Archive for the 'apps' Category

Feb 09 2012

OFA: Several apps…

Published by under 2-3 yrs,apps

Disclaimer: I am not paid by iTunes/developers for the reviews. This is my personal opinion and is meant as a reference for friends and families when they go a-searching for apps for their kids.

OFA = our favourite apps. :)  Am getting lazy… :P So I’ll just consolidate a few here to share.

Name: Toy Story Read-Along
Age: 2+ years
Cost: Free!

I never reject a freebie. And it helps that the girl’s gradually being introduced to Toy Story by her favourite cousins who get Toy Story birthday cakes and bring their Toy Story life-sized toys around wherever they go. With that, she could go through the whole app book now, which highlights each word as the narrator reads it, screaming out the characters by name as each of them appears. :)

What’s good? This story is EXACTLY like the real story. Real characters… real voice-overs… So now my girl interchanges between watching the Toy Story movie and reading this app book. Oh, and carrying the Alien toys (gifts from her favourite aunt) around the house. :)

Name: Grimm’s Red Riding Hood
Age: 3+ years
Cost: Free! (limited time)

From the same developers as Rapunzel (shared here previously), Grimm’s Red Riding Hood 3D Interactive Pop-up Book is now free! Same idea – a pop-up book where there are pages where you can help to tidy up Red’s room by dragging toys off the floor into the box, or helping Red pack food and vege into the basket to bring to Grandma’s house, or even point out the Big Bad Wolf’s big eyes, big ears, sharp teeth etc.

Like Rapunzel, this app is a little too advance for my girl who’d skip all the wordy pages (as expected) and go to the pictorial pages to do the various activities. But I’ll give her time. :) Someday, she’ll grow to like this app cos she really likes the story (thanks to her memory of participating in an interactive story-telling session in Sentosa).

Name: Elmo Loves ABCs for iPad
Age: 2+ years
Cost: $4.99 (Free LITE version available)

Downloaded this app long long ago… And a chat with Kat made me realise I haven’t updated the latest app version, nor shared it on… But I must cos it’s up there amongst the top of my favourite app list! Tried the lite version for a while and paid for the full version cos it’s…

  • Educational – Choose an alphabet, trace the capital and small letters, and then see items that begin with it. Oh, and get a Sesame Street song all about it too!
  • Engaging – Who doesn’t like Elmo? If there’s a school that has a teacher all dressed up and teaching like Elmo, I’d send my girl there cos she absorbs EVERYTHING Elmo says…
  • Fun – The songs are super happening. Puzzles and colouring..

And I just realised there are new features where I get to upload my own items to introduce to my girl! Maybe now she can learn that Mama starts with the letter ‘M’ and Papa starts with the letter ‘P’?!!  :P

Name: Super Why!
Age: 5 years
Cost: $2.99

Downloaded this for my girl cos there was this point in time where she was TOTALLY CRAZY about the video series. Thought she’d be interested in their app… And it’s a good app too! Teaching:

  • Letters identification
  • Letters tracing and their sound
  • Rhyming
  • Story telling by completing sentences

Alas, this app is too advance for my little 2+ year old. But I am keeping it cos it’s probably going to be a favourite once she starts being able to read. :)

Enjoy!


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Jan 07 2012

OFA: Miss Spider’s Tea Party

Published by under 2-3 yrs,apps,lobangs

Disclaimer: I am not paid by iTunes/developers for the reviews. This is my personal opinion and is meant as a reference for friends and families when they go a-searching for apps for their kids.

OFA = our favourite apps. :)

 

Name: Miss Spider’s Tea Party
Age: 3 years
Cost: FREE!! (for now)

Downloaded this app some weeks ago… And now it’s FREE?!?! Sigh, I guess I’m not destined for good deals… but good time to share with friends and family now for your kids to enjoy. :)

After my daughter’s usage for about a month, I noticed this is one of her MUST-GO apps now. At least once a day – though it could just be because it’s still on her “NEWEST” list. As for myself, I like it for:

  • Nice rhyming story about how a spider goes around looking for friends patiently.
  • Animation video of the same story for the little ones who can’t read yet and prefer a nice movie.
  • Games/activities for the bored ones to play, which includes (1) Matching Pairs, (2) Jig-saw Puzzles, and (3) Painting Pictures

The only thing I have against this story is… spiders and insects… they can’t REALLY be friends right?

