Pacca Alpaca – Travel Playtime: fun activities for kids by Anamil Tech Limited – Review and Giveaway



screen pacca alpaca

Pacca Alpaca – Travel Playtime: fun activities for kids is the second in a series of apps following Pacca Alpaca on his travels around the globe. While the first app explored Australia, this new app takes your preschooler to 23 different countries and learn about the iconic symbols associated with these countries.

What we love…

Exposure to the cultures and important features of various countries.

What we’d love to see…

More information about the national treasures and ability to save creative works.

Summary

A cute and oolorful app that brings your child around the world learning about the famous icons and flags of different countries through 50 early learning activities.

Our Rating

The app opens with a cute animation of Pacca Alpaca traveling across continents on his magical carousel and when it lands, your child is invited to choose an early learning activity from 50 available on the spinning carousel. Each activity takes your child to a new place and highlights an interesting feature of that country.

For each of the 23 countries that your child will travel to, he/she could be searching for the national animal, piecing together one of the wonders of the world, building a national monument, connecting the dots to draw a historic landmark, making the national food with stickers, spotting the odd national flower, drawing a cultural landscape or playing hide and seek with fun iconic symbols. While there are lots (50 early learning activities) to do, each activity is short and complete on its own, which is perfect for the preschoolers’ short attention span. Even though there is no in-app saving function of the children’s creative works, you can always get round it by doing screenshots.

After completing an activity, your child will be shown the flag of the country and the country name will be announced at the same time. However, I feel that the flag appears too soon and wish that there is a little more time for the children to appreciate their completed work before the flag is shown.

I like the variety of country highlights included in this app. They are all very interesting, I just wish that the app would give the name of these features as well. My favorite country highlight has to be the music that is unique to each country and I hope to see more cultural characteristics like the costumes and festivals being included in future updates.

I love the multi-national and multi-cultural exposure that this app offers. The early learning activities are age-appropirate and the visuals are captivating. It is the perfect app for preschoolers to travel round the world discovering different countries and their cultures in a fun way!

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Pacca Alpaca – Travel Playtime: fun activities for kids

Pacca Alpaca - Travel Playtime: fun activities for kids Pacca Alpaca - Travel Playtime: fun activities for kids by Anamil Tech Limited
Category: Education, Family, Games
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone3GS-iPhone-3GS, iPadWifi-iPadWifi, iPad3G-iPad3G, iPodTouchThirdGen-iPodTouchThirdGen, 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: 62.71 MB

$0.99USD

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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.

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.


Coosi Box by Yellephant – a Creative Kids app Review



image

What we love…

the imagination and creativity in the app

What we’d love to see…

Option to use offline, more drawing tools, ability to switch off popups, stronger parental locks.

Summary

Coosi Box is a different and creative kids art app that allows the child to use their imagination to create a picture that will become part of an interactive animation.

Our Rating

Coosi Box : Creative Drawing and Share ImaginationCoosi Box is a kids art app with a difference from Korean App developer Yellelphant. The child can create on a blank canvas and then their artwork is  incorporated into a short interactive animation. Pictures saved within the app are displayed in an online Coosi Box gallery where other app users can give them hearts. They are identified only by the flag if the country they came from. The child can also take a picture of their artwork in the animation, this is saved to their camera roll. Internet connectivity is required to use the app, when offline you can not save artwork or view previously created artwork.

iPhone Screenshot 4

There are currently 13 different Coosi Box themes to choose from, with the promise of more to come.  The child chooses one of the themes and after studying the theme picture creates their own masterpiece they think would go with it. Once they have selected a theme a paintbrush icon appears, the child presses it and is given a blank canvas with just a paint tool and eraser showing. Tapping the paint tool icon lets them choose one of 16 paint colors and one of 3 brush types (pencil thin brush or thick brush.) Once they are happy with their masterpiece pressing and holding an arrow for 3 seconds will save it and start the animation.

The animations are fun and interactive, in some of them you can guess what might happen from the theme picture, others are a surprise. As well as the child’s artwork appearing in the animation the child can also interact with the animation. In one picture a lemur sits on a throne with plates of fruit in front of him, the child can tap on the fruits to have him eat them. Once a plate is empty it is refilled, but this time with the fruit  (or other item) the child drew – which they can also help him eat. So they could draw a strawberry but they could also think out if the box and draw an elephant, an alien, a star or anything their imagination comes up with.

image Another theme picture shows a creature on a raft who fishes for the child’s drawing, and the child helps him reel it in. Yet another has an old man whose hat falls off revealing a bald head, his hair regrows using the child’s drawing to create his hair!

