Yaya Learns English by Kiddies City – Review

Yaya Learns English by Kiddies City – Review


What we love…

bright interactive app that encourages children to learn a variety of words in English ranging from numbers, colors, shapes, and everyday words.

What we’d love to see…

use of matching numbers to roman numerals for the counting, no timer for some of the games, shorter “test” at the end of the app

Summary

Fun interactive kids app that teaches children numbers and a variety of words in a interactive birthday adventure for Yaya.  There is no IAP or advertising.

Our Rating

Yaya Learns English by Kiddies City is a iPad only app in which a young girl named Yaya explores the city in a variety of interactive scenes.  Each scene has a variety of activities from finding coins and matching them up by numbers in the train scene, to earning tickets at a theme park and attending a birthday party!   The app uses U.K. English, but many words are similar to American English and it is great for kids of all ages.  The app features English, German, Spanish, Korean, or Chinese as languages.  There are four apps in the series including Yaya learns German, Yaya learns Spanish, Yaya learns Chinese all of which have a similar story just with different languages tied to them.  The app features multi step directions, completing a task, finding coins and matching them up, getting the birthday ready and more.

My son loves anything to do with trains – so he really enjoyed putting together the tracks and matching the first letter of the objects (“r” for rainbow and “t” for tree).  He really enjoyed trying to make the tracks correct so he could continue within the app.  At the birthday party, it was fun for my son to help Yaya decorate by making juice – he chose orange and loved watching the blender make it.  He also enjoyed matching the letters to the words and getting stars for finishing each task.  The app has beautiful artwork with animations throughout including floating balloons.  As a mom, I also liked my kids could touch the speaker icon to hear the word spoken again.  The app features numbers from one to ten and thirty seven other words like apple, roller coaster, bridge, house and other words you use everyday in the English language.  The narration in the app is well done by a native English speaker.  I would suggest this app for kids aged four through about second grade because of the complexity for some of the mini games.  I liked that the app had a comprehension test at the end – although 30 questions seemed a bit high – I would prefer if there were ten or so questions that rotated through.  My older son especially enjoyed the birthday room and making the cake, blowing up the balloons and sorting the candy items for the favor jars.  The app features a gated parental area which includes a glossary of the words including pronunciation, links to social media.  This parental area is accessed by touching a number and holding it for three seconds.

iPad Screenshot 1

In terms of improvements, seeing a number on a coin versus the roman numeral can be confusing for kids who may not have learned that concept yet.  I have a 3 year old who loved finding the coins, but had a hard time matching them to the roman numeral because they were not the same. When you successfully complete the numbers, you are presented with a screen which shows the coins – again with numbers and the spelling of the number which is different than how it is presented within the app. Older kids may understand the concept more clearly and be able to execute   There are also a number of items within the various screens it would be nice to see an interaction with when you touch them.  In the park, my son got frustrated because when you put the kids on the rides you are timed as you answer questions – it would be nice for younger kids if you didn’t have a timer because when time ends you have to start the level again.    I would also like to be able to mute the background music – as it can be a bit distracting but when you turn down the sound you lose the narration.

Overall, this is a cute app designed to help kids learn English in a fun and interactive way.  It is designed for children who already speak English  as well as non native English speakers.  The mini games are fun and have good replay opportunities – but younger kids especially can get frustrated when you try the app because of the inconsistencies in the levels of the games.  There are no in-app purchases and no advertising contained within the app. This is a fun educational app that will have kids playing over and over again.


Yaya Learns English
Yaya Learns English
by Chin Yee Karwehl

Category: Education, Educational, Games, Family
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: 229.25 MB

$1.99USD

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.

Alison, the American iMum is from Massachusetts. She lives there with her sons and husband. In their spare time, they enjoy playing outside, enjoying nature and of course testing apps and fantastic products on their devices. They have a variety of devices including an iPad, iPhone, and an iPod and is often found with a device! 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.
 Hoopa City 2 by Dr Panda Games – Review

Hoopa City 2 by Dr Panda Games – Review



iPad Screenshot 3

What we love…

beautiful interactive graphics, ability to have a variety of cities and building your own characters

What we’d love to see…

ability to play worlds across multiple devices, ability to “customize” and design the outside of buildings

Summary

Great app with hours of playtime, the ability to create multiple cities and have your kids experiment to bring their vision alive makes this a keeper!

Our Rating

Hoopa City 2 by Dr. Panda Games is the newest app in the collection, this app is universal and features a building theme which encourages speech, creative play and role playing depending on the activity in the city.  The app appeals to kids from preschool through elementary school, and I found myself even enjoying playing with one of my son’s cities.

