The iMums Favorite Protective Cases for the iPad and iPad mini

The iMums are proud to showcase some of our favorite case reviews that we have done.  Many of these are “durable” cases for your iPad to help keep it child-safe and protected despite any unexpected drops, finger print smudges or other things that your child might do to your iPad.

survivor-ipad-black-1_1

Survivor from Griffin Technology

Are you looking for a child friendly case for your iPad 2 or iPad 3 which meets or exceeds US Department of Defense Standards? Griffin’s Survivor does all that and more. The Survivor features a poly carbonate frame with shock absorbing silicone and a built- in screen protector to ensure your screen doesn’t get scratched, covered with fingerprints or worst case cracked in a fall. There are hinged plugs which seal the dock connector, camera lens, headphone port, volume controls and also a bonus stand for ease of viewing your iPad on a flat surface. Available from Griffin Technology, Amazon.com,  and other retailers. RRP: US$199.99. Read our full review here

apl2-imin1-t8-1Otterbox Defender for iPad Mini from Otterbox

The Otterbox Defender cases are tough protective cases built to withstand drops, bumps and shocks. This is a very well-made case and has 3 layers: an inner hard plastic shell which includes a built-in screen protector, an outer silicone layer and a removable shield/ stand. The multiple layers of the case do a great job of protecting the mini.  It feels rugged enough to protect against bumps and falls and I feel comfortable with my children using the mini in this case. It is not waterproof, there are cutouts over speakers. headphone jacks etc, but otherwise feels like it can take pretty much whatever else your child is likely to throw at it. The outer layer has a slight texture to it that makes it feel nice and “grippy” in your hands, and unlike cases with a smoother cover it doesn’t feel likely to slip out of your hands. Highly recommended when using the iPad Mini with children or in any situation where you want a tough protective case that also looks good and has the added benefits of a built-in stand and screen protector.

Available from Mobile FunAmazon and many other retailers RRP $69.99. Read our full review here

krackenKracken A.M. S. iPad Case by Trident

The Trident Kraken A.M.S. series is Trident’s most protective line of cases.The case comes in 3 pieces and is very easy to assemble.

Inner silicone layer: this just slips on and includes plugs over the mute button, charging and headphone ports. Back cover: this is a hard polycarbonate shell that covers the back of the iPad, it clips on over the silicone layer giving extra strength and protection. it has cut-outs over the various ports and also allows the silicone to be exposed in certain areas so that the case is more “grippy”. Screen cover : the screen cover is attached to a hard plastic rim that covers the front edges of the iPad. This is slightly overlapped by the back cover around the edges of the iPad and the 2 parts of the hard plastic cover clip firmly together.  The rear cutout is where the A.M.S. accessories attach, there is an iPad stand (sold separately) which can attach here and more accessories are planned.

This is great everyday case for use with kids.  Available from Trident, Amazon and many other retailers.  RRP: $35 – 70. Read our full review here

Lifedge iPad case by Lifedge

Lifedge-iPad-2-Case-Pink-Strap-300x248Are you looking for an iPad case that takes whatever life (or your child) throws at it? Then you should check out the Lifedge iPad case. Lifedge’s parent company is Scan Strut a British company that has been designing products for marine electronics for over 25 years, so they have plenty of experience in protecting delicate electronics from the environment. This case was originally designed for use on boats so has a number of features that make it useful in that environment, but also make it great for use with kids. It is totally waterproof, dustproof and it floats. As a parent, drop protection is really important to me, and it performs well there too. The company has tested it by dropping it from 1 meter onto concrete, dropping on all its edges, and both the case and the iPad were unharmed.. Available from: LifeEdge. RRP $ £99 / $155 Read our full review here

GripCase and GripBase by Gripcase USA

gripcase-insideLooking for a lightweight case for your iPad that provides protection, portability, handles and is made of non-toxic materials safe for children?  Meet Gripcase and GripBase  by Gripcase USA this is a protective, lightweight case for your iPad or iPad Mini.

This case allows you to securely click in your iPad using the snug edges to hold it in while providing full access to your ports and allowing you to hold the iPad either via the handles or place it in a secure stand.  The case is made with Eva Foam and is one of the most lightweight and durable cases that I have tested on my iPad.

