The Ergo Stylus by The Pencil Grip Inc.- Review and Giveaway


pencil grip ergo

Pros…

Designed to encourage an ergonomic grip, large diameter, weighted stylus works well for children learning to write

Cons…

Broad tip not ideal for fine detail, large and heavy so not ideal  for use on the go.

Summary

If you are looking for a stylus for a child learning to write, or for someone with fine motor issues this is a great choice. The size, weight and built-in grip all help encourage a good hand position.

 

Our Rating

recommended-by-the-imums

The Pencil Grip Inc. are a company that specializes in ergonomic writing aids. I have been using their pencil grip with my daughter to help teach her to hold her pencil correctly, so I was very interested to hear that they are moving into the digital age and are now producing a stylus too.

As soon as you see this stylus it is obvious that it is not a standard iPad stylus. It is a chunky stylus, similar in size to a fat marker pen and with an ergonomic Pencil Grip built in. The Pencil Grip itself is a pear- shaped, flexible grip, which is triangular in cross-section. The Pencil Grip holds the fingers in a relaxed position by supporting the first knuckle of the thumb and index finger, encouraging the user to use a full hand and arm action when writing.   It works for both right and left-handed users.

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I tested this stylus out myself and with my six-year-old daughter who has fine motor issues. As well as having the grip built-in, this stylus is also bigger and heavier than your average iPad stylus. These are all good things for use with a young child learning to write, and for older children with fine motor issues. I found the stylus easy to write and draw with, and it worked well at a variety of angles, the grip naturally guides you to use it in an ergonomic way. My daughter really liked using the stylus her comment was “I love this pen, mum” and although she still doesn’t have a “perfect grip” when using it she does have her fingers in a much better, more ergonomic position than with any other stylus we have tried. The tip is very broad – so it is like writing or drawing with a broad-tipped marker – so not an ideal stylus for doing detailed work, and the stylus is big enough that it wouldn’t be my first choice to carry for use myself, but for use with my daughter it is exactly what I’m looking for in a stylus. It might also be a good choice for an older person who has problems gripping a narrow pen or stylus. Like most styluses it performs much better without a screen protector on the iPad. The stylus has a rubber tip that is not replaceable, so over time the stylus will need replacing, but as it currently sells for only $12.99 it is cheap enough to replace every few months.

Overall, if you are looking for a stylus for a child learning to write, or for someone with fine motor issues this is a great choice. The size, weight and built-in grip all help encourage a good hand position.

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 an Ergo Stylus we have THREE to give away, 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 US AND CANADA ONLY and a valid mailing address is required to claim the prize. Please ensure you have read and understand our Terms & Conditions. Good luck!

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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).

Space Suit Custom Laptop Bags by Snupped – Review

Pros…

Very well made, protective, great selection of prints, create your own one of a kind look.

Cons…

Can take several weeks to arrive

Summary

If you are looking for a unique, well-made, stylish yet protective  protective laptop bag I’d recommend the Space Suit by Snupped

 

Our Rating

recommended-by-the-imums

Snupped is a company based in Singapore that creates custom – made sleeves , bags and cases for laptops, tablets and smart phones. Each product is hand-made to order. The company was founded by Bryan Lee and Darcy Li, who started by making their own laptop sleeve from a curtain and the idea of creating custom laptop sleeves blossomed from there.

When Snupped approached me to review their cases I decided to order a “Space Suit” laptop sleeve for my new 15″ MacBook Pro. The SpaceSuit is a 3 layered Laptop case. Outside is Tarpaulin Vinyl which is very tough and waterproof, this is printed in your choice of fabric pattern. Inside of a soft cotton liner and you can choose from a selection of colors either plain or with white polka-dots. Sandwiched between these is a 3mm thick layer of Nitrile Rubber – which protects the laptop from knocks. You can choose 2 different patterns for the front and back of the sleeve if you wish or have them the same. There is also an option to have handles – I did choose this option and they are very strong- made out of a similar material to car seat belts.

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When I looked at the Snupped website I was really impressed by the large selection of fabric patterns they had available. One of my favorite features of the site is their artist collaborations – here artists have created fabric designs for them, and there are some great choices. You can also choose from their selection of other patterns or even upload a favorite photo for your design.

I was seriously tempted by the whimsical circus-themed designs of Kikeimono, but in the end decided on a design by 281 Anti-nuke – a controversial Japanese street artist. I choose a pale pink lining and added black handles. Because each bag is made to order you aren’t likely to bump into anyone else with your same exact bag, but the downside is it does take several weeks from the time of your order until you receive the bag.

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When the bag arrived it was definitely worth waiting for – I love this laptop bag ! It is really well-made, all the stitching is neat and even, it looks really cool and unique and does a great job of protecting my laptop. I have used the bag extensively this summer and it still looks as good as the day I got it. The tarpaulin exterior is waterproof and protects the laptop well if it rains, and also easily wipes clean.

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If you are looking for a well-made, unique, protective but stylish-looking laptop bag I’d recommend the Space Suit -check out the Snupped website and create your own bag that suits your style. Prices vary depending on options chosen, the SpaceSuit starts at $49.00

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.

 

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).


