Bluebee Pals Tutorial Videos Click Here

Bluebee Pals App Review by The iMums

Bluebee Pals App by Kayle Concepts LLC – Review

What we love…

Bluebee Pals app is a fun educational app which encourages kids to practice daily routines, using words to narrate what they are doing, sight words and play

 

Summary

Overall, the Bluebee Pals app is a fantastic app which encourages kids to learn as well as have fun. I love seeing all the different ways that my kids interact with the app and try the various activities. The app is gender neutral and allows you to pick your favorite Bluebee Pal to play along OR choose your own Bluebee Pal.

Our Rating

Bluebee Pals app by Kayle Concepts LLC is a universal app for iOS and Android. As many of you know, I have been part of The iMums for a really long time!

 

I’m pleased to note, that I had a chance to help design this app. The app brings BlueBee Pals to life using an app which teaches life skills such as; bathing, tooth brushing, washing hands, bedtime routines, as well as a kitchen which encourages your child to feed Bluebee a variety of meals and snacks. The app uses scaffolded learning, the first mini game is generally easier and for younger children – if you tap the arrow at the bottom you are given a more complex game for example, lining up your ABC’s turns into sight words. In the ice cream mini game, first you find the Bluebee Pals and then you have to match them to the appropriate beach chairs. You can learn more about the app on the Bluebee Pals website.

Upon opening the app, you are able to select your favorite Bluebee Pal – or one that you already have. Then you can view an instructional video where you learn more about Bluebee Pals and how to connect them. From there you can enter your child’s name – and while there touch each of the Bluebees to have them say their name and wave! Choose your favorite color balloon, and a favorite activity. A screen is presented with a variety of things you can do with your Bluebee Pals – did you know that Bluebee works with any Bluetooth enabled device ranging from a smartphone, laptop, smart TV, to a tablet? After that you are brought to the hub of the app where you choose a room for your daily activity – which I will highlight below.

The Bluebee Pal App

The app features narration and a variety of fun games as well. Below I will highlight each – these can be accessed either from the house hub or via the Bluebee Pals library.

  • Kitchen – Enter and exit the kitchen to try a variety of meal options including: breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Be sure to enter and exit the kitchen multiple times so you can see each of the meal options. The recycle bin lets you recycle items as well! There are cups, plates, food and even a cake to put on the table.
  • Living Room – Enter the living room and tap on the various objects including the couch, iPad and laptop to hear their name
  • Bedroom – Enter the bedroom and see how Bluebee cleans his room and puts his sneakers away! He also uses an animated guitar, shoe typing sequence and then a bedtime routine. In this room you can also put Bluebee to bed, change the covers and then turn off the light. After the Bluebee goes to sleep, you can go back to his bedroom and tap on the objects in the room.
  • Bathroom – Enter the bathroom and give your Bluebee a shower. Turn on the water and then tap the sponge to wash Bluebee’s fur. After getting out of the tub Bluebee needs to be dried with a bathtowel or blow drier. Then, brush the fur so it’s soft and clean. After bathtime, it’s time to brush teeth – kids move around the toothbrush to clean their teeth. After 20 seconds, teeth are clean and it’s time to practice washing hands. Then kids can tap on the items in the bathroom to hear their names.
  • Playroom – This room has learning and fun! Kids can practice their ABC’s and sight words, drag Bluebee through the maze, find a Bluebee on the island and match them to chairs, move cars and trucks around the track and hear their horns. Other mini games include a six piece puzzle, voice recorder so kids can record their voice — or parents can record their voice and have the app say it back. There is also a robot game where you assemble robots, dress up and match fruits to the right color balloon.
  • Bluebee Pals Library – Using this library you can select a mini game for the playroom. 
  • Bluebee Resource Section – this parental gated area requires a four digit date of birth where you can access resources including: voice recorder, activities along with app reviews, a letter from founder Laura Jiencke about Bluebee Pals. This parental gated area does contain external links.

My son loves this app – one of his favorite mini games is the cars and trucks around the track. He loves placing all the cars on the track at the same time and seeing them zoom around. As a parent, I love that the app has both an educational and fun component to it. My son will practice zooming cars, learning letters, practicing the names of foods and more! I really liked that we can show a bath routine sequence, and then follow through in real life. I also loved using the app with our Bluebee Pal Parker who speaks the narration and moves his head in time to the app. My son also loved reading with Bluebee – for a full list of items that you can try with Bluebee – look in the resource section accessed from the main hub of the house or try this link. The app contains a parental gated area with resources and external links. I find that my son is repeating words that he learned in the app – especially in the kitchen and I’ve even gotten him to ask for a few foods like banana as a result of seeing them in the app. Above, I have highlighted each of the individual areas and items within the app – my kids have spent hours discovering each section as well as practicing letters, puzzles, creative thinking to solve problems and more.

Overall, the Bluebee Pals app is a fantastic app which encourages kids to learn as well as have fun. I love seeing all the different ways that my kids interact with the app and try the various activities. The app is gender neutral and allows you to pick your favorite Bluebee Pal to play along OR choose your own Bluebee Pal.

iOS

Google Play

This review was originally published at The iMums.

NOTE: I was involved in the design of this app.

ReadAskChat by ReadAskChat, Ltd. – Review

What we love…

fantastic app that encourages parents and caregivers to read with children featuring a library of curated stories, conversation starters and bright colorful artwork.  I loved that we were able to carry over and do activities after learning about them during our daily lives like stomping, slipping, sliding and being more observant

What we’d love to see…

parental lock of some sort on the cog wheel – there are no external links but my son liked to tap on it.  I would also like to see a bigger parent’s resource section included – there are a number of resources on the web but not integrated within the app.

Summary

Beautifully illustrated app that encourages active reading via the story by asking questions, making observations and learning.  Kids can also tie it to real life and role play the stories.

Our Rating

Art for “Light of Mine” (c) 2012 by Christopher Lyles

ReadAskChat is a curated library of stories designed for children from six months to age 4.  The stories feature bright artwork, text and parental cues to help parents read with their children.  I still remember the first time I sat in the rocker with my then infant son and held a black and white board book to read with him.  I felt unprepared because I wasn’t sure how I was supposed to read with him or help him learn.   You can read our interview with co-founders Alice and Carolyn to learn more about the reasons on why ReadAskChat was created.  You can also read a paper about the science behind ReadAskChatThis app takes it beyond your device or tablet and encourages interactive reading using conversation starters to help kids engage and learn.  Key concepts in the app include rhyming, patterning, early academics like colors, shapes, early sight words along with math and science concepts.

