Toad Sues God by iKidsReads – Review



iPhone Screenshot 2

What we love…

the animals work together to solve a problem, fun illustrations and word highlighting

What we’d love to see…

Parental area which houses all of the links, ability to have the words come back after the action when being narrated

Summary

It’s a cute app that has a moral and fun illustrations to help kids understand that working together they can solve a problem.

Our Rating

Toad Sues GodToad Sues God by iKidsReads is a universal picture book app for iOS featuring a folktale from Vietnam about a frog who grinds their teeth and rain.  The story features four animals: frog, fox, bear and tiger.  After successfully capturing each of the four animals that God has released via the gates, Toad is given an audience with him.  Toad shares the story about how there is no rain in his area and God discovers that the rain manager has been playing rather than giving rain to the animals via the dragons.  God tells Toad if it does not rain, he must just grind his teeth and he will make it rain and does not need to return.  The book features two modes, read to me and read to myself.  With the read to me option, as the words are read they are highlighted which is good for emerging readers.  Navigation within the app is simple with a swipe, and there are four icons at the bottom of each page: a house which returns you to the main screen, a book with arrows which allows you to pick a page, a child face which means you can toggle between the “read to me” and “read to myself” mode, a video camera which shows a movie with the interaction to the page, and a box that allows you to make the words appear and disappear in the read to myself mode.

Toad is very clever and brings animals with him when he goes to visit God.  When they arrive, Toad goes to hit a drum outside of the kingdom while the other animals hide in the bushes.  An angel comes to see who is hitting the drum and discovers that Toad is hitting on it – he reports back to God who sends out chickens that are captured by fox.  Then a dog is sent to deal with fox only to be caught by bear, and Tiger scares away the guards.  The book contains 15 pages with narration and word highlighting as well as animation on each page.

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I liked that the story had a moral to it – that showed that children should not give up or be discouraged and they should work together to solve a problem. It also shows that animals are an important part of the ecosystem to help keep our world working well.  The illustrations are cute as well and typical of what you would see in a fable.  I liked the complexity of the parental gate which included both regular and negative numbers as well as multiplication which ensures kids didn’t get into an area they were not supposed to. The app has a parental gate – you solve a math problem and then it unlocks external links which include iTunes and the internet.  The math problem is multi-part and unlikely to be solved by younger children which is a huge plus!  My son enjoyed pressing the camera button so he could see the animation over and over again.

In terms of enhancements, I found that some of the narration sounded a bit “hollow”.  I’d also like to see more interactivity on the pages, currently if you are in the “read to me mode” and want to go back and hear the story again on the page or tap on a specific word it is not read aloud a second or even third time. The words disappear on the page after it is read aloud but do come back after a period of time, I’d like to see it so that the words would stay or allow you to tap on them, or to make it do the action again.  It would also be nice if there was a parental area where you could turn on and off the various icons as well as hiding the links.  It might also be fun if there was a last page which featured the moral/song of the story.

Overall, this was a cute fable about a Toad who stands up to God to get rain to come to their part of the world.  It isn’t scary per se for younger kids, although I would say the title of the app is a bit of a misnomer given that there’s no courts or lawsuit in fact involved.  It’s a cute app that has a moral and fun illustrations to help kids understand that working together they can solve a problem.


Toad Sues God
Toad Sues God
by iTruyenTranh

Category: Books, 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: 33.82 MB

$1.99USD

Screenshots
(Click to enlarge)


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.

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.


Math Tales – The Jungle: Nursery rhymes and math games for kids by Marshmallow Games – Review



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Math Tales – The Jungle: Nursery rhymes and math games for kids by Marshmallow Games is a delightful animal story book which cleverly incorporates different types of math exercises to show how math can be found everywhere, even in the jungle.

What we love…

Age-appropriate math activities within a story.

What we’d love to see…

Words highlighted in sync with the narration to encourage read along.

Summary

A 2-in-1 math and rhyming story book app, double the learning, double the fun!

Our Rating

In the story, the jungle animals are given various tasks to prepare a party to celebrate their elephant friend’s escape from the circus. These tasks are actually math activities involving logical sequence, shape/size/number sequence, visual and spatial perception, counting, comparison of quantities, puzzles, simple addition and subtraction.

There are altogether 9 chapters in the story, each with a different math activity. On the first reading, your child has to complete the math questions at the end of each chapter in order to unlock the next. However, upon unlocking all the chapters, it is difficult to know which is the next chapter as readers are automatically brought to the chapter menu. An option to advance to the next chapter or return to the chapter menu at the end of each chapter would be ideal here.

The math questions are different each time they are replayed. With sufficient practice, the learning goals that have been achieved will be highlighted in your child’s progress found in the protected Parent’s Area. Each learning goal is also explained here.