Smarty Shortz Stylus by Smarty Shortz LLC – Review



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Review by Alison

What we love…

the ease of adding and removing grippers which allow you to customize one stylus for multiple people

What we’d love to see…

a smaller version for younger kids who may not be able to hold a full #2 pencil stylus

Summary

This is a great stylus which will grow with your child as they age.

Smarty Shortz Stylus by Smarty Shortz LLC is a stylus designed for kids! This stylus includes grippers which help children develop the correct grip when tracing letters in both print and cursive on your devices. The stylus pencil resembles a number two pencil with the exception that it has a rubberized tip instead of a graphite tip and it has a similar feeling to a full #2 pencil. The stylus came with three different grippers all of which can slide on and off to meet the various needs of the user.

The individual grippers for this stylus really help you to customize it to your child’s grip style based upon their age. I liked the stylus for apps other than just handwriting ones as well because rather than using his fingers, my son used it and tried to color in a picture on the screen and was able to do it with far more precision than he was normally able to do. In terms of using it with handwriting apps, my son was able to use the stylus and attempt to copy the letters and numbers on the screen. There were definitely times he was more successful than others, but he kept trying and I saw improvement the more he used the stylus. This stylus could be used in occupational therapy to help children work on their grip of a pencil while doing fun activities on the iPad or other devices which would provide positive reinforcement for using it.

It would be great if this stylus was offered in a smaller style for younger children – who may be too young for a full #2 pencil similar to a “pip squeak marker style” where it’s a marker but just in a smaller package. It would also be nice if there were a smaller version I could put in my purse for times when we are out with just my iPhone instead of the full iPad and he wants to use it.

The stylus pencils are available for purchase by both parents and professionals. They offer a school “classroom kit” which includes 12 stylus pencils, 12 grippers, the Smarty Print app and instruction cards. The kits can be purchased for the 2-5 classroom and as a “Kindergarten and older” classroom kit. Individual styluses and pencils can be purchased by parents to help carry over learning from school to home or just to provide practice for children in using a stylus versus their hands on touch screen devices. This is a great stylus which will grow with your child as they age. You can buy the stylus online at http://www.smartyshortzshop.com/.

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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 Smarty Shortz Stylus, 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 residents of the United States with a valid United States mailing address which is required to claim the prize. Please ensure you have read and understand our Terms & Conditions. Good luck!  The blog post comment is mandatory as is either a Facebook like of The iMums or a Twitter follow of @theimums.
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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.


Crayola® ColorStudio™ HD iMarker™ digital stylus by Griffin – Review



Crayola® ColorStudio™ HD

What we love…

the variety of choices of the stylus including: marker, crayon and colored pencils which let our tester try out various coloring skills

What we’d love to see…

the ability to use a stylus with a protective case on your iPad as well as the ability to use the stylus in other apps

Summary

This is a fun addition to our iPad and makes it so my child can do his coloring on the iPad without needing paper, crayons and lots of art supplies.

Our Rating

recommended-by-the-imums

 

Does your child love to color – but you hate all the paper and having to carry around crayons? I recently had a chance to test the Crayola® ColorStudio™ HD iMarker™ digital stylus by Griffin and it got a thumbs up from my son. This child-friendly stylus is a marker, pen and paintbrush all in one package allowing your child’s creative juices to flow even when you are out and about and may not have access to traditional art materials. When purchasing the stylus, you do gain access to the ColorStudio HD app which is unlocked when you use the stylus for the first time.

When we first used the stylus, it was a bit hard to figure out how much “pressure” was necessary in order to use it. Once we figured out that a light touch was more than enough – it became much easier to use and play with. I also liked that we could work on fine motor skills and the proper way to hold a pencil while using it plus the motivation of drawing on the iPad was more than enough to interest my son. I also liked that you could save the pictures you created to your camera roll and either email them, send them via Facebook or print them out. We enjoyed being able to swap between markers, crayons and colored pencils on the fly depending on what we wanted to do. I also liked that there are new updates which add new pictures and features to the app on a frequent basis making it easy to use the stylus and the free drawing section of the app meant we had a white canvas to do any drawings that we wanted.

Parents should be sure to lock down the settings on their device for the ColorStudio HD app as it does not currently have a parent lock which would be a great future enhancement. I did find that at times the markers and crayons were a bit slow to display on our iPad, but the colored pencils appeared almost instantly. I also wished that it would work better while I had my protective case on the iPad rather than having to remove it – by having my Griffin Survivor on the iPad I found that it needed more pressure in order to register the pen. One other minor point, it would be nice if the cap which goes on the top of the stylus would fit on the back of the pen – currently it doesn’t so you have to put it down somewhere which means that it could be much easier to lose. In addition – I didn’t have much luck using the stylus with other apps – I would have liked to carry over some of the skills we were practicing and add early literacy and tracing to it. I do suggest parents try out the stylus and app first prior to letting their children use it to prevent frustration of children who want it to work instantly.

This is a fun addition to our iPad and makes it so my child can do his coloring on the iPad without needing paper, crayons and lots of art supplies. Having this stylus in my bag along with the iPad has made for a happy child despite long waits at times. I would suggest it for children aged 5 and older although it could be used with supervision for younger children. The marker is available directly from Griffin for $30.

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