solar system that includes some interactive pages and a few simple games.
    4.2

    App Info

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

    Overview

    Solar Family is an interactive ebook and video app that tells a pleasant story about the planets of the solar system, our sun, and Halley’s Comet. Users can choose to watch a video or to use the narrated ebook, which includes interactions on most pages.

    Features include:

    • Learn facts about the planets and solar system
    • Play mini-games on many pages
    • Learn to spell the planet names
    • Move at an individualized pace
    • See and hear words of the story at the same time

    Quality

    Solar Family is a high-quality app, but could use clearer directions for adults guiding young children. The app is not as intuitive as one might expect for having no information about usage and features in its parents section. On one trial, the spelling game did not load correctly for the outer planets for some reason, which was a little frustrating. It’s also not really clear when there’s a challenge on a page that prevents moving on with the story. Users need to press the page turn arrow several times to get a clue that something else is needed, and it’s not always clear what the necessary action is.

    Education

    This app presents a nice story about how the planets came to be in their respective orbits and how Halley’s Comet visits the solar system. Developers did a nice job of embedding interesting facts about the planets and the sun in the interactions of the story.

    That being said, some may have a concern that some of the information is not particularly accurate in a few ways. The planets are shown to be various sizes, but the relationship between them is not accurate. For example, Neptune is depicted as being smaller than Mercury, which is not truly the case.

    Most pages of the story have interactive hot spots that cause the planets to share one of two to four little tidbits of information. There are a few pages that have activities, as well, such as a page where users need to draw a circular orbit for a planet around the sun.

    There is a video version of the story and the ebook version. Both include narration, and there seems to be no way to turn that off for older children in the ebook. The main page of the app also includes a spelling game activated by tapping each planet. Letters in bubbles appear, and users are challenged to spell the name of each planet. Though the app’s description in the App Store indicates 8 levels of spelling games, each planet had the same activity as far as I could see.

    Entertainment

    Solar Family is engaging for younger users, especially if they are already interested in planets and space. The referencing to Halley’s Comet may be somewhat confusing to children in this age group, since it is not currently visible and won’t be seen again for decades yet. The games included are simple, and will be enjoyable for younger children, but likely will not provide any lasting challenge for anyone past preschool.

    Value

    This app is fun to use, but I’m not sure it will have much replay value for kids past preschool age. It seems like once a child has completed the story and spelled the planet names, they are likely to put it aside in favor of more interactive and challenging activities. It is also a concern that some of the information in the app does not seem to be as accurate as it might be.

    Child Friendliness

    This app is child friendly.

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

    wuwu
    Summary
    Wuwu & Co. is a storybook app that takes children on a 3D adventure full of magic and wonder. Exciting, entertaining and great for children of all ages!

    App Info

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

    Overview

    Wuwu & Co. is an app unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. This storybook app takes children on an amazing adventure beyond just the story with unique 3D effects. By holding their device upright they can move around to explore a virtual world of wonder all the while uncovering new stories and characters along the way. Interactive, engaging, and very well done, this is one app children of all ages are going to love!

    Features include:

    • 3D features
    • Multiple stories
    • Unique concept
    • Narration options

    Quality

    Wuwu & Co. is a high quality and incredibly creative app that is full of fabulous 3D effects that allow readers to pick up their device and explore an entirely new world. The developers have done an excellent job of creating very intricate and unique illustrations and images that children will love to explore as they follow along with the story. While the concept is quite unique, it might take little ones a bit to get the hang of how to use the app, however once they do, they are going to love it! Very well done!

    Education

    Not rated for education.

    Entertainment

    Wuwu & Co. is an incredibly engaging and highly entertaining app. Not only does it offer several fun stories for children to explore, it also allows children to enter this wonderful winter wonderland with 3D effects by simply picking up their device and moving it around. This apps takes the storybook app to an entirely new level. While it doesn’t include any additional games for children to enjoy, the storybook app is a bit of a game in and of itself. One thing is for sure, children are going to love playing with this app!