Speck iGuy Case & Stand

speck_iguy (2)
iGuy is a freestanding case for your iPad 2/3/4 which brings a whole new level of personality to your device.  I loved that you could stand him on the coffee table with your iPad and watch a video, hold him on your lap to play with an app and even have the tactile touches of the case.  The case also worked well for Skype with family as he would stand on the table during the call instead of you having to hold the iPad steady for the camera.

The case is sturdy and easy to balance on your lap while using the iPad.  My son enjoyed carrying around the case using the arms of iGuy – something that made me a little bit nervous but the iPad seemed well protected.

Gumdrop Drop Tech Series by Gumdrop

gumdropGumDrop Drop Tech Series How do you trust your three year old with your iPad? For us, the solution was a Gumdrop  DropTech Series case. This case consists of a screen protector, clamshell plastic case covered by a rubberized “gasket” which goes around the back of the iPad.  The case also has covers over the headphone jack, power button, sound buttons as well as covering the port where you plug in your iPad into the cord for recharging.  The covers allow for easy use, but protect the actual iPad as well.

This case was the one that has the plastic hardshell on the back and an integrated screen protector. Available from Gumdrop and Amazon RRP £45, ships worldwideRead our full review here

Seidio Active iPad Case with Multi Purpose Cover For iPad 2 and 3

41zMZ3k57%2BL. SY300     Review
Seidio Active iPad Case with Multi-Purpose Cover For iPad 2 and 3 is Seidio’s most protective iPad case. It is a 2-layer case with a matching “mounting cover” which can be used to cover the screen when not in use, or used as a stand. The main case comes in 2 parts and is very easy to assemble. First you slip on a black rubber polymer skin, making sure to line up the cutouts with the right places on the iPad. Next you clip on the hard polycarbonate “skeleton”. This cover most of the back of the iPad with fingers going up and covering all 4 corners and the mid-points of the two long sides. It includes a clear window over the Apple logo.  The case is very easy to put on and take off. It’s dual layers feel like it would protect the case pretty well in a fall, and I like that the corners are well protected.  Read our full review.  Available from Amazon for US $30.


Product pricing was correct at the time of publishing this article but is subject to change so check before purchasing. Please check the suppliers website to see if these products are available to your country.

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.


Language Empires by Smarty Ears- Review



Review by Mary Mahon and Suzanne Berhow, SLP
iPad Screenshot 1

What we love…

8 different goals, some with more than one level. Bright, vibrant graphics, rewards that keep students interested and wanting to play. Data collection, up to 5 students per session, unlimited student data tracking

What we’d love to see…

Option to see a report only on goals worked on in the session, or putting all data from one day in one report. Narration of the possible answers.

Summary

Overall, this is a great app with a lot of versatility. We love that each student can work on their own goals, there are different levels of difficulty and that you can selectively target auditory or written comprehension.

Our Rating

Language EmpiresLanguage Empires  was developed by SLPs Barbara Ferandes and Rosie Simms of Smarty Ears. It was developed for elementary school children age  children and has an ancient civilizations theme.  It works on 8 goals: answering how, why, and which questions; inferencing, vocabulary; predicting; figurative language and sequencing. Each student can work on their own individual goals and some goals have 2-3 levels so each student can work at their own level as well! Up to 5 students can play at the same time, each working on  their own unique goals, but the app will track data for an unlimited number of students. Data from the app can also be reviewed on the Smarty Ears Therapy Report Center app.

To play each student is placed on an Empire – each Empire targets different goals, and students can visit more than one Empire in a game, and more than one student an Empire at the same time. Each Empire has 50 questions and there are a total of 400 questions in the app.

iPad Screenshot 2

The Empires:

Sequencing has three levels- sort 3, 4, or 5 items and two types of tasks. Some items sort sequences in an activity. Some sequences sort items by attributes such as hottest to coldest.

image_1

Predicting has three levels- 2,3 or 4 choices.

image_2

Why questions has three levels 2,3, or 4 answer choices.

Which has two levels – 2 or 3 choices.

Inferencing has two levels 2 or 3 choices.

image_5

Figurative language and How only have one level with three choices.

Vocabulary has two levels, both with four choices.

Although it is working on different goals and has a different theme, the app layout is very similar to Syntax City, which we have previously reviewed. For each question a photograph and accompanying short paragraph sets the scene, then the student has to answer a related question by picking from several possible answers. In the default setting the paragraph is both seen and heard, the answer options are only displayed in written form, not narrated; I would like the possible answers to also be narrated. If the student is working on auditory comprehension there is an option to hide the paragraph so they only hear it, not see it. If they are working on written comprehension you can switch off the narration. If a student gives an incorrect answer you can choose for them to hear a buzzer, or for the wrong answer to just silently disappear.

