AppStore User Rating:
Highlights: All About allows young children to explore child-friendly topics in typical Highlights magazine style. Each section includes stories, puzzles and activity ideas that will help children take their understanding to the next level.
- Different kinds of puzzles that exercise visual, reasoning and other skills
- Professional narration on stories with highlighting
- Stories at various levels for early readers
- Activity suggestions that get kids up and moving
- Recording activities
Highlights: All About is a high quality app that will provide hours of fun for young children. The navigation and controls are very child-friendly, with clear icons that will help non-readers find their favorites or choose new kinds of fun. App developers have included the ability to turn background music on and off, which is always a plus. A short Parents’ Guide will help parents and caregivers find all of the features of the software. Parents should be aware, however, that the downloadable books contain a LOT of content and will take time to load for the first time. On my slower connection, it took nearly 15 minutes to download each one. Best to do that part before you promise your little one a play time!
Highlights Magazine has been providing “Fun with a Purpose” for decades now, and is well-known for its consistently high-quality product. Generations of children have enjoyed the creative stories, the hidden picture puzzles, the brain-teasers, and more, and this app lives up to the same reputation as it brings these features to life on the iPad. Each activity included in the All About sections will help children have fun as they get ready to learn new things both in this context and later in school.
The app includes one free activity “book,” All About Fall. There are ten puzzles, four stories/poems, and six activities included in this free sample, so children will have a wide array of fun with this first section. The puzzles, in typical Highlights magazine style, exercise many important skills that form foundations for learning, including visual closure, eye-hand coordination, matching, and more. Each can be played again and again, and kids are sure to pick their favorites. The reading section has an array of difficulty levels represented, including a rebus story (story with pictures of some of the main items as well as words), poetry, and longer stories. Everything is beautifully illustrated and professionally narrated. I do wish there was a way to turn off the narration for older readers looking for more of a challenge, but it’s always fun to be read to. The activities section includes three creative drawing challenges on different backgrounds, a “recording studio” that uses the iPad’s built-in camera to help the child make a video showing actions to go with a fall poem, and two videos that show other children responding to questions that should get children thinking about interesting topics.
The Highlights: All About app is very entertaining. The activities are fairly short, but very engaging. Nearly any child will find something fun to do, just like the magazine always includes an array of content that will capture the interest of most readers. Everything is bright and colorful, but not distractingly so. Children can find just the right amount of interactivity to suit their current mood, too, ranging from completely interactive tasks like the hidden pictures or the drawing activities to quieter listening to stories or even watching a video.
The Highlights: All About app is free in the App Store and comes with one “book” about fall. There are currently five other books available and five more listed as “coming soon.” Each of the extra activity packs cost $1.99, but if a user has purchased the print version, they receive a code to download the companion volume in the app for free. Each of these packs include about twenty activities, and will give most children quite a bit of engaging fun.
This app is child-friendly. There are effective parent gates on all email, rating, and internet links, as well as purchase of other books. However, when a user presses the wrench on the home screen or touches a new book that has not been purchased, the input fields and buy buttons are visible.
- NO social media
- NO 3rd party ads
- YES Parent area (unprotected, but visible, does not contain links)
- YES external links (protected, but visible)
- YES in-app purchases (protected, but visible)
- YES email links (protected, but visible)
Highlights: All About is a wonderful digital addition to the Highlights family. Just like in the magazine, the app provides a wide array of activities that encourage thinking skills, practice foundational academic skills, and more.