I love the imagination and creativity in the app, but there are also some things I’d like to see changed. The app needs internet connectivity to save or view drawings, it would be nice to have an offline option. The drawing tools are currently very simple, I would like to have some more options available such as more pen widths, more colors and pattern tools.

imageWhen selecting the theme, and on the home page there are popups advertising their other apps and I’d like to have the ability to switch this off in settings. I’d also like stronger parental gates, the parents area has app store and social media links and is accessed via pressing and holding for 3 seconds – the same action the child does to save their pictures. Other app store links within the app have a multiplication question which is a stronger gate, but it is made easier by being multiple choice- it would be better to have to type the answer.

The app can be a little confusing at first as children select a picture which then disappears once they tap the paintbrush, leaving them unsure whether they are to copy the picture or what to do. Once they see their picture appear in an animation it all becomes clear, and they can really use their imagination creating pictures and seeing what happens to them.

Overall, a different and creative kids art app that allows the child to use their imagination to create a picture that will become part of an interactive animation. I love the imagination that goes into the app, there are some tweaks I would like to see made, but as it is currently free with no in-app purchases it is definitely worth a download.

iTunes Link: Coosi Box : Creative Drawing and Share Imagination – Yellephant Co., Ltd.


Coosi Box : Let your imagination run wild Coosi Box : Let your imagination run wild by Yellephant Co., Ltd.

Price: $FREE

Coosi Box promotes children’s unrestricted creativity with a twist. Your child can pick a theme they like most, fill the screen with whatever their imagination tells them to, and watch their own creation.

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).


Puppet Workshop – Creativity App for Kids by Sebastian Bachorzewski – Review



iPad Screenshot 1

What we love…

fun game that lets children unleash their creativity

What we’d love to see…

an option to animate the finished puppet and record a video of it; for the accessories to go on the puppet by just tapping on them

Summary

This app looks great, is easy to use, fun and allows little ones to be very creative!

Our Rating

Puppet Workshop - Creativity App for KidsPuppet Workshop – Creativity App for Kids by Sebastian Bachorzewski from Jump App is a fun and creative iPad only app for kids 3 to 12 years of age. Jump App are the developers of such apps as Recycling Workshop, Toy Repair Workshop and Cute food.   With Puppet Workshop, kids can create their own sock or glove puppet. With all of the accessories available, the possibilities are endless! You start off by choosing a glove or a sock from the 20 different templates. You can then choose your bling from the accessories such as buttons, strings, zips, material, shapes etc. You finish off by choosing a background (either one of the provided or one you upload yourself), naming your puppet and then taking a snap for your collection.

We liked this app because it is easy to use, the graphics are simple and colourful and it is fun. The fact that there are lots of socks or gloves and accessories to choose from is a great feature. My almost three year old loves this app, she was pretty excited when she saw it and started to make her puppet straight away. She has now made her own collection of puppets.

 I wish the sock or glove could actually move like a puppet once all dressed up and you could record yourself doing a puppet show and play the video later. I also would have liked it if the accessories would go on the puppet by just tapping on them from the list as it can be a bit difficult for little hands to scroll threw all the variations of buttons for example and drag them through to the puppet. I think those features would be more beneficial than being able to rotate, flip or change the size of the accessories.

 The app has a separate ‘more apps’ page which can be accessed with a simple click but it requires the solving of a math problem to download extra apps. A separate parents’ page contains information, settings and contact details that can be accessed by pressing & holding the area to enter. There are no in-app purchases, ads, social media links or data collection in this app.

Overall we love this app and would recommend it. It is fun and because it is simple and has great graphics, little ones can be creative without making any mess! With a few extras, this app would be  fantastic!


Puppet Workshop - Creativity App for Kids
Puppet Workshop - Creativity App for Kids
by Software Smoothie

Category: Education, Family, Games
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: 93.29 MB

$2.99USD

Screenshots for iPad
(Click to enlarge)

Catherine is a mother of a little miss almost 3 years old. Originally from France she now lives in Melbourne, Australia. She loves to explore their beautiful city with her daughter and sharing their adventures with other parents. Catherine has a passion for social media, blogging, technology and food. Before the arrival of her daughter, Catherine was studying and working in the field of IT and still loves all things tech! She loves finding new apps for her daughter to learn and play with and share great apps with other parents.


