Professor Astro Cat’s Solar System by Minilab Ltd – Review

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What we love…

highly educational, easily digestible information, beautiful graphics, fun and engaging

What we’d love to see…

it is great as is, but perhaps just a brief description of the sun, moon, and planet parts


A fun astronomy app that helps children get a better understanding and appreciation of the world around us.

Our Rating

Professor Astro Cat’s Solar SystemProfessor Astro Cat’s Solar System by Minilab Ltd is a fantastic app to get children excited about the great outer space. It is based on the book Professor Astro Cat’s Frontiers of Space, by Dr. Dominic Walliman (quantum physicist) and Ben Newman (illustrator). It teaches astronomy in an a way that is interesting and easy to understand. The graphics in the app stays true to Ben Newman’s illustrations and has a beautiful retro look and feel.

Before playing the game, players must first create their user profile by choosing a cat avatar and entering their name. They will then get a short introduction and tutorial on how to play and navigate the app. While there is no narration or verbal audio in this app, you can play it in eight different written languages: US English, UK English, Spanish, French, German, Russian, Portuguese, and Italian.

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Professor Astro Cat’s Solar System explores the sun, planets, moon, and space travel. There are four areas of learning. First, on the left side of the screen are what I like to call fast facts. These are bits of trivia that are explained further when you click on the (+) icon beside each fact. Both trivia and detailed explanations contain only a sentence or two, making them easy to learn and remember, never overwhelming. Second, the planet/sun/moon unzips to reveal what it looks like inside For example, the earth unzips to reveal the core, mantle, and crust. This also contains some information about its physical features, such as whether it has atmosphere or not. Third, there is a fun “special featurette” on the right side of the screen. This is an area where one specific feature is highlighted and explored just a bit further. On Earth, for example it explains and illustrates why we have seasons, and on Mercury, it has a computer that allows you to calculate your Mercurian age. Some of these are just illustrations with a little more reading, and some are interactive. Fourth and finally, is the Jetpack Challenge. The Jetpack Challenge is a true or false quiz on the fast facts, unzipping, and special feature sections. It contains 10 questions that change each time it is played. If players get at least 9 out 10 right, they get awarded 3 stars, a medal, and parts to build a rocket. They then get to build the rocket from the bottom up. Once the rocket is complete, players get to ride it and blast off into space!

In addition to these great learning activities, it also has a feature where players can view a model of the solar system. The model shows the rotation and revolution of the planets around the sun, and can be viewed closer or further away. There is also a feature that helps children grasp the differing sizes of the sun, moon, and planets by comparing them to the size they would be if they were fruits and vegetables.

I love this app and my children absolutely enjoy it. My son, in particular, went through it in just two days, and I have been truly impressed at how much information he has retained after playing this app. I watched him take a Jetpack Challenge and pass it with flying colors. At this point there is nothing I can think of that I would like to see in future updates, except perhaps for a brief explanation of what the parts of the planet/sun/moon are when it is unzipped. I believe this app is best suited for children ages 7 and up, and I highly recommend it.

Astro Cat’s Solar System Astro Cat’s Solar System by Minilab Ltd

Price: $3.99 USD

Apple TV Best of 2016

\\ 2016 Webby Award Winner - Best App, Family & Kids ///

*** Pay once & play forever! No in-app purchases! No third party Advertising! ***

Blast off into space.

Namoo-Wonders of Plant Life by Crayon Box- Review

iPhone Screenshot 1


What we love…

stunning graphics and 3D simulations, very informative and interactive, music

What we’d love to see…

availability of 3D graphics and/or simulation while reading encyclopedia articles, sound and music settings


an impressive science app that used stunning 3D simulations and engaging texts to teach children about plant life.

Our Rating

5/5 stars !

NAMOO - Wonders of Plant Life“Wow!” Those were the exact words my children used when they first played Crayon Box Ltd.’s new app, Namoo – Wonders of Plant Life. It captures and engages you from the very start with a thought provoking quote, ethereal music, and amazing graphics.

Namoo, in Korean, means tree, and after the beautiful introduction that plays, a three dimensional tree appears in the center of the screen. You can rotate this tree completely and view it from all sides just by the swipe of a finger. The four main parts of the tree that will be studied (flower, leaf, trunk, and roots) pop out to the left and right sides of the tree. When you click on one of these parts, you will be taken to its submenu where you can either choose one of the lessons to study or exit back to the main menu.

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Each lesson includes a beautiful interactive 3D simulation that goes along with the included text. This allows you not only to read about the part or function you are studying, but also see an illustration of it as you manipulate the 3D image with your fingers. You can also see all available labels of a 3D image by clicking on the tag icon at the bottom of the screen. Finally, there is a encyclopedia style article that you can read by clicking on the note icon, also found on the bottom left of the screen. The article expands the lesson even further and is ideal for older children in the upper grades.

