fun building themed app that appeals to kids from toddler through early elementary school. I loved that both of my kids could play the app and design different things.
What we’d love to see…
ability to turn off spelling words mini game – this was hard for my toddler although he liked everything else
Overall, this is a fun construction themed app that has a wide appeal to kids that allows them to design different houses from start to finish and then take a photo of their creations!
Build with Grandpa by Fairlady Media is universal app for iOS designed to help kids with a variety of building as well as teaching them about environmental re-use as kids knock down buildings, drive a construction truck and design a new home to be built. The app includes six mini educational games which require choice of equipment from a field, addition which items add up to x number, painting, decorating, designing a house and more! It appeals to preschool, toddler and elementary school depending on which things your kids like to do with the app. Skills practiced in the app include, math to number 9, literacy through reading and identifying words, design, creativity, landscaping, problem solving, cause and effect. It also teaches skills about construction and how you go through the process of building something. This is the 13th app in the app store by Fairlady Media and among my younger son’s favorites.
It was interesting to see my toddler play with the app – he was more into demolishing the old house and clearing the lot as well as dumping the gravel from the truck. Since he’s only 2 I didn’t expect him to be able to do the higher level games which required addition or foundation words. My older son on the other hand was interested in the process — and followed along with the app from start to finish and really enjoyed building a house from design to final build. The two of them had played at various points – so my younger picked the design of the house while my older finished it up. Both my kids equally enjoyed the different construction related video’s. My younger son didn’t capture the idea that you could raise and lower the boom with the wrecking ball whereas my older son was much more deliberate with his actions. To be honest, I was happy to see an app that appealed to both of them. My older son loved painting the house in primary colors and adding the windows, doors and finishing touches. He loves doing art and design so I wasn’t surprised by this request. My older son would ask Siri if he didn’t recognize a piece of equipment used in the house and enjoyed parking the equipment after finishing the foundation. I enjoyed both kids narrating the app and telling me what they were doing.
In terms of improvements, I wish that I could turn on and off activities that either my kids liked or disliked or were too developmentally difficult (like math for my 2 year old!) and still be able to play. My older son would have liked a paintbrush so he could do more detail work when finishing the house up.
Overall, this is a fun construction themed app that has a wide appeal to kids that allows them to design different houses from start to finish and then take a photo of their creations! There are no in-app purchases or advertising other than for other Fairlady Media games in the app.
beautiful illustrations & beautiful original music, fun, original ways to interact with the artwork, appeals to a variety of ages. All the extra information hidden within the app.
What we’d love to see…
addition of word highlighting as it is read, and a resource section with suggestions on creating a few Klee inspired art projects at home.
ExplorArt Klee is a very high quality app that introduces children to the art of Paul Klee in a fun and educational way. Highly recommended !
ExplorArt Klee is an interactive art appbook from Lapisly that is designed to introduce children to Paul Klee and his work. Paul Klee was a prolific 20th Century Swiss- German artist who combined influences from many different artistic movements, including Expressionism, Cubism, and Surrealism. He greatly admired children’s artwork and tried to achieve a child-like simplicity in his own work.
The app takes children to PK planet, a special place that came to life thanks to Paul Klee’s art. Their guides are Cicero (Cice) and his cat Ku, Cice tells how he was inspired by Klee’s famous portrait of Senecio. Cice and Ku explain that their planet is enormous because it is inspired by Klee’s work. Klee created almost 10,000 works of art, and as people create new art inspired by him the planet grows bigger. This shows children how an artist’s legacy can continue after their death, and how your own creative accomplishments can inspire others to create too.
Cice and Ku introduce four themes that inspired Klee:-nature, music, cities and puppets. The reader gets to explore interactive, animated versions of six of Klee’s famous works of art: “Crucifers and Spiral Flowers”, “Landscape with Yellow Birds”, “Castle and Sun”, “Dream Town”, “Fugue in Red” and “Twittering Machine”, they can also play with the recycled art puppets Klee created for his son. The app is designed to allow the child to explore it their own way, they can spend as little or as much time as they like interacting with each piece of art. When they are ready to move on they stroke Ku, and he brings them to the next artwork.