When students get an answer correct on the first attempt they earn a gold coin, once they have earned enough gold coins to master a given category they earn rewards in the shape of treasures from the ancient civilizations, these can be accessed in the student’s profile. The app also offers built-in homework sheets  for each target.

As with all Smarty Ears apps, Language Empire offers detailed data collection. A set of graphs provides immediate visual feedback (colored bars to help students see how well they are doing- green is passed, yellow is developing, red needs work). The data can be emailed, printed, or shared to other compatible applications such as iBooks or Pages.

We would like to see the data for every session in one day put into one report so that you can track all of the different goals in one report for each day while targeting one goal and then going back to target another goal. Not all students are ready to jump from one item to another and back to the first goal in one session. If that is not possible I’d like to see only the goals worked on in each session.

Overall, this is a great app with a lot of versatility. We love that each student can work on their own goals and that there are different levels of difficulty.  The app can also be used to selectively target auditory or written comprehension. Data collection is also a must for the busy SLP, and with Smarty Ears Therapy Report Center App data from all their apps can be collected in one report.

 

If you’d like to download Language Empires, ($24.99, iPad only ) please use this link so they’ll know who sent you:
Full version: Language Empires – Smarty Ears


Language Empires Language Empires by Smarty Ears

Price: $24.99 USD

**Chosen top pick app for educators by Fun Educational Apps**
Greetings from Language Empires! Although we are divided into many kingdoms we are united in helping all learners of language. Each empire.

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

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).

Guest Post: Are Video Games Good for Children with ADHD? It’s Not a Simple Question

Are Video Games Good for Children with ADHD?

It’s Not a Simple Question

 

Child psychologists and pediatricians are often asked by parents if video games are good for children with ADHD. Some evidence suggests that excessive gaming can increase inattention, and parents often observe behavioral problems when children with ADHD are told to stop game play. While these concerns are quite legitimate, they do not suggest that parents should restrict their children with ADHD from video games and other digital media.

The reality of living in a digital world is that the opportunity to engage with screen-based technologies such as video games, television, the Internet, and cell phones will be necessary for children’s participation in their social, educational, and future vocational worlds. Educators refer to the need for “digital literacy,” which includes the capacity to understand digital information; the ability to access information effectively, evaluating, analyzing and using media; and the skill to apply technology as a core 21st century skill that students will need for college and the jobs of the future. So restricting children with ADHD from age-appropriate technologies is probably not a great idea.

From a social standpoint, it is probably helpful for children  with ADHD to have some awareness of popular television shows such as SpongeBob or to know about the latest and most popular video games that kids their age play (or should be allowed to play). The social components of video games, cell phones, and the Internet are a powerful, two-edged sword. Restricting children from age-appropriate technologies may isolate them from communicating in today’s world. However for children with ADHD who may have limited coping skills, such access opens a Pandora’s box to negativity, cyber-bullying, and emotional distress online.

Educationally, video and computer games can be extremely useful tools for learning academic skills such as math and science. On an informal basis, curious kids (and those with ADHD) can learn an incredible amount by going online and pursuing an interest, but can just as easily get distracted, become engaged with inappropriate material, or simply waste their time.

While the question of whether video games are good for children with ADHD is quite complex, there are a few simple guidelines to follow:

1. Set meaningful limits on the amount of time your kids are involved with digital technologies. A rule of thumb for children with ADHD is:

 

Preschoolers – limited and supervised time only

Elementary school students – one to one and a half hours a day, including television time

Middle school students – one and a half to two hours a day, including television and cell-phone time

High school students – two to two and a half hours a day, with negotiation based upon the use of technology for academic needs

 

2. Find out why your child with ADHD loves digital media. Talk to him about what he is doing with technology and how it might help him.

3. Model appropriate technology use so that your child with ADHD observes you having a balance of physical, social, educational, and family activities in your life.

4. Always engage in many other types of family activities that do not involve technology such as exercise, hobbies, playing board games, and being outdoors.

5. Set the expectation that technologies be used in a social fashion, rather than in a solitary manner, so that the majority of your child’s gaming is with other children.

6. Educate yourself about how to choose and use popular technologies at websites such as http://learningworksforkids.com/, which can help you identify the best games and apps to improve executive functions for your child with ADHD.

