Math Tales – The Jungle: Nursery rhymes and math games for kids by Marshmallow Games – Review



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Math Tales – The Jungle: Nursery rhymes and math games for kids by Marshmallow Games is a delightful animal story book which cleverly incorporates different types of math exercises to show how math can be found everywhere, even in the jungle.

What we love…

Age-appropriate math activities within a story.

What we’d love to see…

Words highlighted in sync with the narration to encourage read along.

Summary

A 2-in-1 math and rhyming story book app, double the learning, double the fun!

Our Rating

In the story, the jungle animals are given various tasks to prepare a party to celebrate their elephant friend’s escape from the circus. These tasks are actually math activities involving logical sequence, shape/size/number sequence, visual and spatial perception, counting, comparison of quantities, puzzles, simple addition and subtraction.

There are altogether 9 chapters in the story, each with a different math activity. On the first reading, your child has to complete the math questions at the end of each chapter in order to unlock the next. However, upon unlocking all the chapters, it is difficult to know which is the next chapter as readers are automatically brought to the chapter menu. An option to advance to the next chapter or return to the chapter menu at the end of each chapter would be ideal here.

The math questions are different each time they are replayed. With sufficient practice, the learning goals that have been achieved will be highlighted in your child’s progress found in the protected Parent’s Area. Each learning goal is also explained here.

What appealed to me most in this app is how the math activities are made meaningful for the kids to do. For example, instead of completing a random logical sequence game, kids are actually trying to decorate the jungle with a festoon that follows a particular sequence. To position the elephant ballerinas for a performance, kids have to arrange them according to their size. I also like that the addition questions involved adding different types of objects together instead of the usual task of adding the same type of objects.

Math Tales – The Jungle could be your preschooler’s first experience with a chapter book and one that is told in rhymes. It would be a refreshing change for our young learners. Completing fun math activities in between chapters also breaks the monotony and keeps them engaged. My son loved the encouraging comments on how well he was doing and he enjoyed the story just as much as the math activities.

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Even though the math games are the highlights here, the story itself offers great learning opportunities as well. I especially like the message for children to reflect and be good at the end of the story. Educational and meaningful, Math Tales – The Jungle: Nursery rhymes and math games for kids gives your child more learning while they are having fun.

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Math Tales – The Jungle: Nursery rhymes and math games for kids

Math Tales - The Jungle: Rhymes and maths for kids Math Tales - The Jungle: Rhymes and maths for kids by Marshmallow Games
Category: Education, Games, Family
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: 170.39 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.

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.


Kekotukos Origins – Review



Kekotukos Origins 

What we love…

Colorful engaging characters, videos tying games together, good selection of mini- games

What we’d love to see…

Written parents section talking about the characters, explaining games and scoring; multiple player profiles

Summary

Kekotukos Origins is a promising start to a new series for toddlers, preschoolers and Kindergarten kids. I will be interested to see more in the series. It works on valuable skills such as visual perception, memory, fine motor and problem solving in a fun, playful way with cute colorful characters

Our Rating

Kekotukos: OriginsKekotukos Origins is the first of a new series of children’s apps starring a little boy named Keko and the Tukos who are friendly aliens from another planet. The app is designed for children 2-6 years old and contains 12 mini games. It is totally kid friendly with no adverts, in app purchases or external links. The app contains no spoken or written language so can be enjoyed by kids of any nationality. The app contains a lively “alien” themed background music and the volume of the music and sound effects can be adjusted or turned off in settings.

Each of the mini games is accompanied by a short animated video which together tell a story about the Tukos visiting Earth and being shown around and introduced to our customs by Keko.The Tukos are cute colorful creatures, each one its own unique shape and color. In the first video the Tukos are on their home planet doing every day activities such as, eating, sleeping and playing.

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The child can play the games in order or pick and choose the games they want to play. The videos play every time they play a game but they can press a skip button if they don’t want to watch. The mini-games work on skills such as memory, shape matching, hand-eye co-ordination and fine motor skills. The games adapt their difficulty level depending on how the child is doing and parents can view their progress in the reports section.

The Games

iPad Screenshot 2

There are 4 mini games that work on fine motor skills. In a dot-to-dot style game they fly the Tukon spaceship from star to star to map out constellations.The 2nd game of this group has Keko playing his electric guitar and the player needs to play along on the piano by tapping the marked keys. I found this game a little disappointing as tapping the correct key makes no sound, it would be nice for the player to hear themselves playing along.  A fun endless runner style game (that does end!) has Keko out for a run with the Tukos, there are lots of obstacles in his path and the player has to help him avoid them by jumping. In the final mini- game players have to fly the Tukon spaceship through space collecting colored sparkles to fill their tank before they run out of time but they must watch out for the meteors- if they get hit the spacecraft is temporarily disabled and unable to collect sparkles.

