Dr. Panda Town by Dr. Panda Ltd. – Review

Dr. Panda Town by Dr. Panda Ltd. – Review



iPhone Screenshot 1

What we love…

open ended creative play that helps kids in a variety of community settings use imaginary play skills

What we’d love to see…

a rack for clothing, ability to kick and play with the soccer and basket ball

Summary

Dr. Panda Town is fun and just enough different from other apps on the market which make it enjoyable for my kids to play.   Each of the three areas are fun and have unique content like a water scene inside the park or a picnic or even shopping at the grocery store.

Our Rating

Dr. Panda TownDr. Panda Town by Dr. Panda Ltd is the first free app with in-app purchases or IAP offered by Dr. Panda games.  Dr. Panda was founded in 2012 and has a number of apps available for iOS and Android with great open free play options.  This app includes in-app purchases for a park and a supermarket as well as a home setting.  For purposes of this review, I will review both the park and supermarket settings contained within the app.  The app opens with Dr. Panda pulling up to the town in his yellow car.    If you try to open up the park or supermarket and have not purchased them a parental lock pops up before taking you into the iTunes store which requires you to enter your year of birth.  Of note, I got the app bundle on one device and had to “restore” my purchase on my second device to be able to access each of the three places.  We used language to describe each of the actions which made it great for practicing language.

Inside the house, there is a living room, kitchen with variety of foods as well as the ability to cook and mop the floors.   Upstairs in the home is a bathroom and a kids bedroom. My kids in particular liked the attic where they found treasures like a rocking horse and antique television.   The characters are down at the bottom by the Dr. Panda logo and you can add and move them around within the different portions of the app.  I also liked the recycling in each of the locations as well.  Inside the grocery store reminds me a lot of Dr. Panda Supermarket with items to place inside your basket as well as different items like soap, toothpaste and milk.  When we played, I actually gave my younger son a “picture list” of items for us to place inside the basket prior to checking out.

iPhone Screenshot 4

My toddler also  liked the soccer ball and wanted to “kick” it with the characters – something we couldn’t figure out how to do, we also tried to bring it to the park to play with as well as the basket ball but couldn’t make it work.  We also cooked on the grill outside.  My toddler loved the park – he enjoys going to the park and he loves Dr. Panda Ice Cream so he was delighted to see the ice cream stand in the park.  My son’s favorite part was dispensing each of the candies from the machines as well as eating the cookies.    Inside the park there is a variety of playground toys like a see-saw, slide and even clothing to change into as well as a picnic.    We enjoyed giving dog a ride in the boat – although he needs a life jacket!  Playing in the skate park was fun as well going back and forth.   My toddler loved the animations of the airplane and motorcycle as the characters rode them.

Up in the attic it would be fun if the television played promos for other Dr. Panda apps – right now there are a variety of random images with characters from the app but no real cohesive things shown.  My toddler also wanted to “talk” using the phone which currently just rings and lets you take it off the hook.  My older son asked if we could decorate the treats inside of the supermarket as he is getting older and likes to help me cook — perhaps a baking app might be in the future?  Other enhancements might be using money to put into the slot for the candy or to pay for the vending machine and cafe in the park.  I’d love to see some of the items we make in other Dr. Panda apps incorporated here to give kids a taste of some of the great fun they can have with other apps.  I would also like to see a clothing closet or rack for all of the different outfits to change into – perhaps this could be on the bottom with all of the characters?  My older son also wanted more “healthy” options for the picnic including fruits and veggies so we must be doing something right!

For me, once I tested the house, I knew I wanted more and got the combination of the supermarket and park for $2.99 IAP because my kids hate being locked out of anything.  That makes them all the more determined to use it!  In app purchases are protected with a parental gate which requires your year of birth and then you are pulled to iTunes.

Dr. Panda Town is fun and just enough different from other apps on the market which make it enjoyable for my kids to play.   Each of the three areas are fun and have unique content like a water scene inside the park or a picnic or even shopping at the grocery store.

You can download it free with in-app purchases on Google Play.

Dr. Panda Town
Dr. Panda Town
by Dr. Panda Ltd

Category: 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
Size: 149.51 MB

$FREE

Screenshots
(Click to enlarge)
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 sons and husband. In their spare time, they enjoy playing outside, enjoying nature and of course testing apps and fantastic products on their devices. They have a variety of devices including an iPad, iPhone, and an iPod and is often found with a device! 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.
Building, creating and more – toys for my 3 year old boy

Building, creating and more – toys for my 3 year old boy

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As a mom of two, I always struggle with what the “right” toy is for my three year old son.  Should I get him something that is educational or should I defer to his favorite of cars and trucks and things that go?  We have some older toys from his brother who is now 8 and are among his favorites.  Below are some of our favorite toys for 3 year old boys which I’ve categorized by type.  I also try to get science based toys which fit into the STEM theme as well.

