4.5 stars – excellent apps

image (29)
Quality
Education
Entertainment
Value
Child Friendly
Summary
IQ Safari MATH is an outstanding app for providing finely-tuned computation practice at the elementary levels (simple addition through division with five digit numbers) in an upbeat and friendly way. Kids will love the array of awards and incentives, so they just may forget that they are learning!
4.9

App Info

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

Overview

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

Features include:

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

Quality

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

Education

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

Entertainment

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

Value

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

Child Friendliness

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

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

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

App Info

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

Overview

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

Features include:

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

Quality

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

Education

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

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

Entertainment

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

Value

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

Child Friendliness

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

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

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

App Info

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

Overview

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

Features include:

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

Quality

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

Education

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

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

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

Entertainment

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

Value

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

Child Friendliness

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

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

wordmatch2

Spelling Bug: Word Match

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

App Info

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

Overview

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

Features include:

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

Quality

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

Education

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

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

Entertainment

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

Value

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

Child Friendliness

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

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

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

App Info

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

Overview

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

Features include:

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

Quality

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

Education

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

Entertainment

Not rated for entertainment.

Value

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

Child Friendliness

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

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

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

App Info

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

Overview

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

Features include:

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

Quality

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

Education

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

Entertainment

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

Value

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

Child Friendliness

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

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

image (26)
Quality
Education
Entertainment
Value
Child Friendly
Summary
A Little Goat Builds the World is a unique and fun ebook designed for young children with some surprising features that will intrigue and delight readers.
4.7

App Info

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

Overview

A Little Goat Builds the World is an interactive ebook designed to intrigue young children. Pages turn with a swipe of the finger, but users are in for a great surprise. This ebook turns the top halves of pages separately from the bottom halves, making a much more intricate story that will be new and different nearly every time you read it.

Features include:

  • Interactive, non-linear story
  • Hidden interactions
  • Various types of interactions to build fine motor skills
  • Elegant illustrations
  • Engaging music, sound effects and prose

Quality

A Little Goat Builds the World is a high-quality interactive ebook designed for young children. Developers built some creative features into the design of this app, particularly the page arrangement. The top half and bottom half of the pages are controlled separately, creating dozens of possible storylines. That in itself is a marvel! In addition, the app features hidden interactions on each page and more. The two drawbacks that I noticed, however, were that there does not seem to be any sort of exit button or system, and there is not a clear set of directions so that adults can guide and assist children effectively. This book is so unusual that parents may need a little help in understanding how to use it effectively with their kids.

Education

A Little Goat Builds the World is designed for young children to enjoy. The split page arrangement means that children can swipe tops and bottoms of pages in any order to create new paths through the story. As different page halves are paired together, the text changes to make the page stand together as a whole, so there are countless possibilities, and it will definitely take a while for children to uncover all of the possible pieces to the story. The rhyming text has a pleasant, lilting quality when read aloud, making it great to share with pre-readers.

Each page of the ebook also includes hidden interactions that encourage youngsters to explore using various types of fine motor skills, including swiping, rotating, dragging, and more. One concern, however, is that some of the interactions are very difficult to find, and kids may overlook them. Developers should consider including a parents’ guide to ensure that hurried parents know how to get the most out of the app. It would also be nice if the book had an optional read-aloud system so younger kids could enjoy the story along with the interactions even if they can’t read.

Entertainment

This unique ebook will really appeal to young users because of the unusual set up of the pages and story. It will seem like the book is different each time they read through it, which will add to the play value. The interactions are fun, as well. For example, there is a spot where users can drag the wind to blow on the napping goat, waking him with a tumble that little children will find irresistible.

Value

This app is priced at $1.99 in the App Store, and it’s a good value. Children are likely to return to it again and again because of the changing nature of the story. The only drawback is that some of the app’s features are challenging to find, so if a child is not a diligent explorer, they may well be overlooked, and the app relegated to the “boring” list when it should not be.

Child Friendliness

This app is very child-friendly. The link to the online privacy policy is effectively concealed behind a parent gate that requires reading and comprehension of unusual directions.

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

seterra

Seterra Geography

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

App Info

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

Overview

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

Features include:

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

Quality

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

Education

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

Entertainment

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

Value

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

Child Friendliness

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

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

veggiebottoms

Veggie Bottoms Kitchen

Quality
Education
Entertainment
Value
Child Friendly
Summary
Head into the kitchen and get cooking with the Chef Monty in Veggie Bottoms Kitchen. Discover lots of healthy recipes too.
4.5

App Info

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

Overview

Chef Monty’s kitchen is open for business! Kids can enter Chef Monty’s kitchen and create their own new smoothie recipes using a variety of ingredients. A brussel sprouts, peanut, lemon, kiwi smoothie? A pear, blueberry, kiwi, asparagus smoothie? Anything is possible in the kitchen. Kids can mix and match fruits and veggies to try to unlock Chef Monty’s recipes. When they’re done making smoothies, they can also view a host of real recipes to try out in the kitchen (with a grown-up’s help, of course).

Features include:

  • Create your own smoothies
  • Learn fruit and vegetable facts
  • Unlock smoothie recipes
  • Discover nut-free, egg-free, dairy-free, and vegan recipes

Quality

Veggie Bottoms Kitchen is organized into two different sections: Test Kitchen and Chef’s Kitchen. Arrow icons help kids easily navigate from one area to the next. On each screen, kids will also see a question mark. Tapping on that question mark will reveal detailed instructions for each page. As kids play, they’ll encounter quality animations and fun sound effects. There are a couple awkward components. For example, when kids add a fruit to their smoothie, the boy in the app shares a fact about the fruit, but he reads the fact in some sort of gibberish. Kids must read the text bubble to know what he said. The app can also feel a bit buys at times. There is a lot of small text on the screen and, on the smoothie screen, kids are shown an additional button to explore recipes featuring one of the ingredients in the smoothie. Overall, the app is well organized and features quality animations, but a few components, such as the text size and extra buttons, could be improved.

Education

This app is designed to teach kids about cooking and provide a subtle message about healthy eating. Kids can make their own combinations of smoothies by dragging four different ingredients into the boxes. As they drag the ingredients, they also learn facts about each fruit and vegetable. For example, kiwi grow on vines and chard contains Vitamin K. Unfortunately these facts are read aloud in some gibberish language. Although the facts also appear in English in a text bubble, it would benefit kids to be able to hear the facts aloud.

In addition to teaching kids about fruits and vegetables, the app also provides kids with tons of recipes that they can make in their own kitchen. When kids finish making their smoothie, they are asked if they want to see a list of recipes featuring one of the ingredients in that smoothie. For example, they may see recipes that feature brussel sprouts or recipes that feature lemons. Kids can also access recipes in the Chef’s Kitchen. There they can organize the recipes by dietary restriction. Kids can discover dairy-free, nut-free, egg-free, and vegan recipes. This makes the app a great resource for parents of kids who have severe food allergies or who choose to live a vegan lifestyle.

Entertainment

Kids will have fun putting together smoothies and trying to guess Chef Monty’s recipes. Chef Monty’s reactions to their concoctions will amuse kids and entice them to create even zanier combinations. Kids who enjoy cooking with also find it fun to discover new recipes in the app and try making them in their own kitchen.

Value

The real value in this app comes from the collection of recipes it contains. Parents who want their kids to eat healthier or who have kids with food allergies may find that the app helps get their kids more excited about healthy eating and cooking.

Child Friendliness

Parents will find a “Rate Me” line on the main screen of the app, but access to the actual rating screen is protected by a parental lock. The app also contains a credits screen and help buttons that simply describe how kids can interact with each page. All of the content in the app is child friendly. However, the recipes the app contains are designed for kids to make with parental supervision.

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

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

App Info

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

Overview

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

Features include:

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

Quality

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

Education

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

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

Entertainment

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

Value

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

Child Friendliness

This app is not intended for use by children.

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

blabla
Quality
Education
Value
Child Friendly
Summary
Bla Bla Box is an easy to use early learning app that helps children combine letters together to learn sounds, syllables, and words. This app is perfect for early readers!
4.9

App Info

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

Overview

Bla Bla Box is a unique and fun, early learning app that helps early readers piece together the sounds of the alphabet in order to create various words. While the concept is simple, the possibilities within this app are endless. With each new letter combination, children learn not only the sounds of each letter, but they also begin to learn how to piece words together to assist them in spelling and reading. Bla Bla Box is a fabulous app for early readers.

Features include:

  • Easy to use
  • Wonderful graphics
  • Fun sound effects

Quality

There is no doubt that a lot of time and effort went into making Bla Bla Box a hands-on learning app for children to enjoy. The image quality and fun sound effects that are used within the app are engaging and fun for children to hear as they play. The concept is very simple and the user interface makes it easy for children to tap and drag various letters to the screen in order to build and spell new words. Overall this app is one of the higher quality apps that I have seen.

Education

Children are going to get a ton of educational value out of this app. In addition to learning the sound each letter makes, players have the chance to begin learning how to sound out words as they create them. The concept is simple as children drag and drop letters into the playing area where they will hear the sound of the letter. When two or more letters are combined, the narrator repeats the sound of those letters together to help children learn to sound out various words as they are spelled. With seemingly endless words to create, this app is offers a great way for early readers to get a bit more practice with spelling and reading. Very well done!

Entertainment

Not rated for entertainment.

Value

Priced at just under three dollars, this app is a very good deal. Parents who are working with their children on learning to read, this app can really come in handy with even just a few minutes of play each day. There is no limit to the words that can be spelled and with a bit of parent participation, this app can be a great additional tool to help children learn to read and spell. One thing to note is that the app offers additional languages to try, however once you select your original language, other languages are an additional cost of just under two dollars. Because other apps offer this function for free, some parents may not want to buy additional languages.