Review of the Highlights: All About, Series of Apps and Print Books




iPad Screenshot 1

What we love…

Fun with a purpose- stories, games and activities that have children learning whilst having fun

What we’d love to see…

Ability to zoom in in hidden object pictures, more refined drawing tools, word highlighting in all the stories.

Summary

True to the Highlights theme the All About books and apps are fun with a purpose – children get to practice their observation skills, visual discrimination, fine motor skills, reading and listening skills whilst having fun with games and stories.

Our Rating

Highlights: All AboutHighlights Magazine for kids has been an American staple for generations. It is still available as a print magazine subscription and is now also available in digital form. The publishers of Highlights have recently released a series of books, in both print and digital versions that include all the Highlights favorite sections but concentrate on a theme- these are the Highlights “All About” books. There are All About books with seasonal themes- Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter, and also a variety of other themes including Camping, Pets and Transportation. The books are designed for children from 4+. I tested out the print and digital versions of the All About Spring and All About Fall books.

In digital format there is a free Highlights: All About app which includes the full version of All About Fall, other All About Books can be unlocked with in-app purchases- currently $1.99 per book. You can order the print versions from the Highlights website a set of 4 Season All About books is $19.98 and includes codes to  unlock the digital versions for free. The print books are 24 pages with soft covers and measure approximately 8″x 11″.

The app is divided into 3 sections:

Puzzles

There are a variety of activities in the puzzle section including 3 hidden object puzzles ( 1 is in the print book), a 12-piece jigsaw puzzle (based on the Haiku that is in the print book), maze, matching game and a “That’s Silly” picture. I did find that the hidden objects and silly things were harder to spot in the digital edition, in the print book they are a double page spread over two 8″x 11″ pages, and much smaller on the iPad or iPad mini screen. I would love to see the iPad’s capability used more here by adding the option to pinch and zoom so the child can explore the scene in more detail and more easily find the details than can be easy to miss on the smaller screen.

iPad Screenshot 3

Reading

There are 4 stories in the reading section.  Two stories are presented in a traditional multi-page story with narration and word highlighting as the story is read, one of these is in the print book the other is a bonus story. There is an option to record your own narration to accompany the stories. The third story is presented as a short animated video with the story narrated, the words show on the screen as the story is read but there is no word highlighting as it is read. The fourth story  appears in the print version with pictures replacing some of the words, in the digital version the child gets to first place the pictures in the right spots of the text (the words are written both under the picture and in the text box so they can match them). Once all the pictures in are in correct locations the story is read with word highlighting.

iPad Screenshot 2

Activities

This section includes 2 “Brain Play” videos, 3 pictures to draw and an action rhyme to act out.

The Brain Play ideas have a similar format to the ones in the print book, but different topics – each video shows a group of children answering a question e.g. “What Class Would You Like to See Offered in Schools?”

The action rhyme is a short poem with actions and is the same as the one in the print version. In a nice twist the digital version lets the child record a short video of themselves acting out the rhyme as they see and hear the rhyme and see a child acting it out.

With the drawing activities the child is given a background, some stickers and colored pencils and asked to draw a picture on a theme e.g. “what is your favorite activity in the fall?” Each of the 3 pictures has a different background. The drawing tools are very simple, it would be nice to see some extra features added such as different size pencil tips and the ability to re-size stickers.

iPad Screenshot 4

True to the Highlights theme the All About books and apps are fun with a purpose – children get to practice their observation skills, visual discrimination, fine motor skills, reading and listening skills whilst having fun with games and stories. Most of the content is the same in the print and digital editions but there is some bonus content in the digital version and the addition of some videos and animation. There are a few places where I would like to see the iPad’s capability used more fully, with addition of the ability to zoom in the hidden object and “that’s silly” pictures, more refined art tools in the drawing sections, and the addition of narration to the story video. This app does contain in-app purchases, and un-purchased books are visible on the bookshelf, if the “buy” button is pressed a maths question must be answered correctly before the app store can be accessed.

If you are a fan of Highlights for Children magazine I would definitely recommend checking out the Highlights: All About App – you will get the All About Fall book for free, and the other books are a good value at $1.99 each.

Highlights: All About – Highlights for Children, Inc.


Highlights: All About Highlights: All About by Highlights for Children, Inc.

Price: $FREE

Highlights’ popular ALL ABOUT themed book series is now an app! You’ll find exciting interactive play that matches your favorite activities from the books and encourages creativity and learning.

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).

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