Each piece of art has different ways to interact with it. In “Crucifers and Spiral Flowers” touching the flowers makes blossoms open or close, sets stems swaying in time to the music, and sends the bird swooping around the page.
In “Landscape with Yellow Birds” touching the birds brings them to life- pulling up worms, laying eggs, chirping and flying. As you move around the Landscape you can see the picture from different perspectives, giving a simplistic 3D type effect.
The “Castle and Sun” falls apart when you touch it, creating a puzzle. You have to put the pieces back in the right places by matching the various shapes to recreate the picture.
“Dream Town” is made up of layers of superimposed shapes that you can deconstruct stretching them out like a paper accordion.
“Fugue in Red” starts as an almost bare screen with just a few scattered shapes, touching the shapes not only plays musical notes but also works to create the art work as each shape is replicated into multiple similar shapes that form the layers of the artwork.
“Twittering Machine” is my personal favorite – turning the handle of the machine moves the automaton back and forth opening and closing the birds beaks, and playing music at the same time. If you stop turning the handle the movement stops and if you remove your finger from the screen the music stops instantly, so it really feels like you are controlling the machine.
The puppets are inspired by the puppets Paul Klee made for his son from recycled materials. Cice and Ku introduce the 5 puppets in a theatre, and touching each puppet brings them to life with animation, special effects and a poem about each one.
One thing I really like about the app is that it is designed to appeal to a variety of ages, they can enjoy it on different levels whilst being introduced to a great artist and his work. Early elementary school age children can listen to the pages being narrated, and slightly older ones can read it by themselves. A red balloon appears at the bottom of each page, touching it brings up a navigation bar where they can change languages, switch narration and music on or off, return to the home screen or to a favorite page or artwork. It also has a glasses symbol- tapping this will bring up more information relating to the current page. This might be a Paul Klee quote, information about the artwork, a historical photograph or more information about the artist. This is a great way to make the app appeal to a wider age range, younger children can enjoy the app as is and older ones can use this feature to learn more about the artist and his art, keeping them engaged and learning.
Paul Klee played the violin throughout his life and his mother was a professional musician, so music was very important to him. This importance is reflected in the app, with original music throughout and music integrated into the interactive artwork. ExplorArt Klee is an app that has lots of hidden surprises, and like all the best kids apps it inspires kids to keep coming back and exploring. It took me several runs through find everything hidden within it- from fun interactive elements hidden within the scenes to all the extra information available about the artist and his art.
ExplorArt Klee can be enjoyed in 5 languages: English, German, French, Spanish and Italian. It has optional narration and background music which can be switched off independently. It is child-friendly with no adverts, in-app purchases or external links. The developer recommends the app for ages 6-8, I would recommend it for ages 5-10.
Whether you (and your child) are a fan of Paul Klee, or totally new to his work, ExplorArt Klee is a great app for getting children excited about art. It gets them exploring and interacting with great works of art and can inspire them to create their own. Paul Klee wanted to “make the invisible visible” and felt that art shows us that the world we see is “not the only one possible”, so I’m sure he would have hoped his artwork would inspire future generations to use their imagination to create their own works of art. ExplorArt Klee is very well done with beautiful illustrations, beautiful original music and fun, original, ways to interact with the artwork. I love all the extra information hidden within the app. In terms of improvements, it would be nice to see the addition of word highlighting as it is read to help emerging readers and I’d love to see a resource section at the end with suggestions on creating a few Klee inspired art projects.
Overall, a very high quality app that introduces children to the art of Paul Klee in a fun and educational way. Highly recommended !
A free lite version of the app has just been released and is a great way to sample the app before purchasing the full version.