As I have gotten to be a mom of two – reading with my kids has gotten easier.  They both know when it’s bedtime – we have 15-30 minutes depending on the day that we sit, snuggle and look at books.  We practice things like how to hold the book, turning pages from front to back as well as moving with the text via songs, pointing to objects and just handling a book.  In this digital age, it’s also important to consider that books are available on tablets, smartphones and other devices meaning that downtime doesn’t just have to mean that your child “plays” on your phone — you can turn it into educational time.

Here’s a snippet from Carolyn about the idea behind ReadAskChat

 The inspiration for ReadAskChat comes from personal experience. My husband and I are adoptive parents, and when our daughter Jiji came home at 9 months, she was clinically failure to thrive. She couldn’t hold her little head up or babble, or reach for shiny objects—things that 9-month-olds should be doing. But after only one month of reading picture books, singing songs, playing and snuggling, and “chatting” about anything and everything, Jiji was a fully caught up and happy 10-month-old.

When we read using my tablet or smartphone – one of the first things I do is to turn on the “night shift mode” which changes colors to be more easy on your eyes and less stimulating for children.  I also love that the app can change depending on which child I am reading with – meaning I can choose prompts for my toddler or my older son while reading the same story.  When you open the app, there are three free stories that are included in the library.  Additional stories are available for purchase.  Each story includes “conversation starters” – these are based on the developmental level of your child and can range from suggesting you bounce your baby in time with the rhythm of the story or music to questions you can ask your kids to prompt them to engage more with the story.

iPad Screenshot 1

Using your device, you login to the app to access the library.  For purposes of the review I was given access to the full library of stories.  When you use the app for the first time on your device or a new device you are prompted to download the stories.  The Starter Pack includes, “Light of Mine”, “Animal Tails” and “The Old Man in the Tree”.  In the subscription based version other stories are categorized by Big Ideas, Special Friends, Indoor Mischief, On The Move, Action Rhymes, Math Stories, Science Stories.  You also choose the developmental level for the conversation starters.  They range from baby (six to 18 months);  toddler (12-24 months); preschooler (2 -4 years).  As we have gotten more familiar with the stories we have recently changed from toddler to preschooler level to help him continue to follow along and be engaged.

My toddler aged son loves anything to do with cars and trucks and things that go.  We typically let him pick a story and then I choose one.  One of his favorites is Mario’s Trucks – which includes descriptive text like “Raise that Shovel!  Dig that hole”.  I typically read to him and then we talk about what we see in the photo – things like a yellow dump truck, a hard hat that Mario is wearing, a yellow digger and blocks and a crane.  The conversation starters also encourage parents to add the sounds to the story and then the “ask” which encourages kids to think about what the truck does – my toddler answered carries and dumps.    You are also prompted as you read to chat about what Mario might be building – my son said “tower”.  We talked about it being a construction site on the first page.  I also loved using the app to guide off-device play where we re-enacted specific stories that my son identified with.  The illustrations in the app are beautiful and encourage kids to look and pay attention to details.  The stories appeal to children and are not too overwhelming in terms of new information that is shared on a page.  They also gently encourage sleep or relaxation at the end.  At the end of the story you can either slide to the next story or close out of the app.

I loved the wide variety of content that was included in the app and that my son was engaged and learning from stories – which we could look at no matter where we were at a point in time.  I actually found myself reading more with my son because I could pull out my iPhone or tablet while we were waiting for appointments or had short periods of downtime.  He loved tapping on the screen to show me what he was seeing – and I liked hearing what he saw in the photos and engaged.  Both of us became more engaged with stories – rather than him sitting in my lap passively to hear a story.  In addition, I recently read to my son’s classroom and used ReadAskChat along with a software which was able to reflect my screen onto a whiteboard so that the group of kids could participate.  Although the app is designed for more 1:1 or 1:2 use it was fun to use in a class because it encouraged open-ended conversations and allowed kids to really engage with the story.  As kids get bigger you can encourage them to help swipe and actively pick out sight words, look at the images within the stories and pick out specific details or even find an object or color within the image. 

With my son as we read the stories and he’s become more familiar – we now sometimes play “I spy” to see the details that we might have previously missed.  One of the other things that I really enjoyed was the conversation starters to help me encourage my son to better engage with the story.  Another feature I liked was the “swipe lock” which made it so my son couldn’t accidentally move forward beyond pages that I wanted him to be on.   The app also lets you favorite stories using a heart at the bottom – my son quickly learned about this and we picked out his favorites and then we were able to scan for the hearts when picking a bedtime story.  I also really liked the descriptive words used within the app to tell a story which tied to the picture.  Words like  “slip and glide” for my son were new – so we actually practiced them by sliding our feet on the rug.

In terms of enhancements – I would love to see a section for parents to understand more about reading with their children as well as the importance. I found a number of resources on the website for Readaskchat – but they were not referenced when we used the app.  It would also be nice if the cog wheel at the top were parental gated – there are no external links but my son recognized this from other apps and wanted to touch it.

Overall, this is an app that is unique in that it actively encourages parents to teach their children while reading.  My son loved sitting on my lap and engaging – rather than passively listening to a story.  Since then I’ve noticed that when we read board books or bedtime stories he looks at the picture and we read and talk about them more – for example, find the green wall or white bunny rather than just reading the text as a more rote method of learning.

Pricing: Launch sale through December 25, 2017: Only $14.99 for the full library for one year.

LAUNCH SALE through December 25, 2017
$1.99/month
$14.99/year (which comes to $1.25/month)

AFTER DECEMBER 25
$2.99/month
$29.99/year (which comes to $2.50/month)

**Subscribers receive a new story pack (3 selections) bimonthly in 2018.

Note: Bulk rates are available for institutions.

 

NOTE: This app has in-app purchases

At the Zoo With Grandma and Grandpa App by Fairlady Media – Review

 

What we love…

fun zoo themed app which includes 8 educational games including spelling, math, animal sounds and a puzzle

What we’d love to see…

animal facts cards for each of the animals especially ones you haven’t seen before, perhaps a mini game where you draw the spots on a leopard or stripes on a tiger and the ability to feed the animals

Summary

Who doesn’t love spending time with their grandparents?  This fun zoo themed app is sure to delight and had my son learning animal names, spelling and math and he learned about a new animal each time that he played.

