Bamba Craft by Mezmedia/ Bamba Kids -Review + Win an iPad Mini



iPad Screenshot 1

What we love…

Exploring the rooms, the variety of templates, all the creative opporunities

What we’d love to see…

More art supplies- different pen widths and more color choices

Summary

A really fun creative app, amazing amount of content for free!

Our Rating

Bamba CraftSingapore-based app developer Bamba are known for their fun, creative kids apps.. We have previously reviewed many of their apps including Bamba Ice-cream, Bamba Burger, Bamba Pizza, and Bamba Toys. Bamba Craft is their newest app and it allows children to go on crafting adventures and use their creativity. It has no adverts or social media links, there are appstore and in-app purchase links which are protected by a maths question parental gate. The app is fully functional, but has additional “rooms” available for in-app purchase. This review is of the free app. 20140325-171613.jpgThe action starts in the craft room where the child selects which template to use, and cuts it out with the Bamba cutting machine. There are 15 different templates to choose from- from a T-shirt through a jellyfish to a television. Once they have cut out the template they go on a mission to collect materials for their project. There are 4 rooms included in the app -an alien spaceship, a kitchen, a fairy tale palace and a cave, 3 more are available for in-app purchase -a haunted castle, a pirate ship and a lab. Currently the extra rooms are $1.99 each or $3.99 for all 3. The child can collect objects from just one room or many- the choice is theirs. 20140325-171137.jpgBack in the craft studio they can decorate their project using the items they have collected. The items act as stickers and they can be re-sized, rotated and duplicated, the child can use everything they collected or pick and choose. Once they are happy with the stickers they can decorate the background using a variety of art supplies. They can choose from a roller, paintbrush or pencil in seven colors. The colors are black plus the primary colors- red, blue and yellow and the secondary colors orange, purple and green. Once they are happy with their project it goes through the massive Bamba Craft machine. The completed project appears with a background e.g. the butterfly is in the sky over flower fields, and a boy models the T-shirt design. Completed projects go on view in the Gallery where you can see your own and other people’s creations from all over the world. A magic wheel awards it stars, and app users can give more stars to their favorite creations. Completing projects earns rewards which appear in the rooms as new objects to collect.

20140325-171152.jpgOverall this is a really fun creative app. I like exploring the rooms and all the different templates available. The one change I would make is to add some more choices to the art materials- variable width pen tips, different textures and more color choices. It has an amazing amount of content for free and I highly recommend downloading today!

The app is currently FREE to download and includes all 15 templates and 4 rooms, an additional 3 rooms are available for IAP. Bamba Craft – Mezmedia

Bamba Craft - Kids draw, doodle, color and share their creations online
Bamba Craft - Kids draw, doodle, color and share their creations online
by Mezmedia

Category: Education, Games, Family
Requirements: Compatible with iPad2Wifi-iPad2Wifi, iPad23G-iPad23G, iPadThirdGen-iPadThirdGen, iPadThirdGen4G-iPadThirdGen4G, iPadFourthGen-iPadFourthGen, iPadFourthGen4G-iPadFourthGen4G, iPadMini-iPadMini, iPadMini4G-iPadMini4G, iPadAir-iPadAir, iPadAirCellular-iPadAirCellular, iPadMiniRetina-iPadMiniRetina, iPadMiniRetinaCellular-iPadMiniRetinaCellular, iPadAir2-iPadAir2, iPadAir2Cellular-iPadAir2Cellular, iPadMini3-iPadMini3, iPadMini3Cellular-iPadMini3Cellular, iPadMini4-iPadMini4, iPadMini4Cellular-iPadMini4Cellular, iPadPro-iPadPro, iPadProCellular-iPadProCellular, iPadPro97-iPadPro97, iPadPro97Cellular-iPadPro97Cellular, iPad611-iPad611, iPad612-iPad612, iPad71-iPad71, iPad72-iPad72, iPad73-iPad73, iPad74-iPad74
Size: 144.59 MB

$FREE

Screenshots for iPad
(Click to enlarge)

Giveaway

To celebrate the Release of Bamba Craft, Bamba have paired with The iMums to giveaway an iPad mini !! Enter via this link. Remember you can get extra entries by downloading the app and reviewing on iTunes, by social media shares of this review and by submitting a picture of your child playing Bamba Craft – Good Luck!!

Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).


iRead With: Caillou: What’s That Funny Noise? by Tribal Nova -Review




iPad Screenshot 2

What we love…

Living words, questions and ideas  to help engage the child in the story, theater mode

What we’d love to see…

Word highlighting as read, ability to label videos.

Summary

A gentle tale about noises that keep Caillou awake at bedtime, appropriate for children aged2-5. The story is enhanced with living words, interactions and a theatre where children can tell their own Caillou stories. It helps parents to involve their children in the story by providing questions to ask  on every page, so they get the most from the reading experience.

Our Rating

Caillou: What's That Funny Noise? - i Read With learning method for preschool kids iRead With is a new educational app series from Canadian app developer Tribal Nova, developers of the iLearn with series of educational apps. The first 2 books in the series feature Caillou the popular children’s television character. The books are designed to be used by parents with their preschooler to help prepare them to learn to read. They were developed with McGill University’s Child Phonology Lab and uses the Dialogic Reading method. Simply put this method encourages parents to interact with children when reading to them- prompting them with questions , expanding on their responses, re-iterating important information and encouraging them to re-tell the story.

This review is of the first book in the series “Caillou: What’s That Funny Noise?” There are 3 options : “Listen”- where the story is professionally narrated, “Read and Talk” – where the caregiver narrates and is given suggested questions at 3 different levels, and “Theater” where the child can use scenes and characters to re-tell the story.

For those unfamiliar with Caillou, he is a bald-headed preschooler who lives with his parents and younger sister Rosie and the family cat Gilbert. Caillou is the star of a series of books by author Christine L’Heureux and illustrator Hélène Desputeaux. His adventures center around everyday experiences and involve his family and friends. Caillou’s adventures were made into an animated television series in Canada and this has been a long running preschool show on PBS. When my children were younger they children loved to watch Caillou and listen to his stories being read.

In “What’s That Funny Noise?” it’s bedtime for Caillou, but he is having a hard time getting to sleep. He hears a funny scratching noise and see shadows on his bed. Scared, he calls his mommy who reassures him and explains where the shadows are coming from. Caillou still can’t sleep and is frightened there may be a monster in his room. His daddy comes in next to reassure him and settle him in bed. Finally after several visits from mom and dad the identity of the “monster” is revealed and Caillou can relax and go to sleep.

Throughout the text are scattered “living words” these are bigger and in color to make them easily identifiable. If you press and hold the word you can record  your child saying the word, and you will hear their recording whenever you touch that word in future. Touching living words triggers an animation related to the word, both in the picture and by the word itself. For instance touching”mommy” makes Caillou’s mommy kiss him, and hearts appear around her and the word mommy; whereas touching “shadows” makes shadows appear and disappear in the room and makes a shadow appear from the word shadows.

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At the bottom of each page are a parent and a child icons, these can be customized in settings. Beside the parent icon suggestions appear for questions to ask the child,  tapping the child icon shows hints on how to answer the question. There are 3 different reading levels for the story- the story is basically the same, but in level 1 there are less living words and fewer simpler questions. Level 2 adds more living words and more questions, in level 3 the questions become more complex and involve more story comprehension and the child no longer gets hints.

The app was originally released without narration, but this has now been added. I understand why it was released without narration as the dialogic reading method is designed to be a 2-way interaction between the child and caregiver, which can’t happen when they are just listening to the narration. Although it is nice to be able to also listen to the story independently, I would encourage parents to also take time to fully utilize the app’s features by reading the story to the child and asking questions and interacting with them. The professional narration is well-done, it does not have word highlighting as it is read, it would be nice to see this added in a future update.

In Theater mode the child can choose from a variety of backgrounds in and around Caillou’s home. As the child explores the story they can unlock puppets (people and objects) to use in the theater. Once they have chosen their actors and props the child can record their own short video- moving the puppets around the scene and recording their own dialog and sound effects. The videos are stored for future viewing. It would be nice to be able to give the videos a name so that if the child, or siblings, record more than one video with the same background it is easy to tell them apart.

