DreamCatcher Weighted Blanket Review 2013

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What we love…

colorful and can be suited to your child’s particular needs; weighted with non toxic pellets making it a safe choice

 

Summary

Once your child outgrows their custom weighted blanket, if it is still in good condition you can “trade it in” for a credit toward the next appropriate blanket size for your child which ensures that your child will have the right blanket size for them.

Our Rating

recommended-by-the-imums

 

Earlier this year, after struggling with many sleepless nights with my then four year old son I knew there had to be a better solution rather than piling blankets on him at night to help him feel secure and snug in his bed. He had started asking for multiple blankets when he was about 2 1/2 or 3 and every time he grew, the pile on top of him grew even bigger. I had learned about DreamCatcher Weighted Blankets which are custom-made weighted blankets for children and adults who crave deep pressure both for sensory needs as well as help with sleeping. The company was founded by the Jackson family after they discovered how much it helped their son Cody to have a weighted blanket. You can learn more about the company and it’s founding in an interview here. iMum Mary also reviewed a weighted blanket from DreamCatcher for her daughter N which you can read here.
When I first started researching weighted blankets, I was startled at the differences in the way that they were made. For example, there are some weighted with smooth river rocks, others with polly pellets, others with rice, sand or even dried beans to name a few. When I considered that the blanket would have to be washed, I quickly decided that river rocks would not be a good choice. Not only could they potentially damage my washing machine and dryer, but I imagined that the agitation of the machine may cause the rocks to break up and potentially hurt my son. DreamCatcher uses a filling called Poly-Pro pellets which are hypoallergenic (very important for a child with skin allergies), non-toxic and non-porus (meaning they can’t absorb anything from being washed). The custom made blankets are quilted and the pellets are spread over the entire blanket rather than being concentrated in one area. For me, this was another plus meaning that we could “flip” or rotate the blanket on my son’s bed while at the same time ensuring he would get the same consistent pressure.
The blanket is measured to cover the top of the bed – and not hang down over the sides. My son got a full size custom Mickey Mouse blanket with Minke Fleece on the opposite side. The day that the blanket came and I washed it and put it on his bed he was very excited to be going to sleep – I was hopeful that the blanket would help all of us get better sleep in the house. The first night it worked and we have noticed that on nights he does not use it, that he typically does not sleep as well. We have had the blanket for about four months now and have washed it several times and each time it comes out of the wash looking as vibrant as when I put it in. I wash the blanket in warm water and then typically tumble dry it for a just long enough to pull the moisture out of it before hanging it in the house to fully dry. I decided once that I wanted to line dry it – it took days because of all the layers inside the blanket and meant that we didn’t sleep again which proved to me that it was working.

Once your child outgrows their custom weighted blanket, if it is still in good condition you can “trade it in” for a credit toward the next appropriate blanket size for your child which ensures that your child will have the right blanket size for them.  The blankets are sold in the United States only, due to shipping costs outside of the US.  They are also having a 20% off purchase over $100 that ends today on custom blankets – click here for more details!

Note: A product was received for purposes of this review.  No other compensation was provided.

Alison, the American iMum is from Massachusetts. She lives there with her two sons and husband. In their spare time, they enjoy playing outside, enjoying nature and of course testing apps and fantastic products on their devices. My older son loves technology and loves testing out the “latest and newest” apps and tech. I love sharing information about apps and products with others to help them make decisions without feeling overwhelmed with all of the choices.


Planes: Storybook Deluxe by Disney – Review



iPhone Screenshot 1

What we love…

You actually fly Dusty Crophopper through his many adventures!

What we’d love to see…

give readers the ability to choose difficulty levels for each flight adventure during Read and Play (as it is offered in the Race and Fly menu option).

Summary

A beautiful Disney Digital Book that brings Planes the Movie to your child’s hands!

 

Planes: Storybook DeluxeReady, Set, Fly! This beautiful deluxe storybook app has the same wonderful graphic details and sound effects as the movie itself. The story between Dusty the Crophopper, Dottie the Mechanic, Coach Skipper, and Chug unfolds in your lap as it does in the movie with a slight twist – You actually fly Dusty through his flight adventures!

Within the first of three menu options, Read and Fly, choose from Narration, Use My Recording, or Auto-Play. The Use My Recording allows you to record the story in your voice and then replay your recording on each page. My testers loved reading it in different voices/accents and then laughing as they replayed. This is also a great feature for adults that can’t always be with their little ones (parents at work, grandparents, military families, etc). Navigate through the pages to find your favorite part of the story or skip straight to Dusty’s flying adventures.

The Race and Fly menu option puts you in the pilot’s seat as you take Dusty through his flight adventures. Tilt your device from left to right and top to bottom racing Dusty through tunnels, snowstorms, and around mountain peaks. Three levels of play – trainee, pilot, and captain – make the app appealing to a large age/skill group. Choose from 14 different plane options (start with just a few, then earn more planes as you go). There are a few exclusive planes available for purchase (after entering a locked code). There are also 16 different flight paths that players earn as they fly, giving players new adventures and challenges.