Our Rating

At the Zoo With Grandma and GrandpaAt the Zoo With Grandma and Grandpa App by Fairlady Media is not your traditional go to the zoo and see the animals type of app.  In fact it’s much more fun and educational!  The app features 8 mini games which you plan along as you meet new animals – some that my older son had never even seen at the zoo.  You also practice matching, addition, puzzles and more!  This is the 10th app by Fairlady Media and the first that features both Grandma and Grandpa as central characters within the app.  The app features over 50 animals from around the world and is designed for elementary aged children.

Educational games within the app include:

1) Animal Sounds: What animal sound do you hear behind the curtain?  Pick one from an assortment of 3.

2) Fix the sign: Use the letters to fix the sign – it must be in the correct spelling order, you move the letters at the bottom to match the letters on the sign and has a zoo themed twist using types of animals.

3) Spot the Difference: Which fish in the aquarium is different?  Tap to choose the right one and see what might be different about it as well as the name.

4) Tram Math: How many people are on the tram.  You can either finger tap count or see that each car has a certain number in it to solve the problem.

5) Jigsaw Puzzle: Put together the pieces of an animal and learn about them.  Does the animal live on the ground or in a tree?  What is it called?

6) Fossil Dig: Who doesn’t love getting dirty?!?  Use your finger to help find the fossil and don’t get dirty in real life!

7) Match the sign to the animal: Using your eagle eyes, determine which sign goes with each animal type.  I loved that the animals in this game were both ones we knew like alligator and other times a Tasmanian devil!

8) Feed the Penguins: Move the penguins to find the fish and feed them.

Other mini games/interactions:

1) Draw the stripes on the animals using your favorite crayon color

2) Having a snack with Grandpa is just the best because you never quite know what to expect 😉

3) Move the seal to balance the ball on his nose.  How long can you keep it in the air?

4) What trip to the zoo is complete without picking out a souvenir to store and play with in your toy box?

iPad Screenshot 4

I loved that this app introduced my son to new animals especially ones that were not traditional at the various zoos that we have visited around the country.  Having a variety of animals and games made the app fun and interactive.  We also really liked that both Grandma and Grandpa participated in the app – this was fun because we usually only see one or the other.  The graphics are fantastic and clear and my son learned something about a new animal each time that he played meaning that he kept playing to keep learning – a huge win!

One enhancement I would like to see is “animal facts” – perhaps you could add in cards at the end of the app that you earned with facts about some of the more unusual animals like the Tasmanian devil which would include a photo, animal sound and a fact or two about them.  My son also loved being creative and “drawing the stripes” aka decorating the animals with crayons and asked if there could be a game where you draw the spots on the animal or stripes on a tiger within specific lines.  My son also asked if we could feed the animals to learn more about them as well – we recently learned that a turtle at the aquarium liked brussel sprouts which encouraged my son to at least touch them!

There is no external advertising or in-app purchases beyond Fairlady advertising their own apps.  Internet access is not required to play the app.  External links are protected with a parental gate which requires your year of birth.  You can access the settings and turn on and off the games depending on your child’s ability level which allows you to target specific skills or make it easier for younger kids.  You can also turn on and off the music.

Overall, this is a fun zoo themed app that introduced my son to some exotic animals we had never seen before. My son enjoyed playing the app over and over again and learned something new each time if it was an animal or perhaps how to spell an animal name.  Huge amount of replay value and the app can target younger or older kids depending on the options you choose for the mini games. We paired Riley the Zebra for purposes of this review. Having my toddler play with the app made him laugh since he was a zoo animal!

Buy the app here.

MTA Animals by My Toddlers App, LLC – Review

iPad Screenshot 1

What we love…

fun personalized animal themed app that lets parents or caregivers record their voices to help teach their children about animals, also it uses real photos of animals versus cartoon depictions

What we’d love to see…

ability to more easily remove animals or categorize them by type

Summary

Fun animal themed app with educational value especially for toddlers and young children learning their animals

Our Rating

MTA Animals by My Toddlers App, LLC is a iPad only app that includes over 40 animal photographs designed to teach your toddler or children about animals.  The animals range from cats and dogs to whales and elephants using real photographs.  It is designed for preschool aged children and teaches image recognition as well as early spelling. There are two ways to access the app, one is a “toddler/preschool” version which means they can touch the different animals; the “parent/caregiver” requires to either multi-tap or press and hold to access the setup.

One of my 2 year old’s favorite parts of the app was seeing his picture as well as the animal and hearing my voice.  I always supervise my 2 year old when he is using my iPad and he seemed a bit surprised that he was hearing my voice from the iPad.  When you use the app, you are presented with a photo of your child/name, the animal and then a spoken statement.

 This could be a great thing for grandparents to record so that your kids remain familiar with their voices. I also liked that once your child heard the name of the animal, you could tap on it to hear the animals sound over and over again.  One of the things that differentiates the app from others, is that the app uses actual photos of animals versus cartoon type animals.  I also liked that it was easy to add animals, but child safe in that my son couldn’t easy delete animals without following a multi-step process.

 To add the animals, first you must tap on the “add” button three times, then you can choose the specific animal you want to add from a scroll of animals.  From there you record your voice (parent) reading a statement about the animal.  I’ll admit, there were a few times where I did add a word like “dog” and then said the name of my mom’s dog Lacey.  Once you have recorded the animals, your child can tap on the animal to see the photo of the animal as well as the spelling at the bottom which comes in while the word is pronounced.

 When you first set up the app, you enter your child’s name and put a photo of them so they can see their photo as well as the image when using it.  Also in the settings, you can change the background color and text to your kids favorite colors!  By the time we were done testing the app, my son was practicing saying the names of his favorite animals – even ones he hadn’t been familiar with in the past.

In terms of enhancements, it would be nice if could personalize the app for more than one child.  As it currently works, you can only add the name of one child/photo although I typed both of my kids names and put a photo of both of them together so one didn’t feel left out.  I would also like to be able to group animals by type – for example pets like dogs, cats and horse versus insects like ladybug or bee.  I would also like an easy way to “hide” or “remove” animals.  As I put more animals on, at times my son would just randomly scroll looking for animals and just kept tapping rather than engaging with the app.    It might also be fun if you could put in your own photos of your pets (like dog) instead of using the images contained in the app, in the future.

Overall, this is a fun animal themed app that encourages kids to learn more about animals in an easy to use toddler friendly app.  It includes over 40 different animals and can provide hours of fun for your kids as they practice seeing their favorite animals.

MTA Animals

Old MacDonald App by Loeschware

What we love…

wide variety of animals; original music

What we’d love to see…

repeating of Old McDonald song after you place all the animals in the puzzle

Summary

This is a great app to introduce children to a farmyard scene and animals. You may even find yourself singing along to the Old MacDonald song!

