Zap Zap Math – K6 Math Games iOS Universal Education by Visual Math Interactive Sdn. Bhd.



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What we love…

fun multi-player math game that covers a wide variety of topics and encourages kids to complete mini-games to learn more concepts using a multi-faceted approach to learning.  I also really liked the dashboard so I could see areas my son was struggling.  My son also liked the coins within the app which he earned for answering  questions correctly.

What we’d love to see…

a “redo” button if your child knows the answer is wrong, showing the correct answer if you answer incorrectly in the training module.

Summary

Remove this text and add your own here.

Our Rating

Zap Zap Math - K6 Math GamesZap Zap Math – K6 Math Games iOS Universal Education by Visual Math Interactive Sdn. Bhd. is a universal space themed app for iOS which is free via iTunes and features a $9.99 annual subscription fee  to access the full content of the app.  The app includes math topics including: addition, subtraction, fractions, ratio’s, multiplication, geometry, coordinates, time, angles, and pre-school math.  It is also aligned with #commoncore math standards and materials are delivered in a module type manner meaning the types of math are not intermixed within a teaching topic.  The app allows for multiple profiles, meaning that you can use it with multiple children or users who can then practice specific types of content.  Also included is a web dashboard where parents and teachers can login to see specific types of skills practiced, accuracy as well as areas that their child may have struggled with.  The app does not require internet access to use it, however, in order for it to “sync” with the dashboard internet access is required.

The app opens with some test content for non subscribed users, for purposes of the review I used grade 1 content in a premium membership.  The app features a four pronged approach to teaching content. Each of the modules is presented as a game which encourages kids to engage and seems to be a better way for my son to learn versus traditional worksheets. There are five “levels” to complete for each of the modules below before you move on to the next skill.

Method

– Training: First you “train” which can include a tutorial on how to do a specific type of content.  The tutorial provides instruction on how to move within the module using arrows and then a shovel to answer the question.  Questions are poised which requires you to “jump” to the right answer using a number line, represented by boxes.  When you get to the correct answer, another math problem is presented.  Once you answer the problem correctly you are presented with a second problem and after every so many problems you are given a treasure chest to dig for.  If you answer incorrectly, the flag does not drop most of the time.  Your accuracy is tracked and given to you after you complete five problems successfully.  After completing the problems you earn “z” coins which can be used to “purchase” content within the app.  The coins are in-app currency and are earned by completing levels rather than something you purchase from the iTunes store.

– Accuracy: You are presented with problems to answer and after answering two problems correctly you can “fly” the space taxi.  You earn an accuracy score as well as a regular score and earn more “z” coins.  This level is meant to continue practicing the skill and improve your accuracy within the problems presented to mastery.

– Speed:  you are presented with “how fast” can you make the number, accuracy (answering correctly) and speed are key components of this level.  Typically you had to add two or more numbers to successfully complete the math problem.

– Mission: you are presented with a game to demonstrate mastery of a skill.  For purposes of the review, I used the “orb” where you not only have to answer a math problem you also have to correctly pattern the color.  This means that the problem may add up to 10 and there may be multiple colored orbs and you have to pick the right color pattern in order to answer the problem correctly.  If you get too many problems incorrect, you earn a lower rank and don’t demonstrate “mastery” to move on to the next level.

I really liked the overall flexibility of the app as well as being able to see the areas that my son worked on while he was within the app.  I used the dashboard to understand what areas he might have struggled with as well as looking to see improvement from the “training” to the “mission” modules.  I also liked that the content was in modules rather than mixing it together with a variety of different skills being taught in one portion of the game.  This is similar to how my son’s math is taught in school and a method we are familiar with.    The graphics and games were interactive and encouraged my son.  I also liked that by completing specific tasks my son could “spin” the wheel using his earned “Z” coins to gain additional items within the app.

In terms of enhancements, I would like to see the right “answer” shown if my child gets the answer wrong in training mode.  For me, training mode is an opportunity to test and learn new concepts rather than master them.  By putting a red “x” on the wrong answer from a field of 2 he knew he had it wrong but didn’t always understand why.  For some of the games, my son had trouble differentiating “day” versus “night” in the clock to understand why he got the answer wrong.  We did figure out the app was using military time versus what we traditionally used at home which is x time and AM/PM which then helped him get the answer correct.  My son really struggled in the time telling section and got frustrated.  I would also like a “redo” button just in case you select the wrong item by chance because there were times my son knew he had the answer wrong but had to continue with the “wrong” answer because we couldn’t figure out how to redo it.

Overall, I liked Zap Zap math because it aligned with common core learning standards and was much more fun for my son compared to written math sheets and he was still able to demonstrate that he knew a skill.  I also liked that it was multiplayer and could be used with multiple children which will make the cost of the subscription less if you divide it out.  The app could be a great supplement to classroom or even something you use with kids to prevent a summertime slide.  You can download the app here or below using our iTunes widget.  There are in-app purchases for the “premium” version and the app can be used across multiple devices using the correct student ID.   There is a parental gate which requires a math problem to give feedback.

