Zorbit’s Math Adventure Preschool – Learning. Reimagined. by Best Boy Entertainment – Review



Zorbit

What we love…

Many different scenes, adventures, characters, & creatures; beautiful colors, animation, and sound effects; gives children a chance to try on their own first and then gives a hint to help them fell successful.

What we’d love to see…

A rush on development of the next apps in the series!

Summary

An out-of-this-world math learning adventure with a hidden agenda: to secretly prepare preschoolers for Kindergarten math!

Our Rating

The developers of Zorbit’s Math Adventure did their homework before creating this app. Their web page states: “We created this game in response to the increasing body of evidence that shows early exposure to math is as important to a child’s long-term academic and career success as early literacy skills – if not more so.” Best Boy Entertainment’s own study showed an average improvement of 73% in children’s math skills after playing Zorbit’s Math Adventure for a three-week period.

My own preschooler went from kind-of-sort-of-knowing numbers to definitely knowing numbers up to 20 (including rote counting and one-to-one correspondence). She’s even made the connection with numbers beyond 20. She plays the app for as long as I will let her and repeatedly goes back to the Zorbit’s Math Adventure even though she has completed all the levels. The app also teaches shapes, size, early estimating, amount comparisons, colors, positional concepts, classifying and grouping – all in a storybook/play atmosphere that keeps kids engaged and looking for more.

This app is fully kid friendly – with no in-app purchases, no advertising, no social media, and no Internet access required. It appeals to both boys and girls and is packed full with encouragement, praise, sticker rewards, and star rewards. A new level is unlocked as the previous level is completed, although users can visit previous levels at anytime – and my little preschooler takes full advantage of this! All 6 levels are graded according to the child’s responses – offering more help (both verbal and visual cues) and practice when needed. I could tell my daughter’s improvement as she counted her way throughout the day – without me urging her to do so ☺ What I loved even more was hearing her answer the characters’ questions out-loud and giggle at their silly antics.

For those wanting more, Best Boy Entertainment offers a facebook page for fans of Zorbit’s Math Adventure. Here you can find teaching tips and nominate your child for fan of the week or whiz kid of the week. Developers also offer a blog on their web page linking parents to numerous articles and tips about child development and current research. Currently, this app is compatible with iPhone and iPad. However, developers plan to offer multiple languages and versions compatible with Android and in-browser devices. They also plan to release Kindergarten and Grade 1 games in 2014.

Zorbit’s Math Adventures is loaded with intriguing graphics and inter-galatic themed music/sounds (with options to turn on/off) that are kid friendly and keep space adventurers exploring for more. My preschooler’s new favorite app – “I like it a lot, a lot, a lot ☺”. It was hard to get my hands on the app if she was awake!

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$3.99 $3.99
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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.


Creating Character in Kids by Character Counts – Review



iPhone Screenshot 2

What we love…

easy to use online behavior and chore chart that parents can customize to meet their child(ren)’s specific needs

What we’d love to see…

simplified setup with a “quickstart”; simplified visual set up for children perhaps incorporating more color or stickers as a visual reward; locking of external links on the parent dashboard

Summary

Easy to use online version of a chore chart that fits in your pocket at a great pricepoint.

Our Rating

Creating Character "In Kids"Creating Character in kids by Character Counts is an on the go behavioral/chore chart for kids that is accessible anywhere you go at anytime. This means that if your child is a helper and engages in positive behavior when you are out and about instead of waiting to get home and potentially forgetting to give them a star or point on their chore chart, you can do it then and there or alternatively, you can remove points for bad behavior. Character Counts lets parents set up the chores and then either the child or the parent can log in to give or remove points via a iOS device. It’s a modern day version of the paper behavior and chore chart that I remember from my childhood.