Easy to build, many combinations gives lots of options to play different ways, detailed illustrations and props encourage creative storytelling
What we’d love to see…
A bag included for storing all the small magnetic clothes and accessories
Malia’s house is a great S.T.E.A.M. gift – it encourages young builders to engage both the left and right side of their brain as they build and tell stories
Historically building sets have been designed with boys in mind, but companies are now realizing that girls can be builders too, and creating sets made for girls. In many cases, like the Lego Friends series, this involves taking an existing building toy and making it more “girly” by changing the color scheme and theme of the sets. Build & Imagine sets were designed to get girls interested in building by providing them with a more creative, imaginative experience than standard building blocks. The Build & Imagine sets are building blocks meets dollhouse meets dress-up dolls. It’s a unique combination with lots of details designed to inspire girls (and boys) to build and imagine.
Malia’s House is one of the most popular Build & Imagine sets and the winner of a Parent’s choice Gold Award. The set includes 10 square, 4 triangular and 2 rectangular panels. These are illustrated on both sides and snap together magnetically.
Malia’s House from Build & Imagine
There is no set way to build Malia’s house – it can be one story or two, a traditional rectangle or open plan. The builder can add a garage complete with charging electric car or flip it over and instead have deck on the beach. They can add stairs to a second story or turn over the piece to add a vegetable garden outside. There are many different permutations to create, the child can use their imagination to decide which scenes to include and what shape to build, every time they play they can rebuild it in a slightly different way. There is a working door and lots of different rooms and scenes illustrated on the panels, including furniture and indoor and outdoor scenes such as a kitchen, bedrooms, beach, garden and pool.
As well as the building panels the kit also includes 2 magnetic dolls- Malia and her friend Skyler plus lots of magnetic clothes, pets and accessories. The set can also be combined with other Build & Imagine sets for even more creative fun.
Malia’s house is a great S.T.E.A.M. (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) gift – it encourages young builders to engage both the left and right side of their brains. Building with geometric shapes of the magnetic panels children work on simple engineering skills and and work on design, spatial reasoning and problem solving and design. The play sets encourage creative storytelling with the illustrations, dolls, animals, clothes and accessories helping the child to tell a story.
I love how my daughter not only creates different scenes and dollhouses with Malia’s House, but that she also loves to tell stories about what is happening as she plays. A great #STEAM gift and it can be combined with other Build & Imagine play sets for even more creative possibilities. Available fromAmazon and toyshops for US$59.99 .
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Art Gurus by Colto is a drawing app geared towards children under five years old. In this app, a scrollable classroom scene unfolds where we find some items that are missing color. Children are invited and encouraged to decorate, color or draw on these items as they wish and see their creations added to the scene.
What we love…
Simple to use, fun to see art come alive on the scene, it encourages creativity and imagination.
What we’d love to see…
More stickers, black crayon and pencil tool.
A simple drawing app that encourages children’s creativity.
When children tap on the items, a set of three drawing tools appear: crayons, stickers and a magic wand. The crayons come with 15 colors, perhaps to keep the little ones from being too overwhelmed. However, I noticed that black wasn’t one of them, and I wish this was included as it is standard in many crayon boxes. Like the crayons, there are only a few stickers to choose from, 18 all together. I like the selection they have, but would like to see more added in a future update. The magic wand is a tool that decorates items instantly. It can be pressed repeatedly to see the item decorated differently each time. In addition to these great tools, I would like to see colored pencils included for finer drawing or writing.
I like this app because it is very simple for little ones. It encourages them to be creative, and seeing their creations appear in the classroom is great motivation. I like that they are able to save a photo of the whole classroom by clicking on the camera icon on the page. There are external links in this app, but children are prevented from accessing with a parental lock. Be aware that if your child can read, he or she can easily open the parent lock.
I would recommend Art Gurus for very young children who like to color and who are just beginning to draw.
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