Yum-Yum Letters – learn how to write letters from A to Z and improve handwriting by Kindermatica – Review



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What we love…

step by step letter formation app that teaches capital letters for preschoolers

What we’d love to see…

lowercase letters as well as the ability to go “back” if your child struggles with a specific step – right now there is no option to do so.

Summary

This is a great app for preschoolers especially those learning early letter skills and helps them practice in a fun interactive way – much better than the worksheets I used to use when I worked with kids in preschool age!

Our Rating

Yum-Yum Letters - learn how to write letters from A to Z and improve handwritingYum-Yum Letters by Kindermatica is an app for iOS designed to help children learn capital letter formation by using a step by step teaching method.  Children can choose from either a winter snowflake or a summer caterpillar scene.  The app uses a step by step method which starts with tracing using dots, then moves to tracing a shape and finally freehand writing the letter.  After successfully completing the letter in three ways there is a mini game which provides praise for children. and lets them design a star object with “stickers”.  There are two fonts, the Zaner-Bloser (normal handwriting fot) and the HWT font which is better for kids with fine motor challenges.

There is a parental dashboard that lets you see the letters, number of tries, starting dots and gives you an idea of your children’s practice and skills achieved.  The dashboard shows how many times your kids may have gone outside of the letter border as well.  It also has an “easy” mode for younger kids and a “regular” mode for older kids which can be set as well as game limits and number of exercises to complete an award. You can also choose the handwriting font as well.  I also found that cleaning my device screen helped immensely when using the app especially when doing the tracing so nothing “extra” was on the screen.

I liked that this app encouraged a step by step process and required you to stay within the lines and follow a process in order to complete the letter.   The artwork was fun and bright and the letters when you drew them were clear and easy to read.  The directions were easy to follow for kids “find the starting point” which it would show, and then the encouragement to write the letter.  This helped kids stay on task and track to ensure the letters were completed correctly and properly.  If a child went outside of the letters, it would erase and then you would need to restart making that portion of the letter.  I liked the three step process as it encouraged mastery and practicing of fine motor skills.  The fading prompts were good to encourage kids to go on and master the letter skill.   We used both our finger and a stylus to complete the letter tracing activities and encouraged proper pencil grasp with the stylus.  The app lets you have multiple children and can do it in “ABC order” which is from A – Z or recommended order which starts with the letter E and ends with S which is much harder to form.  My son really liked that he could choose the season in the app to be either winter or summertime.

In terms of future enhancements, I would like to see the ability to go “back” if your child gets stuck on a specific step – say they can successfully trace and fill in the letter but have trouble on the “free mode.”  I’d also like to see lowercase letters as those are another important early learning skill for kids to master.  I would also like to see an option to turn off the splash screen advertising the other Kindermatica app as it might be distracting for some.

This is a great app for preschoolers especially those learning early letter skills and helps them practice in a fun interactive way – much better than the worksheets I used to use when I worked with kids in preschool age!  There is a parental gate but there are no in app purchases or external links.



Yum-Yum Letters: Learn & Trace Yum-Yum Letters: Learn & Trace by Kindermatica Ltd.

Price: $3.99 USD

Worried how your wiggleworm will learn to write his letters? Let a fat juicy caterpillar, smiling snowflake and a fluffy spider teach him. Yum Yum Letters gives kids a gentle introduction to handwriting.

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 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.


Name Play: a name reading and writing practice kit by Seven Academy – Review & Giveaway



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What we love…

app that teaches handwriting, letter identification via games that meets Common Core Standards

What we’d love to see…

ability to add your photo to the locker, ability to unlock all activities at the start. Some were hard and I wished he didn’t have to master them before moving on.

Summary

Great app that teaches letter recognition, ability to write your own name using a variety of fun interactive games as well as your friends.  The app is engaging to children and helps with foundation skills that are very important in late preschool and early elementary school.

Our Rating

 

Name Play by Seven Academy is an app that targets preschool aged children on iOS to teach them a variety of reading and writing exercises through play.  There are eight games in all that teach items like how to spell your name, or other friends and family, a spelling board (similar to the magnets you would see on a refrigerator), sorting and recycling of your lunchbox after eating, drawing supplies from a pencil box that require you to pick the child’s name from a field of objects, letter tracing,  and more!    The app meets common core early learning standards in the United States and teaches basic phonics and letter sounds as well as fine motor skills like tracking.  The app is certified COPPA compliant as well.