What appealed to me most in this app is how the math activities are made meaningful for the kids to do. For example, instead of completing a random logical sequence game, kids are actually trying to decorate the jungle with a festoon that follows a particular sequence. To position the elephant ballerinas for a performance, kids have to arrange them according to their size. I also like that the addition questions involved adding different types of objects together instead of the usual task of adding the same type of objects.

Math Tales – The Jungle could be your preschooler’s first experience with a chapter book and one that is told in rhymes. It would be a refreshing change for our young learners. Completing fun math activities in between chapters also breaks the monotony and keeps them engaged. My son loved the encouraging comments on how well he was doing and he enjoyed the story just as much as the math activities.

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Even though the math games are the highlights here, the story itself offers great learning opportunities as well. I especially like the message for children to reflect and be good at the end of the story. Educational and meaningful, Math Tales – The Jungle: Nursery rhymes and math games for kids gives your child more learning while they are having fun.

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Math Tales – The Jungle: Nursery rhymes and math games for kids

Math Tales - The Jungle: Rhymes and maths for kids Math Tales - The Jungle: Rhymes and maths for kids by Marshmallow Games
Category: Education, Family, Games
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
Size: 170.39 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.

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.


Peekabox-Forest: Flashcards by App A Box – Review



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What we love…

The variety of photos and videos featured for each animal.

What we’d love to see…

More animals to be included.

Summary

Packed full with interesting features for learning and entertainment, Peekabox-Forest: Flashcards keeps kids engaged with more content and fun than most animal learning apps.

Our Rating

Are flashcards bad for young children? There are many arguments for and against using flashcards but from my experience, flashcards can be an effective learning tool when the learning is active and it is supplemented by other interactive activities.

In this post, I will review an animal flashcard app that does more than just digitalizing the traditional flashcards. Unlike many flashcards apps in the App Store, Peekabox-Forest: Flashcards by App A Box is a comprehensive flashcard app that offers your child 4 different ways (Explore, Sound, Video and Game) to learn about 14 forest animals, supported by a host of customizable options.

Using animations, transitions, animal icons, high quality sound recordings, real life photos and video clips, your children will learn the animal facts, names and sounds of the skunk, squirrel, hedgehog, racoon, bear, monkey, lemur, wolf, ape, black punter, panda, tiger, fox and koala. For each of these animals, there are at least 6 different HD photos e.g. single, plural, close-up, baby and/or mother and baby, many of them showing different species.

Though the images are called flashcards here, you don’t actually flash the cards. Kids are the ones who are in control – they pick what animals they want to explore from the main screen and they learn at their own pace. The app is very easy for them to use and all outside links are locked behind parental gates.

The only section that children require the help of adults are the pre-selected animal videos which need internet connection to access. Again, the app presents more than 1 video per animal to show how the animals behave in a variety of habitats.

Besides the learning of facts, there are also games where learners are asked to identify the animals by the name, sound or both. These games encourage the recalling of the knowledge learnt and these help strengthen the associations made about the animals.

To keep young learners engaged, this app adds a variety of fun features as well – animal icons, themes, shuffle and weather wheel. Kids can explore the forest animals by their animated icons, realistic icons or silhouettes and in 2 different themes – Spotlight (a clean theme with no distractions that is perfect for children needing help with focus) and Nature Box (for those who want to explore the look and feel of the animal’s natural environment).

They can also use the shuffle feature to mix up the positions of the animal icons in the Explore and Game modes so that the app always look different. The interactive weather wheel, on the other hand, allows learners to spin and explore the different weather conditions (sunshine, snowfall, rainfall, wind blow, mist & fog, thunder).

And that is not all! Your children will also get to enjoy the ability to change the app character, Cucu’s animal outfit (tiger, panda, koala or bear), his skin tone, eye and hair color. You can further personalize their learning experience in Peekabox-Forest with its many customizable options.

So many features and so affordable, Peekabox-Forest packs more content and fun to keep your kids engaged in learning. It is well worth a download if you are looking for a forest animal learning app.

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Peekabox-Forest: Flashcards

Peekabox-Forest: Flashcards Peekabox-Forest: Flashcards by App A Box
Category: Education, Reference
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: 131.08 MB

$0.99USD

 

 

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.

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.


Talking ABC by HEY CLAY – Review



 iPad Screenshot 1

What we love…

Creative, fun, engaging  claymation animals, lots of learning games, works on both letter names and sounds,

What we’d love to see…

A way to manually trigger the Talking feature

Summary

Talking ABC is fun creative app which works on letter names & sounds, memory, animal names, and word- letter association. The Talking feature  can be used to encourage toddlers to talk and for speech therapy practice for older kids. I love all the different claymation animals, they are bright, colorful and engaging, each has its own voice and personality.

Our Rating

Talking ABC...

Talking ABC  from HEY CLAY is a universal app for iOS and Android, designed for children aged 2-7 years.  It not only teaches letter names, sounds, and animals beginning with each letter, but also includes  six mini-games. The app is child-safe with no adverts, in-app purchases or external links.