    Value

    Priced at just under three dollars this app is a great value. When you consider the narration options, the incredible 3D effects, high quality graphics and the wide variety of stories included, this app is one children will enjoy for hours.

    Child Friendliness

    The developers have done an excellent job making Wuwu & Co. an app that is safe and easy to use for children of all ages. While it may take a bit to get used to how the 3D effects work, children are able to enjoy the variety of stories following along with the narrator or on their own. Parents will also be happy to know that this app is free of advertisements and in-app purchases that might otherwise distract children from the app.

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

    myworldofatoms

    My World of Atoms

    Quality
    Education
    Entertainment
    Value
    Child Friendly
    Summary
    Learn about the elements on the Periodic Table while drilling your way through a pixelated world in My World of Atoms.
    4.9

    App Info

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

    Overview

    My World of Atoms offers kids and teens a unique way to learn about the elements on the Periodic Table. This educational game app has kids drill through a pixelated world to obtain the various elements on the Periodic Table. Then they head back to the lab and combine those elements to create different compounds. As they do, they learn about the makeup each element and how each element is used. This highly entertaining app is a fun way to get kids interested in science.

    Features include:

    • Interactive Periodic Table
    • Fun drilling game
    • Challenges to advance through levels
    • Focus on science content

    Quality

    This app has the backing of some major developers, including Samsung and Apps for Good, so it’s no surprise that it is a high-quality app. On the main screen, kids will see three icons: Start (or Continue), Reset Game, and About. They’ll also see how much of the app they’ve completed and their current level. When kids first start playing the game, they’re taken through a short tutorial. After collecting Hydrogen and Oxygen to make water and advance to level 2, they’re left to complete the rest of the app themselves. However, they can tap on the app’s main character in the lab if they need help.

    Kids will find that the app moves fairly smoothly. Their goal is to find elements which they do by drilling through blocks of sand, water, dirt, rock, and other natural elements. A meter on the side of the screen displays how much power their drill has. If the drill runs out of power, kids must head back to the shade to refresh. Thankfully, the drill reloads quickly so kids can get back to drilling.

    Education

    The main goal of the app is to teach kids about the Periodic Table and the elements it contains. This is done in a few different ways. As kids find elements while drilling, they’re shown a short description of the element which includes the chemical symbol, atomic number, and a brief explanation of what it is used for. In the Laboratree, kids can view the same information by tapping on a specific element on the Periodic Table. As kids collect elements, they can also access their log book which displays different compounds they can make. The name and equation for each compound is displayed next to its components. When kids combine different elements to make a compound, they’re shown a description of the compound and its uses.

    Entertainment

    In addition to teaching kids about the elements on the Periodic Table, My World of Atoms is entertaining. It offers a simple game – drill through the land to collect elements, and then combine those elements to make compounds. Every time kids make a compound, they advance a level. The game adds challenges by restricting certain parts of the land to certain levels and by adding dangerous areas, such as hot coals and electric shocks. Kids must also pay attention to their drill’s power level. This can be a bit frustrating when they’re on a roll, but it keeps them from racing through the app without stopping to actually learn something along the way. Kids will also learn to be strategic about where they drill to maximize their drill’s power.

    Value

    The app was developed by teachers and has been designed to provide both teachers and students with a free educational resource. As far as free apps go, this one definitely stands out. It is full of high-quality content and offers a fun game for kids to play. It’s worth a download to help kids learn about the Periodic Table.

    Child Friendliness

    Kids won’t find much content designed to take them away from the app. On the main screen they will see an icon for the About section which provides information about how the app was created and links to the app’s terms of use.

    • NO rate us
    • NO more apps
    • NO 3rd party ads
    • NO in-app purchase
    • NO external links

    aikoegor

    Aiko & Egor: Animation 4 Autism

    Quality
    Education
    Entertainment
    Value
    Child Friendly
    Summary
    Get to know Aiko & Egor, two friendly animated fish who want to help kids with autism develop key skills.
    4.5

    App Info

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

    Overview

    Parents, teachers, and others who work with kids with autism have a new resource designed to help autistic kids learn and practice key developmental skills. The app centers around a video series starring two fish – Aiko & Egor. In each episode, the characters interact with one another. After watching the video, kids can then practice engaging in similar conversations and activities. While kids start on the app, they finish away from the app, building skills in real life.