Our Rating

Old MacDonald-HDOld MacDonald by Loeschware features an interactive farm where children spin an animal wheel to select various animals to put on the farm. The company was founded by a brother and sister who have designed all of the music and artwork for the apps. If children select the right animal such as a cow, they are rewarded with the cow piece which they then put into the barn. If they select the wrong animal such as a fox or an octopus one of four actions happens to help them remove the wrong animal from the farm. They range from a tractor removing the errant animal to a puff of clouds. The app is primarily designed for toddlers and early preschoolers. It provides audio cues and music designed to engage players throughout the game. The app helps children practice spacial awareness, improve attention span, as well as practice fine motor skills and matching. My toddler loved this app especially when we paired Leo the Lion – he thought it was hilarious to hear him make all the different animal sounds. I found myself singing the catchy song as we played along too!

I liked the various animals that the game included – my son’s personal favorite was the duck. We also really enjoyed spinning the wheel to pick the appropriate animals and liked the fact that as you picked each animal it had a checkmark on it. The musical elements as well as the art in the app are fun and encourage children to sing along. I also thought the fact that the place where the appropriate animal was supposed to be placed was helpful, I can see this being really good for young children who may have trouble matching with the spot on the page.

I wish that the Old MacDonald song would be repeated with the names of all the animals after you have completed the puzzle. After finishing it, I would have also liked the ability to touch each of the animals, it finishes up rather quickly, so prior to dropping the last puzzle piece I usually do this step with my son. In addition, if a wrong animal is picked, I would have liked the action to vary a bit. My son picked the wrong animal twice in a row and the animal was kicked by the donkey each of the times rather than changing to a different action.

This is a great app to introduce children to a farmyard scene and animals. You may even find yourself singing along to the Old MacDonald song! Other apps by this developer include My ABC Train, Five Little Monkeys, and Big Top Circus. This app is currently part of an Apple handpicked selection for the “App Store Essentials: Apps for Toddlers”.

iPhone $0.99

iPad $2.99

Note – prices above were as of article publishing and are subject to change at any time

This post was originally posted at The iMums – it has been slightly edited for content.

Bogga Jewel by Boggatap – Review from The iMums

What we love…

beautifully  illustrated app that encouraged kids to “catch” the treasure

What we’d love to see…

ability to have multiple players, turn off the “three miss and you are done” rule especially for younger players

Summary

Overall, this is a fun app aimed at preschool aged children through early elementary school. I liked that it helped my son work on his “prediction” skills as well as figuring out which way to move to capture the bucket.

Our Rating

 

Bogga Jewel iconBogga Jewel from Boggatap is a universal app for iOS which features two different characters, a fun fishing game where you “catch” the prize as well as learn about recycling your catch.  Boggatap is a game studio based in Oslo, Norway who creates digital toys for devices. Skills practiced within the app include patterning, fine motor, attention/reaction, counting, concentration and prediction of what might come up next.  This app is best aimed at preschool although my eight year old did enjoy it for a short period of time.

Game play is straightforward – you are on a boat with either a boy or girl character.  Once you pick the character you click either the left arrow or right arrow to fish for boots and “treasures”.  As your skills increase so does the speed of the game and you must move faster to complete the levels.  As my son’s skills improved he went from using one hand to tap both arrows to positioning his hands to be able to touch both arrows while holding the iPad.

One of my favorite things about the app was the bright colorful ocean scene as well as the ability to pick your own character.  My older son quickly got the moves down to position his character in place to catch the treasure.  He quickly positioned both hands on the arrows so he could catch treasures more quickly and earn rewards.  The colors were bright and there is a lot of great interaction and items you can earn including a crown, trophy and more!  He also enjoyed catching the rocks so he could weight down the net to earn more treasures.  He also liked recycling at the end of the level – especially making pails.  This wasn’t something that was immediately apparent to him when he first played, but he looked forward to it at the end of each level.

In terms of improvements, I wish there was a multi-player mode so you didn’t have to reset each time if a different child played.  My son did also get frustrated at times with the three miss rule which meant you had to restart a level if you missed more than three items, perhaps there could be a toggle which lets you turn off this for those just learning.  My son also wished he could create his own avatar which looked like him which might be a fun enhancement in the future.

There are no in-app purchases or advertising.  There is a parental gated area (tap the key) where you can access social media, subscribe via email, rate and review as well as reset the app.   The app is COPPA compliant.

Overall, this is a fun app aimed at preschool aged children through early elementary school. I liked that it helped my son work on his “prediction” skills as well as figuring out which way to move to capture the bucket.

You can purchase the app by clicking here.

NOTE: This review was originally published at The iMums, and is being republished with permission.

Role Play with Dr. Panda Apps & Bluebee Pals

My kids love Dr. Panda Apps and we have reviewed so many of them here at The iMums.  I thought it would be great to put them all in one post so you can easily find the reviews and links to the apps!  Apps range from cooking, to chores/cleaning, role playing and more.  I love the amount of replay these apps get even years after I bought them and loaded them on our devices.  Dr. Panda started making apps in 2012, originally under the name Tribeplay.  They are based in China and California, and you can learn more about them here. We recently updated our review of Dr. Panda Town and are currently running a giveaway.  Those that share this post in addition to commenting get 5 entries!

 

Dr. Panda TownDr. Panda Town by Dr. Panda Ltd is the first free app with in-app purchases or IAP offered by Dr. Panda games. Dr. Panda was founded in 2012 and has a number of apps available for iOS and Android with great open free play options. This app includes in-app purchases for a park and a supermarket as well as a home setting. For purposes of this review, I will review both the park and supermarket settings contained within the app. The app opens with Dr. Panda pulling up to the town in his yellow car. If you try to open up the park or supermarket and have not purchased them a parental lock pops up before taking you into the iTunes store which requires you to enter your year of birth. Of note, I got the app bundle on one device and had to “restore” my purchase on my second device to be able to access each of the three places. We used language to describe each of the actions which made it great for practicing language.  Read the full review and enter our giveaway!