Child Friendliness

Parents will be happy to know that this app is not only easy to use, but it is safe too. While there are a few parent only gateways, they are 100% protected and there are no additional links or ads to distract children from the learning activities. The user interface is also very easy to use and requires children to simply drag and drop letters on the playing area to build new words. In the event children get stuck and need a little help, there is a help button in the playing area that illustrates how to use the app. Overall, this app is very child friendly and great for kids of all ages.

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

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

App Info

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

Overview

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

Features include:

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

Quality

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

Education

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

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

Entertainment

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

Value

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

Child Friendliness

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

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

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

App Info

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

Overview

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

Features include:

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

Quality

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

Education

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

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

Entertainment

Not rated for entertainment.

Value

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

Child Friendliness

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

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

artstories

Art Stories Cities

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

App Info

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

Overview

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

Features include:

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

Quality

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

Education

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

Entertainment

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

Value

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

Child Friendliness

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

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

image (21)
Quality
Education
Entertainment
Value
Child Friendly
Summary
Math Galaxy Word Problems Fun offers a wide array of word problems in topics and levels suitable for grades 1-8, and if players enjoy arcade-style maze games, will be a motivational way to practice applying math skills. Game play is quite complex, however, and players may need adult assistance to learn the game well enough to enjoy it.
4.5

App Info

Price: $3.99
AppStore User Rating: 1
Download on the App Store

Overview

Math Galaxy Word Problems Fun is a maze-based app that encourages students to practice math story problems ranging from basic computation with small whole numbers through middle school/pre-algebra concepts such as ratio/proportion, signed numbers, geometry and graphs/tables. Players send remote-controlled robots into a maze to find treasures, and must solve word problems to proceed at certain points.

Features include:

  • Sixteen topics
  • Three levels of difficulty
  • Each player can choose individualized topic
  • Multi-player capability
  • Can save game to play over several sessions

Quality

Math Galaxy Word Problems Fun is a high quality app that performs as advertised. There are lots of ways to individualize the app, making it highly useful in classrooms or other settings where multiple people will be using the game. Each player can choose a different topic, if desired, however, the game as a whole must be set to one level of difficulty. The ability to save a game is also a great feature, since game play can take quite a while. Players can also set their own criteria for winning or for ending the game. The graphics are somewhat low-res, which may put some players off a bit. The directions are quite complicated, and it will take a bit of effort to figure out how to play, particularly if players are not already familiar with these types of arcade games. Developers set up a system where players have money to purchase new robots when needed, and to pay other players when they land on the opposing players’ caves, but this also adds quite a layer of complexity to the game, which may make it too challenging for some players.

Education

Math Galaxy Word Problems Fun is an outstanding way to encourage students to practice word problems, which frequently are challenging to students of all ages. This app’s built-in capability to focus different players on different skills is ideal for classroom and other settings where multiple students use the app. The topics cover most of the core math skills taught between grades one and eight up to and including many pre-algebra topics. The word problems are clearly written, and follow the usual pattern of situation and question. There is a built-in calculator (that includes an optional fraction mode) for students to use when they work to solve the problems.

Entertainment

This app has the potential to be quite engaging and entertaining for students to use, but it is quite complex to understand and to get started with. It does require a relatively high reading level to get through the directions (FK reading level of grade 9.6 on the instructions), and the story problems also may be difficult for younger or less able students to read comfortably. Game play is fairly complex, as well, with the introduction of money that changes hands between players and gets paid to the computer. The directions also mention choosing the size and speed of “sprites,” but all options except medium on both attributes were greyed out, so I couldn’t figure out what that was all about. Once I figured out how to play, it was fun, and students will probably enjoy the game play, since it is very arcade-like. It just may take a bit of help to get them to that point, especially for younger students.

Value

This app is $3.99 in the App Store, which is a good value for the amount of content covered, but may be a bit high for the play value if students don’t end up enjoying it. It would be nice if developers offered a free sample level for people to try out before purchasing, since it could be an “acquired taste.” It would be an expensive app to buy, and then have children refuse to use it because of its complexity.

Child Friendliness

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

playandlearn
Quality
Education
Entertainment
Value
Child Friendly
Summary
Play and Learn with Corabelle is an easy to use, early learning app with lots of fun and engaging early-learning activities that children will love. Fun, educational, and perfect for the little one in your home.
4.7

App Info

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

Overview

Play and Learn with Corabelle, is a multi-faceted early learning app perfect for young children, with gorgeous illustrations and fun activities to enjoy. It includes a variety of activities including matching, puzzles, seek and find, and so much more, making this app one that will keep children busy for hours.

Features include:

  • 11 Early learning activities
  • Wonderful graphics
  • Easy to use

Quality

The developers have done an amazing job with the visuals in this app. With bright colors, realistic images, and magical sound effects, this app is one that will keep children engaged while they learn. The user interface is also very well done with easy to use tap and drag functioning and simple indicators to help players understand how to complete each activity. Overall, Play and Learn with Corabelle is very well done.

Education

With 11 early learning activities that help children with a variety of skills including matching, puzzles, etc. this app is perfect for the little one in your home. There are some activities that are a bit more challenging than others as the developers have created a good balance of learning games for players to enjoy. Overall, this app is perfect for getting little ones acclimated to skills they will expand upon and grow in pre-school and Kindergarten which is great.

Entertainment

While there are quite a few early learning activities within this app, the developers have also included some fun-focused activities as well. For example, the aiming and throwing game, shadow puzzles, and the seek and find games all offer children a bit of fun as they learn. There are also engaging sound effects, music, and gorgeous graphics that will help keep children engaged as they play. Overall, the developers have done a great job making this app engaging for little ones to play.

Value

Priced at just under three dollars, this app is a good deal. When you consider that it includes 11 activities, gorgeous graphics, and fun sound effects for children to enjoy, it’s one app you don’t want to miss. Parents can certainly appreciate all that this app has to offer at a price that won’t break the bank.

Child Friendliness

The developers have done an excellent job keep this app easy to use and completely safe for children too. With simple instructional markers throughout each activity that are easy to follow, children of all ages will be able to successfully play and engage with no trouble at all. Parents can also rest assured knowing that there are no open links or unprotected areas that children could have access to.

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

mathclimber
Quality
Education
Entertainment
Value
Child Friendly
Summary
Math Climber HD is an outstanding, engaging resource for practicing basic math and pre-algebra skills, useful for students who are learning these skills for the first time and those who need quick review or extra practice.
4.7

App Info

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

Overview

Math Climber HD is a game to help math students practice basic math skills ranging from addition and subtraction facts through operations with fractions, percents and decimals. Solve problems in timed or untimed environments, earn coins that can be exchanged for various rewards and hints, and send progress records via email to teachers or mentors.

Features include:

  • 18 topics
  • 3 skill levels per topic
  • Multiple games
  • Progress reports available
  • Motivational rewards

Quality

Math Climber HD is a very high-quality app. Everything works as it is designed to, and developers have done a good job of minimizing distractions and making the game intuitive to use. There is a brief instructional page about the scoring system. The graphics are somewhat minimalist-animations are a bit jerky, but overall, the game is fun to play. It does gather data about players’ performance, and teachers or parents can see player accuracy at each level attempted. However, the reporting system could use a few tweaks in regard to how it shows student errors. It seems to be showing the stimulus problem, but not the answer selected, which would be very helpful for adults to be able to see.

Education

This app presents outstanding opportunities to practice a wide array of math skills at the elementary and middle school levels, and is age appropriate for all age groups. Players select one of 18 topics, and then one of three levels of difficulty. There are four options for play, ranging from an untimed practice system through competitive play against the computer. The app allows for practice on basic computation, operations with fractions, work with decimals and percents, least common multiple and greatest common factor, place value, and more. Each section presents problems in multiple formats. For example, the addition game might ask 4+8=? Or it might ask 4+___=12. It also gives four multiple choice answers that may be numbers or other addition combinations that are equivalent to the answers. There is great variety at all of the levels in problem presentation.

Entertainment

Math Climber HD is a fun app that kids are likely to be willing to play for quite a while. First of all, players get to create an avatar by choosing clothing, hair color, skin tone, and so forth. As they play, they earn coins for successful work, and the coins can be used to purchase additional items for their avatar, such as hair styles, sunglasses, and so forth. Coins can also be used for a 50/50 option for difficult problems to eliminate two incorrect answers. After each successful climb, the climber gives the player a “high five.” After stars are earned, the climber goes into a dance hall complete with disco ball and lighted floor to perform a victory dance. One suggestion would be for a bit of change up to the end-of-round animation and sound effects-currently the climber goes back down the wall, out of sight, then sounds like he or she falls the remaining feet and animals make disturbed noises. The announcer always responds that “That’s going to leave a mark.” Some variety for this portion that is randomized would help keep students from becoming bored.

Value

This app is $1.99 in the App Store, and is a great value. It can be used by students from early elementary school through even high school to practice basic math skills in timed or untimed settings, so it would be very useful to just about everyone.

Child Friendliness


Math Climber is mostly child-friendly, but there is unprotected access to email through the Progress Report section.

  • NO external links
  • NO social media
  • NO 3rd party ads
  • NO in-app purchase
  • YES Unprotected email link

ipad3_screenshot1_english
Quality
Education
Entertainment
Value
Child Friendly
Summary
Monster Numbers is a math app full of adventure, excitement, and education all in one place this app is the perfect way for players to practice their math skills. Fun, exciting, and highly educational, this app is great for families.
4.6

App Info

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

Overview

Monster Numbers is a fun game-like educational app that provides an exciting, interactive way to practice math skills. With a nice balance between entertainment and education, this is one app that kids are going to love, even if they aren’t a fan of Math. This app is perfect for children ages 4-14 as it offers a various levels of mathematical concepts that players can practice.

