Rocket Speller Plus by Little Big Thinkers – Review and Giveaway at The iMums



iPhone Screenshot 1

What we love…

: Customizable, thoughtfully designed phonics features, adaptive play and fun for kids.

What we’d love to see…

Adult-only access to options screen, data collection for parents and teachers along
with support for multiple users, localized accents, confirmation that children’s privacy is protected.

Summary

A must-have for parents and teachers of pre and beginning readers.

Our Rating

 

Rocket Speller PLUSThe original Rocket Speller app made it onto my Top Ten list of free apps for autistic children, so when I heard that the developer, Little Big Thinkers, was producing a paid version of the app with more features, I was excited to try it out. And it did not disappoint; Rocket Speller Plus has retained the features of the original app that made it so much fun for kids to play but what they have added turns it into a must-have app for younger children who are at the pre-reading and early reading stage.

On the main screen there are a couple of places the parent or teacher should investigate prior to letting a child loose on the app. Tap the adult figures on the top left of the screen three times to enter the parent/teacher-only section. This contains explanations of how to play, the different levels of difficulty as well as information on the developer and how usage data is collated anonymously. Back on the home page tapping on ‘Level 1’ causes the customization options to appear. Here you can select the word categories you want your child to practice on, whether to use letter names or sounds and upper or lower case and the level of difficulty from 1 through 5. In Level 1 the child encounters words of 3 to 6 letters in length, they can place the letters in any order and they are provided with both visual and audible support. Once they get to Level 5 then the words are 7 to 10 letters in length, letters have to be placed in the correct order and the only assistance provided is adaptive – i.e., if the child is struggling then audio hints are provided. The different levels ensure that the app grows with your child.

iPhone Screenshot 2

The last item to investigate on the home screen is the little green alien – tap on him for an overview of the game. Hit the play button to start and your child is presented with a word, let’s say it’s Level 1 and the word is “duck” – they see a picture of a duck, hear the word duck and have to place the four letter tiles in the correct spots to spell the word. Once the tiles have been placed in the right order the letters are read out, followed by the entire word. After spelling a few words then your child gets to choose the body of a rocket. Subsequent choices are the tail end and the nose cone. Once complete the rocket takes off! I love that this combines both immediate reinforcement (the child only has to complete 3 words before getting a rocket piece) with delayed gratification (they have to complete 12 words in order to see the rocket take off).

iPhone Screenshot 5

What really sets this app apart from similar tile-placing spelling games is the way that the phonics play has been designed and the letters sounded out. For example, let’s take a word like pineapple. The ‘e’ after the ‘n’ isn’t sounded out, to reflect the fact that it’s only there to make the ‘i’ a long sound. The double ‘p’ tiles are actually linked together and read out as one ‘puh’ sound. Blended sounds like ‘sh’ are similarly linked together to help kids place them correctly. Illustrating how to decode sounds and giving children practice doing this is a terrific feature.

Of course I still have a wish list for ways that I think this app could be even more outstanding:

  • Localized accents. I would love to see British and Australian accents incorporated into the app as some of the words are pronounced differently in these places. For example, apricot is pronounced as ay-pricot in the UK.
  • My kids tap on everything, so I would prefer to see the customization options in the parent/teacher only area to prevent children inadvertently playing with them.
  • The ability to track a child’s progress and share this data with parents or teachers would be a great feature to add to the app along with multiple user support.
  • The newly beefed-up COPPA, designed to protect children’s privacy online affects all developers of kids apps. Given that Rocket Speller Plus tracks usage data (albeit anonymously) I would love to see this app certified using the “Know What’s Inside” program from Moms With Apps. I think this would provide parents with additional comfort that their children’s privacy is protected when using this app.
  • I’d like to see the ability to buy additional categories or word packs via in-app purchase.

Lastly, in terms of price, I think that the app is good value. The customization features, phonics play and adaptive assistance work together to make a high quality product and the inclusion of over 450 words and 3,000 rocket design combinations certainly provide a lot of content. A highly recommended app.

Rocket Speller PLUS
Rocket Speller PLUS
by Little Big Thinkers

Category: Education, Games
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: 71.94 MB

$2.99USD

Screenshots
(Click to enlarge)
Screenshots for iPad
(Click to enlarge)


Try the lite version 

Rocket Speller
Rocket Speller
by Little Big Thinkers

Category: Education, Games
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: 39.6 MB

$0.99USD

Screenshots
(Click to enlarge)
Screenshots for iPad
(Click to enlarge)

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!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Deanne fundraised to acquire iPads for her autistic sons, twins currently aged 7, after hearing how beneficial the new technology was proving to be for individuals on the spectrum. She's been addicted to iOS ever since and has now been reviewing apps for kids for two years. Deanne is a freelance writer and you can find her blog at smallbutkindamighty.com


Artistico by PlayArt Labs – Review



iPad Screenshot 1

What we love…

gorgeous graphics, culture promotion

What we’d love to see…

better protection of in-app access to social media

Summary

turns fine art into kid-friendly puzzle

Our Rating

ArtisticoIsraeli-based developer PlayArt Labs brings together some of the world’s most recognizable and beautiful works of art in Artistico, a family-friendly, iPad-only puzzle that is free to download from the App Store.