 

Dr. Panda Cafe

Dr. Panda Cafe

Dr. Panda Cafe from Dr. Panda Games is a new universal app for iOS which has your child making food and drinks in a cafe setting.  As you gain more customers, you have to balance time management, taking orders and making them as well as cleaning up.  As you serve more customers, you earn new recipes and foods to give to the customers. To play the app, first you seat the customer at a table – if the table is empty you can put the customer at it.  Once they are seated, you take their order and go back behind the counter as Dr. Panda to work on the order.  Items are broken into categories, and you tap on the correct category to make or brew the item.  Once you have made all of the items in the order, it’s time to serve it to the customers.  You can take orders from multiple customers at once, and make food the same way although it can bet a bit confusing!  Among the food choices, coffee/tea, cakes, pizza and as you get to know your customers better you can try to imagine what they might order in advance.  It was important to pay attention to the customers in order to keep them happy which in turn unlocked items after you earned stars and gave you more food and drinks to serve.  Read our full review

Dr. Panda's RestaurantDr. Panda’s Restaurant by Dr. Panda features interactive mini-games which include seating a variety of animals (patrons) and cooking a dish that they have in mind.  Activities’ practiced in the app include fine motor via chopping a variety of foods, peeling, sautéing in a frying pan, pinching and squeezing for making of juice, toasting and preparing bread along with cooking a variety of foods.  There are a variety of different dishes in rotation to be prepared and served to the various animals including soups, decorating cookies, making apple pie, a variety of fruit drinks and his personal favorite pizza.  This app could also be used in speech therapy to describe each of the items as they are prepared and sequencing of them.  This app was fun in that it was two restaurants’ in one, with one downstairs serving American theme and the upstairs decorated in more of a Chinese theme.  It would be great if the foods matched the décor on each of the floors.  The mini-recycling game was a nice way to remind my son what went into each bin and helped us practice our recycling skills at home.  We also enjoyed touching a variety of objects within the dining room to turn on and off the lights, touching the spider and interacting with the plates after the meals were finished.  My son enjoyed making cookies and making the soups best because they required precision in chopping and fine motor practice.  Read the full review.

Dr. Panda Restaurant 2

Dr. Panda Restaurant 2

Dr. Panda Restaurant 2 by Dr. Panda  is a universal app for iOS that puts your little chef in a tropical kitchen and allows them to make food to delight their patrons.  The app includes more than 20 ingredients including fish, eggs, peppers, tomatoes, three types of pasta, seasonings and more.  You can boil, bake, fry and cop ingredients to make the perfect dish for your patrons who arrive in parties of two via a water taxi and place their orders.  As you are making the item, the guest will stand at the window while you pick out the ingredients and make faces depending on what they want on their meal.  Each dish allows you to put different toppings to satisfy their taste.  The app includes a traditional diet as well as a switch for a vegetarian diet.  The app practices attention to detail, fine motor required for chopping, slicing and laying out the ingredients as well as making sure the customers are getting the food that they want.  In addition children follow recipes step by step which include making the pasta, pouring it into the colander, putting it on the plate and then making a sauce.  Other tasks include rolling out the pizza dough before adding additional ingredients.  Read our full review.

 

Dr. Panda Train

Dr. Panda Train

Dr. Panda Train,  all Aboard this app from Dr. Panda Games this time with a train theme!  In this fun themed train app your kids serve as conductor and they drive the train and tour one of three landscapes which includes jungle, desert and a beautiful countryside scene. Within the app, your child can drive the train either from a first person perspective inside the cab or from a distance.  They also can stop and visit the passengers to give them food, snacks, reading material and more.  My son even found some great tech to give the passengers.  Shovel on some coal to stoke the fire and make the train go faster to it’s next destination or simply blow the horn as the countryside goes by.  I liked that my kids could take turns playing with the app or putting passengers on and handing out items to them.  As you complete more of the game you earn extra items to give to the passengers – my kids favorites were of course the tech!    Read the full review

 

Dr. Panda Daycare

Dr. Panda Daycare

Dr. Panda’s Daycare by Dr. Panda  features Dr. Panda in a daycare setting where your child is in a virtual playhouse with five baby animals.  The animals have a playroom where they can rock on a rocking horse, bounce on a ball or play with a train.  In the kitchen they can pretend to have a birthday party, have breakfast or lunch and cook foods.  Upstairs there is a stage and instruments for them to play with and a naptime room.  There is also a backyard where kids can play with a slide, bouncy pit or pool.  The app encourages creative play and helps children understand that their choices can determine how the animals will play. It is best suited for late toddlers and preschoolers who will enjoy the setting while finding new toys to play with and switches to turn on and off. Read the full review.

 

 

Dr. Panda Airport

Dr. Panda Airport

Dr. Panda Airport by Dr. Panda is set at an airport adventure featuring ten activities including:  going through security, checking in at the desk, driving the luggage cart, getting your bags via baggage claim, controlling airspace via the control tower, counting money for a payphone and making a phone call, stamping tickets, cleaning the airplane. loading the flight with luggage and going to lost and found.  The app is designed for children in preschool and older through elementary school.  It practices skills such as fine motor, sorting, counting, finding a specific object, expressive language. shape recognition and matching,  and more.  The four main characters in the app are a monkey, elephant, raccoon and a hippopotamus who are all attired in different types of vacation clothing.  Read our full review

 

 

Dr. Panda Bus Driver

Dr. Panda Bus Driver

Dr. Panda Bus Driver by Dr. Panda has Dr. Panda is driving a bus around either a city, countryside, harbor or a variety of other locations picking up and dropping off his passengers, painting the bus, refilling the gas tank and more!  Much like a traditional bus, you have to stop to let passengers and other vehicles go by, stop for trains that will pass as well as clean up the bus after your “route” has been completed.  This app is designed for preschoolers through early elementary school similar to other Dr. Panda apps and will provide hours of open ended play for them that uses fine motor skills both from seating passengers and driving the bus either with your finger or by gently moving your device to steer it from side to side to ensure it stays in the road.  The scenery within the app changes each time you launch it – and can range a harbor complete with a  drawbridge, railroad crossings, tunnels, birds in the road to a countryside.  Dr. Panda must deliver his animal friends safely to their destination while ensuring they are sitting down on the bus and watching out for obstructions.  When an obstruction comes up – a warning “light” comes up inside the bus so you can touch it to stop for it and allow the drawbridge to go up and down, passengers to cross the road as well as watching out for birds and other wildlife that might be on the road.  Read our full review

Dr. Panda Handyman

Dr. Panda Handyman

Dr. Panda Handyman by Dr. Panda  Games is the latest universal app for iOS featuring Dr. Panda as he fixes of household objects that seem to have mysteriously broken through 14 mini games. The app is designed for toddlers, preschoolers and elementary school children.  The app is a great one for children to practice fine motor skills as well as naming and finding objects and tools. One of our favorite features of the app was fixing all the different objects around the house and the realistic sounds of the tools as they worked. We loved that the tasks varied so you were not always doing the same task over and over again.  My son also loved giving high fives to Dr Panda for a job well done!  The three dimensional graphics  in the app were animated and we saw familiar characters from the other Dr Panda apps and were very engaging for our testers.  Read our full review.