    Features include:

    • Animated videos
    • Learning activities
    • Engaging characters
    • Skill-building opportunities

    Quality

    To interact with the app, parents must login using Facebook, e-mail, or Google. Once logged in, parents have access to the first episode of the app. The episodes are the main component of the app. In the settings section, parents can opt to download the videos locally or stream them. Each episode is nearly 10 minutes long, so parents who opt to stream the videos should have access to a strong internet connection. Once parents have the app set up, kids can begin watching the videos. Each episode can be viewed in its entirety or broken down into smaller components in the “Learn Together” section. Clear icons help parents and kids easily find what they’re looking for in the app, but many of the components are protected by parental blocks because the app is designed to be used by parents and children together.

    Education

    Each episode in the app features a common theme. For example, Episode 1 is “Shapes” and Episode 2 is “Animals”. Each episode is loosely based on the theme, but features other activities not related to the theme. When kids choose an episode, they’ll discover four main options: Full Episode, Learn Together, Materials Needed, and Skill Building (coming soon at time of publication). The Full Episode allows kids to watch the entire episode at once. The episode is also broken down into smaller chunks in the Learn Together section. There, parents can watch the episode with their children and complete the prompts that appear on the screen during the episode. In the Materials Needed section, parents will find the materials that connect with the Learn Together activities. These activities are designed to help kids develop key social and emotional skills, with a few basic skills, such as shape and color recognition thrown in.

    While interacting with the app, parents are frequently presented with survey questions. These questions are designed to help the app’s developers conduct research and to help parents track their children’s progress. However, it’s not clear how or if parents can currently access reports related to their child’s progress.

    Entertainment

    As kids watch the videos, they’ll learn more about Aiko and Egor. The characters engage in everyday conversations and activities, so kids will feel like they get a glimpse of their daily life. They also try to make the situations entertaining by throwing in fun games and animations. For example, kids get to search in a treasure chest with the fish. Through the learning activities, kids are able to further connect with the animated characters by engaging in similar activities on their own or with the support of an adult.

    Value

    The app is free to download. With a free download, users have access to the first episode. Additional episodes are available through an in-app purchase. The price of each episode is similar to the cost of purchasing an episode of a TV show on iTunes. Parents should try the first episode with their children before deciding whether to download more.

    Child Friendliness

    The app is designed for parents and other adults to use alongside children. Many of its components, such as access to the learn together section, access to in-app purchases, and access to social media, are protected by a parental block. Parents must also login to the app using their Facebook, Google, or e-mail account.

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

    image (79)
    Quality
    Education
    Entertainment
    Value
    Child Friendly
    Summary
    World of the Wild will encourage kids to think about conservation and the environment as they use their logic and reasoning to solve interactive problems for the animals.
    3.8

    App Info

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

    Overview

    World of the Wild is a simulation game that allows players to participate in various ecology-based activities, including cleaning up oil spills, planting grass, trees and bushes, and rescuing endangered animals from various sorts of calamities. Each activity is interconnected, and earns points that can be used to complete other activities. Extra points can be purchased or earned by taking quizzes about conservation and the environment.

    Features include:

    • Unlock new resources and animals as the game progresses
    • Learn through pop quizzes
    • Discover issues facing the environment
    • Learn about endangered animals
    • Kli>Experience the interconnection between all parts of the planet

    Quality

    This app is well-made, with each feature working as described. The tutorial could use a little work, however. The game is quite convoluted, with various types of points earned and spent for various aspects of the game, and it takes quite a bit of attention to keep it all straight. The tutorial is mostly made of visual demonstrations with a sentence or two of explanation, and I found it to be quite confusing and difficult to remember. It would be good to supplement it with a written explanation that is all on one screen, and perhaps a chart or two would help.