My son really liked all the content in the app.  He enjoyed putting people in the buildings, role playing and switching from day to night.  He liked building his own characters as he progressed within the app.  As a mom, I liked the amount of content that was offered and the variety of options for building, playing or simply interacting with the city.   The 3D graphics are beautiful and my son enjoyed experimenting to create the different buildings and testing out combinations to see what bigger and better buildings he could make.  I loved hearing him narrate as he explained, first I do this, then I touch this and then I get this.  He also enjoyed the activities like going shopping, seeing a wedding, and even created a few different cities depending on his mood at the time.  I also loved how creative he was able to be and building the city which was in his mind to completion.  He also loved finding all the combinations and has spent many hours with me testing out the app.  A tip, Hoopa’s Building Book was great to remind us of all of the combinations that he made within the app so that we could easily recreate them.  My son loved being so creative and showing me all of the different things that he could create and even played the app during his free iPad time frequently.

iPad Screenshot 5

At times my son was sad because he wanted a city that was on my iPad or iPhone or vice versa we couldn’t figure out how to transfer the city from one device to another even though they were saved.  My son’s least favorite thing to do was fixing the wind turbines which seemed to “break” frequently – at times he tapped it too many times and would get frustrated.  My son loves art and wished that he could design the colors and shapes of his buildings – something he would have liked because he loves to do art work.

Overall, this was a fun game that both my 8 year old and I enjoyed playing with.  It has hours of playability and it can be customized to be easier or harder depending on the child that is playing with it.  It appeals to a wide variety of ages and can tap into your children’s creative side and allow you to see the different things that their imagination may bring to life.

Check out a fun video demo!

Dr. Panda Hoopa City 2
Dr. Panda Hoopa City 2
by Dr. Panda Ltd

Category: Education
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
Size: 162.47 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.

Alison, the American iMum is from Massachusetts. She lives there with her sons and husband. In their spare time, they enjoy playing outside, enjoying nature and of course testing apps and fantastic products on their devices. They have a variety of devices including an iPad, iPhone, and an iPod and is often found with a device! 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.
 Amos the Astronaut by Van Winkle Studio LLC – Review

Amos the Astronaut by Van Winkle Studio LLC – Review



iPad Screenshot 1

What we love…

Fun brightly colored app that encourages problem solving in a way that encourages preschoolers and older to engage with the app to complete the tasks as get Amos on his way

What we’d love to see…

even with hints some of the items are hard to find, my son also found the “backwards” navigation a bit challenging at times.  I’d also like to see more content in the app – after the one adventure the app is done.

Summary

Fun app that encourages kids to problem solve to help fix Amos’ ship by working with locals to put the pieces back together.  I’d like to see more content in the app at the current price point.

Our Rating

Amos the AstronautAmos the Astronaut by Van Winkle Studio LLC is a universal app for iOS featuring the astronaut Amos and a journey he has to get his space ship flying again!  The interactive storybook format of the app has you with Amos as he searches for items to fix the broken space ship.  The app opens with a sequence of the ship crashing and then Amos starts searching the forest for various tools to fix his ship.  As you complete each activity then you are given additional places to go within the app.  As you gather items they are stored in the “inventory” or toolbox.  As Amos starts chopping down the tree he is captured by locals who put him in jail but lucky he’s is creative and finds a way out!  The locals then help him as he tries to fix his ship via a variety of tasks.  After gathering everything and working with the villagers, the adventure is solved and Amos flies off in his space ship.  This app is perfect for preschoolers and early elementary aged children. You can also read an “e-book” of the story here.

I liked the bright colors of the app as well as the word bubbles which helped my son as he’s starting to read so he could see them as well as hear them spoken (note they do not include word highlighting).    I also love that the app encourages problem solving – in a fun age appropriate way like finding a specifically designed egg or solving a problem like chopping on a tree. It provides sequential step by step – although at times it seems like you go “backwards” in your adventure instead of forward when you meet the villagers.  I also liked the various interactions on each page which encouraged kids to follow directions to help Amos make his fin.

In terms of improvements – some of the items were really hard to find even with the hints – my son especially struggled with the toolbox which essentially unlocked the app.  It might be useful to have a map that shows the locations of the various items.  Some of the animations like hammering the flint were not necessarily realistic – as the hammer is close to his head instead of his hand. Once the “adventure” is completed with the fin and Amos is on his way the app just ends – it would be fun if there were more adventures or a way to navigate around inside of his ship as right now the amount of content is a bit limited and once the adventure is solved there is nothing additional to do other than reset the app and start over again.