During gameplay the user follows Artistico’s map, which covers various eras in art history including “The Roots of Modern Art,” “The Middle Ages,” “The Salon,” and “The Northern Renaissance.”  Additional levels featuring “Art Around the World,” “The Ancient World,” “Modern Art Before 1945,” and “The Italian Renaissance” will be added via developer update over the next several weeks.

To clear a level the player has to use a simple tap and drag gesture to place all of the painting’s missing pieces in the correct place before time runs out.  A player earns up to 3 stars for completing a screen and additional screens unlock as the player progresses through the game.

Each level includes up to nine screens to solve. Each screen contains a beautiful work of art.  When the screen is tapped it brings up the name of the work, the artist, and the year. For example, in the Salon, the first work is The Sifters, painted by Gustave Courbet in 1855. Tap the small information icon to bring up facts about each painting.

The game’s intuitive interface ensures that it won’t take long for most players to figure out what to do. The difficulty level varies from puzzle to puzzle, but will not be too tricky for younger children, and it helps if you can snag power ups by tapping on the bird in the corner. My 9-year-old-daughter found Artistico to be utterly engrossing and completed most of the map in one sitting.

Artistico doesn’t include adverts or App Store links, but it does offer unprotected links to its website, Facebook page, Twitter account, and YouTube trailer, so parents who limit a child’s access to these sites should take note. Additionally, users have the option of posting facts about a painting to Facebook. The game is rated 12+ for mild/infrequent nudity.

Whether one is an avid museumgoer or can’t tell a Dali from a DaVinci, Artistico is likely to appeal. While Artistico’s aim is not explicitly to teach art appreciation, its use of artwork as the basis for gameplay exposes the player to a range of beautiful artwork in a very low-key setting.

by

Category:
Requirements: Compatible with
Size: 0 MB

$


<-Remember to add the App ID!

 

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Emily is a US-based freelance writer who loves discovering new apps whenever she can pry the iPad away from her children or husband. Follow her on Twitter: @whatwentwrite. She also writes for PadGadget at http://www.padgadget.com/author/emily/


Bamba Toys by Mezmedia – Review



iPad Screenshot 1

What we love…

Fun and creative app,  open-ended play, ability to record your own voice for the toy.

What we’d love to see…

Even more body parts / outfits, ability to have different colored skin on hands and feet.

Summary

A fun app that allows children to create a large variety of dolls and action figures and to play with them.

Our Rating

Bamba ToysBamba Toys is the latest creative play iPad app from Singapore based kids app developer Bamba! The iMums have previously reviewed Bamba Ice-Cream, Bamba Pizza and Bamba Burger. In Bamba Toys the child is in a toy factory and can create their own dolls and action figures to play with. The app contains no adverts or in- app purchases, social media links are in a child-proofed parents area. From the home page of the app the child can access a series of storefronts, opening the door to the toyshop will lead them into this app, but they can also open doors to the Pizza Parlor, Post Office, Burger Bar and Ice-Cream Shop. If you have these apps on your iPad it allows you to access them from within Bamba Toys (a feature my kids like), if you don’t have them installed there are app store links to the apps (which I’d like to see child-proofed).

Once inside the toyshop the child sees a display case with all the dolls and action figures they previously created, they can take one down to play with, or build a new one.

The first step is to choose a head- there are four to choose from and a variety of accessories, from hats and sunglasses through bandanas and space suit helmets.

Next step is to choose a torso – there are five to choose from, wearing outfits suitable for a princess, pirate, spaceman, cowboy or rockstar; there are also an assortment of accessories available from jetpacks through magic wands, cutlasses and pop guns.

The legs come next – the child can choose from a variety of shoes, boots and leggings and see them modeled in each of the seven pairs of legs (which come with skirts or trousers on).

After all the body parts are chosen, the child goes to a recording studio to record a special message that their toy will say.

iPad Screenshot 3The child then gets to assemble their toy – they moves a joystick to line up the body parts and press a button to drop them into place. Then onto the packaging department – there are 5 different boxes to choose from and they can personalize the box using stickers and can even label it with the doll’s name. When the toy is all packaged up they can put it on the shelf to play with later, or open the package and play now. Pressing a button on the figure’s chest will get them to repeat their recorded message and the child can move the toy’s arms and play with the accessories.

iPad Screenshot 4

This is a fun app to allow children to create their own action figures and dolls and play with them. They can create a princess doll, a cowboy or cowgirl, a spaceman, a pirate and a rockstar figure. With the accessories they can make several variations of each of these, but if they start to get creative and mix and match parts from different figures they can make many, many more different toys. I think adding the voices adds a nice personal touch, and my children also enjoyed being able to save their toys to come back and play later. Each display case holds 9 dolls/ action figures and we are already onto our 2nd case. I would love to see even more body parts available in future updates as I think that will keep children coming back to play. I’d also like to see a way to change the skin color on the hands and legs – one of the heads has brown skin, but currently all the other body parts have pink skin.

