StartDOT Handwriting by TrishCO LLC – Review



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What we love…

Stories and fun images that help kids learn and remember the formation and placement of letters and numbers easily.

What we’d love to see…

Ability to customize the Learning Order for each user. Options for more letter styles including left-hand writing.

Summary

A handwriting program that employs developmentally appropriate strategies that really work.

Our Rating

To many children, learning how to write letters and numbers seems to come naturally. Unfortunately, my youngest is not one of them. Apart from his resistance to do any form of writing, he also has visual perceptual issues which further contribute to the difficulties. I had an occupational therapist in to help and with a few tricks of the trade, my boy finally GOT IT! It was just amazing! The strategies she used were actually quite simple but effective.

So when I saw that StartDOT Handwriting uses similar approaches, I just knew that it will help to make the process of learning to write a whole lot smoother and stress-free for many young learners. I list below the wonderful features found in this app.

Kinesthetic Learning Order
20140314-142025.jpgHere, learners learn to write groups of letters that have the same beginning stroke instead of learning them in alphabetical order. Highlighting the similarities in movement helps children to remember the formation better and it also helps them to distinguish between similar letters like b and d. I should also mention that this approach corresponds to the developmental stages of line formations in young children – straight first, circular next, then diagonal.

20140314-153815.jpgAlphabetic Learning Order

Learners who just need to fine-tune the handwriting of specific letters (instead of following the default sequence of the Kinesthetic Learning Order) can switch to the Alphabetic Learning Order. It would be great if this preference can be saved as part of the user’s profile without having to change it in the Settings each time. Perhaps this will happen in the next update but meanwhile, parents/teachers can create unlimited users each with progress tracking!

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Learners learn the formation of each letter by remembering a short story associated with the letter stroke(s). The stories use animals, persons, objects and actions that are familiar to young children and are chosen to correspond to the space on the handwriting lines – Sky, Grass and Dirt. For example, the instruction for the lowercase g is – start at the dot, go up to the cloud, pick an apple, put it in the basket, keep going up to the dot, now go digging in the dirt and under the worm. This is particularly helpful for students who have difficulty with letter placement on handwriting papers.

20140314-134718.jpgLearners get clear teaching instructions as well as demonstrations and supportive cues are taken off in stages to help learners progress from letter tracing to independent writing. There are also lots of opportunities to practice handwriting on and off the iPad with free worksheet downloads for transfer of skills to writing on paper. To add some color and fun, learners can even choose from 7 colors to do their writing on the iPad.

 

 

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To remember how 52 (uppercase and lowercase) letters and 10 numerals are written can be a daunting task for young children but cute stories help to make the connection faster and they retain the information longer. StartDOT Handwriting stands out because it understands how young children learn and it adds fun to an otherwise repetitive (boring) activity. It is designed to let learners of all abilities to experience greater success at different stages of handwriting development. I highly recommend it!

 

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StartDOT Handwriting – TrishCO LLC

StartDOT Handwriting StartDOT Handwriting by TrishCO LLC
Category: Education
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: 105.9 MB

$1.99USD

Giveaway

If you would like to win a promo code for this app, 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!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

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.



Vincent the Anteater´s Space Voyage By El Pudu Studios – Review



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What we love…

Retro, handcrafted feel, entertaining and interactive story with a message

What we’d love to see…

Page navigation, bookmarking, word highlightig

Summary

A delightful interactive book app,with an important message as part of the story. It teaches children ways better care for our planet, and also that they can be part of the solution, but delivers it in a subtle way .Highly recommended!

Our Rating

Vincent the Anteater´s Space VoyageVincent the Anteater´s Space Voyage is an adorable universal app from El Pudu Studios. It can be read in 10 different languages including English, Spanish and French. Vincent is created from felt and all the other characters and scenes are also created from fabric. It is an interactive adventure that subtly teaches children about ecology whilst they enjoy an interactive story. The app is child-friendly with no external links, in-app purchases or adverts. The app has optional narration in English, which is well-done, but no word highlighting as it is read. It is enhanced with animation, nice background music and realistic sound effects.