Children can play with either uppercase or lowercase letters and all names are spelled with a capital at the beginning.  There is a parental dashboard where a parent can enter additional names of friends, see the various activities your child has completed as well as pick and choose which games your child can learn with.  As your kids complete each activity more are unlocked and they can decorate their locker and have additional art items and games.  I liked that you could choose the activities as they unlock – my son in particular had trouble controlling the snake so I turned him off.  I also liked how strong the parental gate was – it required a multiplication problem.  My son loved decorating his locker as he mastered the games.

The eight games are:

  • Pencil case – school supplies are scattered on a table and the child has to pick from them to find the ones with the correct name on them.  The name is spelled on the pencil case at the bottom they are putting the supplies into
  • Notebook – this is an area where kids can write their names in lowercase and uppercase letters using a variety of colors.  This shows progression over time as the name becomes neater using a screen capture and you can flip back and forth on pages to see how penmanship and writing has improved.
  • Video game – portable video game console which has children capturing letters to spell out various items
  • Hungry Snake – The user steers the snake to the letters in their name by controlling it
  • Letter Invasion – find the letters that make up your name
  • Magnetic Board – Letters are scattered on the table and they must be placed in the right order to form a child’s name
  • Lunch Box – The child looks within the box and “eats” their lunch.  They must sort the objects into either waste or recycling
  • Safe – Using a color combination the safe can be locked and unlocked where kids can place their objects inside the locker
  • Washing Machine – Children sort items as well as clean them up

In terms of enhancements, it would be nice if you could unlock all the games at the beginning rather than having to complete some of the activities.  My son also wanted to take a picture of himself and put it inside his locker as well.  I’d also like to see some reports about what activities my son completed in the parental dashboard.

Overall, this is a great app that teaches letter recognition, ability to write your own name using a variety of fun interactive games as well as your friends.  The app is engaging to children and helps with foundation skills that are very important in late preschool and early elementary school.



Name Play: a name reading and writing practice kit Name Play: a name reading and writing practice kit by EDOKI ACADEMY

Price: $1.99 USD

With its play environment that reflects that of a school and many personalizable components, Name Play will motivate children to explore 8 reading and writing exercises in comfort and style. Turn off .

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.


Fishing With Grandpa by Fairlady Media – Review & Giveaway



grandpa

What we love…

bright colors, realistic fishing game that incorporates educational elements like counting, spotting the difference, find an object and more

What we’d love to see…

the ability to change the number of puzzle pieces, the ability to tap on the “thought bubble” and have Grandpa tell us what he’s thinking again

Summary

Fun app designed to work on a number of skills with Grandpa that has a wide appeal to the audience.

Our Rating

Fishing With GrandpaFishing with Grandpa by Fairlady Media is an iOS app designed for preschoolers that focuses on a variety of skills including, object identification (find an object from a field), counting (find the groups of x fish) , find the treasure using the crab in the maze, putting together a six piece puzzle, spot the difference (look at the objects and determine which one is different), find everything that matches the description (find all the “green” fish), simple video’s to explain fishing and then the opportunity to pick a lure and cast a line and catch a fish which you reel in.  Once you catch the fish, they are measured and you pick the right number from the measuring tape and then add it to your “collection”.  It practices fine motor skills, early math skills, object identification and more.

This is a fun app designed for late preschool through early elementary school which features positive reinforcement (stars) when you complete an activity correctly.  I liked that it used realistic in showing colors with the fish as well as the action and movement of the app.  The narration is clear and easy to understand with Grandpa speaking in his patient voice telling us, please find x and encouraging kids even if they get the wrong answer.  The colors are bright and fun and help children truly understand what it is like to go fishing.

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In terms of future enhancements, I’d like to see the ability to change the number of puzzle pieces (perhaps range from a four piece puzzle to an eight piece puzzle), the ability to “row” grandpa’s boat as well as if you have trouble finding an object in the field the ability to tap on the “thought bubble” above Grandpa’s Head which currently just says an object like “hook” but it does not repeat if you either tap it or pick the wrong object.  Right now, the wrong object will disappear reducing the field , but it does not see, I want the fishing hook or I want my hat.  I’d also like especially for younger kids who don’t know how to read the ability to see the number of objects they are looking for.   My first grader also commented that he wanted to see an “end” to the maze not just the treasure as it gave him a better way to trace the direction for the crab as well as a spot for him to “sit” in the boat since it is currently filled with Grandpa’s gear.  He also noted, that Grandpa doesn’t have a life jacket – something we talk about a lot as we enjoy water based activities.  Personally, I’d also love to see a frog catching game as that was a fun part of going to the pond for me.