The final menu option, Scan and Fly, allows users to unlock 10 new planes giving players even more diversity. Simply scan a Disney Planes logo and unlock a new plane every day.

Disney’s Planes Digital Book (designed for both the iPhone and the iPad) is written and narrated in 6 different languages and provides child safety features to prevent accidental changes to settings or access to the internet. Each page gives readers interactive features that activate movie phrases and character movements while Dusty’s story unfolds. So jump in the pilot’s seat and race Dusty through the interactive flying paths and enjoy the movie experience again and again!

This app is best suited for toddlers, preschoolers and early elementary school aged children.  The app has sections that can be a bit frustrating for the younger children.

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Category:
Requirements: Compatible with
Size: 0 MB

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"Marica is a married mother of three girls (ages 3, 7, and 9). She works as a school based occupational therapist in Northwest Ohio servicing children with unique needs from ages 3 -22. In her free time ☺ she enjoys learning and exploring with her loving family.


Hello Meerkat! by Tiny Twiga Studios – Review



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What we love…

The rich illustrations and the variety of animal centred activities.

What we’d love to see…

An option for slower or stationary meerkats that are easier to catch.

Summary

This is an enjoyable app that is richly illustrated and unique. It offers many learning opportunities and is great for parent-child bonding..

Our Rating

I started to review Hello Meerkat! by Tiny Twiga Studios thinking it was another insignificant animal app but I was pleasantly surprised to find some wonderful gems hidden within. There are in fact lots to do and learn for the younger children. They can admire beautiful artwork, learn new vocabulary, read rhymes, discover animal facts, practice counting, play catching games or just wind down with a bedtime activity after having fun in the app.  All of these are packed into four sections – Read and Play, Learn, Count and Goodnight.

In the Read and Play picture book, children get to visit zoo animals and their babies in their natural habitat. There are the meerkat, giraffe, orang utan, kangaroo, tiger, koala, zebra and lion. Your child can touch to make them move or hear the sounds that they make while the narration (which can be turned off) introduces the names of these animals and their young in rhymes.

 

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The fun bit about this picture book is that there are meerkat babies moving around, playing hide and seek with your child on every page of the book. Readers must catch one of these babies before they can navigate to the next page. My 6-year-old son thought this was a lot of fun but he needed some help as he wasn’t quick enough to catch all the babies even at the default slow speed. It would be great if there is an option for even slower meerkats for the younger children or an option to turn off this game at times when we just want to enjoy the book. What readers can change however, is the ability to turn off the default auto-play reading mode. This allows your child to choose from the zoo map, which animals he wants to visit. No matter which route your child chooses, the book always end with the same goodnight scene.

20130920-235459.jpgThis goodnight scene is also available as an activity by itself and it’s something which my son and I enjoy playing together. Here the animals are tired and are ready to sleep. The sky is dark, the lullaby is playing and we only see the shadow of the animals and their illuminated eyes. We stroke/tap to close the animals’ eyes one by one until all of them are asleep and then the activity ends. Sometimes the activity doesn’t end because we miss an animal or two (especially the tiny baby eyes) and we have to look more closely to make sure all are asleep. The goodnight scene with the animals’ eyes twinkling like stars in the night is beautiful and calming at the same time.

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The Learn section is where your child will discover more about each animal, where they live and some interesting facts that are suitable for young children. The counting activity on the other hand, allows your child to practice counting to 20 as he catch the meerkat babies that are peeking from all over the screen. Again, you can choose between fast or slow meerkats to suit your child’s ability.

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Hello Meerkat! is an enjoyable app that is richly illustrated and unique. It offers many learning opportunities and is great for parent-child bonding. Check this out if you are looking for a high quality animal theme educational app for younger children.

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Hello Meerkat! HD – Tiny Twiga Studios

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Hello Meerkat! – Tiny Twiga Studios
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Category:
Requirements: Compatible with
Size: 0 MB

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NOTE: A fee was received to expedite this review to the top of our waiting list but this payment has not influenced the objectivity of the review and all opinions have been offered honestly.

Giveaway

If you would like to win a promo code for this app, please enter via the widget below. Winners will be emailed and must contact The iMums within 48 hours to claim their prize. This giveaway is open to everyone, worldwide, and an iTunes account is required to claim the prize. Please ensure you have read and understand our Terms & Conditions. Good luck!

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Grace was working in the fields of early childhood education and staff training before quitting to attend to her 4 children full time. She and her family live in Singapore, which is well known for her highly competitive education system.


Doodle Critter Math: Numbers By NCSOFT -Review and Win an iPad Mini



iPhone Screenshot 1

What we love…

Remove this text and add your own here.