Vincent the Anteater lives in the forest with his fellow anteaters and a wise old Armadillo called Peter. Vincent is a science-minded Anteater and his friend Peter teaches him all about nature with his powerful magnifying glass. Vincent loves to eat ants- all kinds of ants, but his absolute favorite are Green Hairy Ants. One day he discovers there are no Green Hairy Ants, so he asks his friends what to do. The other anteaters think dancing to the Great Cosmic Anteater will solve the problem, but Peter the Armadillo is worried and advises Vincent to fly into space to ask the Great Cosmic Anteater what to do about the missing ants. Vincent builds a rocket to fly to the sky.

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As Vincent through space he lands on 9 different planets, and the reader can choose which order he visits them. On each planet Vincent encounter a different problem, the reader can help Vincent solve the problem and at the same time learn about keeping ourselves and our planet healthy.

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Vincent finally reaches the Great Cosmic Anteater and finds she is not what he expected, and can not tell him the answer to his problem. Vincent returns home and realizes that he can solve the problem of the missing Green Hairy Ants himself.

I really love this book app – it has a lovely retro, hand-crafted feel about it. Every page has interactive elements for the reader to find- and they are very much part of the story, such as helping Vincent slurp ants up with his long tongue and helping him build his rocket and solve problems on the different planets. If the reader can’t find the interactions hints appear to help. Vincent is a likable character and it is fun to explore different planets with him, and help him to make them better and more eco-friendly. The book app can be enjoyed at two different levels -younger readers will enjoy reading or listening to the story and older ones can tap on the text box to learn more about the various ecological issues. There are a few changes I would like to see in a future update- I would love to see bookmarking, a page navigation option, narration added in more languages, word highlighting and the ability to delay the interactive elements until after the narration is completed.

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Overall this is a delightful interactive book app. I love its handcrafted, retro feel and the interactions, sound effects and animations that bring the story to life. This story has an important message: it teaches children ways better care for our planet, and also that they can be part of the solution, but delivers it in a subtle way. It also gives an opportunity for older children to learn more about ecology and the message behind the story. Highly recommended!

 

Free lite version: Vincent the Anteater´s Space Voyage LITE – El Pudu Studios
Full version: Vincent the Anteater´s Space Voyage – El Pudu Studios

by
Category:
Requirements: Compatible with
Size: 0 MB

$

Giveaway

Code drop:

  1. http://redeem-now.com/af36c1a446ed
    2. http://redeem-now.com/930671451a81

 

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).



Tola Bonbon Shop by Pixelrockit -Review




iPad Screenshot 1

What we love…

Cute characters, engaging graphics, fun whilst learning, totally child-safe app

What we’d love to see…

Expansion of educational aspects and more difficulty levels.

Summary

A very cute app for 2-5 year-olds. A fun candy shop theme, bright colorful graphics and cute animals. Pre-school- aged children will have fun whilst working on color and shape matching, hand-eye co-ordination and fine motor skills.

Our Rating

Tola Bonbon ShopTola Bonbon Shop is the first children’s app from the husband and wife developer team of Pixelrockit. You can read more about Pixelrockit in our developer interview. Tola BonBon Shop is designed for children aged 3-6 years, and is totally child-safe with no external links or adverts. The app features no written or spoken language, so it can be enjoyed by children of all nationalities, and no reading is required to use it. It has lively background music and funny animal sounds, which can be switched off.

Tola BonBon Shop features Tola, a pig who has a candy and cake shop. A variety of different animals come into the shop as customers.

The shop has shelves filled with a variety of sweet treats and the child can tap on them to change what is on display. Don’t like green gum balls? No problem- change them to red. Maybe you want all the cupcakes to be chocolate? Or you want every cupcake to have a different topping? Just tap on them until you get the topping you want. There are three customers in the shop at any time, you can serve them in any order you like and once a customer has been served they leave and a new one comes in. Tapping on a customer shows which sweet treat they want and there is a different game for each treat.

iPad Screenshot 3

 

There are 5 different games in all

Chocolate Box:

A big box of chocolates need to be filled and the child needs to put the remaining 5 chocolates in the correct spots. The chocolates all have different shapes, so they are working on shape matching when playing. The games features errorless learning- it it is put in the correct spot they get positive reinforcement, in the wrong spot it just doesn’t stick and they get to try again.

iPad Screenshot 2

Lollipop Game

Tola needs to add sticks to all the Lollipops. This game works on hand-eye co-ordination as the child needs to put the stick under the slowly falling candy to make the lollipop.