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Here is a quick overview of what lessons are included in this app. The flower section teaches children the parts of a flower and their functions. It also shows how a flower of a fruit bearing plant turns into a fruit. The leaf section talks about leaf anatomy and physiology, photosynthesis, and plant cells. The trunk section shows the parts of the stem and how water flows through it. It also gives a brief lesson on what the rings in a tree trunk signify. The root section illustrates how roots absorb water. It also identifies different types of roots.

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My children and I absolutely love Namoo – Wonders of Plant Life. It was an excellent supplement to our botany lesson and helped my children grasp the concepts they learned even further. This app held their interest and made them eager to learn more. I love the 3D images and simulations, and I found it a great tool to encourage my kids to narrate the lesson using their own words.

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For future updates, I think it would be great if the 3D graphics and their accompanying labels could be optionally available to view while reading the encyclopedia article. Having a visual aid while reading is helpful for children who are visual learners like my son. I would also like a settings option to toggle the music on and off.

Namoo – Wonders of Plant Life is a very impressive app that combines stunning 3D animations with very informative and engaging texts. It will get children interested in learning more about plant life in detail and is an excellent supplement to science lessons. I highly recommend it!

iTunes Link: NAMOO – Wonders of Plant Life – CRAYON BOX Inc.

NAMOO - Wonders of Plant Life NAMOO - Wonders of Plant Life by CRAYON BOX Inc.

Price: $3.99 USD

Smart toys can make science exciting! NAMOO is a fun, engaging exploration of the life of plants. Discover how leaves make food, experiment with underground root systems, or play with the parts of a plant.

Piiig Forest Explorer: Natural Science for Kids by Piiig Inc. – Review

iPad Screenshot 3

What we love…

Beautiful graphics, fun and simple with easily digestible trivia for the very young

What we’d love to see…

audio replay button, completed puzzle interactivity, home button, volume settings


A excellent primary science app introducing children to  forest animals and their habitats

Our Rating


Piiig Forest Explorer:... iconForest Explorer by Piiig Inc., developers of award winning Piiig Labs, is an app designed to introduce little ones to the few forest animals. It is an early science app, best suited for children up to first grade, and can be played in 8 different languages: English, French, Japanese, German, Swedish, Russian, and Chinese.  Read our review of one of the other apps in the story, Piiig Labs.

The game begins with a chipmunk peacefully sleeping inside its burrow. When you tap on the chipmunk it awakens and scampers up, revealing that the opening to its burrow is a hole in a tree stump. Now it’s time to explore the forest to search for food and meet some new friends. Guide the chipmunk by tapping the area on the screen you want it to go to.

On the top left of the screen, you will see a grayed-out puzzle of a chipmunk. Clicking on it will reveal 12 animal silhouettes. They are of a chipmunk, a beaver, a deer, a frog, a rabbit, a turtle, a woodpecker, two bees, a blue bird, a mole, a skunk, and a spider. All these animals, except the chipmunk, are hidden in the forest. When you find an animal, its silhouette is replaced by a full color icon of the animal, and a puzzle featuring it is unlocked. As for the chipmunk, you have to figure out what special action it needs to perform to unlock its icon and puzzle.

The puzzle consists of 16 large pieces. The pieces are revealed one at a time, and the game will guide you where to put the very first piece. Subsequent pieces revealed will always connect with one that is already placed on the puzzle board. You have 6 seconds to figure out where to place the new piece before the app tells you exactly where to put it. After all the pieces have been placed, the puzzle comes to life with a cute little animation. The animal’s name is shown in colorful letters, and an audio plays that tells you something interesting about that animal. For example, you will learn that frogs drink water through their skin and lay eggs that hatch into tadpoles underwater.

Guiding the chipmunk around is simple and a lot of fun. You can direct it to different objects to see if it will interact with it. It will climb trees, hop on rocks, run inside hollow tree trunks, eat berries, and more. You may also find something different happening in a scene that you have visited before. For example, the deer family can either be sleeping or grazing when you come upon them.

Would I recommend this app?  Absolutely!  It does a fantastic job of introducing children to forest animals and their habitats.  If you have young children, this is definitely worth checking out.

Forest Explorer is excellent for little ones. They are a few thing that I feel would make it even better. First, I think that there should be a replay button so that children can hear the animal trivia again if they want to without having to exit the puzzle and solve it all over again. Second, I think it would be great if the completed puzzle would include some interactivity to enhance learning. Children would benefit from hearing and seeing the name of the objects they tap on. On the frog puzzle, for example, children should be able to tap on the frogs, tadpoles, water/pond, and lily pads. Third, I would like a home button to return to the home screen, so that parents can access the settings without having to exit or close the game completely. Finally, the settings should also include a volume control or toggle switch for the background music and audio. I found that the background music was sometimes too loud, overpowering or competing with the animal trivia audio, which is more important for children to hear and listen to.