Oh well, as long as my girl likes it and gives me some free time now and then, as well as the app acting as a great feeding time distraction, I’d say it’s a good app! :P You guys, enjoy the free app!

About the story: Miss Spider is hosting a tea party—but nobuggy will come! What’s an eight-legged lady to do? Find out in this lovely tale of a spider’s gentle and rewarding search for friends, told in verse, which can also be read as a counting book.


One response so far

Dec 25 2011

OFA: Grimm’s Rapunzel 3D Interactive Book

Published by under 2-3 yrs,apps,lobangs

Disclaimer: I am not paid by iTunes/developers for the reviews. This is my personal opinion and is meant as a reference for friends and families when they go a-searching for apps for their kids.

OFA = our favourite apps. :)

Name: Grimm’s Rapunzel ~ 3D Interactive Pop-up Book
Age: 3 years
Cost: FREE!! (until 2nd Jan 2012)



This app came highly recommended by another friend so I paid good money for it… maybe $3? Now that it’s free for the holidays, I’m going to tell the rest of my friends to get it!

The story is actually a little too advanced for my girl. Too wordy on some pages… But the graphics is gorgeous and in between pages of the story-telling, there are 3D activities for the girl to do. Like (1) plant the seeds and water the soil to see the flowers grow… (2) pluck the flowers and put them in a basket… (3) feed the baby milk and rock him to sleep… etc.

Not my girl’s absolute favourite… but she does go to it every now and then still. She’s probably still a little too young for this… But since it’s free now, why not just get it? I mean, even if they don’t like it now… they could always revisit the app a year or two later… Afterall, who wouldn’t want a freebie. :)


7 responses so far

Dec 14 2011

OFA: Another Monster at the End of this Book

Published by under 2-3 yrs,apps

Disclaimer: I am not paid by iTunes/developers for the reviews. This is my personal opinion and is meant as a reference for friends and families when they go a-searching for apps for their kids.

OFA = our favourite apps. :)

 

 

Name: Another Monster at the End of this Book
Age: 2+ years
Cost: $0.99 (limited time offer)

** Limited-time HOLIDAY PRICE good through New Year’s Day  2012**
** Reached #1 in Books! **
** Reached #2 in Top iPad Apps! **

If you had liked the original starring Grover (reviewed here), this is the sequel starring BOTH Grover and Elmo.

As per the original, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. My girl sat through it by herself, getting through the tasks with some help initially cos it was slightly more complex than the first. But after the first reading, she sat through it by herself… again… and again… and again… (and I had time to facebook :P )

Just the first day, and I think she has made the 99 cents totally worth it. :)

P/S… WL said it’s Grover who encouraged the girl to be the mischievous little imp (his exact words: “捣蛋鬼”) that she is. But honestly, who can resist that infectious laughter that comes out of that imp’s mouth when she goes tearing down Grover’s brick wall. :)


One response so far

Nov 12 2011

OFA: Mermaid

Published by under 2-3 yrs,apps

Disclaimer: I am not paid by iTunes/developers for the reviews. This is my personal opinion and is meant as a reference for friends and families when they go a-searching for apps for their kids.

OFA = our favourite apps. :)

Name: Mermaid
Age: 3+ years
Cost: FREE! (for their launch promotion)

Found another gem. Suitable for preschoolers…. and good thing is, it’s FREE!

So the game goes that we join two kids as they progress through a path filled with mainly maths games with the aim to rescue sea creatures. Although it’s said to be optimised for kids 4-5 years old, my little 2-year old enjoys the app very much! Her favourite has to be feeding the stickers to the Hungry Monster… :P and finding the ice-balls where she ONLY clicks on the number requested for, and avoid the other distractions.

