Great variety of high interest puzzle themes introducing lots of basic and advanced vocabulary.
What we’d love to see…
A choice of lower or upper case for display of vocabulary words.
A unique puzzle and mini-game app that is engaging and meaningful with enormous amount of content for building a rich vocabulary.
PUZZINGO Kids Puzzles (Pro) is more than just a puzzle app. It is an extensive vocabulary app where the subjects are presented through different types of toddler and preschool puzzles. And these are not the average puzzles that you find in other puzzle apps. The puzzles in Puzzingo are both engaging and meaningful while the gameplay is ingenious. I’m totally impressed.
The vocabulary words are grouped according to themes or categories which helps children develop skills in sorting and classifying objects. Besides learning the name and sound of each object, they also learn what goes together. You can help your child to gain more knowledge and develop analytical skills by highlighting the similarities or relationship between the different objects.
Each themed pack of puzzles consists of 7 groups of puzzles focusing on 7 different topics within the theme e.g. the core concepts pack includes puzzles on shapes, colors, numbers, counting, emotions, alphabet and weather. Currently there is a total of 22 puzzle packs included in the app covering core concepts, food, professions, holidays, animals, space, life of toys, bugs, pets, dinosaurs, pirates, princesses & fairies, sports, music, fairy tales, super heroes, cars, trains, airplanes, trucks and candy kingdom. What is important to note is that there is a wide variety of high interest themes for younger children to choose from.
From an educator’s perspective, I like that the words introduced in each group help to build a rich vocabulary. Learners can see the print (in upper case) and hear the associated word read aloud when they touch each object puzzle, which in turn helps with labelling and word recognition. It is a great app for use in speech therapy. Besides learning the US English language, learners can also learn the vocabulary in Spanish, UK English, Chinese and Japanese.
While I’m impressed with the enormous amount of content that kids can potentially learn from the app, what I find refreshing is the format of the app’s gameplay – how it extends the play from one puzzle game to another meaningfully.
Each pack of puzzles consist of 2 types of puzzles, 1-piece puzzles and layered puzzles. Each 1-piece puzzles are easy to complete but each of these puzzle piece brings players to a more challenging layered puzzle. The layered puzzles show the many parts and layers that make up the object shown on the 1-piece puzzle piece. Players learn the names of these parts as they build the object puzzle piece-by-piece. In some cases, the parts could be items that are associated with the theme. For example, the soccer puzzle game introduces terms like goalie, goal, photographer, camera, signs, cone, players, injured player, medics, forward, midfielder, defender, soccer ball, jersey, cleats and shin guards.
Regardless the total number of puzzle pieces that kids have to put in place in order to complete a puzzle game, the app presents only 2 pieces at any one time so that kids won’t get overwhelmed. Another toddler-friendly support comes in the form of prompts that show kids where to place the puzzle piece when they placed the piece incorrectly repeatedly.
Once a puzzle game is completed, players are rewarded with an interactive mini-game that helps them to explore further on the theme. Kids can fly an airplane, conduct a band, dress up a character, score a goal, feed a dinosaur, drive a vehicle, play with the toys and many more activities. The games are varied and deliver so much fun with their cute animations and sound effects that they may just overshadow the puzzles in terms of popularity with kids. Repeat play is guaranteed.
If you have a preschooler at home, you definitely need to get Puzzingo. The free version Puzzingo Puzzles offers 7 sets of puzzles and mini-games and a free daily puzzle from one of the themed puzzle packs that is available for purchase. You can purchase individual puzzle packs or an All-Access Pass. This Pass allows your child to play with more than 150 puzzles and enjoy new content and games through regular updates. The latest update for the 2017 Holidays offers the Trucks Puzzles pack and Toys Puzzles pack which are perfect gifts for the holiday season!
With Puzzingo, completing a puzzle becomes meaningful and purposeful. Preschoolers are exposed to lots of vocabulary words from a wide range of topics while reaping the benefits of completing puzzles like spatial awareness, hand-eye coordination, matching and fine-motor skills. With so much content in a single app, I’m positive that your preschoolers will have many favorite puzzles to keep them busy learning and playing.
Ladybug Band by Rain Boot Media LLC is a 28-page rhyming musical storybook app that introduces children to different kinds of sounds and gets them involved in a musical performance with the Ladybug Band.
What we love…
Children are able to sing or play along with the band and have it recorded.
What we’d love to see…
Words highlighted in sync with the narration, repeat button for narration.
Ladybug Band is filled with colorful illustrations, different interesting sounds and fun interactive activities that will appeal to preschool children.
The 4-member Ladybug Band lives on the island of Kacha and they love to perform every night by the sea. There is Squiggle on the microphone, Bouncer on the strings, Dotley on the drums and Cheeks on the reeds (a wind instrument). Readers are introduced to the sounds of these 4 musical instruments – voice, strings, drums and winds as each member appears on stage.
Then the story invites the readers to be a part of the music with a variety of actions like shaking the iPad, drawing the campfire, clapping and dancing to the beat! More interesting sounds are heard and these include the sound of the waves breaking, the crackling sound of the campfire, the scratching sound of drawing in the sand and the whistling sound of the wind. This book app is quite a treat to the senses!
But the most enjoyable part for kids must be the chance to be a member of the Ladybug Band, singing or playing their musical instruments to the Coconut Jamboree tune and recording (audio only) their performance in the app.