 

 

Dr. Panda Home

Dr. Panda Home

Dr. Panda’s Home by Dr. Panda is a universal app for iOS and allows your children to do chores in Dr. Panda’s House while earning an allowance for completing them.  The app is done in 3D and has over 20 mini games and activities to complete.  Your child is assigned a list of three chores which are checked off on a list as they are completed and then after they are completed, are awarded five coins for their piggy bank.  Your child can either spend the coins on small toys or save them to get bigger toys for the toy shelf.  The app is kid friendly and brings all of Dr. Panda’s animal friends to life while they help you do daily chores like emptying the dishwasher, cleaning the toilet and bathroom sink, sorting and doing a load of laundry, mowing the lawn, washing the windows and more. The app also helps with step by step directions, sequencing, following a task to completion as well as fine motor skills.  Read the full review

 

Dr. Panda Hospital icon

Dr. Panda Hospital

Dr. Panda’s Hospital by Dr. Panda Games is a universal app which features eight different animals that your child will take to their hospital beds, discover and treat their health problems.  The app features ten mini-games which include: treating an upset stomach,  treating chicken pox, giving an injection, treating eyes, ears, mouth/teeth as well as retrieving mistakenly swallowed items.  TribePlay was founded in 2008 and creates educational games for the iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch and Android and is based in Chengdu, Western China.   Dr. Panda and TribePlay are certified by the kidSAFE® Seal Program which certifies child-friendly websites and applications including kid-targeted game sites, web-connected devices and other products.  This app helps practice fine motor, sequencing, speech and discussion skills as well as creative/dramatic play.  This app provides a great rendition of an animal hospital for children to interact with and treat all of the various animals.  Read the full review.

 

Dr. Panda Racers

Dr. Panda Racers

Dr. Panda Racers by Dr. Panda LTD  features a racing theme that lets you build your own cars and track including jumps and tricks, washing your vehicle, competing against other Dr. Panda characters and more!  As you successfully complete the races – in first place you earn prizes which include race car parts, spray paints, and trophies.  The tracks can either be concrete, dirt or sand and you choose them prior to racing at the event.  To play the app you either choose or build your car, choose or build your track and then head to the pits for a wash before going out to the track for the race.  At the starting line you are prompted to buckle your seat belt and then it’s on to the race and fun stunts!  The track is controlled using a toggle which allows you to go 5 or 10 – and then the stunts require stopping to complete a tracing task.  Read our full review

 

 

Dr. Panda Firefighters

Dr. Panda Firefighters

Dr. Panda Firefighters is a universal app for iOS that lets your child fight fires, drive a fire truck, clear obstacles, explore over 30 rooms and more. This app is designed for toddler age and up and features Dr. Panda and his friends as they drive the firetruck to the scene of the fire, turn on the water and look around for flames to extinguish. It reminded me very much of playing fire engines as a kid, except Dr Panda was able to physically make the rooms rather than me having to imagine them. The app is great for toddler and preschoolers especially. It can be used to practice following directions, expressive language to narrate what they are doing and following along with the animals to rescue them. There is also cause and effect of fighting the fire, handing over the tools and moving on to the next level. Read our full review

 

 

Dr. Panda Toy Cars Free

Dr. Panda Toy Cars Free

Dr. Panda’s Toy Cars by Dr. Panda allows your children to role-play and use their imaginations in two cities with a variety of vehicles ranging from a fire truck, boat, police car, ambulance, cargo truck, regular cars and more.  The app allows you to “drive” with your finger, turn on and off sirens, put out fires, put up and down barriers for the railroad crossing and more.  The app is designed for children from toddler through preschool although my elementary aged student really enjoyed the activities contained within the app.  My son loved that two of us (or more) could play with the app at the same time as you can drive multiple vehicles simultaneously.

 

 

Dr. Panda Space

Dr. Panda Space

Dr. Panda in Space is a universal app for iOS, Amazon appstore  and Android which allows you to customize your own space ship and blast off and have open ended discovery in space of planets, asteroids, activities such as fixing your space ship, free play in zero gravity and more.  This app is aimed at preschool and early grade school aged children with lots of great free play opportunities for the younger children during the exploration phase.  The app begins with a customization of your spaceship where you then blast off into space and begin your exploration.  Read our full review.

 

 

Dr. Panda Mailman

Dr. Panda Mailman

 Dr. Panda’s Mailman is a universal app for iOS that features the post office!  This app features the ability to make and address your own postcards, pick a gift to package up for delivery including wrapping and delivery.  The app features a variety of animals, including a pig, the turtle (Toto)  we saw in Toto’s Treehouse, a monkey, elephant, sheep, hippo, cat, raccoon, elephant and more for a total of 12 animals!  After designing your package, Dr. Panda is off on an adventure to deliver your mail.  The stamp on the package or postcard helps him know where to deliver it and it’s placed into Dr. Panda’s scooter to deliver it.  The world includes rivers, forests, mountains and houses along with jumps, roads, road signs and more!  This app is best suited for preschoolers and early elementary aged children.  Skills practiced can include language, motor skills in coloring and driving the scooter, listening to directions.  Read our full review.
 

 

Dr. Panda Swimming Pool

Dr. Panda Swimming Pool

Dr. Panda’s Swimming Pool by Dr. Panda is a universal app designed for iOS that has the animals in a variety of aquatic settings at a pool. You can dress in a variety of bathing suits in the locker room while taking a shower and getting ready for the pool, diving off a pirate ship, playing in a sandbox, going down a water slide or playing in a small wading pool with a variety of lunch items available.  This app is aimed at toddlers and preschoolers.  Skills practiced include language both receptive and expressive, and some fine motor skills. I liked that the app had four different play areas similar to a traditional beach.  The graphics were crisp and they showcased especially well with the animations.   Read our full review.

