Magic Stones by Every1plays – Review and Giveaway

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What we love…

Interesting characters, magical story, great graphics, unique educational games and little surprises to find.

What we’d love to see…

Some information to explain how to navigate within the app for those who needs it.

Summary

The combination of a magical story and unique games with many difficulty levels in Magic Stones will keep kids mentally active and entertained for hours.

Our Rating

Magic Stones by Every1plays is an adventure game cum storybook of a young sorcerer apprentice’s quest to restore order in the Land of the Magic Stones that was destroyed by a dragon. It is a quest that will test your child’s general knowledge, ability to concentrate, matching, problem solving and visual-spatial skills while he immerses himself in the young sorcerer’s adventures. Guided only by a smart bat, your child has to complete many tasks of increasing complexity to earn precious ingredients for making the magic stones that will bring a happy ending for all in the Land of the Magic Stones.

There are a few sections in this app and these are revealed to your child one by one as he progresses through the story. First he has to design his own shield, choose to play as a boy or girl sorcerer apprentice and then dress his character appropriately for the adventure before starting the adventure. The first stop is the laboratory which houses the cauldron for brewing the potion to make the magic stones. It is also where the ingredients earned and the magic stones are to be kept. If your child wants to have a peek at the quest that lies just ahead of him, he can open the storybook in this laboratory but he will uncover the truth only when he has collected all the 6 magic stones.

20131005-030756.jpgIngredients are already available at the start of the story for the hero to make his first magic stone. He needs to follow the recipe on a scroll so that he will use the correct ingredients in the right portions. To make the other 5 magic stone, he needs to collect more ingredients from 5 different villagers who are waiting for him to help undo the damages caused by the dragon in the Land of the Magic Stones – Baron Bucky, Tinker, Ginger Root, Forest Elves and Princess Helium.

 

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Baron Buck’s village was demolished by the dragon. Your child needs to help rebuild the village by placing houses on their proper bases. This activity requires more than just matching skills as kids have to imagine how the base looks like.

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The things in Ticker’s workshop are broken by the dragon’s fallen egg. Help is needed to fix a variety of objects like furniture and vehicle. This activity builds a child’s spatial skills as he follows a blueprint plan to assemble the pieces and nail them together. The object will fall apart if not assembled correctly.

 

 

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Ginger Root’s sheep are trapped in the maze. To free the sheep, the hero has to find the correct tools to remove the obstacles that block all the exits. This is a great activity for problem solving.

 

 

 

 

20131005-030301.jpgThe Forest Elves’ Great Book of Knowledge was set on fire by the dragon. The answers were burned leaving only the questions. The Elves organized a quiz to find all the answers. The quiz questions (given verbally) relate to the description/function of objects, animals or plants (“Which of these plants has a trunk and needles?”) and they are appropriate for children up to Kindergarten level. 4 answer options (in pictorial form) are offered for each question and kids are given hints when they are unable to answer correctly. Besides testing the kids’ general knowledge, this activity also develops their listening comprehension skills.

20131005-031032.jpgThe bubbles in Princess Helium’s manor were blown away by the dragon, help is needed to restore them by using the correct bubble maker and let the Princess blow them to the right size. This activity works on matching, estimation and fine-motor skills.

 

 

 

20131005-030908.jpgThe villagers reward the hero’s good deeds with ingredients to make the magic stones. Using the magical powers from the magic stones, the young sorcerer then attempts to chase the dragon out of the castle where it is hiding. In an arcade-style game, the sorcerer battles the dragon with magic spells while avoiding being hit by its attacks. This game is easy for the younger kids and it is the final game to be completed in order to find out the story’s ending.

 

20131005-030555.jpgThis is an app that offers lots of play with great educational value. Each of the five activities has at least 15 levels of increasing complexity and after completing the adventure, your child can return to play the activities over and over again. Besides these games, there are also little surprises hidden in the app for your kids to find – songs and animations. You can create up to 5 player profiles and choose between English or French.

 

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I was at first uncomfortable that the app didn’t have an overview that tells me how to navigate within the app as there is so much to do. I didn’t know where to begin and where to next but my 6-year-old showed none of the hesitation which makes me think that kids will probably enjoy the process of exploring and discovering the details of the adventure. So check out this app if you want to give your kids lots of educational fun. The unique games with their many levels of difficulty will surely keep your child challenged and entertained for hours.

 

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Land of the Magic Stones Lite – Every1plays
Free

Magic Stones – Every1plays
$3.99
Compatibility: Requires iOS 4.3 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.

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!

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.


The Mighty League Vol 1 – The Terrible Taunting – A Blackfish Children’s Book by Customizabooks LLC – Review



Mighty League Vol 1

What we love…

Great story, fantastic job of explaining what being in the spectrum is like, customizable, highly interactive.

What we’d love to see…

Female narration when a female character is chosen, custom narration for speech bubbles.