Features include:

  • Addition & Subtraction
  • Patterns
  • Multiplication & Division

Quality

Monster Numbers is full of cartoon monster characters and other illustrations that create a fun environment for children to play. With a user interface that is very intuitive and supportive prompts strategically placed, this app allows children of all ages the chance to practice their math skills with ease. The developers have also included exciting music and sound effects to add to the gaming experience, creating an exciting educational environment for children to play and learn in.

Education

There is no doubt that this app offers lots of great educational material and in a very interesting way. At the beginning of the app, children are asked to set up a profile with their age which then allows the app to adapt the specific math challenges to their age. With lots of different math concepts including counting, sequencing, and the traditional addition/subtraction and multiplication/division, Monster Numbers includes a wide variety of practice for children of all ages. The developers have also created a nice balance of educational material and entertainment by alternating between game-like levels and educational levels to keep children interested.

Entertainment

It’s always nice to find apps that offer both education and entertainment in a balanced way and the developers have hit it out of the park with Monster Numbers. With a fun, game-like set up that allows children to alternate between entertainment levels and educational levels, players get the best of both worlds in one app. This app offers everything you would expect in a ‘gaming’ app with levels, challenges, bad guys and lots of adventure. Very well done.

Value

Priced at just under two dollars this app is a steal! With varying levels and a variety of educational material all in one place, this is a great app for families. It is full of education, entertainment, and lots of fun for children at a price that is perfect.

Child Friendliness

The developers have done an excellent job creating an app that is easy to use and quite intuitive. With a variety of markers and simple tutorials for new levels, the developers have seamlessly incorporated support and guidance where it’s needed most. Children will have no trouble playing and practicing their math skills in this app while having a ton of fun.

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

tinyplaybox

Tiny Play Box

Quality
Education
Entertainment
Value
Child Friendly
Summary
Toddlers and preschoolers gain confidence and build basic skills through the games in Tiny Play Box.
4.5

App Info

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

Overview

Tiny Play Box has joined the toddler and preschool app space with fun games for young kids. Parents and kids are encouraged to interact with one another through simple games such as memory, matching, and fun animal games. The bright colors attract kids to the game, while the simple designs make it easy for kids to enjoy.

Features include:

  • Multiple learning games
  • Simple interface
  • Colorful graphics
  • Parent/child interaction

Quality

When kids open the app, they’re presented with a screen featuring icons that represent each of the different games. The icons feature descriptive pictures rather than words which works well for the target age group. The games themselves are designed fairly simply and are easy for kids to navigate. Some of the games are a bit more complex, but those include little details, such as gnomes with blinking eyes, to help kids recognize when to make their move.

Education

Through the simple learning games included in Tiny Play Box kids can build basic skills, such as hand-eye coordination and color recognition. Developers encourage parents to interact with kids as they play, but the design of the games is simple enough that kids are able to figure out the games and play on their own.

Entertainment

Kids don’t need a lot of flashy graphics or zany sound effects to have fun. Tiny Play Box entertains kids by allowing them experience success. The simple design of the games helps kids feel confident in themselves and their ability to be successful while playing a game.

Value

Kids can experience the app’s games for free, but additional games are available through an in-app purchase. The cost of the in-app purchase is small and worth the price for the variety of activities kids get to experience.

Child Friendliness

Developers encourage parents to interact with their children as they play the games. The app does include in-app purchases.

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

sagomini
Quality
Education
Entertainment
Value
Child Friendly
Summary
Sago Mini Trucks & Diggers is an easy to use app that allows children to explore the fun world of construction. With trucks, diggers, and homes to build, this app is going to keep little ones busy for hours!
4.5

App Info

Price: $2.99
AppStore User Rating: 4
Download on the App Store

Overview

Sago Mini Trucks & Diggers is another great interactive app in the Sago Mini series that allows players to experiment with various trucks and construction equipment. This hands-one, free-play app allows players to build various houses and buildings using a variety of diggers and other construction equipment. Easy to use and fun too, this app is great for children of all ages.

Features include:

  • Free-play environment
  • 6 Machines to explore
  • 6 Homes to build

Quality

Sago Mini Trucks & Diggers are full of lovely graphics, fun sound effects, and exciting surprises for children to explore. As always the developers have done an excellent job with creating an easy to use app that children of all ages can use with ease as the user interface only requires a bit of tapping and dragging to move through the app. With lots of exciting friends to enjoy and interactive activities to explore, this app is very well done.

Education

While this app doesn’t utilize the traditional educational features you might expect in another app, it does offer experiential learning through play. As children move through the app trying the different trucks and diggers, they begin to learn how each works. They also learn a bit about building as they complete a variety of fun castles and homes for their friends.

Entertainment

There is no doubt that children are going to get a ton of entertainment out of this app as there is so much to explore. With lots of friends to meet and a variety of interactive activities to enjoy, this is one app players are going to play for hours. The free-play environment also provides a ton of freedom so players can explore the interactive parts of the app in their own time. The developers have also included six unique homes for children to construct for their animal friends adding a bit of focus to the app. Overall, the entertainment value is very good.

Value

Priced at just under three dollars, this app is priced well for what you receive. With a free-play environment for children to enjoy, plus six diggers and trucks to explore, and six homes to build, this app is one that will keep kids busy for hours.

Child Friendliness

Sago Mini Trucks & Diggers does a nice job overall of making the app easy to use for children of all ages. With an intuitive interface, fun interactive activities, and lots to explore, this app has a lot to offer for young children. Parents can also rest assured knowing that the developers have made this app completely safe for children to use with no external links or ads.

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

image
Quality
Education
Entertainment
Value
Child Friendly
Summary
Peppa Pig's Golden Boots is a fun app for preschoolers that will keep them occupied with constructive readiness practice and skill-building games. They will enjoy dressing Peppa and interacting with each of the other five games as she travels through her day.
4.9

App Info

Price: $2.99
AppStore User Rating: 3
Download on the App Store

Overview

Peppa Pig, a favorite television character, becomes interactive in this app designed for preschoolers. Kids can play with Peppa in six different activities, solve puzzles, fly a space ship, and find Peppa’s boots to reveal some exciting surprises.

Features include:

  • Six different activities
  • Games build vital readiness skills such as matching and fine motor coordination
  • Engaging sound effects and animations<
  • Familiar characters
  • Fun storyline

Quality

Peppa Pig: Golden Boots is a high quality app that will definitely give fans a lot of play value. The app is easy to use with narrated directions as well as intuitive controls. The app allows for up to four separate players, retaining prizes in the “toybox” for each user. It would be helpful, though, if parents could reset the app or delete users in a protected system. One aspect of the gift shop game on the moon could also be frustrating for youngsters, as well. This activity requires players to find gift store merchandise amid a jumble of items, and at times, the required items are not visible on the screen. Users must mix the objects around to rearrange them enough to make the desired item visible.

Education

Peppa Pig: Golden Boots will definitely help young preschoolers practice vital readiness skills, including matching, fine motor control, and following directions. In addition, many of the activities really encourage persistence and attention, which though tougher to measure, are at least as important as the other readiness skills.

The game features six different activities: dressing Peppa, playing in the mud, driving a space ship, visiting the gift shop on the moon, feeding ducks and singing along with a theme song. Kids can move freely among the six activities and easily choose whether to repeat the exercise or try something different.

Entertainment

This app is highly entertaining and very interactive. Kids will be able to try any of the six activities in any order, so there’s a lot of room for decision making and empowerment. Many of the games are intrinsically rewarding, such as stirring around gooey mud and finding hidden creatures at seemingly random intervals. The illustrations are colorful and clear, and even young preschoolers will enjoy the story and the activities.

Value

This app is a very good value at $2.99 in the App Store. There is a lot of play value, so youngsters are likely to return to it again and again, and the skills addressed are important to school success.

Child Friendliness

This app is very child friendly.

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

smartcolorpath
Quality
Entertainment
Value
Child Friendly
Summary
Smart Color Path is a fun and unique puzzle app that offers hours of challenging play for players of all ages. Simple, fun, and challenging!
4.6

App Info

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

Overview

Smart Color Path is a unique and challenging puzzle app that uses a variety of colored circles and patterns that users must correctly place based on the rules provided. This brain-teaser looks simple, but looks can be deceiving. While it does have a bit of a minimalist look, it can create quite the challenge for even the most seasoned puzzle fanatic.

Features include:

  • Unique concept
  • 3 Difficulty levels
  • Challenging puzzle

Quality

Smart Color Path is an interesting, albeit minimalist puzzle app that uses colored circles and connections to create a challenging experience for users. Technically, the user interface is easy to use with simple drag and drop functioning, however actually playing the game could be a bit challenging at first. The concept is simple, but it takes a bit of experimenting to really get the hang of how to play.

Education

Not rated for education.

Entertainment

For even the most seasoned puzzle lover, this app can be a bit of a challenge. The concept is fairly simple as users must create the correct color path using colored circles. For each puzzle there are rules for various color connections that help players as they play. It sounds simple, but with three difficulty levels it can be quite difficult to do. For children or parents who love a good puzzle, this app has a lot to offer.

Value

Priced at just under two dollars, this app is a great value. For users who love a good puzzle, this app could get quite addicting which offers lots of playing time at a great price.

Child Friendliness

Smart Color Path may not be the easiest app for younger users, but children aged 10+ could easily enjoy the challenges this app has to offer. The developers have not only included an instruction section within the app, but also a hint option that users can use points in order to access. This function will certainly help players of all ages should they get stuck. Parents can also rest assured knowing that this app is perfectly safe for children of all ages to play.

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

image

You Make Me Smile, Albert

Quality
Education
Entertainment
Value
Child Friendly
Summary
You Make Me Smile, Albert will make kids smile with its cute animations and touching story.
4.7

App Info

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

Overview

Albert is a dog, but he’s not just any dog. He’s a dog who really cares about his animal friends. This short animated story teaches kids a very simple lesson about taking the time to make others smile.