I liked the customization of the app and the fact that it allowed me to select goals based on my son and reward points appropriately based on what I felt was an appropriate setting. It was very easy once the app was set up, to have either myself or my son go into the app and select which goals he had met or had not met for the day. The app provides positive reinforcement for meeting your goals with a “Yay” and a “oh no” for not meeting your goals. The consequences section allows you to select different consequences if your child should not meet their goals – I did not use this section much with my five year old, but I think it would be valuable for an older child. I also liked that I could login at any time to update the goals and consequences when I had a connection and it would be updated no matter what iOS device I was using. I also liked that it can be used for multiple children at the same time which is great for families or parents.

In terms of enhancements, I would like to see the setup for the app simplified. It took me 20 minutes to set my son up for the first time. While I understand that it is important to set up the app for the first time, I’d like to see a “quick start” version that allows you to quickly go in and pick goals so you can begin using it within 15 – 20 minutes of downloading the app for the first time. It would also be nicer if the interface, especially for the kids was simplified and perhaps even gave “sticker” rewards or some other type of visual reward when a positive action was recorded. My son kept asking me, why am I not earning stickers? It would also be nice if for kids you could use a series of a couple of numbers for the login to simplify it for them or allow them to save it.

The app does contain external links to share it via email, Twitter and Facebook on the parent login – and I think it would be helpful to install a lock on it, just in case children accidentally get into this portion of the app to mark off their goals. This is not available on the child side.

Overall, this online version of the chore chart is easy to use once it is setup and provides reinforcement to children for both positive and negative behaviors as well as ensuring that they complete their chores and are held accountable. it is a good value for all of the content included.

Please use our link to purchase the app for $3.99.

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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!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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.


Bugs and Buttons 2 by Little Bit Studio – Review



iPhone Screenshot 2

What we love…

18 excellent educational games, high quality graphics and animations

What we’d love to see…

Indicator for earning stamps, skill settings, ability to choose song in Music Match, some type of reward for completing the stamp collection

Summary

An excellent high-quality educational app for pre-school and early elementary aged children worth far more than its cost.

Our Rating

Bugs and Buttons 2 by Little Bit Studio LLC, is an outstanding sequel to the award winning original Bugs and Buttons.  Like its predecessor, Bugs and Buttons 2 has 18 educational, fun-filled games with beautiful graphics and life-like animations covering various skills such as counting, alphabetical order, sorting, gross motor skills, fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, shape recognition, music theory, matching, and finding differences.

My 6 year old tester loved all the games including RC Racing, Bubble Float and Flashlight Find, but her absolute favorite (as well as mine) is Music Match.  In Music Match, children must remember and play a sequence of notes on piano in the order they were presented.  The great thing about this game is that the notes aren’t random but are the notes for children’s songs. Playing this game will not only teach children how to play songs on the piano but also teach them what note corresponds to which keys on the keyboard.

Along with playing games, children will also enjoy collecting stamps.  There are two kinds of stamps to collect: insect stamps and country stamps.  Insect stamps are earned when specific points are met or earned in the game.  There are two insects stamps available collect per game.  Country stamps are acquired when children find Morty, a cute and friendly beetle, hiding in the games.  In order to keep track of where (which game) stamps have been collected from, stickers are displayed in the title headings of each game.  An ant sticker is displayed when an insect stamp is earned and a star with the letter M is displayed when Morty has been found.  At the moment, there is a bug in the game that prevents all 18 country (Morty) stamps to be displayed and counted correctly on the stamp book.  It only shows 17 even if all 18 stamps have been collected.  I contacted the developers about this who responded to me very quickly and assured me that it will be fixed on the next update.

There are several things I would like to see on future updates.  First, there is currently no way of knowing exactly when points have been met to earn stamps.  It would be great to either have this information for the parents in the parent page or have some sort of indicator that shows how many more points are needed to earn a stamp.  Second, I would like to have skill settings.  I have noticed that some games require a higher number of points for stamps than others.  Younger children may not have the attention span long enough for them to earn a stamp.  It would be great if parents  could either select or set the number of points required to earn a stamp.  Third, I would like to be able to choose the song in Music Match.  At this time, a random song comes up each time the game is played.  I would like for my child to keep playing the same song until she has completed it. I would also like to have the songs available on free play, but instead of having them match notes the keys would simply light up for them to follow along.  Finally, I would like to see some kind of animation played or special reward given for completing the stamp collection.