Overall, this is a fun find and seek app where you look for hidden clues to work and fix Amos’ ship.  There’s an underlying theme of problem solving where you find items to help complete the ship and work with local residents by making arrows, finding eggs, and working with the blacksmith.  There are no in app purchases or external links.


Amos the Astronaut
Amos the Astronaut
by Van Winkle Studio LLC

Category: Books, Entertainment
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
Size: 250.21 MB

$2.99USD

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.

Alison, the American iMum is from Massachusetts. She lives there with her sons and husband. In their spare time, they enjoy playing outside, enjoying nature and of course testing apps and fantastic products on their devices. They have a variety of devices including an iPad, iPhone, and an iPod and is often found with a device! 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.
 Camping With Grandpa by Fairlady Media – Review & Giveaway

Camping With Grandpa by Fairlady Media – Review & Giveaway



iPad Screenshot 2

What we love…

realistic camping app that encourages kids to leave no trace and provides a variety of mini games to play which reinforce real word like dousing a fire, finding an animal via tracks

What we’d love to see…

a game that includes the stars or evening sky, trail safety tips and ability to make vocabulary words harder or easier depending on the age of the child.

Summary

Fun app aimed at preschool and early grade school.  My Cub Scouts enjoyed using the app as we talked about a hiking trip and prepared for it.

Our Rating

Camping With Grandpa Camping with Grandpa from Fairlady Media is a universal app for iOS featuring Grandpa as he heads out on a camping trip.  There are a variety of activities that include object identification (find the xx tree), word searches (you pick out the words and highlight them with your finger), identify animal tracks from a field of four animals and after you have completed your activities for the day you earn a badge as well as setting up camp for the night.  This was the perfect app to share with my soon to be Cub Scout Camper as we used it to talk about what it was like to go camping and the items we would need to bring!

 

There are seven educational mini games which include

  • Read a compass – which way to go down the path
  • Hiking – find an object like a type of leaf or what type of tree
  • Animal food – what types of foods do the animals like
  • Animal Tracks – what shaped track do the animals make when they walk on the beach
  • Word find – can you find the forest words and highlight them with your finger
  • Tent Shadows – which pocket knife makes the shadow
  • Hiking Gear – which items should we pack in our backpack

I loved that the app encouraged “leave no trace” and to pick up your litter as well as having a variety of things you would actually do on a camping trip like finding a specific type of tree or learning how to read a compass to find the direction we were going in.  It also taught you about foods that animals ate as well as different animal tracks.  My son had fun looking at the tracks and trying to figure out which animal made which track.  We also talked about which objects should go in his bag when we go hiking.  He loved roasting the hot dog and marshmallow like we do at home some nights in the summer.  He also liked dousing the fire before Grandpa went to sleep at night.  The graphics are clear and realistic and the activities rotate in a different order so kids don’t get bored with the content.  My son also loved the different educational videos.  I liked that when you doused the fire every last bit had to be out – just like in real life.  It was a nice way to reinforce with my son that we can’t leave even a little bit alight.

In terms of enhancements – I would love to see an avatar to represent the child in this app.  My son was also sad a few times when he had finished some of the tasks and reopened the app and had to start over again – for us I just minimized the app rather than closing it so we could go back to it.  I’d also like to see some sort of star activity included like finding the big dipper or evening sky to learn or educate about how we used to use the stars to navigate.  It might also be fun to have a way to follow the trail with trail markers as well as some safety pieces included – i.e. if you get separated from your parents do this.  I also liked the vocabulary words – but some of them were hard for my first grader so perhaps a way to choose the types of words or complexity via a parental control would help to reduce frustration especially for younger readers.

Overall, this is a fun and realistic camping app suited for preschool and early grade school children.  I found it was a great way to prepare my Cub Scouts for their hiking badge and give them an idea of what to expect before we went.  This is a great real world type app that incorporates education about what we should and should not do when camping with some fun learning activities that encourages kids to explore the outdoors!


Camping With Grandpa
Camping With Grandpa
by Fairlady Media

Category: Education, Family, Educational, 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
Size: 105.58 MB

$2.99USD

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 sons and husband. In their spare time, they enjoy playing outside, enjoying nature and of course testing apps and fantastic products on their devices. They have a variety of devices including an iPad, iPhone, and an iPod and is often found with a device! 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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