What we’d love to see…

reinforcing the counting more in some games, changes to unlocking the puzzle pieces

Summary

A well-made, engaging app,  a great introduction to many essential early maths concepts. Recommended for toddlers and pre-school aged children.

Our Rating

Doodle Critter Math: Numbers Doodle Critter Math: Numbers is a universal app from NC iactionbook the developers of the Meet the Insects App Series. This app is aimed at children from 3-5 years old and works on basic concepts about numbers. It is child safe with no adverts or in-app purchases, external links are in a locked parent zone. The parent zone is accessed by answering multiplication questions and also allows adjustment of the music volume, switching sound effects on or off, and choosing between English and Korean language options.

There are 6 learning games, plus a set of puzzles which can be unlocked as a reward. Each game has tutorial available. The games are:

Read Numbers

Number shaped critters hang on the clothesline. When the child touches it the number appears on its own, the number is spoken, and the correct number of little critters jumps out of it. The little critters are interactive if the child taps on them – they might disappear or turn into numbers or change size; I’d love to see some counting reinforcement by hearing them being counted as the child taps them.

Write Numbers

The child learns to trace each number by following colored bubbles, arrows show the correct direction. Once they have completed it the right number of little critters appears in bubbles and they can release them by popping the bubbles. If the child goes outside the lines they can continue from where they went out- reducing frustration for young children.

Match the Pairs

This includes 3 activities. 1) Cards: matching pairs of cards where one shows a number and the other shows pictures of that many objects. 2) Trucks: the child can drive the digger truck over to scoop up the right number of legos to match the number on the truck (the lego groups are color-coded to help). 3) Hoopla: throwing colored rings over the matching colored stakes to count the rings. In this activity I would like the child to be able to tap on the objects to count them if they are having trouble, if you do this currently it gives a hint as to which is the match for it rather than helping the chid to count and solve it themselves.

Put Things in Order

This game involves playing with fridge magnets. The child has to put the magnets in the right order, working on concepts such as widest/ narrowest, longest/ shortest, biggest/ smallest and numerical order. The shadows of the magnets stay on the fridge to help the child get the order correct.

One More or Less

Two trains arrive pulling the same number of carriages, each with a critter inside. One train has a critter added or taken away and the child has to pick which of 3 numbers shows the number of critters in that train now. Once they have answered correctly the question and answer is shown as an equation e.g. 3-1=2.

Together or Take away

This introduces the concept that you can create a number by adding two other numbers together. Felt critters are getting on or off two buses, each bus has a set number of seats and the child moves the critters on or off. F0r instance 8 critters may be waiting, one bus has one seat, the other has seven seven seats, as the child puts them in their seats the numbers are counted both visually and verbally, and at the end it says “from eight you get one and seven”.

Jigsaw Puzzles

These are earned as a reward for playing the other games. Each of the other mini-games has 10 questions, completing all 10 questions earns 1 puzzle piece. each mini-game has its own puzzle with 10 pieces – you have to play each set of 10 questions 10 times to earn all the pieces for one puzzle. I think it would work better as an incentive if they could earn up to 10 puzzles pieces per game, but that they unlocked one puzzle at a time – so after playing 10 games from a variety of mini-games they would unlock a whole puzzle instead of having 1 or 2 pieces each for many puzzles.

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This is a cute app for toddlers and preschoolers just becoming familiar with numbers and maths concepts. The illustrations are cute and kid-friendly, with imaginary animals and simple animations and interactivity. I appreciate the fact that is child-safe, and like the range of activities included. My children enjoyed playing with the app and liked the cute critters. The app itself was engaging enough to keep them playing with it, but I didn’t really feel the puzzles added much incentive. Our favorite games were the “Putting Things in Order” fridge magnets and the trucks and hoopla in “Match the Pairs.” I would like to see a few improvements made in future updates – reinforcing the counting more in the matching game and when playing with the critters in the read numbers game. However, even without these changes this is a well-made, engaging app, a great introduction to many essential early maths concepts. I would recommend it for toddlers and pre-school aged children, and those kindergarteners who need extra reinforcement of early maths skills.  This app is on an introductory sale at 99c and is a great deal at this price – snap it up today !

Doodle Math: Numbers Doodle Math: Numbers by NCSOFT
Category: Education
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone3GS-iPhone-3GS, iPhone4-iPhone4, iPodTouchFourthGen-iPodTouchFourthGen, 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: 65.47 MB

$2.99USD

 

NOTE: A fee was received to expedite this review to the top of our waiting list but this payment has not influenced the objectivity of the review and all opinions have been offered honestly.

 

Win an iPad Mini
To celebrate the launch of Doodle Critter Math NC Iactionbook are giving away an iPad mini – to enter just buy and download the app, leave a review in iTunes and email them with the proof that you have done so – you can find all the details on their Facebook page.
 

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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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