Features include:

  • Touching story
  • Animated illustrations
  • Good moral lesson
  • Spirtual elements

Quality

Developers spent time crafting a quality short story for kids. On the sides of the screen, kids will see icons that allow them to control the narration and the animations. They can also navigate between the pages of the story. The narration in the story is done well and the text is easy to read. While somewhat simple, the animations are also done well and the illustrations fit the story well.

Education

As the story is read, the text appears at the top of the screen. The text is not highlighted as it is read, but it is presented in short chunks. Some of the animations include speech bubbles which are not narrated. This may pose s bit of a challenge for younger readers.

Along with the textual elements, the story offers a great lesson for kids. Albert is a kind dog who cares for others, prays for his children, and helps out his friends. His actions make them smile and will encourage kids to make others smile too.

Entertainment

The story is fairly short and seems to end a bit abruptly. Kids will only be disappointed by this because the story is a good one that helps hold their interest. They’ll love the animated illustrations and feel connected to the animals on the page.

Value

Despite being short, this animated story offers quality illustrations, animations, and narration. It also has a great moral lesson. These factors make it worth a download.

Child Friendliness

This app only contains the animated story. What you see if what you get. There are not any settings screens, parent areas, or other elements to take kids out of the story.

  • NO 3rd party ads
  • NO in-app purchase
  • NO more apps

image (17)
Quality
Education
Entertainment
Value
Child Friendly
Summary
Math Galaxy Whole Number Riddles is a fantastic app that will help with basic computation practice as well as working with time, money and measurement. Kids from first grade on up will play for hours competing to see who can be first to solve the riddles or figure out the jumbled words.
4.8

App Info

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

Overview

Math Galaxy Whole Number Riddles provides users with addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division problems ranging from basic fact combinations through problems using two digit numbers. The app also includes time, money and measurement problems. The format is game-like, set up for one to three players, and correct answers are rewarded with a score in points. Correct responses reveal letters that eventually spell out spell the answer to a riddle. Correct answers in the Jumble section reveal a hidden word from the scrambled letters.

Features include:

  • Seven skill areas
  • Includes all four operations
  • Two game types
  • Multi-player capability
  • Engaging reward system

Quality

Math Galaxy Whole Number Riddles is a high quality app that is simple to use yet provides lots of options. The directions are straightforward and easy to understand, as well as being consistent across the game formats. Players will like competing with friends, so the multi-player feature is a nice touch.

Two minor concerns are the formatting of items in the Money and Measurement sections. In the Money section, players need to count coin replicas, and when there are multiple coins on the same item (such as four dimes), the coins are overlapped, making it difficult to see their value. Many children, particularly those struggling with math concepts, will have a very hard time counting these accurately. In the measurement section, students need to add, subtract, multiply and divide measurement numbers (such as 1 ft 6 in + 1 ft 1 in). However, the answers are written in the form “2/7,” which many students are likely to interpret as a fraction instead of “two feet, seven inches.” It would be better to use the abbreviations in the same way that the problems are set up, or if space does not allow that, then it would be better to use the standard ‘ and “ symbols for feet and inches.

Education

This app does a great job with making necessary drill and practice enjoyable for students. Computation, particularly computation of the 100 basic math facts in all four operations, must be practiced until it becomes automatic, and this app will encourage practice in an entertaining way. Kids are bound to enjoy the classic riddles and knock-knock jokes.

It’s also very nice to have so many levels available in one app. Kids can practice basic computation in all four operations, problems with two-digit numbers, counting coins, identifying the time on clock faces, and performing computations with mixed measurements.

Entertainment

Most kids (and even many adults!) love riddles-and this app is full of them. The riddles activity randomly selects a riddle and poses a set of problems that have letters attached. Match the problem to the solution correctly and the letter will drop into place in the answer, eventually revealing it. If you happen to get a riddle that you’ve seen before, there is a button on the screen to change the activity to a different riddle. The Jumbles section will appeal to word puzzle fans, as well, with scrambled letters that reveal a secret word when matched to their problems. With hundreds of riddles and jumbles, you are unlikely to run out of fun!

Value

This app is $3.99 in the App Store, and is a great value when you consider the vast range of play activities (suitable for students from grade 1 on up through middle school), and the incredible number of different problems and games. With multi-player capability, it’s also a wonderful addition to home or school.

Child Friendliness

This app is completely child-friendly with no links to the internet, email, or social media.

  • NO external links
  • NO social media
  • NO 3rd party ads
  • NO in-app purchase
  • trybie
    Quality
    Education
    Entertainment
    Value
    Child Friendly
    Summary
    Trybie Journey is a unique storybook app that includes fun experiments and scientific information for children to learn and enjoy. Educational, entertaining, and perfect for little scientists ready to explore the world of chemistry.
    4.5

    App Info

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

    Overview

    Trybie Journey is a unique and interactive storybook that takes readers on a journey through Chemistry in a very hands-on kind of way. With great graphics, an interesting story line, and lots of fun experiments for families to try together, this app provides an engaging way to learn for kids of all ages.

    Features include:

    • 13 Experiments
    • Story included
    • Great graphics & sound effects

    Quality

    The developers have done an excellent job of creating an app with playful images and engaging activities for children to enjoy. The set up of this app is quite unique as it offers educational material in the form of a story with hands-on experiments that children can do at home, sprinkled throughout. The user interface is also quite easy to use as it only requires simple tap and touch functioning to move through the app. Since a large portion of the app includes reading, it would be nice to include narration with text-highlighting for ease of use, however as it is now, it is still a great app.

    Education

    Trybie Journey is an imaginative story app that includes lots of great educational information for children to enjoy. With 13 experiments including creating a glowing light, magical chemical flowers, and so much more. These exciting experiments are not just for show as the developers have made sure to include the scientific explanations and additional information to help readers understand the chemistry behind each experiment.

    Parents can also rest assured knowing each experiment comes with specific safety information to keep both parents and children safe. There is also a list of warning symbols that provide additional information so children can better understand what each symbol means for future reference. For children who are looking for a fun way to learn a bit of science, this app is perfect.

    Entertainment

    One thing that parents will notice immediately is that this isn’t your typical educational app. Instead of listing a variety of experiments and sharing the educational information behind them, the developers have included a very interesting and imaginative story about a test tube named Trybie who goes on a journey to learn about the science of the world outside of the laboratory. This is the kind of app that children will enjoy so much they’ll forget they were even learning.

    Value

    Priced at just under five dollars, this app might be more than some parents expect to pay for an app, however it is a great deal. With 13 experiments, a cute story, and excellent illustrations, Trybie Journey is well worth the price. Educational, entertaining, and perfect for little scientists ready to explore the world of chemistry.

    Child Friendliness

    Overall, the user interface is very easy to use and only requires users to tap and swipe their way through the app. There are very useful visual instructions that walk children through the step-by-step process for each experiment with illustrations so there is no confusion on how to do each experiment. Parents can also rest assured knowing that any “additional information” links are protected so children won’t be getting into any areas they shouldn’t be.

    There is a lot of reading in the story sections of the app and while older children are likely going to be using the app most, it would be nice to have a narration and text-highlighting option included for younger users. The developers have also done an excellent job adding in specific safety precautions and warnings with each experiment as needed in order to keep children and parents safe.

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

    charlie
    Quality
    Education
    Entertainment
    Value
    Child Friendly
    Summary
    Charlie & Company Volume II is a great app to present educational episodes and related music videos to preschool children. Kids will love the varied themes and will learn from each episode.
    4.8

    App Info

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

    Overview

    Charlie & Company Videos II is designed to introduce preschool videos from developer School Zone. The free app includes one music video about colors as well as a preview video designed to introduce the series.

    Features include:

    • High quality learning videos
    • Nurtures curiosity and encourages exploration
    • Positive, upbeat lyrics and music
    • Colorful, active, engaging videos
    • Intuitive navigation and controls

    Quality

    Charlie & Company Volume II is a high quality app that will allow young children to watch educational videos on their own or with a parent. The videos (available as in-app purchase) are well-produced and engaging. A sample music video (one minute fifty-two seconds in length) is included, as well as a video preview of the entire series. The app requires a stable internet connection to download videos, but can run downloaded material off-line.

    Education

    The video episodes of Charlie & Company (available as an in-app purchase) are highly entertaining and educational. Each is clearly labeled with the skills and areas covered, making it a good investment for classroom or program use. The episode videos are of similar length to other children’s television series, just under thirty minutes. The videos cover a wide array of age-appropriate skills and use engaging topics such as the zoo and boats to convey educational messages.

    Each video episode uses the same characters to guide children on a learning adventure based on the theme. Users can see and hear demonstrations and explanations, and feel like they are a part of the action. There is an on-going task of finding puzzle pieces to solve a mystery introduced early in each episode, and the videos have the feel of audience participation that will also help keep children’s interest. The themes are very child-friendly and interesting, and each episode is created with education in mind. There is a companion music video for each episode.

    Entertainment

    The Charlie & Company video episodes and music videos are highly engaging and entertaining. Developers and producers did an outstanding job of creating videos that preschool children will find nearly irresistible. The main character selections (a golden retriever named Charlie and a wholesome-looking preschool teacher named Miss Ellie, “your anywhere teacher”) are ideal for the age group, and the themes for each of the videos are guaranteed kid-pleasers. And what’s a kids’ show without a bit of magic? Charlie the dog has the capability of becoming animated, talking, and joining other animated friends. If your preschooler enjoys television shows aimed at preschoolers, he or she will fall in love with this series.

    Value

    Charlie & Company Videos II is a free app that includes a preview of the series and a music video titled, “I Love to Paint” which is about painting and color. Additional episodes and music videos are available as in-app purchases. Single episodes of the show cost $2.99, or there is a bundle available that includes 5 episodes and 5 more music videos available for $19.99. The episode videos are just under thirty minutes long. With the bundle purchase, the app can provide positive, engaging video just like a television series. If your preschooler enjoys educational videos, these are a good value.