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4 mini-games work on visual perception skills. In a shape matching game players help Keko dress the Tukos up by matching the outline of an item of clothing or accessory to the real object. In another game the Tukons are playing hide and seek with Keko and the player must find where each one is hiding, their hiding place will wiggle to give a clue.  Players must think ahead when Keko is out for a walk by choosing the right direction at a series of intersections so he can reach his destination. My favorite game is a spot the difference style game with blueprints. Keko has 2 blueprints which each show a circuit diagram, the player has to tap each spot on the diagram that is different until the 2 match.

iPad Screenshot 3

In the first of the games to work on memory and problem solving a Tukos hides in a box which is shuffled with 2 other boxes in the style of the classic 3 cups game, the player has to help Keko find the right box and uncover his Tukon friend. In another game the Tukos are hiding behind trees in a forest and the player must remember which tree hides a particular Tukos. Keko is making lunch for the Tukos in another game and the player must remember increasingly complex food orders. In a memory match game, cards with matching symbols appear on the spaceship dashboard, and the player must find the match. This starts with only 4 cards but the number increases over time.

Overall Impressions

Kekotukos Origins is a promising start to a new series for toddlers, preschoolers and Kindergarten kids and I will be interested to see more in the series. It works on valuable skills such as visual perception, memory, fine motor and problem solving in a fun, playful way.  It has a nice variety of mini- games that have replay value and adjust to the child’s level. The videos link the games into a story and the children can enjoy playing them as a story, or play them sandbox style in any order they wish. The characters are cute colorful and engaging. I think the app for the children works well without any language but I would like to see some written information in the parents section explaining more about the games, skills worked on and explaining how progress is measured. As the games do measure progress and adapt to the individual I would like to see multiple player profiles so that it would work well for families with more than one child using it.

iTunes Link

Kekotukos: Origins Kekotukos: Origins by Kekotukos

Price: $FREE

Leave planet Tukon with the Tukos, travel to Earth, and meet Keko! Go on a fun adventure with these charming aliens during their first visit. Help Keko teach them how to live here and go with them on .

 

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).


Talking ABC by HEY CLAY – Review



 iPad Screenshot 1

What we love…

Creative, fun, engaging  claymation animals, lots of learning games, works on both letter names and sounds,

What we’d love to see…

A way to manually trigger the Talking feature

Summary

Talking ABC is fun creative app which works on letter names & sounds, memory, animal names, and word- letter association. The Talking feature  can be used to encourage toddlers to talk and for speech therapy practice for older kids. I love all the different claymation animals, they are bright, colorful and engaging, each has its own voice and personality.

Our Rating

Talking ABC...

Talking ABC  from HEY CLAY is a universal app for iOS and Android, designed for children aged 2-7 years.  It not only teaches letter names, sounds, and animals beginning with each letter, but also includes  six mini-games. The app is child-safe with no adverts, in-app purchases or external links.

The app has 3 parts – Alphabet, Song and Games. After a recent update there are now 6 different learning games in the game section. In the app settings you can choose to work on letter names or sounds, you can also adjust the difficulty of the games and switch the “Talking” feature on or off.

Alphabet

This is the main section of the app and the child can go through the alphabet in order or pick individual letters to work on. Each letter is crafted from brightly colored clay. Touching the letter makes it turn into an animated clay animal whose name begins with that letter. The animals include some common ones such as a Bear and Lion but also some unusual ones including Vicuna and Xiphias (a swordfish.) If the iPad is in landscape mode the letter (or animal) is on the left, and the right shows the full alphabet. In portrait mode the letter or animal fills the screen.

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The name (or sound) of the letter is spoken when the letter appears and the name of the animal is written and spoken when the animal appears.  The claymation critters are animated and will make sounds, some also play with accessories such as throwing a ball or blowing a pinwheel. If “Talking” is on, the animal will repeat back what the child says to it, and each animal has it’s own unique voice. I love the talking feature, it can be a fun way to encourage a toddler to talk, or an older child to practice words or letter sounds for speech therapy. I did occasionally have problems with the animals not picking up that I was speaking, or missing the beginning of words. It would be nice to have a option for a manual way, such as pressing a button, to trigger the voice function instead of relying on it happening automatically.

Alphabet Song

In the song section a female singer goes through the alphabet singing the letter and animal names. This is accompanied by an animation showing each of the claymation letters turning into their animals as they are being sung about.

Games

All the games feature the claymation animals and/ or letters from the main part of the app, and work on skills such as letter recognition, sound recognition, animal names, spatial recognition and memory.

Letter Game

This game works on letter, or letter sound, recognition. The child is presented with six clay letters and asked to pick the correct letter to match the letter name (or letter sound) that is spoken. If they get it right the letter turns into its animal, who praises the child. If they get it wrong the letter turns into a ball of clay and they are encouraged to keep trying.

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Animal Game

This is very similar to the letter game but this time they need to pick the right animal out of 6 choices. It is a fun way to learn different animal names but is best played after they are familiar with the app as it does include some unusual animals they may not have previously come across.