A excellent primary science app introducing children to  forest animals and their habitats.

Piiig Forest Explorer: Natural Science for Kids Piiig Forest Explorer: Natural Science for Kids by Piiig Inc.

Price: $2.99 USD

*Please check before downloading* --> NOT compatible with iPhone 3G/3GS, iPhone 4/4S, iPad (1st generation), iPad 2, iPad Mini (1st generation) & iPod touch (1st to 5th generation).

Did you know.

Art Gurus by Colto – Review

screen art gurus

Art Gurus by Colto is a drawing app geared towards children under five years old. In this app, a scrollable classroom scene unfolds where we find some items that are missing color. Children are invited and encouraged to decorate, color or draw on these items as they wish and see their creations added to the scene.

What we love…

Simple to use, fun to see art come alive on the scene, it encourages creativity and imagination.

What we’d love to see…

More stickers, black crayon and pencil tool.


A simple drawing app that encourages children’s creativity.

Our Rating

When children tap on the items, a set of three drawing tools appear: crayons, stickers and a magic wand. The crayons come with 15 colors, perhaps to keep the little ones from being too overwhelmed. However, I noticed that black wasn’t one of them, and I wish this was included as it is standard in many crayon boxes. Like the crayons, there are only a few stickers to choose from, 18 all together. I like the selection they have, but would like to see more added in a future update. The magic wand is a tool that decorates items instantly. It can be pressed repeatedly to see the item decorated differently each time. In addition to these great tools, I would like to see colored pencils included for finer drawing or writing.

I like this app because it is very simple for little ones. It encourages them to be creative, and seeing their creations appear in the classroom is great motivation. I like that they are able to save a photo of the whole classroom by clicking on the camera icon on the page. There are external links in this app, but children are prevented from accessing with a parental lock. Be aware that if your child can read, he or she can easily open the parent lock.

I would recommend Art Gurus for very young children who like to color and who are just beginning to draw.

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Art Gurus

Art Gurus Art Gurus by Colto
Category: Education, Games, Family
Requirements: Compatible with iPad2Wifi-iPad2Wifi, iPad23G-iPad23G, iPhone4S-iPhone4S, iPadThirdGen-iPadThirdGen, iPadThirdGen4G-iPadThirdGen4G, iPhone5-iPhone5, iPodTouchFifthGen-iPodTouchFifthGen, iPadFourthGen-iPadFourthGen, iPadFourthGen4G-iPadFourthGen4G, iPadMini-iPadMini, iPadMini4G-iPadMini4G, iPhone5c-iPhone5c, iPhone5s-iPhone5s, iPadAir-iPadAir, iPadAirCellular-iPadAirCellular, iPadMiniRetina-iPadMiniRetina, iPadMiniRetinaCellular-iPadMiniRetinaCellular, iPhone6-iPhone6, iPhone6Plus-iPhone6Plus, iPadAir2-iPadAir2, iPadAir2Cellular-iPadAir2Cellular, iPadMini3-iPadMini3, iPadMini3Cellular-iPadMini3Cellular, iPodTouchSixthGen-iPodTouchSixthGen, iPhone6s-iPhone6s, iPhone6sPlus-iPhone6sPlus, iPadMini4-iPadMini4, iPadMini4Cellular-iPadMini4Cellular, iPadPro-iPadPro, iPadProCellular-iPadProCellular, iPadPro97-iPadPro97, iPadPro97Cellular-iPadPro97Cellular, iPhoneSE-iPhoneSE, iPhone7-iPhone7, iPhone7Plus-iPhone7Plus, iPad611-iPad611, iPad612-iPad612, iPad71-iPad71, iPad72-iPad72, iPad73-iPad73, iPad74-iPad74, iPhone8-iPhone8, iPhone8Plus-iPhone8Plus, iPhoneX-iPhoneX, iPad75-iPad75, iPad76-iPad76, iPhoneXS-iPhoneXS, iPhoneXSMax-iPhoneXSMax, iPhoneXR-iPhoneXR, iPad812-iPad812, iPad834-iPad834, iPad856-iPad856, iPad878-iPad878, Watch4-Watch4, iPadMini5-iPadMini5, iPadMini5Cellular-iPadMini5Cellular, iPadAir3-iPadAir3, iPadAir3Cellular-iPadAir3Cellular
Size: 24.4 MB