When shopping for a new toy I try to use the following criteria

  • usability – is it a toy that my son will play with once and be done?
  • durability – is the toy durable enough to last through multiple play sessions and not be broken?
  • learning – will my child learn something from the toy – either by reading or creative thinking skills like a puzzle
  • “fun factor creative toys” – will my kids have fun using it even if it creates a mess?
  • imaginary play – does the toy encourage imaginary or role play?

Let's Play House! Dust! Sweep! Mop!My kids love sturdy wooden toys, and I have found Melissa & Doug toys to be a huge hit over the years.  The content of the toys is timeless and typically there is an educational twist to what they are doing.    Plus, sometimes they even help out mom and dad with chores!  I call that a win all around!  My nephew got this cleaning set over the holidays, and it was fun to see my three year old play with it.  Guess what is on his birthday list?!?  I keep hoping he will help me tidy up or at least sweep up the constant messes that he seems to make.

 

 

Big Building Bag (classic) (80 pieces)I also like to look at learning types of toys, especially since I know preschool will be just around the corner.  We regularly work on letter recognition and colors.  In this category I like simple 5-6 piece puzzles, building blocks like Mega Blocks which are easy to stack and sort by color or counting, and even things like arranging them by size.

 

 

 

 

Toys that target imaginary play are important to consider as well.  My son also loves to dress up – so a few costumes might be a good fit here while we learn about different types of “jobs” in the community.  He currently has a dress up costume for a firefighter and construction worker and we have seen lots of great pretend play from these.  He also loves cooking in the kitchen, I like to present all types of foods for his play kitchen beyond the traditional meat and potatoes to include vegetables.  This tote from Learning Resources has a variety of fresh fruits and vegtables which then we use to talk about why we need to eat our veggies at dinner – which are unfortunatley not a favorite!  I love watching my son cook – and he’s now even more intersted in helping me prepare healthy snacks like carrots and apple slices.

 

 

 

VTech   Call & Chat Learning PhoneAs a tech mom, I also like to look at “tech toys”.  We introduced a tablet to my younger son at the age of 2.5 – earlier than I would have liked, but we limit #screentime and try to ensure we balance out learning in other ways.  We also have had fun getting toys like a pretend remote control which helps him work on numbers and colors.  He has an “old school” flip phone that he pretends to call me on from daycare on occasion which is fun as well.  When using the iPad I try to limit him to educational type stories or learning type apps.  We also love listening to music on the iPad and getting up to dance.  Be sure to check out our app reviews here at The iMums for some great apps to add to your device.  We also have some great tech toy reviews as well including a Bluebee Pal named Hudson that my son adores who reads stories to him from books on our iPad.

 

My son loves all things that move and go.  Little People are among his favorites.  He likes to intermix the Little People along with farm animals so it can make for some pretty creative combinations when he is playing.  By far his favorite though is his racetrack.  We practice patience – using the “on your mark, get set, go” as well as turn taking skills when he plays with other kids.  Most of the time, if my son is given the choice of toys to play with he will almost always choose something that can go.  He enjoys a variety of cars, trucks, and construction vehicles.  This year, I know I am looking at some Tonka Trucks he will be able to play with outside as well as a few of the lights & sounds trucks which are among his friends favorites.

 

 

 

6 Count Washable FingerpaintLast but not least are the “fun factor toys”.  Many of these toys fit into the “messy” category and include things like paints, bath toys and more.  We use crayons, markers, finger paints, chalk to make fun art related creations.  The most important piece here for me is a smock, and then we can move on to good “clean” fun!   Kids learn and practice so many skills when doing artwork like grasp as well as figuring out spacing on a page.  These may not be my favorites given the mess factor but I do love all of the artwork they create.

 

 

 

No matter what you choose, your three year old will love it.  My son loves sitting with me and playing toys no matter what the day.  Seeing him have enjoyment during play on his face – is simply priceless!

 

NOTE: This post is a partnership with Nakturnal.  The links in this post may contain affiliate links where The iMums will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on our link, this helps to support the costs of running this site and we appreciate your support.

 

Alison, the American iMum is from Massachusetts. She lives there with her sons and husband. In their spare time, they enjoy playing outside, enjoying nature and of course testing apps and fantastic products on their devices. They have a variety of devices including an iPad, iPhone, and an iPod and is often found with a device! 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.
Sago Sago Toys Mini Plush Gift Pack by Sago Sago- Review

Sago Sago Toys Mini Plush Gift Pack by Sago Sago- Review

sago

What we love…

soft toddler friendly toys that bring apps to life and encourage imaginative play.

What we’d love to see…

Crayons and markers to decorate the outside of the box

Summary

Fun toddler and preschool safe toys with no eyes that allow you to have imaginary play.

