Dr. Panda Town: Mall from Dr. Panda Games – Review


What we love…

fun interactive mall that has a number of great activities for kids to play ranging from hair, dress up, cinema, food court and more!  Lots of great role play and language activities to describe the scenes.

What we’d love to see…

ability to add photos in the app to the camera roll, also more “boy” themed dress up and characters like a security/police officer

Summary

Overall, this is a super fun addition to the Dr. Panda suite of apps.  There are lots of new adventures to play with Dr. Panda friends and my kids spent hours inside the mall.

Our Rating

Get ready to shop until you drop!  Dr. Panda Town Mall the newest app from Dr. Panda Games is a free app with IAP for the full game.  Inside the mall there are six different locations to visit on three floors including a cinema, pet store, food court, hair salon, clothing store, toy store and even a place to snap a selfie!  This app features the traditional Dr. Panda characters and now adds some fun children to the mix.  Game play is simple – open ended role play which allows your child to go through the mall picking and choosing from their favorite activities with no rules – just fun!  There are sixteen different characters you can choose from within the app which means everyone has a chance for fun!  You can even open and close the shops by a simple tap.  You can read more reviews of previous Dr. Panda apps here.  I also helped my son narrate as he played which let us practice language, naming items and more!

Inside each of the shops at Dr. Panda Mall there are different activities that you can do and when you have finished you can use Dr. Panda money from the ATM to pay for your services, a crane game to try to get a favorite toy (how i wish the real life one was this easy!), a bouncing car, an interactive fountain and lots of fun elements to tap and touch!  There are also a wide variety of interactive elements including wrapped gifts (and the ability to wrap you own), a restroom and more!

Hair Salon: Activities in the hair salon include: styling hair, coloring your hair, washing your hair, getting a quick snip/.style, having a drink and reading a magazine.

Cinema: Buy your ticket and head into for a show.  The cinema features three different movies and a variety of activities including: getting a drink, snacks at the concession stand, picking up your 3D glasses and even trying on fun costumes while you wait for the movie to start!

Food Court: Hungry for a snack?  Simply hop on the escalator up to floor three and you can get your character their favorite snack.  Items range from coffee/juice to muffins, rolls, sandwiches, smoothies and more.  My younger son loved making his own smoothie.

Pet Store: Head inside the pet store to play with a variety of animals including a hamster, kittens and lizards.  You can also buy pet food, carriers for your pet, accessories and more!  A favorite of my son was dressing up the animals in the pet shop.

Selfie Snap: No day at the mall is complete without photos.  Gather your favorite characters, pets and accessories for a quick photo which you can then post on the photo board.

Costume/Clothing Shop: Head inside and gather your favorite outfits and costumes for dress up!  Head inside the dressing room for a quick change for your next destination!

Toy Shop: This is a toy store of any children’s dreams – it features a flying rocket, airplane, ring stack, dinosaur and many more toys!  As a parent I personally loved the train.  My kids also loved the various dress up options, bouncing balls and musical instruments.Having the performance on stage was a bonus – they especially liked opening and closing the curtains.

I loved the open ended play of this app.  My son could spend as much or as little time on each activity as he wanted to.  He enjoyed each of the shops and the various games and interactions within.  I noticed that each time we played – he would often go back to the hair salon and cinema before heading up to the food court for a snack and a selfie!  He also enjoyed the pretend play with various dress up objects and we pretended that we were a variety of Dr. Panda characters as well as a Mom and a child heading to the mall.  As a parent I liked the diversity of the characters and variety of dress up clothes.  Navigation within the app is straightforward and you can always go to a map to start over in a new clean mall.   Inside the parental gate there is the ability to turn on/off sounds and background music as well as promotions.

My son wanted to be able to save the photos to our camera roll – but right now they are just saved within the app and when the board gets full there is no way to save your favorites.  My son also asked for additional dress up options like a construction outfit, security/police and a firefighter.  My older son asked for a toy building where he could construct his own stuffed animal – we found lots of clothes but he couldn’t make his own animal.