 

 

Dr. Panda's Ice Cream Truck

Dr. Panda’s Ice Cream Truck

Dr. Panda Ice Cream Truck by Dr. Panda has you making your own ice cream using a variety of colors, mix-in’s such as fruit while whipping it up in a blender to make your favorite combinations.  Once your ice cream is created you then add your toppings like squeeze on caramel or rainbow, sprinkles which include chocolate curls, and traditional sprinkles as well as the ability to top it with candy.  After finishing the ice cream you tap on a bell and you help  the character eat it before paying for the ice cream sundae.  The payment for each sundae depends on the size, complexity and amount of toppings used.  I have seen cones range from four to 31 coins depending on how you put it together.  Read the full review

 

 

 

Dr. Panda Supermarket

Dr. Panda Supermarket

Dr. Panda Supermarket by Dr. Panda is a universal app for iOS which features Dr. Panda in the supermarket along with many of his friends we have seen in previous apps including the most recent Dr. Panda Daycare.    Dr. Panda is based in Chengdu, China where the national animal is a giant panda!  The app features the animals as they go grocery shopping and a variety of ten themed mini games which vary from shopping using a list, organizing differently shaped boxes, cleaning up spills and more with six different animals and their children.  The app practices fine motor, critical thinking and creative play skills.  It does not contain any language either written or spoken which means it will appeal to toddlers to early preschool age children.  Read the full review

 

 

Dr. Panda’s Veggie Garden Dr. Panda’s Veggie Garden by Dr. Panda allows your child to grow a variety of fruits and vegetables for their customers who are comprised of a variety of animals we have met in previous Dr. Panda games.  The app allows you to plow, plant, water, harvest and of course take care of any insect infestations or critters from harming your crops.  This universal app features sequencing, fine motor, visual skills as well as language to name objects within the app.  The app features a variety of different “steps” which include: digging, planting seeds, watering and harvesting for five animal customers using 12 different fruits and vegetables including corn, wheat, strawberries and apples to name a few.  In addition, there are two bonus mini games which help your child organize the tool shed.  Read our full review.

 

Dr. Panda Beauty Salon

Dr. Panda Beauty Salon

Dr Panda Beauty Salon by Dr Panda Games allows your child to immerse themselves into a spa experience where they pamper the pets and do a bunch of great mini games.  The app allows for open ended creative play and has some great hidden elements within to unlock.  This universal app had wide appeal with our testers, both boys and girls who enjoyed playing with the virtual spa.  The app features 13 mini games along with three floors of fun!   My son even enjoyed tapping on the pictures on the walls, finding the hidden nail polish which means your next client automatically gets nail polish and a pedicure as well as the smaller features like the vibrating chairs, magazines and variety of tasks needed to play the app.  The waiting room was fun as the customers entered – similar to other Dr. Panda apps and we loved listening to the music, reading magazines and sipping tea.   Read our full review.

 

Dr. Panda Cafe

Dr. Panda Cafe

Dr. Panda Cafe from Dr. Panda Games is a new universal app for iOS which has your child making food and drinks in a cafe setting.  As you gain more customers, you have to balance time management, taking orders and making them as well as cleaning up.  As you serve more customers, you earn new recipes and foods to give to the customers. To play the app, first you seat the customer at a table – if the table is empty you can put the customer at it.  Once they are seated, you take their order and go back behind the counter as Dr. Panda to work on the order.  Items are broken into categories, and you tap on the correct category to make or brew the item.  Once you have made all of the items in the order, it’s time to serve it to the customers.  You can take orders from multiple customers at once, and make food the same way although it can bet a bit confusing!  Among the food choices, coffee/tea, cakes, pizza and as you get to know your customers better you can try to imagine what they might order in advance.  It was important to pay attention to the customers in order to keep them happy which in turn unlocked items after you earned stars and gave you more food and drinks to serve.  Read our full review

Dr. Panda Art Class

Dr. Panda Art Class

Art Class with Dr. Panda takes kid-art to a whole new level of enjoyment and allows your children to make one of six different art projects with their favorite animals from the Dr. Panda series.  The activities include: making a kite, cutting to make a design, making a pinwheel, making pottery, making a bead design and decorating an object with shapes.  Skills practiced in the app include: fine motor, creative thinking, sequential thinking, creative play and of course FUN! He loved shaping the pottery on the pottery wheel, watching it get fired in the kiln and the painting it with the rainbow colored paintbrush.    I also loved that the art book hanging on the wall allows your child to choose an activity (from the ones available in the app) as well as choosing an animal at the table.  We had fun with all of the activities in the app – and also really enjoyed the cutting one which required you to fold a piece of paper in a specific way and then make cuts with scissors prior to unfolding it to see your design.  Read our full review.

 

Dr. Panda Hoopa City 2

Dr. Panda Hoopa City 2

Hoopa City 2 by Dr. Panda Games is the newest app in the collection, this app is universal and features a building theme which encourages speech, creative play and role playing depending on the activity in the city.  The app appeals to kids from preschool through elementary school, and I found myself even enjoying playing with one of my son’s cities. My son really liked all the content in the app.  He enjoyed putting people in the buildings, role playing and switching from day to night.  He liked building his own characters as he progressed within the app.  As a mom, I liked the amount of content that was offered and the variety of options for building, playing or simply interacting with the city.   The 3D graphics are beautiful and my son enjoyed experimenting to create the different buildings and testing out combinations to see what bigger and better buildings he could make.   Read our full review

This post was originally posted at The iMums in August 2017.

Sunset Train – Top Relaxing Bedtime Story Game For Kids By Jeremy Horton – Review

hat we love…

beautiful graphics, relaxing app designed to encourage sleep in young children; really loved the timer feature which allowed you to set how long the app could be played

What we’d love to see…

additional characters, ability to stop the train while in motion as well as visit favorite “spots” during the app after it is completed

Summary

Delightful app that encourages sleep in young children and special needs children especially those craving a routine.  Love that the time automatically finishes up the game with all the animals at home in bed.

Our Rating

Sunset Train - Top Relaxing Bedtime Story Game For KidsSunset Train by Jeremy Horton is a universal app for iOS designed for toddlers, preschoolers and others who like to have a routine for bedtime.  This app is bright and colorful and as the different passengers are picked up  and dropped off the pace of the app slows down to encourage your child that bedtime will be soon.  The app features an adjustable length (10, 15 or 20 minutes), musical soundtrack as well as narration in English.  The app features a countryside with a driver Wolfie going around to pick up the different animals and bring them home safely.  Wolfie provides an ongoing narration throughout the app as well as driving the train and says polite hello and goodbye to all the animals boarding.