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Funny Words

This section is good for kids of all ages to practice typing their name or any word. They type it on a QWERTY keyboard and it appears as clay letters. Touching the clay letters turns them into animals. It is a fun way to get children working on learning to spell their name and other familiar words.

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Puzzles

This consists of 25 puzzles, the first is unlocked and the child has to solve them in order to unlock the next puzzle. Each puzzle has a picture of one of the claymation animals divided into 6 or 12 squares, depending on the difficulty level chosen. Tapping on a square rotates it, the child rotates each puzzle piece until the animal is complete. Once they solve the puzzle there is cheering and the animal talks to them.

Memo

This is a classic memory match game – the child first gets to briefly see where the animals are before the cards are flipped over. They then need to correctly find pairs of animals. It has 3 difficulty settings with from 12- 30 cards.

Who Is It ?

In this game the child has to work out the name of an animal using the animals as a clue. At the top of the screen are a row of animals and a row of jumbled letters is at the bottom. There are boxes in between to put the letters in. If the child matches each letter to the correct animal they will spell out the name of one of the animals from the app.

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I must admit I have a soft spot for claymation, I’m a long time fan of Aardman studios- I grew up with Morph and loved the Wallace and Gromit movies. I think claymation is a great medium for inspiring children’s imagination and I love it’s bright vivid colors. Talking ABC is a great use of claymation to inspire kids to learn whilst having fun and features a cast of 26 brightly colored, cute, engaging interactive animals.

There are many, many alphabet apps on the market today and developers need to do something different to stand out from the crowd, and Talking Alphabet achieves that. It is a fun creative way to have children work on their alphabet, letter sounds, memory, animal names, and word- letter association. I love all the different claymation animals, they are bright, colorful and engaging, each has its own voice and personality.  When this app first came out in 2013 I described it as “One of the most engaging and innovative ABC apps on the market”, with the new games and updates they have made to the app since that time it still deserves that description today.

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Google Play Link
iTunes Link

Talking ABC... Talking ABC... by HEY CLAY

Price: $2.99 USD

*** App Store Best Kids App 2013 ***

Talking ABC is an interactive alphabet created with love and care.

The process of learning the letters is exciting and fun while amusing animal characters.

Talking ABC is also available in a variety of other languages and for a limited time the French version is FREE ! (Please check price before downloading)

Links:

French iTunes Google Play

ALPHABET PARLANT ALPHABET PARLANT by HEY CLAY

Price: $2.99 USD

*** Meilleure application pour enfants de l’App Store 2013 ***

ALPHABET PARLANT est un alphabet interactif développé avec amour et un très grand soin.

L'apprentissage des lettres est.

German iTunes Google Play

Russian iTunes Google Play

Ukranian iTunes

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).


Zoo Train by Busy Bee Studios – Review & Giveaway



zoo train

What we love…

music, word builder, train builder which can be themed

What we’d love to see…

shapes, train related music, simpler words for the word builder

Summary

Fun train themed app perfect for a toddler or preschooler. Practices fine motor, early literacy and critical thinking skills.

Our Rating

Note: This review was originally published in 2011. I’ve updated it slightly, but it is not a new review
Zoo Train by Busy Bee Studios features five train-themed games for young children aged 2 and up.It has five different activities for children- puzzles, music, train builder, word builder and track builder. The puzzle portion allows children to complete simple puzzles and move the train along the track. The music mode allows children to select song to be played such as twinkle, twinkle little star. via a variety of colorful train whistles. The train builder allows children to choose their engine, cargo and caboose along with a background of where the train should drive such as the beach or countryside. The word builder allows children to practice simple spelling by matching letters to create a word and provides a visual reward of the item after the word is completed. The final mode, allows children to drag missing track pieces to finish the track. In addition, children are awarded stickers for rewards for finishing various activities. Children learn fine motor, early literacy and critical thinking skills.

This is one of the top five apps in our house. I really appreciate the fact that it does not include in-app purchases, is educational for children, and features so many different choices for children to interact with. I also like how the various elements are tied together, for example there is a star puzzle and in the music section you can play “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.” I often challenge my son in the train builder function to build a train focused around a specific theme such as aquatic animals.

Shapes would be a great addition to the app, perhaps as part of the train builder section. I would also like to see more train related music in the music section such as “I’ve been working on the railroad” or the like. In the word builder section, since the app is aimed at young children, it might be helpful to have words that children can sound out such as cat, dog, sun versus ones like couch which are more difficult to pronounce.

If you are looking for an engaging app for a toddler or preschooler in your family who loves trains, this is a good fit. Other apps from this developer include Giggle Ghosts and Bug Games. Printable pages to allow for interaction outside the app are also available.

Zoo Trains

Zoo Train
Zoo Train
by Busy Bee Studios

Category: Education, Games, Family
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: 118.32 MB

$0.99USD

Screenshots
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Screenshots for iPad
(Click to enlarge)

Giveaway

If you would like to win a promo code for six apps from Busy Bee Studio, 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!
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