Summary

An excellent book for everyone that promotes awareness of autism and Asperger’s Syndrome , encourages acceptance and understanding, and talks about tools that those in the spectrum can use to manage their day.

Our Rating

Geek Club Books, a company that specializes in products that promotes self-acceptance in children who are deemed different because they are in the autism spectrum, has done a remarkable job with their new book The Mighty League Volume 1: The Terrible Taunting. It is the first book in what will likely be a series of books based on the actual experiences of a boy who grew up with Asperger’s Syndrome. It is highly interactive and is presented in a comic book format.

There are many things noticeable in this book. The first thing you will notice, upon opening the app, is that it is customizable. You can choose whether you want the main character to be a hero (Jman) or a heroine (Jaycee). You can also record the narration using your own voice. Second, you will notice that it comes with a lively, upbeat music that goes amazingly well with the story. Third, you will notice that it beautifully illustrated. Finally, you will notice that every page in this book is filled with interactive items and interactive speech bubbles. Clicking on the main character’s hedgehog sidekick will bring up a notebook or journal that explains more about what having Asperger’s is like.

20131002-232954.jpgAs a mom of a boy with autism, this book is very dear to my heart. I think the best thing about it is that it is based on the real life adventures of Jonathan Murphy who grew up with Asperger’s Syndrome. The story is written by Jonathan’s sister Molly and is narrated by Jonathan himself! Some of the things the character goes through are similar to what my son goes through and I love that he can relate to it. It also gives us ideas on how to help him manage his day and how to handle difficult situations like stopping the school bully. This was good to read not only with my son but with my other children as well. My children already love their brother just the way he is, but this book gave them an even better understanding of what things are like for him.

20131002-233617.jpgThere are only a few things I would like to see in the future. Since the narration is done in the first person, I would like to see it narrated by a female when a female character is chosen. I also think it might be fun for the kids to be able to record their own voice for the speech bubbles. Lastly, I was a tad uncomfortable with the mom in the story never facing the main character. Her back was always turned even when addressing him. She was the only character whose face we did not see.

 

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Overall, I think this book is great and I highly recommend it to everyone. It promotes autism awareness , encourages acceptance and understanding, and talks about tools that those in the spectrum can use to manage their day. Be sure to also check out the Geek Club Books website. It is a full of resources and information on autism and spectrum disorders and is packed with lots and lots of love!

 

 

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The Mighty League Vol 1 – The Terrible Taunting – A Blackfish Children’s Book – Customizabooks LLC

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Fides and her husband have been married for 16 years. They homeschool their 4 children: two amazing sons and two beautiful daughters. Fides likes to walk and jog outdoors everyday and has as very difficult time resisting a slice of paradise cake.

Eat Salad! – Episode 1 of Pen Nochio by Mofables – Review

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Reviewed by Alison

What we love…

engaging to young children, preschoolers and elementary school children

What we’d love to see…

ability to turn off background music, ability to turn off the splash screen advertising other apps.  Ability to view the visual for the word in the learn section.

Summary

The app makes it fun for children to interact in a variety of settings and does not require them to engage for too long which is perfect for shorter attention spans.

Our Rating

Eat Salad! - Episode 1 of Pen Nochio :  Stories with interactive flashcards and increasing difficulty quiz that will teach your toddler to read using the synthetic phonics methodEat Salad! by Mofables is an universal app designed to help children with word spelling, recognition, and memorize new words.  The app features a little boy named Penn and is broken into three sections to help children play, learn and memorize new words using phonetic spelling and pronunciation.  The “play” section helps children in specific social situations like a restaurant and how to act in the situation.  There are ten different situations contained within the app.   The “learn” section pronounces a word, and the user has to pick specific letters to spell the word correctly.    The “memorize” section features a picture and the user has to select the right word to go with the picture like “mom” or “kid”.  After completing each set of activities, the user is rewarded with praise and a screen of bubbles.   There are approximately 30 activities to be completed throughout the app.  The app is best suited for emerging readers, preschoolers and early elementary aged children.

The app is brightly colored, the words are engaging and my son seemed to enjoy playing with it.  I also liked that the app reminded him daily that new words were available encouraging him to go back to it over and over again.   The mini games such as swallowing in the play section made learning fun although it was helpful for me to explain to my son how to shake the iPad gently versus shaking it hard.

In terms of enhancements, I would like to be able to turn off the background music as my son found it a bit distracting at times while playing with the app.  I’d also like the option in the “for grownups” section to shut off the splash screen advertising other apps – which is protected via  a finger swipe.  In the memorize section, when the correct answer is circled, it would be nice if the app would repeat the correct answer and encircle the entire word not just a portion of it.  In the “learn” section it would also be nice to have the option for a visual to go with the word – such as leg.

This is a fun app to help children with pre-reading and early reading skills.  The app makes it fun for children to interact in a variety of settings and does not require them to engage for too long which is perfect for shorter attention spans.

FREE Version –

Full Version –

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.


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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"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.

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