Hard Candy Sorting

There are 2 plates containing different colored candies and Tola must put candies in the right plate. The child drags and drops them to the correct place working on color matching and fine motor skills.

Candy Bagging

There are 2 different colors of candy and a bag with a picture of one type on it. The child must put all of the correct candies in the bag, tapping on the right type of candy will put in it the bag.

iPad Screenshot 4

Cupcake Hunt

The fridge contains cupcakes and other goodies, but the light has gone out, so the child must use a flashlight to find all the cakes. When the flashlight highlights a cupcake Tola takes it for his customer.

 

Overall, this is a very cute app best suited to toddlers and pre-school aged children, the mini-games will be too easy for most elementary school-aged children. The app is bright and colorful and the characters endearing. I especially like that the children can have fun changing the details in the shop as well as playing the mini-games. The app is fun but also works on educational concepts suitable for pre-schoolers:, sorting, shape and color matching; as well as hand-eye co-ordination and fine motor skills. In a future update it would be nice to see some more educational concepts brought in – perhaps counting the candies as they are sorted, and more levels of difficulty such picking the correct candies from more than 2 choices.

If you would like to download this app, please use this link: Tola Bonbon Shop – Pixelrockit

by

Category:
Requirements: Compatible with
Size: 0 MB

$


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).



Busy Shapes by Seven Academy – Review



iPad Screenshot 1

What we love…

app learned your child’s skills and got progressively harder as their skills improved, multiplayer functionality, bright colors and fun to manipulate

What we’d love to see…

Instructions on completing step by step; little more seamless moving of the backgrounds

Summary

Bottom line – this is much more than your simple object sorting game.  It will grow with your child and get progressively harder as their skills improve.  Even as a parent I enjoyed playing with the app and getting objects into the right spots.

Our Rating

Busy Shapes by Seven Academy is an app designed for iOS that focuses on motor skills, matching, critical thinking and more.  This app designed for preschool through early elementary aged children requires them to manipulate an object into the correct hole using fingers, tools and other manipulative while getting progressively harder to ensure their skills are properly tested.  The app teaches shapes, colors, matching of objects and putting them in a appropriately shaped hole.   The app tracks how long it takes to complete a level and then increases or decreases the difficulty of the next level.  The game provides visual and sound based “awards” for correctly putting objects into the proper holes.

iPad Screenshot 2

I loved how the app “learned” as your child completed the various puzzles and got progressively harder.  There are a number of objects which can also make it harder to move objects from spills on the floor – to the use of a block to move objects which make the app fun for even older children (and parents!)  The app allows for multiplayer profiles and up to 40 profiles which makes it perfect for use in a classroom or even by an occupational therapist.  I also liked seeing the goals met such as the “sticky puddle” avoiding an object, hidden shapes, tools and moving shapes.  It made it easier to see which areas my son might have struggled with and helped me to work with him.  I also really liked that the app required critical thinking such as the moving of barriers, maneuvering around objects, and kept my son’s attention while playing with the app and having him learn. It is designed for children aged 2 to 5 although I think that the skills practiced can go much higher than that. We tested it on an iPad Mini and liked the larger screen size although it works well on an iPhone as well.

In terms of enhancements, I did sometimes see a flicker when the “slides” or backgrounds changed – although my son didn’t comment about it.  I would also like to see the opportunity to have directions presented such as “find the yellow square” or step by step instructions on putting objects in order into the holes.

There are no external links, in-app purchases, social media contained within the app.  The app does contain a parent locked section which requires a multiplication problem to be completed to enter.  Bottom line – this is much more than your simple object sorting game.  It will grow with your child and get progressively harder as their skills improve.  Even as a parent I enjoyed playing with the app and getting objects into the right spots.   This is a great app for parents of preschoolers, early elementary aged children as well as those working on fine motor skills to help ensure mastery. My kindergartener kept asking for more – which is very high praise indeed.

Code drop April 3/4

1. http://redeem-now.com/f6b82c750601

2. http://redeem-now.com/2274d6bde7e3

3.http://redeem-now.com/bdff976799e2

More codes

4. http://redeem-now.com/fdbdd7aa04bb

5. http://redeem-now.com/7aae76e9944e

 

Busy Shapes
Busy Shapes
by EDOKI ACADEMY

Category: Education, Games, Puzzle
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone4-iPhone4, 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: 37.47 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 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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