    Child Friendliness

    This app could be improved by putting the videos available for in-app purchase behind the parent gate and only showing purchased material where children can access it. As it stands, each additional piece of material is shown with an interesting still shot from the video that is designed to entice youngsters into wanting an adult to make the purchase.

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

    image (15)
    Quality
    Education
    Entertainment
    Value
    Child Friendly
    Summary
    Learn Spanish with Stories by Gus on the Go is a fun way to pick up new Spanish vocabulary related to familiar stories using sound instructional strategies, great interactive activities, and an ebook.
    4.7

    App Info

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

    Overview

    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.

    Features include:

    • Four types of activities for each story
    • Immersion language education technique
    • Use of familiar stories to teach Spanish
    • Colorful animations and interesting sound effects
    • Interactive scenes and exercises

    Quality

    Learn Spanish with Stories by Gus on the Go is a high quality app. Developers have made the nonverbal interface very easy to use and understand. The narrator reads in clear Spanish, but with the visual cues on the screen, it is easy to understand what to do and how to accomplish the exercises. The app includes a parents’ area that gives guidance about how the app is laid out and how to use its features. Parents might appreciate a bit more information about why the app is structured as it is, and perhaps an English-Spanish dictionary to help parents learn the same words as their children, but overall, this app is very nice.

    Education

    This app presents words, phrases and sentences relevant to the story in Spanish, with animated visuals that often include sound effects. There are four sections for each story: a teaching section that goes over the important words, phrases and sentences, an interactive practice activity that requires students to choose the picture that matches the given word, phrase or sentence, the story in ebook format, and an interactive game that requires players to respond quickly to verbal cues by choosing the correct pictures based varies from story to story, but verbalizes the same words and phrases from the instructional section. The app allows players to click on words to hear them again with highlighting, to click on characters and items in scenes to hear the Spanish words, and more.

    The fact that the stories are very familiar tales for most children will really help with acquisition of the relevant vocabulary and with understanding the story as it is told in Spanish. The free version of the app includes the stories of the Tortoise and the Hare as well as the Lion and the Mouse. Two more stories, The Three Little Pigs and Goldilocks and the Three Bears, are available as in-app purchases, with the developers promising to add additional story packs as time goes by.

    One aspect that some children might find challenging or even frustrating is that the story narration includes words, phrases and sentences that are not expressly introduced in the lesson portion of the app. There is no way to translate these within the app, either, so children are expected to pick up what they can from context. Some may find this frustrating. It might be better to have a method of making the translation available, at least to adult mentors who could then assist the child.

    Entertainment

    This app is intended to be more educational, but it is highly entertaining, as well. The developers used cute animations and sound effects to help tell the stories. The instructional section and the e-book sections are both interactive in that users can tap various parts of the picture to activate additional sounds and actions.

    Two of the sections are designed to review and reinforce the words, phrases and sentences being taught. The first gives a phrase or sentence in written and spoken Spanish and a selection of three animated pictures, one of which matches. The last section is different for each story, but requires players to interact with the app to review the words, phrases and sentences. For example, the story of the Lion and the Mouse has a jigsaw puzzle of a scene with the story characters, and the story of the Three Pigs includes a memory game where players match cards with illustrations and animations from the instructional portion of the app.

    Overall, the app is cute and fun. The free version, with its two included stories, will likely entertain children for a few rounds of play. Adding the extra stories will extend the play value as well as the learning.

    Value

    This app is a good value. The free version includes two stories with four activities. There are several words, phrases and sentences to learn with each story. Two additional stories are currently available as in-app purchases for $1.99 each. It might be nice to have perhaps one more type of practice activity included with each story to make it a great value, but as is, it is definitely worth a look.

    Child Friendliness

    This app is very child friendly for the intended age group.

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

    puzzleitout
    Quality
    Education
    Entertainment
    Value
    Child Friendly
    Summary
    Puzzle It Out Preschool is a highly entertaining early learning app that teaches little ones valuable skills in Math, Science, and Reading. Very well done.
    4.6

    App Info

    Price: $4.99
    AppStore User Rating:

    Download on the App Store

    Overview

    Puzzle It Out Preschool is a great early learning app that provides children with lots of practice with learning and recognizing letters, numbers, and some early math practice. With engaging activities and rewards for completing various lessons, children will have lots of fun playing while they learn valuable skills.

    Features include:

    • Puzzles
    • Early Math practice
    • Science practice
    • Pre-reading activities

    Quality

    Puzzle It Out Preschool is by far one of the best early learning apps that I have seen. With brightly colored images, exciting sound effects, and interactive activities that will keep children engaged while they learn, this app has it all. The developers have done an excellent job with the high quality illustrations, music, and easy to use interface that allows children of all ages to easily move through the app. Very well done.

    Education

    For children who are preschool aged, this app is the perfect introduction to valuable math, reading, and science skills. With activities that include letter recognition and tracing, counting, weather recognition, etc. this app offers a wide variety of early learning opportunities for young children. Parents will especially enjoy the opportunity to track their child’s progress within each category as they play. Overall, this app offers great educational material.

    Entertainment

    The developers have done an excellent job of making Puzzle It Out Preschool a balance of educational and entertaining activities. In addition to the fun educational activities, players have the opportunity to earn puzzle pieces they can put together once they have collected all five pieces. There are even bonus activities that are available once players have completed all of the activities within each category. This provides a bit of encouragement and additional entertainment for players to keep moving through the educational activities.

    Value

    Priced at just under five dollars, this app is a bit more expensive than some early learning apps that are available, however it does offer a wide variety of educational activities that are great for preschoolers. With a total of 100 activities plus an additional 20 bonus activities, children will get lots of great practice to prepare them for Kindergarten.

    Child Friendliness

    Parents will certainly appreciate the fact that this app is very child friendly and easy to use for players of all ages. With simple indicators to help children if they get stuck and an intuitive interface, this is one app players can use without a ton of assistance from parents. The developers have also made sure to protect any “parent only” areas of the app which is great.

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

    image (12)
    Quality
    Education
    Entertainment
    Value
    Child Friendly
    Summary
    Bamba Space Station is an app that will encourage exploration and creative play with young children as they immerse themselves in the space station’s many rooms and activities.
    4.5

    App Info

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

    Overview

    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.

    Features include:

    • 12 unique rooms
    • 7 crazy space creatures
    • Over 100 machines
    • Over 500 unique items to play with
    • Preserve scenes in each room with ipad’s screen shot feature

    Quality

    This is a very high-quality app that is completely intuitive and language free to use. It’s wonderful for young children or those with language issues. That being said, it would be very nice for the more tradition-bound among us if it had a bit more guidance about its features. A parents’ area that explains all of the benefits that young children will realize when using this app would not only be very helpful when guiding children who are less likely to explore on their own, it would also be a wonderful sales tool to convince adults to invest.

    Education

    While this app is not directly educational (and I’m not sure it’s really intended to be!), it does have several features that will benefit young users’ academic development. First of all, there are twelve “rooms” on board the space ship, each with a different theme, different machines and different activities. This will challenge anyone’s memory banks as they try to return to places they remember enjoying previously.

    Each room contains many “machines” that dispense items ranging from power tools to cupcakes. In many places, the items can be combined to cause them to morph into variations of themselves. For example, combining the strawberry with an ice cream cone will produce a scoop of strawberry ice cream. The rooms have dance music to turn on or off, and many other types of entertainment. Children can preserve their creations in each room by snapping screenshots using iPad’s camera.

    The app could be improved by offering parents some suggestions about how to use it to enhance a child’s learning. Ideas include sequencing by telling what activities were tried in which order, describing the objects that were created, counting the number of each type of item produced by the machines, telling stories about the app’s characters, and so forth.

    Entertainment

    Young children will enjoy exploring the Bamba Space Station. There are currently 12 rooms with various themes and focuses, and developers indicate in the app’s description that more are in the works. The machines, other illustrations, sound effects, and actions are all very engaging, and kids will adore exploring this app’s many, many “nooks and crannies” and then revisiting their favorite parts.

    Value

    Bamba Space Station is a good value at $1.99 in the App Store. The app is engaging and has enough content to keep most young children occupied for hours. In addition, its nonverbal presentation makes it ideal for younger children and those with special needs. The app can be enjoyed by toddlers on up.

    Child Friendliness

    Bamba Space Station is child friendly. However, there are two links on the home screen that open suggestions for other apps. If a user clicks on any of these links, there is a parent gate requiring typing the answer to a simple math problem. This might be too simple for older users who still enjoy the app.

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

    kekotukos

    Kekotukos: Origins

    Quality
    Education
    Entertainment
    Value
    Child Friendly
    Summary
    The Tukos have decided to visit Earth. Join them and their new friend, Keko, as they explore Earth and play fun games.
    4.4

    App Info

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

    Overview

    The Tukos have left their home planet of Tukon and traveled to Earth. The first person they meet on Earth is Keko, hence the title Kekotukos: Origins. While the Tukos cause a few headaches for Keko, they’re also a lot of fun. Kids can join in on the fun as they work their way through mini games and short animated cartoons that help them learn more about these silly alien creatures.

    Features include:

    • 12 mini games
    • Short animated cartoons
    • Animated characters
    • Adaptive play

    Quality

    When kids first open Kekotukos: Origins, the first thing they’ll see on the main screen is a rotating planet with the sun and stars sitting in space. Rotate to the left to open the settings screen which contains volume controls for the music and sound effects. Rotate to the right to open the progress tracking screen which allows parents to see how kids have performed in the game. In between the two is the game play option. Selecting it opens a screen that shows icons for all 12 mini games found within the app. Although the games and cartoons move at a sometimes excruciatingly slow pace, they’re generally well designed and easy for kids to play. The characters, both Keko and the Tukos, are cute and fun for kids to look at and interact with as they play the games.