    Education

    World of the Wild does a great job of simulating the various things that need to be done to preserve and improve the environment. Game play includes activities such as planting grass, bushes and trees, cleaning up oil spills, scaring away poachers, and much more. Each activity costs some kind of points, though, so players will need to budget carefully and spend their points so they have the most impact on the environment. Players have an opportunity to earn additional points by answering questions on quizzes.

    The reading level of this app is high, likely middle school level or beyond. For this reason, many younger children, though they might enjoy the game play and be interested in the information, may have trouble enjoying the game.

    The quizzes are very educational, but some players may find them quite frustrating. The information required to answer does not seem to be readily available within the game play of the app, but rather things that might be learned in science class or through research. It would be better if the quizzes related more to the actual content of the app, or were easier to find within the app if it is indeed in there somewhere.

    Entertainment

    One of my most serious concerns about this app is the pace of game play. When players choose to spend points on planting grass, for example, it starts a countdown between placement and growth that can last 30 minutes (in real time). That’s quite a delay in the game play. Players have the option of “spending acorns” to speed the timer up, but it takes quite a while to accumulate enough acorns to make a difference after the initial bank provided is depleted. Acorns (and the other types of points) can be acquired through an in-app purchase, as well, and it seems like many young players may be quite tempted by this option.

    Value

    This app is free in the App Store. The information provided is valuable, and the concepts reinforced are outstanding. Game play can be quite slow, though, without acquiring extra supplies of the various points offered. There are, however, in-app purchase options that are unprotected by any sort of parent gate within the app. If a child clicked on them, the only thing between them and an unauthorized purchase is the parent’s Apple ID information. That being said, the developers indicate that the app provides options to support any of the 17 charities that it is connected with. It is unclear if the in-app purchase of points helps in this regard or if donations are made separately.

    Child Friendliness

    While most of this app is child-friendly, it is very disconcerting that children can access the in-app purchases so readily. For this reason, I would not recommend the app for players any younger than middle school ages, and only then if parents or teachers are certain that the kids can be trusted not to make unauthorized purchases of the various kinds of points. It is also easy for children to access unprotected links to social media and email.

    • NO 3rd party ads
    • YES unprotected links to social media and email
    • YES in-app purchase, unprotected

    chortopia
    Quality
    Education
    Entertainment
    Value
    Child Friendly
    Summary
    Chortopia makes chore time fun with stories, games, and lots of adventures. Perfect for families with multiple children and parents who want to teach a bit of responsibility.
    4.7

    App Info

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

    Overview

    Chortopia isn’t your typical chore tracking app for kids. This app makes chore time much more entertaining and engaging by turning it into a fun adventure. Chortopia uses a combination of narrated story-telling, games, and adventure to create a chore app that makes doing chores fun for kids! Simply put, it’s every parent’s dream!
    Features include:

    • 4 Child profiles
    • Hundreds of interactive illustrations
    • 11 Playing cards to collect

    Quality

    The developers have done an excellent job making Chortopia engaging, entertaining, and practical to use. They have taken an easy to use chore tracking app and turned it into a full-blown adventure with rewards, games, and narrated story lines. This creative app also has the ability for parents to set up, up to 4 child profiles and select up to 3 chores to complete for each advenchore. The developers have also used high quality graphics and narration throughout making this app even more appealing for both parents and children.

    Education

    The main concept behind this app is to teach children responsibility and helping in a fun way. While parents can set up specific tasks for children to complete, the players are responsible for completing each task and checking it off on their list for their parent to confirm. The idea is for children to complete their chores in order to move forward on their advenchores and to move forward with the story. With a bit of practice, this app has the ability to get kids excited about helping out and doing their part at home by watering plants, taking out the garbage, using their manners etc.

    Entertainment

    The entertainment value in this app is unlike anything I have seen in a chore app. The developers have created an engaging and exciting concept that makes each chore an adventure for kids. Each chore is weaved into a fun story for kids to follow along with as they complete more tasks. They also have the opportunity to earn and collect playing cards that they can use to play the card game that is also included in the app. Games, adventure and stories too, this app is highly entertaining.