Overall a very fun and creative app, it will appeal most to the 2-6 year old age set but even my nine- year-old was having fun playing too.

To celebrate the release of Bamba Toys, Bamba has partnered with The iMums to give away an iPad Mini you can enter to win by following this link.

Bamba Toys
Bamba Toys
by Mezmedia

Category: Education, Games
Requirements: Compatible with iPadWifi-iPadWifi, iPad3G-iPad3G, 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: 132.97 MB

$0.99USD

Screenshots for iPad
(Click to enlarge)

 

 

 

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).


Geo-Me! by Crackerbox – Review



20130722-232637.jpg

What we love…

Geographical facts presented visually and through songs.

What we’d love to see…

More countries to be featured and prompts to alert students to the hidden features plus a zoom or search function for the map.

Summary

Geo-Me! does a great job of introducing basic geography to students by engaging all of their senses and imagination. The world in an app has never been so fun and personal.

Our Rating

Geo-Me! by Crackerbox is an introductory geography app (for iPad) that teaches students the physical and human geography of the world with the use of adorable avatars on an interactive map and animated musical stories of children living in different parts of the world.

In order to experience the app’s full functionality, it is recommended that you allow the app to use your current location. The app features 6 child characters from different continents and another 6 are waiting in line to be added. Each character has an avatar called a Geo-Me. Tapping on it from the map gives you the basic geographical facts and landforms around the town/city where the character lives in, first in text and then through an animated musical video of the character’s story. Students will observe how geographic landscape affects the people’s activities. The quality of the animation is superb and the Geo-Me tune is as catchy as a commercial jingle. I only wish that the lyrics are shown in the video so that children from around the world (whose first language may not be English) can sing along easily. [With the update on Aug 17 2013,
English subtitles have been added to all 6 animated videos.]

At first glance, the world map in the app looks bare with only 6 featured locations but many cool stuff are unlocked one by one as I played more. The first to be unlocked is the ‘I’m a Geo-Me!’ Builder where students can use their current locations to make their own Geo-Me’s and have them placed on their own world map in the app. This shows them where in the world they are located. From here, they can also opt to view their locations on 3 zoomable real maps including a satellite map.

 

Students can further personalize their map by populating it with Geo-Me’s of family members or friends living in different parts of the world. A bit of work is however needed if you are looking for the Geo-Me of a specific city/town as there is no quick search function and we can’t zoom in on the map to accurately find a location. You need to tap as close as possible to the desired location on the map to get it right. It wasn’t easy looking for a little red dot on the world map such as Singapore! But it was amazing to see a Geo-Me appearing wherever I touched on the map and wondered what stories they will bring us in future updates.

A detail not to be missed is that you can tell the anthrome (urban, village, cropland, rangeland or forested), climate (tropical, arid, temperate, continental or polar), elevation and population of a town/city just by looking at how her Geo-Me is dressed. Instead of boring text, these quick facts are presented visually by the type of hat (anthrome), foot wear (elevation), clothes (climate) and bag (population) that the Geo-Me is wearing. Students can also look at the anthrome, climate, elevation and population maps (unlocked at this point) to have an overview of the world’s physical geography.

The next feature to be unlocked is the ‘Where I Am’ Song Builder! which allows students to create an extended version of the song and to share it by email. Being able to personalize the map and the song in the app makes the learning more fun and meaningful. I really like this app as it teaches more than just geography. It bring students on a virtual trip around the world highlighting differences in peoples and cultures but at the same time, showing how similar their lives can be. It helps students, as citizens of the world, to be understanding and accepting of differences. It is a lesson in diversity and geography at the same time.

On the whole, Geo-Me! does a great job of introducing basic geography to students by engaging all of their senses and imagination. The world in an app has never been so fun and personal. It’s a well made app that you must check out!

 

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Geo-Me! Try-Me! – Crackerbox

Geo-Me! Try-Me! Geo-Me! Try-Me! by Crackerbox
Category: Education, Entertainment
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: 126.61 MB

$FREE

Geo-Me! – Crackerbox

Geo-Me! Geo-Me! by Crackerbox
Category: Education, Entertainment
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: 327.83 MB

$1.99USD

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.

Giveaway

1. http://redeem-now.com/b10ed423973a
2. http://redeem-now.com/15ba6590f021
3. http://redeem-now.com/1d7091551493
4. http://redeem-now.com/84380056514c

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!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

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.

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