    Education

    All of the games in the app are designed to build logical thinking skills and also help kids learn to follow directions. This a text-free game, so kids will not see or hear text-based instructions showing them how to play. On a few of the earlier games, a finger or flashing images will give them a few hints, but otherwise they must figure it out on their own. Incorrect moves and other errors are noted with a light buzzing sound, but kids will not notice much of a penalty for making a wrong move. Instead, the games encourage them to keep trying to figure out. Games range from hide and seek and shell games to connect the dots, matching, and flying a spaceship through space.

    Parents have the ability to track kids’ progress through the progress screen which includes an icon for each game and the number of stars a child has earned. It also tracks kids’ progress in three different areas represented by a puzzle piece, footprints, and a pair of glasses.

    Entertainment

    Kids will find that the app moves at a very slow pace. While it’s nice not to have kids zipping from screen to screen, the pace may be a little too slow for most kids. Each mini game is preceded by a short animated video. Kids have the option to fast forward through the video to get to the game and the speed of the videos will entice most kids to do just that. Those who do take the time to watch them will get to glimpse a bit of the story behind the games and may enjoy learning more about the Tukos.

    The games themselves are fairly basic and entertaining for young kids. Some of them, such as the flying spacecraft game, may cause a bit of frustration as kids learn to play them. A couple other games could stand to be improved. For example, the music game has kids hit keys on a keyboard, but hitting the keys doesn’t produce any sound, making it fairly unsatisfying. The connect the dots game could also be more involved, having kids connect more stars to create shapes that are more recognizable.

    Value

    The app includes 12 mini games and 12 short cartoons, so it offers a lot of content. However, many of the games are very simple and created in the same style that kids will find in less expensive or even free apps. The quality of the animations and story, along with the progress-tracking, adds a bit of value to the app to help make it more worth a download at its price point.

    Child Friendliness

    The app does not contain any social media, ads, in-app purchases, or external links. It is also free from a parent area. Kids can access the settings screen to change the volume for the background music and sound effects. They can also view the progress screen to see their progress at the various stages in the game.

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

    Eric&Bruce
    Quality
    Education
    Entertainment
    Value
    Child Friendly
    Summary
    Eric & Bruce BBQ Party is an interactive app that allows children to experiment with food to create various dishes to serve to fun characters. Fun, easy to use, and great for children of all ages.
    4.5

    App Info

    Price: $2.99
    AppStore User Rating:

    Download on the App Store

    Overview

    Eric & Bruce BBQ Party is an engaging free-play app that allows children to experiment with various foods and recipes as they create delectable delights for the town to enjoy. This BBQ party gives little chefs lots of interactive play time to cut, chop, toss, and create whatever their creative minds can come up with. Simple to use and highly entertaining, Eric & Bruce BBQ Party is fun for children of all ages.

    Features include:

    • Easy to use
    • 27 Foods to play with
    • 14 Guests to feed
    • Free play environment

    Quality

    There is no doubt the developers put a lot of work into the interactive images and sound effects in Eric & Bruce BBQ Party. The illustrations are brightly colored, fun to interact with, and the sound effects (i.e. chopping, squeezing, and sizzling) add a realistic feel to them that children will love. The user interface is also quite intuitive with simple tap and touch functioning and gentle reminders for players should they get stuck moving through the app.

    Education

    While Eric & Bruce BBQ Party is very much an entertaining app, it does offer experiential play that allows users to learn a bit about cooking as they play. The app offers lots of various foods to explore and provides children the opportunity to get creative with their own recipes in a free-play environment. The developers could certainly add a bit to the educational value by including names of the foods to help children identify various fruits, vegetables and meats. As it is now, this app isn’t the most educational app around.

    Entertainment

    Children are going to love the free play environment that allows them to select 4 guests at a time to create fun food concoctions for. After selecting the characters they will cook for, players are provided 27 different foods they can choose to use as ingredients. Once the ingredients are selected, they can then grill, toss, simmer, or chop their ingredients to create a fun meal to serve to their guests. The best part is that children can experiment and play over and over again with the free-play set up.

    Value

    Priced at just under three dollars, this app is priced well for what you get. With 27 foods to choose from and endless playing time, children can enjoy this app over and over again creating new dishes in a variety of ways. This is one app children are going to get a ton of playing time out of.

    Child Friendliness

    The developers have done a great job creating an app that is great for children of all ages. With an easy to use interface, free play environment, and simple indicators for children if they get stuck. Parents will also appreciate the fact that all parents-only areas are protected so children won’t get distracted from playing.

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

    image (9)
    Quality
    Education
    Entertainment
    Value
    Child Friendly
    Summary
    Math Galaxy Fraction and Decimal Riddles is a simple yet outstanding app that will appeal to children from grade three on up. It provides nearly endless practice in basic operations with fractions, decimals, and measurements, as well as practice identifying and working with special pairs of angles.
    4.8


    App Info

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

    Overview

    Math Galaxy Fraction and Decimal Riddles provides users with identification and computation problems ranging from recognizing parts of a whole through operations with fractions, operations with decimals, operations with four types of measurement numbers, and calculation of angle measures using parallel lines. The format is game-like, set up for one to three players, and correct answers are rewarded with a score that represents “prize money,” similar to popular game shows. Correct responses reveal letters that eventually spell the answer to a riddle. Correct answers in the Jumble section reveal a hidden word from the scrambled letters.

    Features include:

    • Four skill areas
    • Includes all four operations
    • Two game types
    • Multi-player capability
    • Engaging reward system

    Quality

    Math Galaxy Fraction and Decimal Riddles is a high quality app that is simple to use yet provides lots of options. The directions are straightforward and easy to understand, as well as being consistent across the game formats. Players will like competing with friends, so the multi-player feature is a nice touch.

    One minor concern is the formatting of the answer numbers in the measurement section. While the problems are clearly written with mixed units (4 feet 5 inches), the answers look as though they are written like fractions (4/5). Some children might find this confusing. Instead, it seems like they could be written in more standard form, such as 4’5” for linear measurement or 5:30 for five hours and thirty minutes in the time section.

    Education

    This app provides an outstanding method of putting life into the essential drill and practice that will allow students to become comfortable with computations with fractions, decimals, measurements, and so forth. Every teacher knows that these types of problems won’t truly be mastered until students have done countless examples, and Math Galaxy Fraction and Decimal Riddles is a great alternative to endless paper and pencil drills.

    It’s also very nice to have so many levels available in one app. Kids can practice identifying parts of a whole, putting fractions or decimals on a number line, and all four operations with both kinds of numbers. There are sections that provide drill on adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing both fractions and decimals as well as computing the answers to problems involving units of length, volume, weight and time. In addition, the app includes an “angles” section where students must mentally calculate the measure of the chosen angle using concepts such as complementary and supplementary angles, alternate interior angles and so forth.

    Entertainment

    Most kids (and even many adults!) love riddles-and this app is full of them. The riddles activity randomly selects a riddle and poses a set of problems that have letters attached. Match the problem to the solution correctly and the letter will drop into place in the answer, eventually revealing it. If you happen to get a riddle that you’ve seen before, there is a button on the screen to change the activity to a different riddle. The Jumbles section will appeal to word puzzle fans, as well, with scrambled letters that reveal a secret word when matched to their problems. With over 500 riddles and 600 word jumbles available, you are unlikely to run out of fun!

    Value

    This app is $4.99 in the App Store, which may seem a little pricy at first, but by the time you consider the vast range of play activities (suitable for students from grade 3 on up through middle school), and the incredible number of different problems and games, it is a great value. With multi-player capability, it’s also a wonderful addition to home or school.

    Child Friendliness

    This app is completely child-friendly with no links to the internet, email, or social media.

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

    funwithcolors
    Quality
    Education
    Entertainment
    Value
    Child Friendly
    Summary
    Fun With Colors is an app that uses underwater themed games to teach children a variety of vocabulary words in both English & Mandarin. Educational, fun, and easy to use for children of all ages!
    4.7

    App Info

    Price: $2.99
    AppStore User Rating:

    Download on the App Store

    Overview

    Fun With Colors is great early learning app that teaches children various colors and vocabulary words in English & Mandarin. It is full of fun activities including coloring pages, underwater interactive games, and a fun vocabulary section that children will love. With lots of fun colors, interactive games for children to enjoy, this is one app that will please both children and parents.

    Features include:

    • 6 Underwater scenes
    • 30 Vocabulary words
    • Coloring pages

    Quality

    The developers have done an excellent job with keeping this app engaging and simple to use. With lots of bright colors, interactive images, and fun sound effects, children are going to love all that this app has to offer. The user interface is also easy to use as it only requires simple tap and touch functioning to move through the app, however the developers have included simple prompts that tell players what to do should they get stuck. Overall, Fun With Colors is very well done.

    Education

    Fun With Colors is so much more than an app that teaches children about colors. While it does teach children about the primary and secondary colors, it also teaches a variety of vocabulary words in English and Mandarin which is great. It also allows children to use their logic and problem solving skills as they complete each of the underwater activities to help various sea friends get their color back. The developers have done an excellent job creating a multi-faceted education app that is great for learning and fun too!

    Entertainment

    In addition to the wonderful educational material included, this app also has a great balance of entertainment as well. The coloring pages offers six coloring pages as well as a blank page for children to use their imagination and creativity. The underwater activities ask children to help each of the sea friends get their colors back by selecting specific items creating a fun way for children to use their logic and problem solving skills.

    Value

    Priced at just under three dollars, this app is a great deal. When you consider the awesome variety of vocabulary words in two languages and the fun activities that children will love, this app is not one to miss. Parents can certainly appreciate the value and the affordable price tag.

    Child Friendliness

    Not only is Fun With Colors fun, but it’s easy to use for children of all ages as well. With simple tap and touch functioning and additional prompts when needed, this app is very user friendly. The developers have also done an excellent job of keeping it safe too with the appropriately protected parent only section.