Zapzapmath School : K-6 Games
Zapzapmath School : K-6 Games
by Visual Math Interactive Sdn. Bhd.

Category: Education, Entertainment
Requirements: Compatible with 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: 263.56 MB

$FREE

Screenshots
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Screenshots for iPad
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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.

 

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.



Chortopia Chore App : Reward Kids with Story, Collectibles and Games – Review



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What we love…

Easy to implement and saves parents time.

What we’d love to see…

More and longer Advenchores per Book.

Summary

A great app for children to learn responsibilities and independence as they keep coming back to the app for more Advenchores and collectible cards to play.

Our Rating

‘Chores’ need not be a dirty word if we teach our children that everyone in the family has a role in maintaining the household and that their contributions are very important to keep the family happy. This makes them feel valued and more willing to do their part. We will also need a fair system of assigning chores and a proper system of recording if we want to see success.

Here is where Chortopia Chore App (free now) by Aurasync Studios, Inc. can help both parents and children work together harmoniously to get the daily chores done. To begin using the app, parents need to set up an account and select age-appropriate chores for each child (up to 4 accounts permitted). Tasks are color-coded and grouped into 3 categories – behavior (say please and thank you, help sibling, finish homework), outdoor (help wash car, help with garbage cans) and indoor-based (dust furniture, put clothes away).  There is also a compilation of favorite or frequently used tasks for your convenience. What is useful is that you can add your own tasks to the app!  Just remember to be clear in your instructions or expectations. When you have selected a chore set of 3 tasks, an Advenchore is created in the land of Chortopia. You can prepare up to 4 chore sets at any one time.

When you first hand over the app to your children, they will be introduced to the world of Chortopia and their role in helping to free a group of very important Chortopians (the Speakers).  They need to complete a series of Advenchores to journey deep into the lands of Chortopia in order to save Chortopia.  There are 4 parts to the Chortopia story (Secret of the Mystical Boxes) and Book 1: Mysterious Harvest is included in the app. Each book comes with 10 Advenchores that kids can unlock by doing chores.

Each Advenchore presents a problem for kids to overcome and they will need sufficient Chore Power to fix the problems. This power can only be earned from doing tasks (chores) specified in the app (remember that these tasks were chosen by you). Your kids simply tap on the tasks that they have finished, and have the work verified and approved by you before they can use the Chore Power. Tasks that are not done are sent back.

Getting the job done not only earn the players Chore Power to finish their Advenchores, they can also use the power to unlock mystical boxes to free Chortopians. Each freed Chortopian comes with a collectible character card that describes the Chortopian’s special power and power level. There are also bonus Legendary Chortopians to collect. Kids will like to spend time admiring their card collection or use them to play games like Card Scuffle in the app.

With separate accounts and each child being responsible for keeping track of their own work, maintaining the system is so much easier as parents just have to validate completed work in the app. It is simple to assign duties and kids get their rewards automatically in the app. There are no chores charts to maintain and kids are motivated to complete their duties (less nagging). Our only investment is to purchase the subsequent parts of the story for more Advenchores.

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I think kids will like Chortopia as it has the components that can hold the interest of kids of today’s generation – adventure stories, card collectibles and card games. As the story is illustrated and fully narrated, children at early elementary level or younger will have no difficulty in following the storyline. I used the app with my youngest and he was more cooperative than usual! This has definitely taken off some of my stress and I do hope that we can sustain this success…

Chortopia is a great app for teaching responsibilities and independence. Children can start with daily routine activities and then learn the more difficult tasks. They will learn many life skills that are more important than having a clean home. Download the app today while it is free and enjoy 10 sessions of fun Advenchores!

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Chortopia Chore App: Reward Kids with Story, Collectibles and Games

Chortopia Chore App: Reward Kids with Story, Collectibles, and Games Chortopia Chore App: Reward Kids with Story, Collectibles, and Games by Aurasync Studios, Inc.
Category: Lifestyle, Education
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: 366.59 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.



Curious George Train Adventures by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt – Review



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What we love…

bright cheerful graphics and our friend Curious George bringing us on a science and math inspired adventure which requires problem solving and self regulation.

What we’d love to see…

the entire app included in the purchase price, ability to make it easier or harder depending on the age of the child

Summary

Great app featuring Curious George and working on STEM based activities.  This app includes IAP for additional worlds within it which isn’t clearly noted in the app description.