Up to 6 recorded sessions can be saved. When the recording is full, you just need to delete a previous recording to free up space for a new recording. These recordings are easily accessible from the home page which means that kids can come back frequently for a quick jamming session with the Band.
There are 2 reading modes – children can either read along with the app or read it by themselves. For the read along mode, I hope that the app will add a word-by-word highlighting feature to facilitate words recognition for younger children. It would be awesome if this feature is also added to the Coconut Jamboree lyrics in the sing-along section.
The story is simple but children will be happily engaged by the many interactive activities that are found in all its pages. The app is also easy and safe for young children to play by themselves. This is a delightful musical book app that gets children singing, dancing and performing together with the Ladybug Band.
Kudos to you if you have been sharing nursery rhymes with your children to help develop their language skills and to teach them early math concepts like counting and sequencing. Children love nursery rhymes, and besides singing and acting out the rhymes, we can use these rhymes to engage our kids in educational activities that further develop their cognitive skills.
What we love…
Familiar nursery rhymes that kids love.
What we’d love to see…
Include lyrics for singing along and have all child-protected external links accessible from one place.
A combination of learning and entertainment with kids’ favorite nursery rhyme characters in one app.
• Ten Green Bottles
• ABC Song
• Incy Wincy Spider
• Ice Cream Song
• Wheels On The Bus
• Row Row Row Your Boat
• Animal Fair
• Pop Goes The Weasel
• Once I Caught A Fish Alive
• Five Little Monkeys
• Baa Baa Black Sheep
• One, Two, Buckle My Shoe
• Muffin Man
• Jack and Jill
• Old MacDonald
• Humpty Dumpty
• Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
• I’m a Little Teapot
• Hickory Dickory Dock
Kids can either play along or sing along with these rhymes. To play the activities, kids tap the ‘play’ button from the main screen or from the sing-along section. The play section is a scrollable world full of characters from the rhymes. Each character will bring you to an activity that relates to the rhyme, as evident in the setting, characters and background music used in the activity. Within each activity, there are 2 buttons – one for repeating the instructions and the other to switch the audio to the instrumental version of the rhyme (perfect for singing along).
There is a variety of activities included like matching, puzzles, maze, spot-the-difference, stickers, dress-up and simple endless runner games. The activities are age appropriate and short, each start with prompts to help kids take their first step towards success. Once a game is completed, kids are rewarded with fireworks and then the app moves on automatically to the next rhyme activity. The games are different each time an activity is repeated.
These activities are designed to help develop skills like attention, memory, visual discrimination, visual spatial understanding, hand-eye coordination, letter and color recognition, one-to-one correspondence and counting. It’s learning and entertainment combined in one app!
For breaks in between learning sessions, kids can tap on the radio icon to listen to the 20 nursery rhymes playing on a loop. Alternatively, they can search through the rhymes and pick on their favourites.
The catchy tunes and repetitive nature of nursery rhymes make them great memory aids for our kids. Kids love them because the stories are often funny. Pairing them with learning activities is a clever way to get our kids interested and stay engaged. Check out HooplaKidz Nursery Rhymes Activities (free lite version is available) and watch how your kids interact and learn with their favorite nursery rhyme characters!
BBC radio fans around the world can now listen to their favorite stations whenever they wish as the BBC has just finished their international roll out of the BBC iPlayer Radio app. Available in the UK since 2012, the free BBC iPlayer Radio app makes it easier for audiences around the world to listen to a variety of BBC radio stations, including BBC World Service English, on their devices wherever they are.
BBC World Service in English, which has a global audience of 66m, will automatically display on a touchscreen dial when users outside the UK open the app for the first time. Users can simply spin the dial to access more BBC Radio stations and discover more world-class content which includes news, music, drama, comedy.
As well as access to live radio programmes from the World Service and radio stations across the UK, users around the world with the app can:
– Catch up or listen again to their favourite BBC Radio programmes
– Download podcasts to enjoy anywhere, even when offline
– Browse and listen to carefully curated BBC Radio highlights and collections
– View daily schedules and categories quickly and easily
– Discover audio and video clips, including many live performances
– See what tracks are playing on air as well as track lists for on-demand programmes
– Wake up to and doze off to BBC Radio with a built-in alarm clock and night mode
James Montgomery, Digital Development Director, BBC News and Current Affairs, says: “The new international BBC iPlayer Radio app makes it easier for audiences around the world to discover and enjoy the richness of our output – both live radio and to downloaded content.
“We hope that the app will be a destination on mobile homescreens for audiences around the world who want to explore the breadth of BBC radio, from news and current affairs to drama, comedy and music. This launch also comes at a time when the UK is at the centre of a huge news story which the BBC is helping to explain to audiences worldwide.”
Mary Hockaday, Controller BBC World Service English, says: “We have a valued audience of 66 million globally for the English BBC World Service. I’m thrilled the new BBC iPlayer Radio app offers another way for listeners around the world to find and enjoy our programmes, and take them with them wherever they go. With this app, we hope to give new audiences the chance to unlock a wealth of World Service content, as they explore what the BBC iPlayer Radio has got to offer.”
Currently BBC World Service English is available on analogue/DAB Radio, online, and through its partner stations around the world whilst other BBC Radio stations can be accessed outside the UK via the BBC website www.bbc.co.uk/radio
The BBC iPlayer Radio app is available today globally for iOS, Android and Amazon devices.
The BBC iPlayer Radio app is available to download from the Apple App Store, Google Play and Amazon Store.
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