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

    12huiabirds

    12 Huia Birds

    Quality
    Education
    Entertainment
    Value
    Child Friendly
    Summary
    Learn about the extinction of the huia birds and how to protect other birds from suffering the same fate in the interactive story 12 Huia Birds.
    4.6

    App Info

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

    Overview

    12 Huia Birds introduces kids to the huia bird, an extinct bird species that once roamed the forests of New Zealand. Through the story, which combines fact with fiction, kids learn how Huia Birds became extinct. They also learn an important lesson about protecting existing wild bird species.

    Features include:

    • Facts about Huia Birds
    • Available in English and Maori
    • Audio Narration
    • Animated Illustrations

    Quality

    The app has the marks of a quality app. The illustrations are crisp and clean and the text and narration are easy to read and follow. Most of the navigation is done through the cover of the story, the Discover & Collect screen, or the more options ribbon which gives parents access to the protected parent area, the help screen, and the ability to change the language. On a few pages of the story, it is difficult to figure out how to advance to the next page and a couple of games lack a clear navigation path back to the cover of the book.

    Education

    As kids read through the story, they’ll learn about the Huia bird. However, that’s not the only part of the app designed to promote learning. In the Discover & Collect section, kids will learn even more about the Huia bird. There they can get an up close look at the birds, explore a field guide, and even discover 12 easy ways to protect existing wild bird species. It’s clear that the developers are serious about using the story of the Huia bird to teach kids a valuable lesson and that lesson comes through clearly. Parents can access more resources through the developer’s website. The site promises that worksheets and other resources to extend the learning are coming soon.

    Entertainment

    Throughout the app, kids will find many features designed to entertain them. Many of the pages of the story are interactive and kids must tap and drag illustrations before they can move to the next page. The app also contains a game section where kids can play three different matching games. Kids can also get have fun exploring the Up Close section where they get to listen to the sound of Huia birds and tap around the forest to learn more about these fascinating birds.

    Value

    This app offers a wealth of information about the Huia bird and teaches kids an invaluable lesson about protecting animals on Earth. The lesson alone gives it tremendous value.

    Child Friendliness

    Access to the parent area, developer’s website, and more apps button is protected by a parental lock. However, once parents enter the code, the areas remain unlocked until the app is restarted. Therefore, parents who want to access these areas should be sure to restart the app before they allow kids to enjoy it.

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

    cursiveletterschool

    LetterSchool Cursive Writing

    Quality
    Education
    Entertainment
    Value
    Child Friendly
    Summary
    LetterSchool Cursive Writing teaches kids to write in cursive through fun animations and repeated practice opportunities.
    4.6

    App Info

    Price: $4.99
    AppStore User Rating: 3
    Download on the App Store

    Overview

    Teaching kids to write in cursive may seem like a lost art, but it’s alive and well in LetterSchool Cursive Writing. This interactive app is designed to teach kids to write their uppercase and lowercase letters in cursive. Through the app, kids can practice writing each letter individually until they get it right. With two levels of play and multiple activities designed to have kids write their letters (and numbers) over and over again, there’s no doubt kids will have their cursive letters down pat after they make their way through this app.

    Features include:

    • Two levels of play
    • Practice writing uppercase and lowercase letters
    • Practice writing numbers
    • Two cursive fonts

    Quality

    This app is well-organized. On the main screen, kids see a list of letters in either uppercase or lowercase. They can also opt to practice numbers. A small settings icon allows kids to change the user (the app supports up to three different users) and select the type of font they want to use. An information button directs parents to LetterSchool’s website where they can find answers to frequently asked questions about the app. When it comes to writing in cursive, the app is responsive as kids go through a series of progressive tracing activities for each letter. Rather than providing direct instruction, the app uses small arrows and other subtle clues to help kids figure out what they need to do. It is a bit of a stickler for accuracy, but it will serve kids well in the long run.

    Education

    In the parent info section, developers give some insight into why they developed the app to focus on individual letters. Rather than overwhelming kids with lots of games and words, developers desired to keep the app simple. At each level, kids are given three different opportunities to trace each letter and number. Uppercase and lowercase letters are covered separately. Both of the levels are fairly similar. This helps ensure that kids truly do master the shape of each letter before they move on to stringing letters together to write words in cursive.

    Entertainment

    The entertainment factor of the game is enhanced by the cute animations that appear as kids write the letters. Sometimes a letter is covered in grass and a little lawnmower follows the lines of the letter as it mows the grass down. Other times a track is formed as kids trace a letter, and a train chugs along the track once the letter has been correctly formed. There are a host of other little animations that help keep the tracing activities interesting for kids.

    Value

    Given that the app is limited to writing individual letters and numbers and that many of the activities involve the same repetitive tracing, it is a bit overpriced. While it makes sense that developers want kids to focus on individual letters, the app would have more value if it included a third level that allowed kids to write basic words in cursive.

    Child Friendliness

    A parental lock keeps kids from accessing the LetterSchool website, as well well as social media links and information about additional apps. Kids can access the settings screen which allows them to switch users and reset scores, which is only problematic if you have multiple kids using the app on the same device.

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

    image
    Quality
    Education
    Entertainment
    Value
    Child Friendly
    Summary
    Space Agent is a highly-engaging and intriguing app that does an outstanding job of utilizing the unique capabilities of the iPad and will draw users into a world of active entertainment.
    4.5

    App Info

    Price: Free
    AppStore User Rating:

    Download on the App Store

    Overview

    Space Agent is a unique and challenging hands-on role playing game that deeply engages players in both mind and body. Players become space agents tasked with the challenge of hunting and capturing invading aliens bent on Earth’s destruction. The problem? The aliens are invisible and must be tracked by sound alone. Capturing aliens requires great hearing and outstanding coordination, not to mention stamina-the game will give players a great workout in many ways. The game does require headphones.

    Features include:

    • Engages both body and mind
    • Utilizes iPad’s motion sensitivity in a unique way
    • Outstanding sound effects
    • Engaging storyline
    • Stellar graphics

    Quality

    Developers of Space Agent have obviously worked very hard on this app. It is seamless in its presentation, the sound effects are astounding, and the graphics superb. The app will immerse players in the imaginary Earth where aliens are bent on stealing our oxygen. The app contains a tutorial to help players understand the mechanics of the game, but it would be nice if developers included a bit more help for those of us who are, apparently, quite challenged in some of the required skills. It was quite frustrating not to be able to pass the tutorial for sessions on end, so perhaps a “remedial” level of some sort with additional help that will help players hone the required skills would be in order. Otherwise, particularly younger players may get frustrated with the process before they can unlock the exciting and valuable game play. As it stands, if a player has difficulty with the tutorial tasks, they simply repeat with no additional guidance to give clues about what might be going wrong.

    Since I had difficulty with the basic skills required to use this app, I invited an adult friend (and gaming aficionado) to try it out. He felt the target zone for capturing aliens was quite narrow, making the game rather difficult for the target age group. He suggested separating the speech from the alien sounds in the tutorial, since these overlap, and overall, felt that the game was a very interesting concept but that in its present form, was rather difficult to play and could be frustrating to some young users.

    Education

    Space Agent is an outstanding example of an app that utilizes many of iPad’s capabilities in a very unique way. Not many apps will give such a physical workout as this one might! Players will need to tap into location via sounds (headphones are a must-the sounds are in stereo, but iPad’s built-in speakers don’t differentiate the two tracks) by physically turning toward sounds of the aliens as they approach. Aliens are captured by holding the device flat out in front of the body, then pulling it in towards yourself to “suck the alien in.” It didn’t take too many minutes of play before the spinning and yanking left me rather breathless! It was nice to play an app that required much more than sedentary skills.

    In addition to good hearing and a ‘sense of direction,’ players must concentrate and follow directions well. The app includes a detailed storyline that is primarily accessible through reading, so it could provide a motivating reading comprehension exercise, as well.

    Entertainment

    Once a player gets the hang of the basic movements and tasks involved in the game, it is extremely entertaining (not to mention great exercise for the arms). The storyline about saving Earth will be very motivating for most people. After all, who hasn’t dreamed about saving the world at least a time or two?

    Developers poured a lot of effort into creating the storyline and details of this game. It would be easy to get lost in the fiction, which means that the game is likely to really grab and hold kids’ attention. And there are over 80 levels to play, so there is a great deal of play value here.

    Value

    This app is free to download at the App Store. There are, however, some in-app purchases ranging from ninety-nine cents to $16.99. These are for a “protective shield” that protects the player from damage from alien shots. The shield can be regenerated for free a few times with success in the game, but young players may well clamor for purchase permission if they run out of shield before they run out of motivation to play, particularly when they are first learning how to manipulate the system. Shields range in price from 5 regenerations for ninety-nine cents to $16.99 for an infinite number of regenerations.

    Child Friendliness

    This app is child friendly. The in-app purchases are protected by a Parent Gate, but it may not be particularly effective for the target age group of age nine and above. To access the in-app purchases, all a user must do is solve a basic multiplication fact, such as 9 x 2. Developers should consider strengthening this protection and make it tougher for upper elementary, middle school and high school players to make unauthorized purchases.

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

    peekabox
    Quality
    Education
    Entertainment
    Value
    Child Friendly
    Summary
    Peekabox-Forest: Flashcards takes flashcard learning into the digital era with fun activities, videos, and interactive illustrations that children will love. This app is educational, entertaining, and easy to use for children of all ages.
    4.6

    App Info

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

    Overview

    Peekabox-Forest: Flashcards offers a unique way for children to learn animal names, facts, and sounds with a variety of interactive activities. With videos, sound effects, and pictures, children of all learning styles are going to love what this app has to offer.
    Features include:

    • Fun sound effects
    • Flashcards
    • 14 Animals included

    Quality

    Peekabox-Forest: Flashcards is full of great animations and illustrations that children will love. The developers have included three different icon types for the animals that players will explore (silhouette, animated, realistic). They have also included fun themes and weather conditions that bring the app to life as children explore each of the animals. While the concept is quite simple, the developers have done an excellent job including a variety of ways for children to engage and learn using videos, flash cards, a game, and flashcards. Overall this app is very well done.