One of my favorite features of the app was the ability to set the time limit and it was easy to change on the fly meaning you could sometimes play longer than others.  This meant that there would be no “fight” at the end of the app – simply when the story was completed the time on the iPad was done.  I also liked that you could turn down the narration and music and that the voices got softer and softer as the end of the app neared.  This app can be helpful for establishing routines especially with preschoolers and toddlers who may fight bedtime.  I also heard that it has been very helpful with special needs children as it helps them to set a routine at bedtime and encourage them to go to sleep in a timely manner.  I also liked that the app provided choices of which passenger you wanted to drop off first via a pop up at the bottom of the screen.  I also added to the app by explaining what each of the characters did –  for example the bakers made bread which encouraged my son to remember which characters were picked up where and what they did in future times of playing it.  The graphics in this app were incredible and featured bright vibrant colors which dulled as the night went on signaling bedtime.

In terms of improvements – I found that once we played through the app the content did get a bit stale after a while as the characters did not change. This means that the audience for the app will generally be toddlers, preschoolers or special needs children who crave the “routine” of a bedtime story completion.  My son also wished that he could make the train go faster or slower, once you tap the button to start the train moving, it will continue to move without anything being touched or tapped.  He also wished he could revisit the “nighttime tunnel” which is featured at the beginning of the app – the only way he figured out how to was to restart the app.  I’d also like to see a future version with an option for the words to be narrated on the screen in a true storybook type.  My son also wanted to know if he could sit the characters where he wanted versus the app placing them in specific seats – I explained that specific seats were assigned and then he wanted to know why they didn’t have pictures to show where they belonged.

Overall, this app is well designed for parents of preschoolers and toddlers who need routines especially to help them prepare for bedtime. This app can also be very helpful for children with special needs including autism as it provides concrete reinforcement that at the end of the time limit (10,15, 20) minutes that the app is completed and all the animals are home and in bed.  It can also be used to teach the social skill of saying hello and goodbye to others as well since this is repeated over and over again within the app. This app is available via iTunes.

 

Note:  This review was originally published at The iMums in 2014, we have not updated the review with the exception of updating the name of the app.

First Moments: Hudson & Camp; Sammy go to school

 


As a mom, I have seen many first moments in the lives of my children. First smile, first words, walking for the first time. Today, I saw another one of those moments. My son has special needs and is currently attending a summer school program in my town. He has had such a terrible time transitioning to summer school – with tears, crying and being upset many days when we get ready to go to school. We have been so lucky to test out Bluebee Pals and have started bringing him in the car with us on our way to summer school. My son adores Hudson and enjoys reading and playing with him both on and off the iPad.

Today, my son brought Sammy the Bear to school in the car. Sammy was singing Sweet Caroline in the car on the way to school. When we pulled up and got out of the car, we saw his friends. One friend had been having such a hard time going into the school and putting on his shoes. We were lucky enough to be able to give him Hudson Puppy yesterday afternoon. Today, for the first time in four weeks – both my son and this little boy went into the school without tears. His mom told me that he hasn’t put Hudson down since he got him. She said they were working on first do this, then you will get Hudson the Puppy.

As a mom of a special needs child, my heart aches whenever I see kids struggle and it was just so heartwarming to see both my son and this little boy go into the school happily and ready to learn.

That’s what parenting is all about – it’s about the small joys and moments that children can bring. Today, when the kids finished up with summer school my son and this little boy came out beaming and happy. My son told me what a “great day” he had and could transition successfully without tears. Again, I call that a huge win. Seeing the smile on a child’s face who has struggled makes it all worth it!

 

Bluebee Pals Plush Tech Educational Learning Tool

My sons connect with stuffed animals – they love talking to them, reading, singing and playing. To them, Bluebee Pals isn’t just a tech enabled toy – they have become a friend. Helping our kids grow for the future and be successful is what we as parents can only hope for.

 

 

By Carol B

Lipa Planets: Gods of the Solar System by Lipa Learning – Review

 

What we love…

Bright interactive story that encourages kids to learn about space and the planets, a built in timer that sets limits on how long your child can use the app

What we’d love to see…

Word highlighting especially as the app is read or in autoplay mode

Summary

Overall, this is a fun space themed app which encourages kids to play along while they are learning.

Our Rating

Lipa Planets: Gods of the Solar System by Lipa Learning is a universal app for iOS featuring Skipper the Space dog and his adventures through space. The app itself is free with gated IAP of $1.99 for the entire book. It is designed for preschool through early elementary school aged children and features a variety of languages for the narration. For purposes of this review,

I tested Lipa Planets: Gods of the Solar System with Hudson Puppy of Bluebee Pals and with my toddler son. There are three modes: autoplay where the book will read itself through; listen and play where the book will be read but your child can touch the screen; read and play where the child can independently read and do the different activities on the screen. The app has parental gates which involve touching a picture to access things like language, the Lipa Learning Portal, music and sound as well as a portal for parents about the app. This app specifically targets: science, language, exploration and experimenting and is geared toward “ready for school” or preschool aged children under the age of 5.

The app is bright and interactive which engages children. It is in a storybook like format where you can tap the individual pages for animations as well as moving forward and backward within the story. The animations are engaging and helped keep my son interested in the story. Each language is done by a different narrator voice, which I enjoyed because it helped to switch up the variety especially once my son had heard the story a few times. We liked the cause and effect of touching items like the photograph of Skipper’s grandmother, blasting off the space ship, a visual spinning of the earth. The app itself doesn’t explain that the planets are not actually alive or that it is based upon Greek Mythology, although the planets introduce themselves as that like, Mercury, Messenger of the Roman Gods. Each page when in the read to me mode, has a circle that allows for the text to be read again.  The app itself is free with gated IAP of $1.99 for the entire book and once you get beyond the free pages, you are prompted to get a parent to purchase the entire app via the app store.  There is a parental gate which does not allow your child to access the app store directly.

Having Hudson Puppy read the app and hold our iPad made it more fun for my toddler while he was interacting with the app. My son loved that when we changed the language, Hudson would speak using a different narration voice – and kept saying “do it again Mama!” as we switched between American English, British English and Spanish. I explained to him that we were listening to the same story, just in a different language with the same photos and the words on the page were the same just in a different language. This is a great way to expose kids to multiple languages especially once they become more familiar with a story.

In terms of enhancements, especially given the young targeted age I would like to see word highlighting. For the mini game where Skipper races against Mercury it would be fun if you could pilot the ships as they cross the page.

Overall, this is a fun space themed app which encourages kids to play along while they are learning. Having Hudson Puppy from Bluebee Pals read the story along made it more fun and interactive for my son since he liked cuddling with Hudson while touching the various parts of the app.  I also liked that I was able to expand his languages once he became more familiar with the app to touch the various parts of the story despite the language change.

 

TheiMums New Logo

 

By Alison from The Imums…I am the girl in the blue dress..

 

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