101 Animal Puzzles for Kids by Little Clever – Review



What we love…

wide variety of puzzles designed to appeal to toddlers and preschoolers with a variety of levels and the app learned as you went on making the puzzles easier or harder

What we’d love to see…

a “peek” feature especially for younger children, more realistic colors of the puzzle pieces and a “home” button that leads you to the main screen.

Summary

The app is well suited to toddlers, preschoolers and potentially even early grade school children with the increasing levels of difficulty.  It could also be used to practice fine motor skills as well as colors, animal names and speech sounds as well

Our Rating

101 Animal Puzzles for Kids101 Animal Puzzles for Kids by Little Clever is a app for universal app for iOS featuring 101 animal puzzles for toddlers and preschoolers which help children work on fine motor skills, animal/object recognition both by photo as well as by name.  The app includes a variety of animals and has English narration which encourages children to pick a puzzle – once you have picked it, the app provides the category which ranges from: one the farm, riverside, woodland, in the sea, Africa, in the garden, dinosaurs, pets,and around the world.  At the simplest level, you start with a two piece puzzle that is color coded upon touching the object you are told the color and then once it is completed you can hear the name of the animal and after a second tap the sound that the animal makes.  After the puzzle is completed you can touch the forward and back button to change the puzzles.  As your child’s skill level improves the puzzle will automatically get more difficult and increase the number of puzzle pieces as well as the color of the puzzle pieces, and number of pieces.  The puzzles can range from two pieces to eight pieces and after each puzzle is completed you are congratulated with a variety of “good job” or “brilliant’ words that encourage children to continue playing.

I really liked the wide variety of puzzles that were offered within the app as there truly is a puzzle that will suit everyone’s needs.  The puzzles feature bright artwork and have an outside that allows you to slot in the puzzle pieces.  The narration is clear and encourages children to play and the auto-difficulty adjust is very helpful as it tailors the puzzle based on your children’s specific needs.  Some of my favorite puzzles included those in the sea as well as pets.  I also liked that you could switch between the precision required which required you to put the shape in the right place exactly (perfect for older children) versus no precision required which allowed you to get the piece in the general location and then it would snap into place.

In terms of improvements, it would be nice if you could have a “peek” which would allow you to see what the animal was prior to completing the puzzle.  Currently you can see the black “shape” of the puzzle and the field of puzzle pieces is above the image.  I would also like to see more realistic colors or even the option to have the actual colors of the animals in the puzzle.  While the variety of colors is nice for children trying to discern colors, it can be made more realistic for older children to include the actual colors or closer to that.  I would also like to have to spin the puzzle piece to fit it in – to make it a touch more difficult for the user.  I would also like to have a image on the main page for the categories – for example the on the farm should show a barn to indicate it is a farm rather than showing a farm animal which makes you think that you are just doing one animal rather than a series of puzzles.    Inside the app there is no “home” button but rather a “down arrow” – it would be nice if this was a true home button that brought you back to the main screen rather than walking you back through each of the screens.

The app contains no in-app purchases, a parental gate with no child accessible external links and allows you to choose American English or British English.  The app is well suited to toddlers, preschoolers and potentially even early grade school children with the increasing levels of difficulty.  It could also be used to practice fine motor skills as well as colors, animal names and speech sounds as well.  Overall, good value for the money.


101 Animal Puzzles for Kids
101 Animal Puzzles for Kids
by Little Clever

Category: Games, Education, Puzzle
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: 162.45 MB

$0.99USD

Screenshots
(Click to enlarge)
Screenshots for iPad
(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.

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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.


Thinkrolls by Avokiddo- Review and Giveaway



Logo-Thinkrolls

What we love…

Bright, colorful, engaging, different difficulty levels, works on problem solving and introduces physics concepts in a fun game

What we’d love to see…

Addition of a “challenge” level

Summary

Another hit app for Avokiddo! A very well-designed game- a maze combined with a physics puzzler that even very young players can be successful with in the Easy Mode, but the Hard Mode adds enough extra challenge to still engage a second grader.

Our Rating

ThinkrollsThinkrolls is the latest app from Avokiddo, developers of Beck and Bo, Avokiddo Emotions and Avokiddo ABC Ride. Thinkrolls is a combination of a ball-rolling platform game, maze and physics puzzler.  It is designed for children age 3-8 years old.  It supports multiple player profiles and has 2 difficulty levels – easier for under fives and harder for 5-8 year olds. No language is required to play the game. It has no adverts or in-app purchases; social media and app store links are in a locked parents area. The parents area also has information about playing the game and skills the child learns from it. It is a universal app available for iOS, Google Play and Android.