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Caillou stories are perfect for toddlers and pre-school aged children, they are bright and colorful, tell stories of everyday events the children can easily relate to, and are calm and gentle tales. Getting children actively engaged with books from an early age, and getting them thinking and talking about what has been read is very important. It helps them to develop a good vocabulary and lays a foundation for skills they will need in their school years. I think this series is a very useful reminder of the importance of making reading with your child a 2-way communication, and it actively encourages parents to interact with their children when reading. Many parents already do this, but for those who don’t, or who need some more practice in developing questions, it provides a useful framework for developing this skill. The “living words” are a nice feature too, as the interactivity associated with them  – from recording the word, and the animations it triggers, help children to associate the written and spoken word with its meaning. I like the inclusion of the theater mode too as it encourages children to use their imagination and tell their own stories. Highly recommended for children aged 2-5 years.

Caillou: What’s That Funny Noise? – i Read With learning method for preschool kids – Tribal Nova

Caillou: What's That Funny Noise? by i Read With Caillou: What's That Funny Noise? by i Read With by Tribal Nova
Category: Books, Education
Requirements: Compatible with iPad2Wifi-iPad2Wifi, iPad23G-iPad23G, iPadThirdGen-iPadThirdGen, iPadThirdGen4G-iPadThirdGen4G, iPadFourthGen-iPadFourthGen, iPadFourthGen4G-iPadFourthGen4G, iPadMini-iPadMini, iPadMini4G-iPadMini4G, iPadAir-iPadAir, iPadAirCellular-iPadAirCellular, iPadMiniRetina-iPadMiniRetina, iPadMiniRetinaCellular-iPadMiniRetinaCellular, iPadAir2-iPadAir2, iPadAir2Cellular-iPadAir2Cellular, iPadMini3-iPadMini3, iPadMini3Cellular-iPadMini3Cellular, iPadMini4-iPadMini4, iPadMini4Cellular-iPadMini4Cellular, iPadPro-iPadPro, iPadProCellular-iPadProCellular, iPadPro97-iPadPro97, iPadPro97Cellular-iPadPro97Cellular, iPad611-iPad611, iPad612-iPad612, iPad71-iPad71, iPad72-iPad72, iPad73-iPad73, iPad74-iPad74
Size: 57.15 MB

$2.99USD

Caillou: What’s That Funny Noise? – i Read With learning method for preschool kids – Tribal Nova

Caillou: Show and Tell by i Read With Caillou: Show and Tell by i Read With by Tribal Nova
Category: Books, Education
Requirements: Compatible with iPad2Wifi-iPad2Wifi, iPad23G-iPad23G, iPadThirdGen-iPadThirdGen, iPadThirdGen4G-iPadThirdGen4G, iPadFourthGen-iPadFourthGen, iPadFourthGen4G-iPadFourthGen4G, iPadMini-iPadMini, iPadMini4G-iPadMini4G, iPadAir-iPadAir, iPadAirCellular-iPadAirCellular, iPadMiniRetina-iPadMiniRetina, iPadMiniRetinaCellular-iPadMiniRetinaCellular, iPadAir2-iPadAir2, iPadAir2Cellular-iPadAir2Cellular, iPadMini3-iPadMini3, iPadMini3Cellular-iPadMini3Cellular, iPadMini4-iPadMini4, iPadMini4Cellular-iPadMini4Cellular, iPadPro-iPadPro, iPadProCellular-iPadProCellular, iPadPro97-iPadPro97, iPadPro97Cellular-iPadPro97Cellular, iPad611-iPad611, iPad612-iPad612, iPad71-iPad71, iPad72-iPad72, iPad73-iPad73, iPad74-iPad74
Size: 56.85 MB

$2.99USD

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Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).


News: White the App Inspired by The Theatre Production is Released – FREE until the end of March



 iPhone Screenshot 5

Into the World of White

 

Imagine a world without colour, where the sky, the trees and the grass are all as white as cotton. It’s a beautifully strange world where eggs fall from the sky to be looked after by two funny little men in knitted bobble-hats. Welcome to the world of White, Catherine Wheels Theatre Company’s smash-hit show for children aged two to four, currently touring to Beverley Hills, California from their home base in Scotland.