Our Rating

Curious George Train Adventures by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is a universal app for iOS featuring Curious George on a train as he travels through a variety of different scenes.    The app works on fine motor, creative thinking to solve obstacles and puzzles as well as working memory and understanding the speed of the train.  As you go through the game, you control the speed of the train by using a lever at the bottom of the screen which ranges from 0 (stop) to green (fast).  Obstacles appear in the game including ones you can touch away, boards that you have to climb up with the train as well as making a bridge come up or avoiding falling into a hole.  Concepts practiced here included increasing and decreasing speed, opening gates, navigating obstacles like flowers and pineapples as well as raising bridges.  As you complete the level you are star rated based on how many objects remained in your train during the journey – if you go to fast over an obstacle you can lose objects and have to redo the level in order to unlock the next level of the app.  This app includes IAP for additional worlds within it which isn’t clearly noted in the app description.

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I liked the graphics in the app as well as the fact that you had to control the speed with your finger at all times.  This encouraged my son to regulate the speed and he would look forward to see that a warning sign was coming up and he would anticipate that he would need to slow down the train in order to continue on.      This encouraged him to be observant so that he didn’t have to redo the levels over and over again.  I also liked that the obstacles got progressively harder with each level – pulley’s and cranks made it interesting for my son as he asked me questions about how they worked and it became a discussion point as we tested them out.  What happens if you go on the bridge without turning the crank.

In terms of improvements, I would suggest the entire app be available with the purchase of it.  It was a bit disappointing to my kids to learn that if they wanted to try another one of the worlds it remained locked unless we purchased the IAP.  Other improvements could include an age toggle so that the app could be made a bit easier for younger kids – the demographic of Curious George is preschool but some of the activities in here were aimed at elementary aged children which could lead to frustration.  I also found that the narration in the app was a bit echoed – and sometimes the Man with the Yellow Hat’s mouth moved but his voice was not in sync.  I’d also like to see colors and shapes included in the app – perhaps this could be something in a future addition – you could puzzle in the shapes to complete the bridge.

The app does include in app purchases to purchase additional worlds within in but it is protected with a parental gate.  The additional words are  Frosty Wonderland, Zany Meadows and Space Spectacular. Each world has 10 levels and can be purchased for $1.99.  The additional worlds have similar concepts but just different backgrounds.

Overall, this is a fun app for preschool through early elementary aged children that has some great skill building in it. I liked the puzzle solving portion of it the most as well as the regulation of the train which encouraged kids that it wasn’t always about getting there the fastest – something that I try to teach my kids on a regular basis.

Curious George Train Adventures
Curious George Train Adventures
by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Category: Education, Family, 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, iPhone8-iPhone8, iPhone8Plus-iPhone8Plus, iPhoneX-iPhoneX
Size: 194.87 MB

$0.99USD

Screenshots
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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.



Bla Bla Box by Marbotic – Review



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What we love…

easy to use app that allows kids to play with letters, syllables and even create words in both a touch screen format as well as using an optional toy

What we’d love to see…

ability to save words you have created, way to align words to the far left when starting them so you don’t run out of space or have to drag them over to finish creating them

Summary

Overall this is a brightly colored fun app that encourages preschool and early elementary aged children to practice their spelling and letters. I liked how it sounded out each of the letters and words in a dynamic way.

Our Rating

Bla Bla BoxBla Bla Box by Marbotic is a iPad only app that lets kids explore how letters make sounds and form words.  The app is designed for preschool through early elementary school aged children and is available with five different languages.  When you move the letters onto the screen from the bottom, the letters are sounded out and as you form words they are spoken aloud.  It is helpful for emerging readers – my emerging reader used it to spell out some words in his library book before asking me what the word said.  The app can be used stand alone or with a companion wooden toy that allows you to put the letters on the screen.  The app is available in English, Spanish, French, German and Dutch with some of the languages requiring an additional in-app purchase.

To use the app, you pull the letters from the bottom where they are listed and put them up in the middle part of the screen,  Each letter is sounded out as you put it on the screen and if you run low on space, you can click the word as it is underlined and move it over toward the edge so you can finish it.  Once the word is completed, you simply click the underlined word (or letters) and pull it to the top of the screen where it disappears.  The app is great for emerging readers who may do “creative spelling” or helping kids to break down sight words or even those who are creating shorter words and then learning to add endings like ing, ed, en to help understand how it changes the sound of the word.

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I really liked the flexibility of the app – you could create a word and then lengthen it easily to include a new ending or move around the letters entirely to make a new word.  If you accidentally pulled in a letter you could put it in the trash can and start anew.

In terms of enhancements – I wish the words would align left when you place the first letter on – sometimes when we worked on longer words we ran out of space on the tablet even if the word was not fully spelled out. I would also like to see a place where the words you have spelled out go to because right now when you drag them to the top of the screen they disappear.

There is no advertising, a gated parental area has external links and is accessed via a math problem from the front page.

Overall, this is a fun app for practicing spelling of words.  I liked how it encouraged my son spell out his sight words and work on his creative spelling when he heard that the words were spelled differently than the sounded.  It has external links that are protected via a parental gate and bright colors and illustrations which encourage kids to interact with the app.


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Category:
Requirements: Compatible with
Size: 0 MB

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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.

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.

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