Thinkrolls are balls with character, there are 18 in total and the player can unlock the ability to use different characters by completing chapters of the game. There are 180 levels in total, 90 each for the easy and harder modes. These levels are divided into 7 chapters and in each chapter a new obstacle is introduced. Although to the player it is just a fun game, it also has an educational component as the player learns to use the physical properties of the obstacles they are working with such as buoyancy, gravity, heat and elasticity.

iPhone Screenshot 1At the start of a game a Thinkroll rolls away through a maze and the child’s character needs to follow it. They push their character to move them left or right, and when unsupported they will fall with gravity. In the first chapter cookies bar the way, and the child needs to chomp away the correct cookie so that their Thinkroll will fall the correct way.  Once a Thinkroll has fallen down it can not be pushed back up, they must continue on that path of the maze if they can, they need to think ahead or they may get stuck in a dead end. If the Thinkroll gets stuck, the player can just hit the replay button to move back a step so they can re-think their last move.

In later chapters other obstacles are introduced: Crates, Balloons, Rocks, Jelly, Elevators, Fire and Ice. Each new obstacle is introduced alone, then in combination with previous obstacles, so that in later levels the child needs to think multiple steps ahead and use different obstacles. The crates are used to fill holes and stacked to form steps. Balloons float upwards when set free, and can be popped by guiding them towards spikes. Rocks can be used to break through cracked floors, but need to be dropped from a sufficient height to create enough force to do so. Jelly is fun to bounce on and using it as a springboard will help to navigate tricky areas. Kids will learn about recoil as they see the bigger the height they drop on to the jelly from, the higher they will bounce. Kids will also learn that ice melts when in contact with fire, and to use ice blocks to put out a fire. Using the elevator blocks works on timing and co-ordination. As they work their way though the chapters children use logic, practice problem- solving skills and learn to think ahead.

iPhone Screenshot 5I first introduced Thinkrolls to my 7 year-old son during a lengthy ER visit, I wasn’t sure how he would react as he is the most critical of my testers, but he really enjoyed it. I had him do the easy levels first as an introduction to the concepts, but he soon progressed to the harder levels and has frequently asked to play it since. He thought the characters were cute and enjoyed collecting them which is high praise coming from a boy who is obsessed with Star Wars, Lego and Minecraft! I did notice at times he was learning by trial and error rather than truly thinking ahead, i.e. he would use the replay button multiple times in the more complex levels instead of stopping and planning more, but he still learned from it.  I think a nice addition would be a “challenge” level where after the player has completed the game they have an option to play each chapter again with only a set number of replays (maybe a choice of 1, 2 or 3 ?) I think this would be good for encouraging kids to keep replaying after they feel they have mastered the concepts.

Overall, this is a very well-designed game for pre-school and early elementary school children. It is fun, has bright, colorful graphics and engaging characters. It is a maze and ball-rolling platform game combined with a simple physics puzzler. Even very young players can be successful in the Easy Mode and the Hard Mode adds enough extra challenge to keep a second grader engaged, thinking and working on their problem solving skills. At first glance the app looks easy, but looks can be deceptive! In hard mode it is challenging enough in the later sections that even I needed to resort to the replay button at times! Another hit app for Avokiddo!
Thinkrolls – AVOKIDDO

Thinkrolls
Thinkrolls
by AVOKIDDO

Category: Education, Puzzle, 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: 61.68 MB

$3.99USD

Screenshots
(Click to enlarge)
Screenshots for iPad
(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.

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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).

Eyefi Mobi SD card by Eyefi – Review

Transfer wirelessly

What we love…

Simple to set up and use with automatic sync to your devices

What we’d love to see…

reminders as Eyefi cloud is closer to expiring as well as a bit more use friendly interface

Summary

This card made me start using my digital camera again – I had so many photos that were on there that I had never downloaded – now it’s so simple!

Our Rating

recommended-by-the-imums

How many times do you take photos on your digital camera and find them “stuck” on the camera when you can’t find your camera cord, don’t have time to sync them or even worse lose your camera?  Eyefi has come out with an innovative card which allows you to wireless sync your photos from your camera to your phone, tablet and computer as well as storing them in the cloud – all without you having to do anything other than put the camera on view mode and sync with your wireless network once.

Eyefi Mobi is just like a regular SDHC card and is compatible with many cameras  including a point and shoot as well as a DSLR which includes a built in WiFi which will automatically pair your camera to your smartphone, tablet, or computer which allows photos to be synched in moments – without having to worry about finding the cord!  There is an app for iOS, Android and Kindle Fire to allow for easy interface and downloading.  The photos are instantly sync’d allowing you to share and enjoy your photos and enjoy them in the moment with the quality of a digital camera.  I loved how easy it was to sync and the fact that I didn’t have to worry about losing my camera or having pictures stuck on there until I did an annual photo book or needed one.