    Education

    The concept behind the app is simple. Children are able to recognize and learn the names and sounds of 14 different animals. By using the ‘explore’ option, players can tap various animals to get a closer look and learn the name of the animal. The sound effect option allows children to learn the sounds of each of the animals. While most of the animal sounds are well done and easy to guess, some of them are quite unique and might be a bit more difficult to recognize for younger children. The developers have also included a fun game that allows players to test their knowledge based on the name or sound of each animal.

    Entertainment

    While Peekabox-Forest: Flashcards is designed to help children learn a variety of animals names and sounds, the developers have done a nice job of incorporating a bit of fun and play into the app as well. In addition to the game that allows children to test their knowledge, there are other activities included to keep children engaged such as dressing up the main character in various animal costumes. There is also an option to change the background and weather options that bring the app to life. The video section of the app is also quite entertaining as it allows children to watch each of the animals in action. Parents can rest assured knowing that this section of the app is protected and all videos are kept within the app itself.

    Value

    Priced at just under a dollar this app is an absolute steal! With so many options and engaging activities to enjoy, parents will be happy to know they can get this app at a price that won’t break the bank.

    Child Friendliness

    Peekabox-Forest: Flashcards is designed in a way that allows children of all ages to easily enjoy the activities and games included. By simply tapping and touching their way through the app, children can easily learn and play without needing additional assistance which is great. Parents can rest assured knowing the app is safe for children of all ages to use as well.

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

    image (7)
    Quality
    Education
    Entertainment
    Value
    Child Friendly
    Summary
    Patchmania-A Puzzle About Bunny Revenge offers a large and entertaining set of maze-like puzzles that will exercise logic, reasoning, visual and spatial skills as players guide the animals to eat up all of Farmer Lester’s vegetables.
    4.9

    App Info

    Price: $3.99
    AppStore User Rating: 5

    Download on the App Store

    Overview

    Calvin the Bunny and his furry friends are minding their own business when Farmer Lester destroys their forest home to create his farm fields. The little animals eat their way through the farmer’s crops by munching mazes of carrots, lettuce, mushrooms and more. Each puzzle presents a maze for players to solve to move the animals to their burrows by eating the vegetables in their proper order.

    Features include:

    • 625 puzzles
    • 4 animal characters and 1 farmer character
    • Engaging original story
    • 9 unique game environments
    • Intuitive controls

    Quality

    Patchmania Kids is a high-quality app that is easy to use and enjoyable to play. The controls are intuitive, and developers included a tutorial that explains the game, but it does require minimal reading skills. If a young child is playing, a parent or mentor may need to explain the game. The game is devised to utilize iCloud to sync between devices if desired.

    Education

    Patchmania Kids will exercise visual, spatial and logic skills as players attempt to solve each maze to help the animals eat the vegetables. Each screen presents a vegetable garden with rows of vegetables. The characters must only eat certain types of foods each, and can only move through the garden by eating something on every hop. This leads to gardens (mazes) that have several types of food in rows that cross over one another, and players must figure out which character to move first to get an unbroken line of food leading to the burrow.

    Children will quickly figure out the simple beginning mazes, but with over 600 puzzles available, the tasks become quite complex. They require reasoning, visualization, and prediction skills to figure out how to find the best paths.

    Entertainment

    This app will keep maze fans entertained for hours. The kids’ version comes with several levels of puzzles immediately available, and completing puzzles correctly earns points that can be used for unlocking more puzzles (a total of 625 of them). The developers also have embedded a hints system that will help minimize frustration when a puzzle is a bit too tough. The points earned by puzzle completion and several other activities, such as finding one of the farmer’s coins, can also be used to purchase hints.

    With each level, the story line and the play becomes more complex and entertaining, as well. Extra characters appear in the same garden patch, needing different kinds of foods, the animals start to use tunnels, and much more.  With hints being rationed based on points, it will be important to keep an eye on children’s frustration level.

    Value

    Patchmania Kids costs $3.99 on the App Store. There are 75 puzzles open when the app is initially downloaded, then extra puzzles and hints are available either for in exchange for points earned for playing lower levels. The app is a good value because it has a lot of play value.

    Child Friendliness

    Patchmania Kids is child friendly. The app does connect automatically with the Game Center, and has a ratings system available in the game progress section.

    • Parent area (contains connection to Game Center and ratings system)
    • NO outside advertising
    • NO in-app purchase
    • YES Game Center connection

    andy

    Andy Helps You Read

    Quality
    Education
    Entertainment
    Value
    Child Friendly
    Summary
    Andy Helps You Read Offers a thorough and thoughtful approach to reading instruction for kids with special needs.
    4.2

    App Info

    Price: $19.99
    AppStore User Rating:
    Download on the App Store

    Overview

    Andy Helps You Read offers focused reading help for kids with ADHD, dyslexia, and special needs. While not as flashy as many early reading programs, the app does a solid job of helping kids learn how to read. The 20 lessons combine word recognition, letter formation, and reading practice opportunities to give kids a strong background in many of the fundamentals required to help them learn to read.

    Features include:

    • 20 reading lessons
    • Word practice
    • Flashing practice
    • Reading practice
    • Developed by teachers

    Quality

    When kids first open the app, they’re prompted to tap on “Andy’s Helpers,” to get started. This short video tutorial features kids explaining how to use the app and offering their takeaway. It’s a solid way to introduce kids to the different components of the app. Parents are directed to the “Parent’s Place” where the creators of the app outline the overall structure of the app. This helps parents understand how the app is designed and how the design helps kids learn to read. It’s easy for kids to access the lessons. When they do, they’ll see three different activities: Word Practice, Flash Practice, and Reading Practice. The Reading Practice features narrated texts, but the narration could be improved by using an actual human voice rather than a computer. Each activity is also accompanied by calming piano music which kids can easily turn off.

    Education

    The creators of the app have put a lot of thought into the app and they take the time to explain their thought process to parents. Kids can go through the 20 lessons in any order, but it is best to complete them in order. In the Word Practice section, kids see a common word, and then tap on it to hear it. The Flash practice section shows kids different lines and letters to help add a visual component to reading. In the Reading Practice section, kids read along with a short text, and then answer some fill in the blank questions at the end. All of the activities move at a good speed for beginning readers and are designed to help kids feel successful from the beginning. The only real downside to the app is that the narrator for the reading passages is just a computerized voice, so a lot of the inflections and emotion that could help kids understand unfamiliar words is absent from the narration. This leads to a few awkward sentences.

    Entertainment

    Parents are encouraged to provide much of the entertainment factor by rewarding kids with stickers for completing lessons and printing out a certificate once kids have completed all 20 lessons. However, the app does have some entertaining components of its own such as animated icons, different speeds of flashing practice, and interesting reading passages. Andy, an airplane, also flies around at different points in the app.

    Value

    This app is priced higher than many reading apps, but the price isn’t entirely unjustified. Contained within the app are quality reading passages and lessons that prove to be highly beneficial to kids. While developers could add value by changing the narration, parents and teachers of struggling readers will likely find that the app comes with a lot of value, particularly if they can snag it at a lower price during a promotion.

    Child Friendliness

    All of the content in the app is child friendly. Kids can access the Parent’s Place and hear how the app is designed to help them, but they likely won’t sit through the entire video. The app also offers a short video tutorial that features actual kids to help motivate them to use and enjoy the app.

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

    multiplication
    Quality
    Education
    Entertainment
    Value
    Child Friendly
    Summary
    Multiplication with Ibbleobble is an excellent educational app that offers children a fun way to practice their multiplication skills. Fun, save, and easy to use.
    4.7

    App Info

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

    Overview

    Multiplication with Ibbleobble is an educational app that provides a fun interface for children to practice their multiplication tables. With varying levels of difficulty, multiple characters to choose from and fun rewards to earn with each play, this app offers lots of entertainment in addition to the educational features.

    Features include:

    • 7 Difficulty levels
    • Reward system
    • Easy to use

    Quality

    The first thing you notice in Multiplication with Ibbleobble are the exceptional graphics that accompany each page. The developers have done a great job creating an app that is brightly colored, easy to use, and has fun sound effects to help keep children engaged while they play. The user interface is also simple to use as it only requires children to choose the correct answer shown by simply tapping the number before moving onto the next problem. Overall, this app is very well done.

    Education

    While Multiplication with Ibbleobble isn’t meant to teach children their multiplication tables, it does give them a fun way to practice what they have learned. With seven different difficulty levels and the option to make each level easy, medium, or hard, this app offers a ton of practice for little ones who may need a bit more practice. Each character provides a different level so children can move up through the levels as they see fit. The medium and hard difficulties also offer a time limit for children to complete their problems creating more of a challenge which is great for more advanced users.

    Entertainment

    While there aren’t any specific entertainment only activities included, the developers have included some fun features that add to the overall experience for children. With each character profile comes a brief description of who they are and some of their favorite things. As children play under a specific profile, they also have the chance to earn rewards in the form of that character’s favorite things. With that said, adding one activity that has a bit more entertainment value would help to keep children a bit more engaged overall.

    Value

    Priced at just under two dollars this app is a steal! With so many different problems to solve and the varying difficulty levels, Multiplication with Ibblobble offers loads of practice for children who need it most. The fun characters and sound effects add to the overall appeal and makes this app a much more entertaining way of practicing your math skills than any other review method and is worth every penny.

    Child Friendliness

    In addition to all of the other wonderful features included, the developers have also done an excellent job making this app easy to use and safe too. With simple tap and touch functioning to move through each problem, children will have no trouble at all with this app. As a parent it is also nice to see that there are no advertisements or other distracting links to worry about.

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

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