STEM Storiez – Wootzy Colors by Zyrobotics – Review #stem



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What we love…

fun accessible #stem themed app that teaches colors with a space perfect for toddlers or those learning colors

What we’d love to see…

a sticker type game or perhaps painting with colors on a space themed background, a page where each Wootzy said their color

Summary

Fun #stem themed app that encourages kids to learn colors using a space theme.  Rhythmic and engaging for my toddler.

Our Rating

STEM Storiez - Wootzy ColorsSTEM Storiez – Wootzy Col0rs by Zyrobotics is a universal app for iOS which features #stem learning.  The app features  science, technology, engineering, and math skills and also is usable with the Zumo bluetooth turtle for those with accessibility challenges. The app features a variety Wootzys in different colors each with a different space themed interactive background.The stories feature narration, voice/music, the ability to “type out e-book text” which means text appears as is it read.  Each of these can be toggled in the settings, and navigation is at the bottom of each page via arrows. The app can be used via the touchscreen on your iPad/iPhone or via a play stylus as well as the buttons of the touch screen Zumo turtle.   Each time you touch the screen an interactive element is triggered like the Wootzy moving, a musical sound, or animation.  The app can use a stylus, however, I reviewed it on the iPad as well as with Zumo Turtle.

One of my favorite things about the app was the level of customization that you can do.  I loved that you can remove/add sounds as well as change the size of the text on the screen.  The story is interactive and engaging for kids with on device learning.  Each color is introduced on a different page and the user is encouraged to say the name of the color.  My toddler loved the rhythmic sound of the story with “what planet is this?  What Wootzy lives here” and was able to repeat the text while we practiced his colors.  I also liked that you could turn on and off the voice/music so I could read it to my son and we could then “practice” what color is this?  Using the Zumo turtle connected via Bluetooth, my toddler was in control.  I loved that he could tap on the turtle to move the pages back and forth because at times the arrows were a bit hard for him to navigate.

In terms of improvements, I would like to see a fun activity at the end of the app after the story is completed to practice colors.  It could be painting, or stickers with the items from each page which would engage kids and also allow them to demonstrate that they understood the colors.  I’d also like to see a page that featured all of the colors where you could tap on each Wootzy to hear them say their color.

There are no-in app purchases or advertisments, and the parental area is gated with a math problem.  The settings area does not have a parental gate, but there are no external links, you can simply turn on and off the various items. Fun #stem themed app that encourages kids to learn colors using a space theme.  Rhythmic and engaging for my toddler.

STEM Storiez – Wootzy Colors

STEM Storiez - Wootzy Colors
STEM Storiez - Wootzy Colors
by Zyrobotics LLC

Category: Books, Education
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: 295.28 MB

$FREE

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Screenshots for iPad
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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.

 

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.


Max & Meredith: The Search for Percival from Move On Pluto- Review



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What we love…

Ability to control the story, multiple stories in one, nostalgic feel to the app

What we’d love to see…

Text highlighting as it is read, page turn button, ability to change settings without returning to home page.

Summary

Max & Meredith: The Search for Percival is a fun “choose your own adventure” book with multiple story lines and endings. It encourages readers to think about different ways to solve problems and challenges stereotypes as the children discover that not everyone or everything is how they expect, and that first impressions can be deceiving.

Our Rating

maxmeredith-1Max & Meredith: The Search for Percival is the first interactive book app from indie developer  Move On Pluto. It is a “choose your own adventure” book where the reader makes decisions throughout the book, which affect the characters actions and what happens next. Music, sound effects, narration and text can be switched on or off via settings. Parents can choose to have interactive hotspots unlocked throughout the app, just in final storyline scenes, or no distractions. There is no word highlighting as the story is read.

Max lives in the town of Everdale, where one morning he awakes to find his trusty dog Percival is missing. Max rushes next door to enlist the help of his friend Meredith to find Percival. The story follows Max and Meredith’s search for Percival, but the duo have different ideas on the best way to find him. Max is more logical and cautious, whilst Meredith has an active imagination and likes to follow her hunches. The reader gets involved in the story by deciding what the duo should do next when Max and Meredith disagree.