 

The show has now inspired the world’s first theatrical app for very young children, created by Hippotrix, an app developer based in East Lothian Scotland in partnership with Catherine Wheels. The iOS app takes babies and toddlers inside the performance to catch and care for the eggs, and enjoy a riotous party.

 iPhone Screenshot 1

Creator of White, Andy Manley, said: “The production has been an amazing success, and has toured all over the world. But we thought an app would be a great way to sprinkle a little bit of White’s magic even more widely, so kids who can’t get to see a live performance can still take part.”

 

Hippotrix Producer Simone Bloomfield noted: “It was vital for us to preserve the award-winning designs for the show, along with Andy’s terrific story, so the objects in our app are the actual set and props. We really wanted to help children explore themes like friendship and caring so there are no bouncy cartoon characters – instead, children can recreate their favourite moments from White, and maybe take them further.”

 

Creating a mobile and tablet product for the very young was not without its challenges. Researcher Ben Fletcher-Watson explained: “We analysed the interactions used in a number of Early Years products to find the optimum set-up for very young children. For example, there are no complex tasks that require delicate motor skills, like pinching or multi-finger swipe. Too many apps don’t consider the needs of their users carefully, and we wanted to ensure that the very youngest children could still get the most out of the experience.”

 

Hippotrix will be releasing more children’s theatre apps in the coming months. White The App can be found in Apple’s App Store,  and is free while the show is on in Hollywood at the Wallis Theatre until the end of March.

White – Inspired by the theatre production – Hippotrix

White: The App - by Catherine Wheels & Hippotrix White: The App - by Catherine Wheels & Hippotrix by Hippotrix
Category: Games, Family, Entertainment
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone4-iPhone4, 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
Size: 74.7 MB

$FREE

 

Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).


Developer Interview with Sonja Winkle of SulaWorks



iPhone Screenshot 1

Today’s interview is with Sonja Winkle of SulaWorks.  Please visit their website, and Facebook and  pages.

Thank you for participating our interview. Please tell us a little about yourself.

We are the founders of SulaWorks and the parents of two small kids, from Munich in Bavaria, Germany. Our company SulaWorks is still a toddler itself, as we founded it just recently. Our company’s aim is to design and develop children apps with new stories that combine joyful activities with educational elements.

How did the idea for your app come about?

Our almost three year old son wants us to tell him stories all the time: right after waking up, or while going to bed, even outside while we are taking a walk. One day he got bored of the old stories and we had to make something up. This was the point where “The gorgeous bike” was born.

And how long was the process from the original idea to the release of the app?

The first steps of the process were quite fast: we had the story, the idea converting it into a kid´s app happened rather by coincidence…but the next steps such as writing down the concept, developing and launching the app took us round about half a year.

Did you hire a developer or do it yourself?

We did have to hire an external developer, as we are more the creative and the financial parts of the operation.

What has been the hardest obstacle you have had to overcome in the development process?

The hardest obstacle in the development process was to keep our son away from the iPad, as he always wanted to “quality test” The gorgeous bike…sure!  We did not even have many new versions to test!

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Have you had much support during the development process (from family, peers, Apple Inc.)?

Our whole family, friends and even colleagues supported us so much – during all ups and downs. We really appreciate all the help that was given to us.

What are your plans for the future? Will you be developing any more apps?

We do have plenty of ideas and would love to stay in the app business and develop more apps.

We are very confident that high quality kid´s apps support our children during the process of growing up, as the new media will be a big part in their lives.

 

What sort of feedback has your app been receiving so far?

Of course family and friends love it. But also well known review sites and many other people encouraged us to go on and wished us luck with “The gorgeous bike”.

 

And finally, what advice would you give to anyone considering creating their own app?

As long as you are convinced of your own idea and you try your best you will be successful. Never give up!

Thank you so much for talking with us today and sharing a bit about your company.  We really appreciated the chance to get to know you!

The gorgeous bike – Sonja Winkle

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Requirements: Compatible with
Size: 0 MB

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Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).

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