In terms of improvements, I would like to see enhancements in the iOS app.  I also found that my EyeFi Cloud membership expired one day when I went to sync my phone and it was a bit of a hassle to renew it which I had to do in order to download my photos.  The card comes with a free 90 day cloud service – and I wished that I had been reminded sooner so I wasn’t forced to renew it.  The unlimited cloud is $49 a year.

Simple, easy to use and preserve your memories.  This card made me start using my camera again.  I had misplaced the cord and had been unable to locate it.  We were without a desktop computer at the time so I was very excited to take photos of my kids with the card so I wouldn’t lose out on memories of them and they were better quality than what I was able to get on my smartphone.

NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.

The card retails from $49.99 for 8 gigabytes and a 90 day cloud storage to $99.99 and 32 gigabytes along with the same cloud storage. A full year of cloud storage can be purchased when you get the card as well. Available from Eyefi, Best Buy, newegg.Amazon another other retailers.

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.

Space Bar Monitor stand + 6-port USB hub by Quirky – Review

Quirky - Space Bar 6-Port USB Hub - Back

What we love…

easy to set up out of the box, reduces clutter on your desk and maximizes charging space for a variety of devices which use USB charging

What we’d love to see…

a better place to store your cords when not in use as well as a better description of which ports you can use for what, I found some ports worked for synching my iPhone while others did not

Summary

Overall, a fun easy to use accessory which will minimize clutter on your desk and allow you to charge multiple devices as well as providing additional storage space

Our Rating

recommended-by-the-imums

The Quirky Space Bar Monitor stand is much more than your basic monitor stand – it’s also a six port USB hub that also holds your monitor.  The dimensions of the product are 21.88 x 6.63 x 1.88 inches and on each end it includes four USB hubs along with power on the back and two additional plugs for USB products.  I placed a standard 27″ monitor along with the various devices I was charging including my camera, two iPads, an iPhone on the stand.  The stand is rated to hold 25 lbs and I think mine was holding about that with all the items I was charging.  The device does take up quite a bit of space, especially on smaller desks, but it makes up for the lost space in being multifunctional.  In addition, when not in use, a standard Apple keyboard (and some PC keyboards) will fit in underneath the stand allowing you to have more space at your workstation.  Quirky is a company that works with inventors who submit their ideas for a product.  Once the product is submitted to Quirky, the power of social media takes over and a variety of people help the inventor with their idea and  decide if the product should be built out further and then voted on to see if production should move forward.  After that, if the product is selected to be manufactured then people can purchase it via a variety of methods including Quirky’s site, Amazon and other sites.  Typically once the first run of a product runs out, Quirky will incorporate feedback in the product before making another batch of them.  The inventor of this product is Michael Cavada who is a teacher at a school in Pennsylvania who teaches photography and runs a Mac® computer lab who was trying to come up with a solution for keeping the room neat and tidy.

More space, more portsThe Space Bar is a sleek addition to my desk which allows me to seamlessly charge my gadgets.  I liked that you could charge any device that used USB which meant you could charge phones, tablets, speakers, frankly anything that used USB.  I frequently have more things to plug in than space on my desktop and laptop so this seemed like a nice solution that was very quick to set up out of the box and start using.  I liked that it helped to minimize the clutter on my desk by providing one spot for me to charge everything and the black surface made it easy to clean and didn’t collect dust on my computer parts.  Another solution could be that instead of using the space underneath for your keyboard that you could slide your gadgets underneath and put them out of sight.  I also slid an external backup drive as well as a few other things underneath the device instead of putting my keyboard under there which meant they were quick at hand when I needed them.

One of my wishes for the Space Bar was a place to store the cords when I wasn’t charging things.  When I finished charging things I was left with the cables which were just hanging out on my desk.  It would have been nice to have something to coil them up on so I could leave them plugged in but not have the clutter on my desk.  I also wish there was a way to have the USB ports sync your Apple devices with your iTunes account, currently the front four ports will allow you to sync but the back two do not.  I also wish that there was an option to remove the backlight from the ports when not in use – it’s a neat feature during the day, but if you have your computer set up in your bedroom it can be a bit of a deterrent to sleep.

Overall, this is a space saving solution that provides six USB ports in either white, aluminum or black to match your choice of colors for your desk.  The model I tested had USB 2.0 ports, although I’ve been told they have upgraded to USB 3.0 now.  The price point for the product seems to be on target given that you get additional desk space, the ability to charge multiple devices as well as a cleaner look for your desk.

This product can be purchased in black or white for $99.00 or for $129 in brushed aluminum and is available from Quirky here .

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.

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