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Depending on what decisions the reader makes the story goes in different directions. In total there are 8 different possible endings. When the reader reaches the end of the story they are shown a map illustrating how the different decisions create different story lines and endings, and are encouraged to read it again for a different story experience.

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The story is an old-fashioned adventure- the dynamic duo aim to solve a mystery, and to do so they have to work together to decide what to do. Meredith believes that an ogre lives near by in Gloomy Gulch and thinks he is responsible for Percival’s disappearance, so the friends have to decide whether or not they will face up to their fears and search Gloomy Gulch. What happens in the story depends on the choices the reader makes, so it really is multiple stories in one. Making different choices introduces new characters and situations, and creates totally different endings, which gives it lots of replay value. All the different story lines work well together, and there are no “right” or “wrong” choices, just different choices. By reading the story multiple times and making different decisions, the reader can find out more about Everdale and the characters who live there.

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The book app has a nostalgic feel about it, the illustrations and story lines feel like they would be at home in a “Little Golden Book.” Although the app has some interactive elements (about one per page) the main interactivity is in choosing the where the storyline will go. The multiple story lines add a fun element and increase the replay value of the app. Depending on which storyline is chosen Max and Meredith may have to face some potentially scary situations, but they find out that first impressions are not always correct, and that you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover.

There are a few technical changes I would like to see in future updates. I would like to see the addition of word highlighting as it is read. Page turning currently via swiping, I’d like to have an option to use a page turn button instead. Swiping does give the feel of turning the pages of a book, but I find that some children, especially those with special needs, can find this difficult. The settings can only be accessed from the home page and although you can return to this at any time, doing so loses your place in the story, so I’d like to see setting accessible from every page.

Summary

Max & Meredith: The Search for Percival is a fun “choose your own adventure” book with multiple story lines and endings. It encourages readers to think about different ways to solve problems and challenges stereotypes as the children discover that not everyone or everything is how they expect, and that first impressions can be deceiving. The developer recommends Max & Meredith for ages 2-7, I think that slightly older children will also enjoy it and my 9 year-old gave it a thumbs up.

 

iTunes Link

Max & Meredith: The Search for Percival Max & Meredith: The Search for Percival by Move On Pluto LLC

Price: $3.99 USD

Winner of a Parents' Choice Approved Award

"A marvelous new storybook app ... backed by research of what is most effective in helping children comprehend, grow, and retain content while learning.

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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.

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).


An Adventure of Our Own – Review



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Frequent communication is key to strong parent-child relationship and here is an interesting way to get kids and their parents to interact while reading and playing together.

What we love…

Lots of decision making opportunities and open-ended questions to encourage parents and children’s full participation.

What we’d love to see…

A ‘read to me’ option and ability to save progress.

Summary

A great book app for parent-child interactions, providing readers with hours of imaginative play and valuable insights into the children’s minds.

Our Rating

An Adventure Of Our Own by Two Way Play is an interactive read and play book app for children and their parents (or other family members or even friends) to create their own adventure story together. While the sequence of events is fixed, readers build up the story by adding the details using the props (provided in-app) and their collective imagination.

The plot is jointly decided by the players and can change each time they play with the book. Right from the beginning of the story, the two players have to work together to flesh out their story. They begin by imagining and talk about what kind of emergency call they need to attend to. Different options are offered for each element in the story. While some aspects of the story (e.g. the setting and rescue plan) are agreed upon together, others are decided individually as each player select their own outfits, gadgets, vehicles and tools for their adventure.

There are lots of decision-making moments in this book and each comes with an open-ended question to encourage players to elaborate on their choices. This gave me valuable insights into my youngest son’s mind – his feelings, thoughts and the experiences that shaped his thinking. I was also careful not to impose my thoughts on his responses.