The app has 3 parts – Alphabet, Song and Games. After a recent update there are now 6 different learning games in the game section. In the app settings you can choose to work on letter names or sounds, you can also adjust the difficulty of the games and switch the “Talking” feature on or off.

Alphabet

This is the main section of the app and the child can go through the alphabet in order or pick individual letters to work on. Each letter is crafted from brightly colored clay. Touching the letter makes it turn into an animated clay animal whose name begins with that letter. The animals include some common ones such as a Bear and Lion but also some unusual ones including Vicuna and Xiphias (a swordfish.) If the iPad is in landscape mode the letter (or animal) is on the left, and the right shows the full alphabet. In portrait mode the letter or animal fills the screen.

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The name (or sound) of the letter is spoken when the letter appears and the name of the animal is written and spoken when the animal appears.  The claymation critters are animated and will make sounds, some also play with accessories such as throwing a ball or blowing a pinwheel. If “Talking” is on, the animal will repeat back what the child says to it, and each animal has it’s own unique voice. I love the talking feature, it can be a fun way to encourage a toddler to talk, or an older child to practice words or letter sounds for speech therapy. I did occasionally have problems with the animals not picking up that I was speaking, or missing the beginning of words. It would be nice to have a option for a manual way, such as pressing a button, to trigger the voice function instead of relying on it happening automatically.

Alphabet Song

In the song section a female singer goes through the alphabet singing the letter and animal names. This is accompanied by an animation showing each of the claymation letters turning into their animals as they are being sung about.

Games

All the games feature the claymation animals and/ or letters from the main part of the app, and work on skills such as letter recognition, sound recognition, animal names, spatial recognition and memory.

Letter Game

This game works on letter, or letter sound, recognition. The child is presented with six clay letters and asked to pick the correct letter to match the letter name (or letter sound) that is spoken. If they get it right the letter turns into its animal, who praises the child. If they get it wrong the letter turns into a ball of clay and they are encouraged to keep trying.

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Animal Game

This is very similar to the letter game but this time they need to pick the right animal out of 6 choices. It is a fun way to learn different animal names but is best played after they are familiar with the app as it does include some unusual animals they may not have previously come across.

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Funny Words

This section is good for kids of all ages to practice typing their name or any word. They type it on a QWERTY keyboard and it appears as clay letters. Touching the clay letters turns them into animals. It is a fun way to get children working on learning to spell their name and other familiar words.

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Puzzles

This consists of 25 puzzles, the first is unlocked and the child has to solve them in order to unlock the next puzzle. Each puzzle has a picture of one of the claymation animals divided into 6 or 12 squares, depending on the difficulty level chosen. Tapping on a square rotates it, the child rotates each puzzle piece until the animal is complete. Once they solve the puzzle there is cheering and the animal talks to them.

Memo

This is a classic memory match game – the child first gets to briefly see where the animals are before the cards are flipped over. They then need to correctly find pairs of animals. It has 3 difficulty settings with from 12- 30 cards.

Who Is It ?

In this game the child has to work out the name of an animal using the animals as a clue. At the top of the screen are a row of animals and a row of jumbled letters is at the bottom. There are boxes in between to put the letters in. If the child matches each letter to the correct animal they will spell out the name of one of the animals from the app.

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I must admit I have a soft spot for claymation, I’m a long time fan of Aardman studios- I grew up with Morph and loved the Wallace and Gromit movies. I think claymation is a great medium for inspiring children’s imagination and I love it’s bright vivid colors. Talking ABC is a great use of claymation to inspire kids to learn whilst having fun and features a cast of 26 brightly colored, cute, engaging interactive animals.

There are many, many alphabet apps on the market today and developers need to do something different to stand out from the crowd, and Talking Alphabet achieves that. It is a fun creative way to have children work on their alphabet, letter sounds, memory, animal names, and word- letter association. I love all the different claymation animals, they are bright, colorful and engaging, each has its own voice and personality.  When this app first came out in 2013 I described it as “One of the most engaging and innovative ABC apps on the market”, with the new games and updates they have made to the app since that time it still deserves that description today.

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Talking ABC... Talking ABC... by HEY CLAY

Price: $2.99 USD

*** App Store Best Kids App 2013 ***

Talking ABC is an interactive alphabet created with love and care.

The process of learning the letters is exciting and fun while amusing animal characters.

Talking ABC is also available in a variety of other languages and for a limited time the French version is FREE ! (Please check price before downloading)

Links:

French iTunes Google Play

ALPHABET PARLANT ALPHABET PARLANT by HEY CLAY

Price: $2.99 USD

*** Meilleure application pour enfants de l’App Store 2013 ***

ALPHABET PARLANT est un alphabet interactif développé avec amour et un très grand soin.

L'apprentissage des lettres est.

German iTunes Google Play

Russian iTunes Google Play

Ukranian iTunes

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.

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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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