Our Rating

 

recommended-by-the-imums

Bring your apps to life with soft cuddly toys from Sago Sago!  These 6 in plush toys feature Harvey the Dog, Jinja the Cat, Robin the Bird, and Jack the Rabbit and are the animals featured in apps.  They are soft and fun for toddlers and preschoolers – even my first grader liked seeing the toys bring the apps to life!  The animals have no “eyes” or items that can be pulled off which makes them toddler safe and means you don’t have to worry about them going in your child’s mouth.

My toddler was fascinated with the box – he loved opening and shutting the cardboard door and playing with the toys when it arrived.  My older son decided to decorate it for him with markers and crayons.  The animals are soft and easily cleanable.  The directions state you can use cold water, but I also used baby wipes with lots of success after a spill of juice on the dog.   We also used them to name the different animals and colors as well as the sounds they made which was great for receptive and expressive language!

In terms of improvements, including coloring pages, or crayons or makers inside the box would be great. My kids both knew about Sago Sago and I had one of the apps on my iPad when they arrived. There are hang tags which give you a code for a free Sago Mini Friends app which you can install on your device.  There was no advertising of the apps inside the box, and another child might not have made that connection.  My older son also wanted to see crayons or markers inside the box so he could begin his decorating right away!

Overall, these are fun plush toys that will bring your kids hours of fun – my kids loved playing with them and going in and out of the house.

 

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.

Alison, the American iMum is from Massachusetts. She lives there with her sons and husband. In their spare time, they enjoy playing outside, enjoying nature and of course testing apps and fantastic products on their devices. They have a variety of devices including an iPad, iPhone, and an iPod and is often found with a device! 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.
Pet Portrait Studio Magnetic Playset by Build & Imagine- Review

Pet Portrait Studio Magnetic Playset by Build & Imagine- Review

Build-Imagine_Pet_portrait_bath_closeup_WEB

What we love…

Bright, colorful, sturdy magnetic panel and wood dolls encourage open-ended play in creating both the physical toy and storytelling with the characters.

What we’d love to see…

A storage bag for the magnetic accessories

Summary

The Pet Portrait Studio Magnetic Playset by Build & Imagine is a great toy to encourage children to  both build and use their imagination.

recommended-by-the-imums

My daughter is great at imaginary play – her dolls are always talking away to each other, her twin brother on the other hand loves to build. I love to find toys for them that work for them to play together and that encourage her to build and him to exercise his imagination. Build & Imagine, make a series of toys that encourage children to do just that – first they get to build with the magnetic playset, then use it for storytelling and imaginative play. I recently tested out one of their newest playsets- the Pet Portrait Studio.

The set comes with 10 magnetic panels- 6 square, 2 right-angle triangles and 2 isosceles triangles. Each panel is double sided with different designs on each side. The panels can be put together in any configuration the child likes to create a StoryWall which acts as backdrop for imaginary play. They can use all the panels or just a few, create a one story building or multi-story. The square panels have pictures of indoor and outdoor scenes on them including an art studio, a grooming salon, a darkroom and a photography studio. There is no right or wrong way to put them together, each time they play  children can create different combinations.

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Once they have built their StoryWall the child gets to add characters to the story. The set comes with 2 wooden dress-up dolls, a boy and a girl, and 4 wooden pets- 2 dogs and 2 cats. There are lots of magnetic accessories too. As well as using the accessories to dress the pets and animals the child can also use them to decorate their studio- each panel has a star on one side of it, and the magnets will stick to the starred surfaces. The accessories include clothes, a pet bed, leash, grooming and art supplies. There are also lots more magnetic pets that can stick to the walls- including dogs, a bunny, a snake, a lizard and a toucan.

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With all the different animals and pet-themed rooms and accessories this set is great for creating stories about pets.

The magnetic panels and stand up wooden dolls seem sturdy and well-made and are very bright and colorful. I found that a few of the accessories, such as the artist palette and grooming brush, that were designed to stick near the edge of a doll were a little tricky to keep in place. However, the magnets stuck very well to the panels and bodies of the animals and dolls. The one criticism I have is that its easy to lose all the small magnetic pieces so I’d like to see a storage bag included. A nice feature is that all the different play sets can be used together so if you own more than 1 Build & Imagine set you can create even more play possibilities. I would love to also see more magnetic accessory sets sold as an add on item.

 

Overall, the Pet Portrait Studio Magnetic Playset by Build & Imagine is a great toy to encourage children to  both build and use their imagination. They use their left brain to build the backdrop and their right brain in acting out imaginary stories. I like that it is something that will appeal to both my son and daughter and that they can play with together.

Designed for ages 4+ (and not suitable for younger children due to small pieces), this is a toy my 8 year olds still enjoy.

Available from Build & Imagine, Amazon & specialty retailers. Price: $49.99

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).

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