However, this story making session went on longer than what I had expected. I wish the app would allow me to save the progress of our story to be continued at the next session, instead of starting all over after we closed the app. Or perhaps give us a way to skip the earlier pages in the story as our choices before the rescue tools have no impact on the rest of the story. Also helpful if there are prompts on what actions are required on each page when there is no response from the players for a long time. For example, when players have to choose more than 1 item in order to move on to the next page. An added option for audio narration will also greatly benefit young readers playing with their friends.

While its simple illustrations (that look like children’s drawings), the minimal sound effects and animation allow players to focus on their collaboration itself, the app may come across as amateurish for those of us who are accustomed to more sophisticated book apps. Perhaps this is intentional.

Nonetheless, I like this new and meaningful way of sharing a read and play book app. My son likes the imaginative names of the various items in the story (e.g. seeing eye crystal and 3-wishes poof powder) as they give him all sorts of fun ideas on how to use them. Our story got more exciting because of them. The end of the story is unusual too as readers are asked about their feelings and thoughts on their adventure together. Helpful words like brave, clever, heroic, successful and tired are offered to facilitate the discussion. The app ends with yet another opportunity to talk – take another selfie, go to sleep or go on another adventure?

Overall, I recommend that you check it out. An Adventure of Our Own is a great book app for parent-child interactions, providing you with hours of imaginative play and valuable insights into your children’s minds.

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An Adventure Of Our Own

An Adventure Of Our Own An Adventure Of Our Own by Two Way Play
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: 122.1 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.


Roxy and the Ballerina Robot – Review



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There has been a dearth of book apps on families that are relevant to today’s world. This makes a simple and realistic story like Roxy and the Ballerina Robot by Jackrabbit Publishing LLC a rare treat for families who are looking for stories that their children can relate to personally.

What we love…

Characters and issues that young children can relate to personally.

What we’d love to see…

A more challenging task for unlocking access to external links. Perhaps using ‘Dad’ and ‘Mum’ in place of their names in the story.

Summary

Readers learn about wise money habits in this rare book app that promotes strong relationship in the modern family.

Our Rating

The story begins with Roxy’s desire to buy the newest toy, the Ballerina Robot after watching its commercial. She starts to save up and happily completes her daily chores to earn money in order to buy the toy. However, she got discouraged when she did not succeed and became angry. Sounds familiar? Your children will be eager to know how Roxy worked out a plan and succeeded in the end.

Children being influenced by toy commercials is a sign of the times that we all have to face. How do we teach our children how to deal with their wants, work towards their goals, resist the temptation for an immediate reward and wait for a later reward? This book offers you opportunities to discuss these modern day issues with your children and teach them important life values at the same time.

I like that this story presents strong and healthy family relationships which is important for any family configuration. Spending time together doing routine stuff provides the adults in the family with lots of teachable moments in a non-intimidating way. Roxy and her dad don’t just share fun times together but they have rough moments as well. Whatever the situation is, there is always communication between them.

My youngest enjoyed reading the story by himself and found it refreshingly different from the usual make-believe storybook apps that he is used to. I think he likes it because he can totally relate to Roxy. For younger readers, the book app comes with an option for audio narration and has the words highlighted in sync with the narration (available in English, Spanish and French). Furthermore, it allows readers to tap and hear individual words which helps them to learn new words. There is also a page menu that can take readers directly to any of the 28 pages in the story.

The beginning of a new year is always a great time to start a good personal habit like saving. In this story, Roxy becomes more aware about her impulsive spending habits and learns how she can be patient and in control of her money. So if you are planning to introduce (or reintroduce) your children to a saving habit, Roxy and the Ballerina Robot is the perfect book choice to help kick start it.

Get to know the author and the inspiration behind his book app in our interview with him here.

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Roxy and the Ballerina Robot

Roxy and the Ballerina Robot Roxy and the Ballerina Robot by Jackrabbit Publishing LLC
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: 117.63 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.

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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