    Value

    Priced at just under four dollars this app might be a bit more than parents are used to paying, but the value you receive is incredible. The concept itself is highly creative, engaging, and educational for kids. As a parent, this app is totally worth the cost if it gets kids excited about helping around the house.

    Child Friendliness

    In addition to being easy to use for both parents and children it is completely safe too! With no advertisements, in-app purchases, or social media links, this app is great for children of all ages to play and use. This app is especially useful for families with multiple children as it offers up to four profiles.

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

    namoo

    NAMOO - Wonders of Plant Life

    Quality
    Education
    Entertainment
    Value`
    Child Friendly
    Summary
    Learn all about plants, from plant cells and root structure to the pollination process, in NAMOO - Wonders of Plant Life, an educational app designed to make science more engaging.
    4.7

    App Info

    Price: $3.99
    AppStore User Rating: 5
    Download on the App Store

    Overview

    “You can find joy everywhere if you only look close enough” is the quote that opens NAMOO – Wonders of Plant Life. Developers of the app have worked hard to make that quote a reality for kids. This beautiful app combines calming background music with detailed illustrations and informative texts to help kids learn all about plant life. Kids will explore different aspects of plant life, from the composition of plant cells to the types of roots plants have. Throughout the app, kids will discover interactive diagrams, animated illustrations, and other engaging contnet designed to help them understand the content. At the end of the day, developers have created a quality app that can enhance science instruction and help kids enjoy learning about plant life.

    Features include:

    • Wealth of science content
    • High-quality text
    • Animated and interactive illustrations
    • Soothing background music

    Quality

    When kids first open the app, they’re greeted with soothing background music and a quote. From there, they’re taken to the main screen which features a tree surrounded by four different icons: a leaf, a flower, a stump, and tree roots. Each icon takes kids to a different section of the app so they can learn about a different aspect of plant life. The app is further broken up within each section, making it easy for kids to make their way logically through the content. All of the content in the app loads well and works properly. Kids will find it easy to interact with the interactive illustrations that help them understand different parts of a plant and processes related to plant life.

    Education

    Teachers and parents will find that this app works well as an alternative to a traditional textbook. Kids can learn about different aspects of plant life, from the makeup of a plant cell to the process of pollination. The app is divided into four distinct sections that are divided into smaller sections. Each section contains text and animated or interactive illustrations to help enhance the text. Kids do have do a lot of reading in the app, but the text is written in fairly kid-friendly language and supported by plenty of visual details to help improve comprehension. The app could benefit from pronouncing a few of the more difficult words for kids, but teachers and parents can help with that too.

    Entertainment

    Developers have attempted to take science content that can sometimes be presented dryly and spruce it up without the content getting lost in the process. Through the use of interactive models and animated illustrations, kids will enjoy learning about the different parts of plants and related processes, such as pollination. For example, kids can tap on different parts of a plant cell to read information descriptions. They can also release pollen into the air and help pollinate a flower.

    Value

    This app functions like an interactive textbook and is full of information about plants and key processes. It comes with a lot of educational value, particularly for teachers looking to enhance their curriculum and move away from traditional textbooks.

    Child Friendliness

    On the main screen, kids will find a small exclamation point which leads to a protected parent area. Adults are prompted to enter their birth year to access the area. Inside, they’ll find links to rate the app and contact developers, as well as information about the app. The rest of the app is completely child-friendly and easy for kids to navigate.

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

    image (78)
    Quality
    Education
    Entertainment
    Value
    Child Friendly
    Summary
    Malama Honua My Voyage is an outstanding app that will fascinate kids and adults alike with a detailed and engaging description of Polynesian and Hawaiian history and culture, interspersed with interesting and varied interactive activities and laced with positive core values.
    4.8
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    App Info

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

    Overview

    The My Voyage app will take users on an elaborate adventure through documentary-like videos, games, and more as the main characters explore Hawaiian and Polynesian history and culture. The main characters learn history and ancient skills like weaving and boat-making of the Polynesian people who later settled in Hawaii. In the process, they also discover solid traditional values like caring for the earth and respecting elders.