Overall, this is a super fun addition to the Dr. Panda suite of apps.  There are lots of new adventures to play with Dr. Panda friends and my kids spent hours inside the mall.  A great new addition to your Dr. Panda library.  This app is free with in-app purchases for the various stores/games within the app.  In app purchases range from $0.99 – $4.99 for all the shops and add ons.


Dr. Panda Town: Mall Dr. Panda Town: Mall by Dr. Panda Ltd

Price: $FREE

Go on a fun-filled shopping spree in Dr. Panda Town: Mall! With so many shops and other things to discover, there are endless stories to be told and adventures to be had.

EXPLORE THE MALL
Explore.

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 two sons and husband. In their spare time, they enjoy playing outside, enjoying nature and of course testing apps and fantastic products on their devices. 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.

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, 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 two sons and husband. In their spare time, they enjoy playing outside, enjoying nature and of course testing apps and fantastic products on their devices. 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.

Square Panda Phonics Playset by Square Panda – Review



Square Panda Phonics Playset

What we love…

ability to use a multisensory approach to learning letters which includes apps and physical letters placed on the playset to form words; included parental dashboard to track your kids progress

What we’d love to see…

ability to customize words in all apps, a mobile friendly version of the Square Panda Playground website

Summary

The Square Panda Phonics Playset is a great demonstration of how you can use your iPad and integrated playset to provide learning both on the screen and using tactile letters to complete a goal – I can’t wait to see what else this company will bring.

Our Rating

 

recommended-by-the-imums

The Square Panda Phonics Playset by Square Panda which features a bluetooth enabled playset to engage kids in learning a variety of activities from learning letters, spelling, letter sounds, rhymes, learning new vocabulary words and more.  The set consists of 45 Smart Letters, a Playset box which you pair to your iPad and holds your device while in use, access to the Square Panda Playground where you can manage a parent account, see information about your child’s progress and additional learning opportunities as well as 4 AA Batteries.  The Square Panda Playset requires either iPad 3, iPad 4, iPad Mini, iPad Air 2 or iPad Pro in order to run and you must be running iOS 8.x and above.  The Square Panda Phonics Playset provides a multisensory tactile learning experience which combines content on your iPad with letters and visuals within the app. It includes 14 levels of phonics play as well as an integrated dashboard to track progress.

Setup is quick and easy.  First, you set up an account on Square Panda with your email and other information.  That gives you access to the parental dashboard.  After that you can unpack the Phonics Playset, install the 4 included AA batteries, download the apps and be using them within 10 or less minutes.  I spent some time in the Square Panda Playground website because I wanted to check out the features there.  There are so many great things!  You can add your own custom words including your child’s name – and for me when I last had my son use the playset I included words from his spelling list that week!  When you enter custom words they are put into your child’s games and you can even upload a picture to go with them!  Words must be between 1-8 characters, so more complex spelling words won’t work here, however, it’s a great way to practice.  The Square Panda Playground also lets you choose words for specific types of situations like bathroom and body anatomy as well as even excluding a specific letter if you misplaced it from the playset.  You can also block specific types of words if you wish which gives you a great level of customization.

iPad Screenshot 1

The playset includes 45 smart letters.  Vowels are yellow and consonants are yellow to make for easier differentiation between the letter types.  These all stored inside the playset case when not in use.  You can have up to three players per playset, and the content dynamically changes depending on which user is selected so with my 2 year old we are simply working on even identifying letters while with my 8 year old he is working on spelling words and earning badges.  The Square Panda Playset includes access to two apps, and one of the two apps Square Panda Lagoon allows you to use the custom words that you have created.   Square Panda Bowling (above) has you bowl with your finger to knock down the pins and spell out words.  It combines a multi-sensory approach where you do an activity, get a letter with your finger on your iPad and then properly place it in the try to spell the word.  Kids are taught to spell words correctly from left to right which is the way that The National Reading Panel recommends as well as the way that reading is taught in school.

iPad Screenshot 4

First of all – this is not the plastic letters that I grew up with!  Many of us may remember growing up and having the magnetized letters that we used to spell things on our refrigerator.  I loved that the app required letters to be correct before allowing you to move on.  Letters are placed individually in a white box at the bottom of the playset.  The must be positioned correctly and placed on the playset in the correct order.  The photo above is from Square Panda Lagoon and includes a photo as well as the word below to reinforce learning.