The app features a parental lock which allows the parent to choose which games are included in the app, they range from find the gear to fish groups, mazes, puzzles, reel it in, measurement and more as well as the ability to turn the music on and off.  There is also an advertising section for the other Fairlady Media apps which features a pop up video and advertising, but you can’t click beyond to email or access iTunes without entering in your year of birth.

Overall, this is a fun game aimed at the slightly older preschooler through early elementary aged child. The ability to choose from the ten different games as well as choosing which ones are most appropriate for your child means the app has wide appeal for kids and adults alike.  I even caught myself playing along as I enjoyed watching the video’s about the different fish as well as catching the different fish.  This is a great addition to the Fairlady Media Suite of apps featuring Grandma and Grandpa.  I can’t wait to see what comes next – perhaps a crafting with Grandma app?  Only time will tell!



Fishing With Grandpa Fishing With Grandpa by Fairlady Media

Price: $2.99 USD

Let’s go on a fishing adventure with Grandpa! Grab some gear, play underwater games, choose a lure, cast a line, hook and reel in a fish, and add new fish to your collection! Grandpa needs your help.

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 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.


Curious Letters by Curious Hat -Review



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What we love…

simple, entertaining, and challenging; beautiful fonts, no in-app purchases or external links

What we’d love to see…

a back button on play mode sub menus, multi-user capability

Summary

A challenging yet very entertaining typographical puzzle game for all ages

Our Rating

Curious LettersCurious Letters is a fun typographical puzzle by Curious Hat. In this game, alphanumeric characters are piled up on top of each other. Players must correctly guess which letters and numbers are on the pile and remove them all to win.

There are three game modes. The first one, Fade Away, is the only mode available to play when you first start the game. In Fade Away, letters disappear as players correctly identify them. This is the easiest mode of play because you can take your time to look carefully at the pile and once a letter or number fades away you can clearly see what others are left behind.

iPhone Screenshot 5I am not sure what the criteria is to unlock the next two modes, but they unlocked for me after I reached level 20 on Fade Away. The other two modes are called They Come Back and Race Against Time. In They Come Back, alphanumeric characters disappear when correctly identified, but reappear again after a few seconds, obscuring your view of the remaining characters. Race Against Time is the most difficult mode of play. In this mode, players must finish identifying all the characters correctly before time runs out. What makes this mode even more challenging is that letters do not completely disappear when identified. They simply fade into a lighter shade, so the more letters there are on the pile, the harder it is to see and correctly figure them all out.

 

 

iPhone Screenshot 1Curious Letters includes 30 beautiful fonts. There are three readily available in the beginning. A new font is unlocked after repeatedly beating your highest score three times in a row. Currently, you can unlock only 7 fonts. The remaining fonts will be available to unlock on the next update

There are a couple things I would also like to see in future updates. I would like to have a back button on the sub menu (after a game mode is chosen) so that if players change their mind, they can easily go back to the main menu and choose a different game mode. I would also like to be able to create player accounts so that children with multiple siblings can play their own game and perhaps challenge each other to beat their scores.

My children and I really enjoyed this game and continue to play it even after already successfully unlocking all currently available fonts. It contains no external links so it is completely safe for any child to use. I don’t keep a lot of games on my iPhone, but I am definitely keeping this one because it is a great game to play when you need something entertaining to pass the time. If you like puzzles, this is definitely something worth checking out.

Curious Letters – Curious Hat

Curious Letters Curious Letters by Curious Hat

Price: $0.99 USD

Now available on Apple TV!

A visual puzzle for all ages about curiously overlapping letters and beautiful typography!

Find out which letters hide under the mixed stack.
Choose among many.

 

Fides and her husband have been married for 16 years. They homeschool their 4 children: two amazing sons and two beautiful daughters. Fides likes to walk and jog outdoors everyday and has as very difficult time resisting a slice of paradise cake.

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