That didn’t work too well for her initially who went tap-a-tap-tap EVERYTHING on screen but she got the hang of it after a while. It makes the mommy so happy to see her finally listening well to instructions rather than rushing headfirst into EVERYTHING. :D

The “More versus Less” and the “Sort from Biggest to Smallest” part of it still needs some working on… but I’m sure she’ll figure it out someday. :)

So the app features:

* 4 educational mini-games designed & optimized for preschoolers (check out screenshots below!)
* 10 story clips that are professionally narrated
* 30+ story characters to be discovered in the adventure!
* Interactive stickers & magic hotspots to entertain your child (hot tip: watch out for the “Hungry Fish”!)
* Multiple levels of difficulty to suit your child’s learning strengths
* Progress reporting for parents

And what I love the most?

* NO ADVERTISING
* NO IN-APP PURCHASES

Haha… perfect. I don’t have to worry about my girl accidentally pressing some ads and exiting the game to the app store. :)


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Oct 05 2011

OFA: Monkey Preschool Lunchbox

Published by under 2-3 yrs,apps

Disclaimer: I am not paid by iTunes/developers for the reviews. This is my personal opinion and is meant as a reference for friends and families when they go a-searching for apps for their kids.

OFA = our favourite apps. :)
Monkey Preschool Lunchbox

Name: Monkey Preschool Lunchbox
Age: 2+ years
Cost: $0.99

My latest purchase, one week old, and I’m already loving it. The first time my girl activated the app, she was excited and engrossed. Then again I guess all new apps does that to her. But the good thing was she stayed with the app for more than an hour at the very first use! That meant something because usually when she doesn’t get the point of the game / app, she’ll close it and go back to her videos.

*HURRAY*

So the lowdown… It teaches:

  1. Colours: My girl knows her colours already. But this one teaches her to listen to instructions! How many of your kids actually listen to instructions “Pick out the red fruits”? … Ok, maybe yours did but not mine. She’d just poke EVERYTHING on screen before listening. But with this app, I finally got her to wait and listen! Maybe cos the monkey is really so CUUUTTTEEEEE….
  2. Matching: Gosh… I had a battle with her on this. Refer to #1 above. She’ll poke EVERYTHING on screen without thinking. So to her, the purpose of this was to just flip the cards open and close and open and close. How to get the kid to understand the objective was really to find a pair? … That is, if she understands the concept of pairing. I guess I need more work on this… afterall, this app is only a week old… I have a loooonnngggg way to go.
  3. Counting: Another challenge for me. Yes, my girl can recite to 10. But the actual counting? Not really. I actually think counting should be taught physically, not through electronic means… at least not the basics. So I’m going to let this go and let her poke-poke-poke everything away.
  4. Letters: I love this. Again, she FINALLY listened to instructions and understood when the monkey says “Find the words that start with the letter A”! I have tried teaching her this with homemade or commercial flashcards but they just didn’t work. Just one day with this app and she understood.
  5. Puzzle: Chicken-feet for my girl who mastered Tozzle. :)
  6. Spot the Difference: Again, something I’ve tried to do physically with homemade cards but I can’t really tell whether it was successful. I had like 20 flowers on a A4 page. 19 coloured pink and 1 coloured yellow. I asked her which was different and she pointed correctly. But did she understand the concept of difference? Or was she just pointing out the one who stood out the most? I don’t know. So I hope this app will help reinforce the idea.

And each time she completes a task, the monkey does a little celebratory cheer. She’d turn to me, beam a huge smile and tell me “MONKEY HAPPY!” … :) yes… and mommy’s happy too. :P


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Sep 21 2011

her favourite apps

Published by under 0-2 yrs,activities,apps

after telling a lot of friends what apps my girl loves… and each time digging through my daughter’s iPad and trying to recall which are her favourites, i decided to log it down so next time someone asks me, i’ll just throw them the link to this page. this is what we call E-F-F-I-C-I-E-N-C-Y, right? :)

DSC_1826_2

not in any particular order… our Top Five Apps! remember, my girl got her very own iPad for her first birthday. of course we could start the apps right from the very beginning right?

Peekaboo BarnName: Peekaboo Barn
Age: 0-1 year

Cost: $1.99  (Free lite version available)

If you ask me why? At this age, they are still learning about cause-and-effect. That if i touch something, something else happens. And this app lets you knock on the barn door, which then opens up to an animal! Not just that… the narrator will say the animal’s name, which then makes a sound! This was probably my girl’s first paid app… and we all love it!