Little Bit Studio LLC has undoubtedly made another award winner.  Bugs and Buttons 2 is an excellent high-quality app whose value far exceeds its cost.  I recommend this without reservations to those with pre-schoolers and early elementary aged children.  It is hands down one of the best apps out there.


Bugs and Buttons 2 Bugs and Buttons 2 by Little Bit Studio, LLC.

Price: $2.99 USD

Bugs and Buttons is back with twice the fun! Bugs and Buttons 2 has 18 more games designed to entertain, teach and inspire. Beautiful, life-like 3D illustrations bring scurrying, fluttering and slithering.


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

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.


Math Mathews : Mental Math – Review and Giveaway



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What we love…

Lots of addition and subtraction problems of increasing complexity and adjustable difficulty.

What we’d love to see…

An option for speed round for players seeking more challenges, more details in the progress report.

Summary

A great combination of fast-paced gameplay, lively banter and varied questions with adjustable difficulty for practicing mental math in addition and subtraction.

Our Rating

From Math Mathews (multiplication) in the Archipelago Walter, Captain Mathews and his crew of pirates (Carl, Celia and Buck) continue their search for the magical Necklace of Sylla that will make him and Buck human again. This time, the pirates are speeding down an underground tunnel to the heart of the Temple of the Earth, collecting treasures and solving the Math questions (addition and subtraction) shown by the Guardian of the Temple.

In this new story, the plot is presented in the form of a dialogue among the characters. The text is not read out so some kids may be tempted to skip this but do encourage them to read along. The storyline, the bickering among the pirates and incessant taunts from the Guardian provide the fun breaks that they should not miss.

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Each game session consists of 3 segments of gameplay alternating with 2 rounds of math quizzes of 5 questions each. The goal of the game is to collect as many gold coins and treasures as the player make the wagon jump from platform to platform without falling. This alone requires skills and strategy. On the other hand, the goal for answering the math problems correctly is to earn the required number of keys to access higher game levels to enter the heart of the Temple.

20131011-232021.jpgUnlike many mental math apps where the problems presented are simple involving only single mathematical operator (?+? or ?-?), Math Mathews: Mental Math has 8 types of math problems of increasing complexity. From the simplest problem (e.g. 4+3=?) with 3 choices of answers given to the more difficult ones (e.g. ?-57+73=79) where you need to type in the correct answer, there are lots of challenging math problems for kids to solve for a long time.

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What I really like in this app is the adjustable difficulty level. There are 4 levels for you to choose to match your child’s math ability – Easy (Numbers 1 to 5), Medium (1 to 9), Difficult (1 to 20) and Expert (1 to 99). It also mean that the app will grow with the child’s age and ability. Players have 3 chances to answer each math question and there is no time limit for answering.

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There are mysteries surrounding the Guardian of the Temple and what will happen when you reach the altar of Sylla. Players who follow the story so far will be motivated to work through the many math problems to complete all the 8 levels of mental math practice just to solve the mystery. Having someone to compete with in each game level will also push players to aim for higher game score and you can create up to 10 player accounts, each with a Logbook that show the progress for the last 10 game sessions.

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This is a very well-designed app and the duration of math exercises and games are just right, not at all tedious. The great combination of fast-paced gameplay with exciting music, lively banter among the characters, huge number and variety of addition and subtraction problems with adjustable difficulty levels makes this a top mental math app for children and adults of all ages. Definitely an app to check out if you are looking for speed math training.

 

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Math Mathews : Mental Math – Kiupe

Math Mathews Mental Math Math Mathews Mental Math by Kiupe
Category: Education, Games, Adventure
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: 58.31 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.

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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.

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