It isn’t often as a mom that I find a toy that both my 2 year old and 8 year old can use.  One of my favorite things about the Square Panda Playset is the level of customization that is included especially with the Square Panda Lagoon.  I can see it is a great way to practice “trick words” or words my son might be having challenges with at school and having a great way to keep track of what he is learning in terms of letters.  With my 2 year old, we can work on understanding letters and teaching him that my iPad is a learning device.  I also liked that we could store the letters inside the playset which meant that they were not misplaced the next time we went to use it.  I use a Griffin Survivor case on my iPad Mini because even though it’s “mom’s iPad” my kids use it a lot and I loved that we could leave on the protective case even when it was in use with the Square Panda Playset, this isn’t always the case with other products on the market.  I really liked the Square Panda Playground where I could keep track of what my kids were doing with the apps – I knew what my 2 year old was doing because we were playing together but with my older son I usually help him learn how to use something and then let him try and figure it out on his own.  I liked seeing the badges of the items he accomplished as well as the ability to add in the custom words for his spelling list that week!

In terms of enhancements, I wish that both of the apps included the ability to use custom words, my son enjoyed rolling the bowling ball in Square Panda Bowling more than the Square Panda Lagoon game – I’m not sure why he preferred it more other than he enjoys bowling, so having the two app options was great.  Square Panda is planning to add more apps Letter Lab.  I hope that they include the ability to use custom words in this app.  I’d also like to see a mobile friendly version of the Square Panda Playground – I don’t often get time to sit down at my computer so I was trying to look at it on my iPad and it wasn’t as user friendly as I would have liked.

Play with letters and words today...

The Square Panda Phonics Playset is a great demonstration of how you can use your iPad and integrated playset to provide learning both on the screen and using tactile letters to complete a goal – I can’t wait to see what else this company will bring.  The Square Panda Phonics Playset retails for $119 USD and includes a standard one year parts and labor if the letters malfunction or the product itself malfunctions.  It can be purchased from Square Panda for $119 USD.

alison

This is not your mom’s letter playset.  This is a fun and interactive toy which can be used by younger and older children and can customize and provide data about what your child is learning.  It is a true demonstration of what the iPad can do versus other tablets on the market.

Apps


Square Panda Lagoon Square Panda Lagoon by Square Panda Inc

Price: $FREE

A goofy chameleon with a love for dancing introduces children to letter sounds and phonics in a fun, exploratory way where any combination of letters (both nonsense words and real words) create a learning.




Square Panda Bowling Square Panda Bowling by Square Panda Inc

Price: $FREE

STRIKE! Letters meet their match in a bowling alley on a faraway island! With every roll of the coconut ball, your child learns the relationships between letters, sounds, and words. Compatible with the.



Square Panda Farming Square Panda Farming by Square Panda Inc

Price: $FREE

Help Old MilkDonald plant, grow, and harvest fruits and vegetables in Square Panda Farming!

When placing Square Panda smart letters in the Square Panda Playset, children learn the alphabet, explore.



Square Panda Space Cows Square Panda Space Cows by Square Panda Inc

Price: $FREE

It's a bird, it's a plane it's... alien UFOs beaming up cows! Compatible with the Square Panda Phonics Playset, children place smart letters in the tray to learn the alphabet, explore letter sounds, and.



Square Panda Fishing Square Panda Fishing by Square Panda Inc

Price: $FREE

What's the best catch in the icy arctic lake? Learning about letters! In Square Panda Fishing, children reel in their fishing line for a chance to catch letter fish! With each fish that they catch, they.