Fun and educational… though it was really cuter after she learnt how to imitate the animals’ sounds. :P and she’s still doing it! at her age, she doesn’t realise neighing loudly like a horse on a public bus is really quite embarrassing… :P

Classic Nursery Rhymes Lite featuring Humpty Dumpty

Name: Classic Nursery Rhymes Lite featuring Humpty Dumpty
Age: 1-2 years
Cost: Free!

Who wouldn’t want a free app… especially one that’s really cool! You get to (1) shake Humpty off the wall, (2) put Humpty back together again, and (3) put Humpty back up onto the wall! Quite easily, my girl learnt how to shake the iPad to make Humpty fall down… see Humpty crack apart *whops*… then use her fingers to piece Humpty together in a puzzle… and lastly push Humpty back to sit on top of the wall again.

The puzzle is really easy cos you don’t really have to match the puzzle pieces exactly. As long as you put the pieces near to the puzzle, it just zips into place! Not that we shouldn’t be training them precision, but this at least it teaches them the OBJECTIVE of puzzles right? Which then leads me to the NEXT FAVOURITE APP…

Tozzle - Toddler's favorite puzzle

Name: Tozzle
Age: 1-3 years
Cost: $1.99 (Free lite version available)

Because Humpty Dumpty’s puzzle was so easy (anything is if they are not asking for perfection, isn’t it?), it taught my girl the aim of puzzles -> to put the pieces into the corresponding holes.

So this app was the level-up for her. First you have the easy melissa-and-doug kind – 5 BIG animals into 5 BIG holes. Then it slowly moves on to more and smaller items… the whole 26 letters in the alphabets… and then you see the kid CONSTRUCTING THINGS as the puzzles come into place! This ranks one of my top favourites cos there are just so many puzzles to keep her occupied for so long! And cos the difficulty increases gradually, she just naturally picked up how to finish each puzzle by herself without help!

AlphaBooks

Name: Alphabooks
Age: 1-2 years
Cost: $3.99 (Free lite version available)

I like how this app doesn’t just tell you “A for Airplane”. It carries on to form a sentence with the word “Airplane”, e.g. “the airplane is in the sky.” Nice…. SUPER NICE. So it doesn’t just teach vocab. It adds in sentence construction… prepositions… nouns… questions etc. Who could resist an app that is fun and educational at the same time?!

You know, I had tried to teach my girl the alphabet with some home-printed materials… but before I could get to the letter ‘M’, she has already learnt it from all these apps she’s been playing with. Who said kids shouldn’t play with computers and watch videos before the age of 2?

The Monster at the End of This Book

Name: The Monster at the End of This Book
Age: 1+ year and on

Cost: $3.99

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED by my sister who has 2 kids of her own. Do I then need to wonder whether this would be a good buy?

Yes. Because her kids are the kind who’d sit down and enjoy a story quietly while mine prefers to run… jump… hop… skip… sing… and dance. *sigh* But THIS app really holds her attention! I like that she HAS TO let Grover finish one page first before she can get to the next page (arrow doesn’t appear otherwise). And the drama Grover brings to the story really keeps you captivated right till the end. She loves it. But then again, who doesn’t love Grover. :)

Wow! it’s so fun being a kid in this day and age, isn’t it? actually we have tons of apps… but I can’t be writing a review on all 231 apps we have downloaded. most of them are mainly free cos my mentality then was, why spend money on something that the girl will grow out of very soon? (not to mention a little bit of money saved goes a long way…)

but recently i’ve decided to pay for some good apps cos i’m concerned she’s always hitting the youtube button each time she plays with her ipad. it wouldn’t be so bad if she watches the usual sesame street videos… but she’s been following through the related links and sometimes she gets spoofs which i honestly don’t like. so i hid the youtube button inside a folder (let’s hope she doesn’t find it so fast), and downloaded a few new apps for her. let’s hope we get another few favourites that she’ll play with and make the money spent worthwhile.

pray, share with me what are your favourite apps too so i don’t have to go on a hunt to find the best apps for the girl. :) and for me, i’ll try to add on when i find another winner from the few i’ve just purchased. :)


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