 

This post was authored by Randy Kulman, Ph.D. who is the President, LearningWorks for Kids.  This post was published in honor of ADHD awareness month.

Founder and President: Dr. Randy Kulman, Ph.D

Dr. Kulman is the founder and president of Learningworks for Kids. He coordinates our team of psychologists, educators, and digital designers in our quest to make video games good for kids. As a licensed clinical child psychologist, Dr. Kulman has been working directly with kids and families for the past 30 years, and has become a leading expert on the use of digital technologies for improving thinking skills in children.

One of Dr. Kulman’s most important roles is to lead our team of psychologists and educators in our ongoing research into game-based learning, the use of digital technologies in helping children with attentional and learning problems, and using videogames for teaching problem solving skills in schools.

Dr. Kulman became interested in the use of videogames for teaching thinking skills through his clinical work with children and families. After listening to hundreds of children and parents reporting how engaged kids were in their video game experiences, he began researching methods by which videogames could be helpful to children, and from there developed the framework for Learningworks for Kids.



Bugs and Buttons 2 by Little Bit Studio – Review



iPhone Screenshot 2

What we love…

18 excellent educational games, high quality graphics and animations

What we’d love to see…

Indicator for earning stamps, skill settings, ability to choose song in Music Match, some type of reward for completing the stamp collection

Summary

An excellent high-quality educational app for pre-school and early elementary aged children worth far more than its cost.

Our Rating

Bugs and Buttons 2 by Little Bit Studio LLC, is an outstanding sequel to the award winning original Bugs and Buttons.  Like its predecessor, Bugs and Buttons 2 has 18 educational, fun-filled games with beautiful graphics and life-like animations covering various skills such as counting, alphabetical order, sorting, gross motor skills, fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, shape recognition, music theory, matching, and finding differences.

My 6 year old tester loved all the games including RC Racing, Bubble Float and Flashlight Find, but her absolute favorite (as well as mine) is Music Match.  In Music Match, children must remember and play a sequence of notes on piano in the order they were presented.  The great thing about this game is that the notes aren’t random but are the notes for children’s songs. Playing this game will not only teach children how to play songs on the piano but also teach them what note corresponds to which keys on the keyboard.

Along with playing games, children will also enjoy collecting stamps.  There are two kinds of stamps to collect: insect stamps and country stamps.  Insect stamps are earned when specific points are met or earned in the game.  There are two insects stamps available collect per game.  Country stamps are acquired when children find Morty, a cute and friendly beetle, hiding in the games.  In order to keep track of where (which game) stamps have been collected from, stickers are displayed in the title headings of each game.  An ant sticker is displayed when an insect stamp is earned and a star with the letter M is displayed when Morty has been found.  At the moment, there is a bug in the game that prevents all 18 country (Morty) stamps to be displayed and counted correctly on the stamp book.  It only shows 17 even if all 18 stamps have been collected.  I contacted the developers about this who responded to me very quickly and assured me that it will be fixed on the next update.

There are several things I would like to see on future updates.  First, there is currently no way of knowing exactly when points have been met to earn stamps.  It would be great to either have this information for the parents in the parent page or have some sort of indicator that shows how many more points are needed to earn a stamp.  Second, I would like to have skill settings.  I have noticed that some games require a higher number of points for stamps than others.  Younger children may not have the attention span long enough for them to earn a stamp.  It would be great if parents  could either select or set the number of points required to earn a stamp.  Third, I would like to be able to choose the song in Music Match.  At this time, a random song comes up each time the game is played.  I would like for my child to keep playing the same song until she has completed it. I would also like to have the songs available on free play, but instead of having them match notes the keys would simply light up for them to follow along.  Finally, I would like to see some kind of animation played or special reward given for completing the stamp collection.

Little Bit Studio LLC has undoubtedly made another award winner.  Bugs and Buttons 2 is an excellent high-quality app whose value far exceeds its cost.  I recommend this without reservations to those with pre-schoolers and early elementary aged children.  It is hands down one of the best apps out there.


Bugs and Buttons 2 Bugs and Buttons 2 by Little Bit Studio, LLC.

Price: $2.99 USD

Bugs and Buttons is back with twice the fun! Bugs and Buttons 2 has 18 more games designed to entertain, teach and inspire. Beautiful, life-like 3D illustrations bring scurrying, fluttering and slithering.


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

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.

Pin It on Pinterest