    Features include:

    • Over 30 minutes of live-action video
    • Video encounters with Hawaiian cultural experts
    • A variety of interactive activities
    • Visual and auditory instruction in Hawaiian words
    • Parent and teacher guides with supplemental curriculum

    Quality

    My Voyage is a very high quality app. It’s well designed for the target age group of young elementary-aged students, but the rich and varied content will make it appeal to older children and even adults. Developers are right when they advertise that it makes a great family activity!

    Education

    My Voyage is very educational. It makes social studies come alive through accessible and age-appropriate video that does not talk down to children, and interactive activities. The information conveyed is unusual, and not a topic that most people will be very familiar with, no matter what their age.

    Each section begins with a high-quality video that follows the main characters on their journey to learn more about their culture and history. The children encounter a host of helpful people who make the lessons come alive. Then users are invited to play an interactive game related to the topic of the segment. The games are varied, and sometimes demand dexterity and coordination and other times tap into mental agility. There is a very nice variety!

    Best of all, the app makes seamless transitions from the real-life video segments to the animated and interactive sections. Viewers get so caught up in the experience that they hardly notice moving from one to the other.

    A host of positive values are stressed throughout the app, as well. Respect for diversity, care for the environment, learning lessons from history, and listening to elders are just a few of the values stressed in subtle ways by every aspect of the app.

    Entertainment

    This app is highly engaging and entertaining, and it’s quite likely that kids will not want to put it down until going all the way through it, then they will come back to it again and again. There are over 30 minutes of video interspersed with at least eight interactive activities. Best of all, the developers indicate that this is the first in a planned series. I can’t wait to see what comes next!

    Value

    This app costs 99 cents on the App Store, and that’s a great value. It will take approximately 45 minutes to go through the activities one time, and many are made to randomize on each play through, so they will be different when your child comes back to them. The app is extremely high-quality and well-made, and so is well-worth the minimal investment.

    Child Friendliness

    My only complaint about this app is that there is an open and unprotected link to your web browser on the front page, right where young children would be likely to find it easily. The link opens a page that tells how to access the teacher and parent guides as well as supplemental lesson plans, but it would be easy for a youngster to get out onto the open internet with no protections. This link should be behind a parent gate!

    • Parent area
    • NO social media
    • NO 3rd party ads
    • NO in-app purchase
    • YES unprotected link to open internet that contains parent/teacher information

    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: $0.99
    AppStore User Rating:
    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.
    4.3

    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:

    • Free lessons to sample the program
    • Supplemental activities available
    • 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. The app utilizes technology that the developers term “Learning Gears” and will adapt if the selected content is too easy or too difficult.

    There are five types of 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, use the app with multiple learners, download supplemental activities, and activate offline play for times when an internet connection is unavailable.

    The Games section includes simple, age-appropriate interactive activities. For example, the Animals section names farm animals as they are dragged to the bath tub, and gives users the opportunity to wash, dry and brush each in turn. A Video section shares a catchy tune with animation, and the My Teacher section shows a live teacher going over the words for the lesson. The Writing section allows users to trace related alphabet letters, and the Printables section (accessible only through a Parent Gate) takes users to the developers’ website where printable pdfs can be downloaded to continue the educational fun off line.

    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. A few samples of the five types of lessons available for free, including 4 games, 5 videos, 4 My Teacher lessons, 6 Writing lessons, 4 sets of Supplemental Materials are included in the free sample, which is a very nice array to see what the app can do. The app indicates that an additional five lessons are “coming soon.” However, in order to see the other materials, use 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, and that users will be billed $59.99 after the first free month for an annual 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 with a no-fee cancellation at any time. 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, including links to paid subscription content. Clicking these links leads to a page detailing the free one month trial subscription, with the actual “start” link on the page protected by a parent link. 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)

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