Video demonstration

NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.

 

Giveaway

If you would like to win a Square Panda Phonics playset , 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 to those with a valid US mailing address, 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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Alison, the American iMum is from Massachusetts. She lives there with her two sons and husband. In their spare time, they enjoy playing outside, enjoying nature and of course testing apps and fantastic products on their devices. 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.


Hop Star : Fun Visual Math Learning Game for Grade 1 to 5 Kids – Review



screen hop star

Hop Star : Fun Visual Math Learning Game for Grade 1 to 5 Kids by Skidos Learning is an addictive platform mobile game that requires players to solve many math problems just to keep the game going. I say ‘many’ because the amount of time I spent doing math in Hop Star is at least 10 times more than the amount I spent on the game itself. I admit I’m not good at such games but I refuse to give up until I complete a game. I can’t accept defeat because the game is actually very simple but it is so hard to score points. It’s so much easier solving the math questions. I guess that is the whole purpose of Hop Star!

What we love…

The huge database of questions covering grade 1 – 5 math topics.

What we’d love to see…

Option to pre-select the players’ choice of math topics.

Summary

A fun mobile game that has players spend more time sharpening their math skills than being on the game itself.

Our Rating

The goal of the game is to keep your game character/hopper alive as you guide it across a series of obstacles to get out of the jungle. You tap or hold your finger anywhere on the screen and release it to get your hopper to jump over rivers and different types of dangers while collecting coins. The longer you hold, the further your hopper will jump. You will need to have good estimation, great timing and quick reflexes in order to play well.

A player needs to be alert as there are so many ways your character can get eliminated in this game. You lose a life when the hopper gets hit by trucks, eaten by alligators, struck by falling elephants or just dropped into the rivers but you can revive it with game coins. The only problem is that the number of coins required increases exponentially with each subsequent revival which means that you always run out of coins. But you can also earn coins very quickly by answering math questions.

 

Here, players can choose the type of math questions they want to do. From grade 1 to 5, there is a huge database of questions covering a comprehensive list of topics like numbers & counting, comparison, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, decimals, factors, prime and composite numbers, algebra and place values. Players are tested in 3 question styles – visual, mental and language. While the visual questions help players better understand the math problems and solve them easily, the constant exposure to the same type of questions give kids the confidence to tackle similar questions outside the app. I especially like the leading questions for the game based questions which guide kids to focus on the important information. The questions even feature the game characters to up the cute factor.

This fast-paced game is very addictive and I honestly couldn’t put it down. The gameplay is exciting and fun. I was surprised that my competitive older kids also enjoyed the game even though at first, they found it impossible to advance in the game. The pixel art graphics is bright and colorful. The game is easy to play and the controls are responsive. There are no penalties for wrong answers, only rewards and fun. Unlike many mobile games, there is no need to use real money to buy game coins in Hop Star. Players can play, revive characters and unlock new characters just by doing math.

What interest parents and teachers will be the progress report that lets you track individual child’s progress across different skills and time periods, allowing you to see where they need help and more practice. You will need to register your email address in order to view the reports of all the players. Do note that Hop Star requires an active internet connection for the updating of reports as well as the loading of questions from its large question database.

All kids love to play mobile games. Your kids will be most motivated to do the challenging visual and mental math problems in Hop Star just to be able to stay in their game and have fun. Trust me, they will be spending lots more time sharpening their math skills than being on the game itself!

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Hop Star : Fun Visual Math Learning Game for Grade 1 to 5 Kids

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Size: 0 MB

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Flying Superstars : Fun Visual Math Game for Kids

Skidos Flying Superstars Skidos Flying Superstars by Skidos Learning

Price: $FREE

Help Jim and his superstar friends hover and fly their way through without bumping into lava! They have many powers but need your math and coding super powers to beat through this near impossible action.

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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.

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