Buildo Museum Sticker Book

Buildo Museum Sticker Book

by JAJDO AB

A childhood memory of mine that I will never forget about was my infatuation with collecting stickers and storing them in a peel and seal photo album.  Stickers for Applicable2U was like collecting postcards from family vacations that we had been on.  Having these sticker books were my pride and joy that I shared with friends and family.  Back then stickers meant one thing only; were they scratch and sniff, fuzzy, or glittery? Today, sticker books mean so much more and JAJDO AB developers have brought back my childhood connection to all Apple devices running iOS 3.2 or later.  Recently launched and is currently free until February 6th, Buildo Museum Sticker Book can encourage children ages 1-9 to build their creative side as they manipulate Cartoon Network like stickers while they visit three imaginary museums. As the creativity develops, parents and/or educators can sit back and watch and observe.  More importantly, they can communicate with their student or child as they ask leading questions on the elements of their story: characters, setting, and a story line.

This concept of sticker book stories began with Buildo Rescue and Buildo History.  The story continues as Buildo Museum is the third book in the series.  Come jump into three virtual museums: a laboratory, art and historical museum.  Before the history can begin, it would important for young fingers to understand how to build and manipulate their creation(s).  Visit the “Mums and Dads’ Zone” in the upper right hand corner of the main menu.  Here storytellers will see how to play with their stickers as they observe the drag, flip, rotate and resize visuals. A note to the developers – might it be possible to click on these “how to play” icons that would allow users to practice each of these motions prior to entering a museum.  Although storytelling and creativity are the key concepts of the application, building and reinforcing ones fine motor skills is also very present.

There are a number of features that Applicable2U likes about this age appropriate app.  It provides users a large library of stickers as it applies to each museum that is chosen.  As the story begins to be built, users will hear unusual sound effects that stickers will make as it is placed into the scenery.  Let the fun begin as your child takes a grand tour of each museum. Visitors can swipe from left to right as they enjoy Buildo Museums panoramic feature. Stickers reside at the top and can be dragged on and off at any point.  To increase the viewing room, the sticker scroll bar at the top can be visible or invisible, simply click the double arrow button in the upper right.  If interested in museum hopping, select the bat icon in the upper left hand corner.  Some stories are a work in progress, so there is no need to panic that your creation needs to be finished on the first visit.  Scenes can be saved and deleted as needed.

Buildo Museum applies to a large age range.  Depending on ones age will determine how this application is used.  Early on, Buildo Museum can be used for simple sticker manipulation and fine motor development.  As children begin to develop their vocabulary, stickers are placed and verbal stories can be shared with parental prompting.  As visitors reach school age, the experience of Buildo Museum changes as they use their improved fine motor skills to alter stickers and to truly tell a story that has a beginning, middle and end. A note to the developers –  to maintain the interest of those older visitors, it might be interesting to add a speech bubble feature. Such a feature could be turned on/off possibly in the “Mums and Dads’ Zone.”  Having such an option could encourage a reading and writing skill of a character’s voice.  As a teacher, it might be interesting to see Buildo Museum used in a large group as the iPad device is connected to a large screen.  Prior to a writing lesson, the teacher could create a scene that is then shared with the whole group.  As the teacher walks through the museum, students could choose one area of the visit and begin storytelling.  Let the creativity, imagination and collaboration begin.

If you are interested in sparking your child or students level of creativity or to encourage writing in a more positive way, then you will want to take advantage of this free app TODAY!!!  To learn more about the Buildo Sticker Series and the JAJDO AB development group, then visit their website here.  Go on a creative and child friendly museum tour as you download Buildo Museum to your iTunes library here.

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Hungry Fish

Hungry Fish

by Motion Math

Come swim along the shores of Wave Reef as you test out your addition skills.  From the developers of Motion Math and Motion Math Zoom, young mathematicians will not be disappointed with their recent addition – Motion Math Hungry Fish.  Designed for all Apple devices running iOS 4.0 or later, this initially free educational app will get your gills wet as your student or child ages 4-12+ feeds their very hungry fish with numbers.  For those educators or parents whose state is now or soon will be following the Common Core Standards, it is important to note that Motion Math games are designed with such standards in mind.  Hungry Fish is applicable to children just learning the concepts of numbers and addition to adults looking to brush up on their brain stimulation. With wonderful graphics, easy to navigate tutorials and playful modes of creativity, users will want to unlock more.  Additional levels can be added to your device through an in app purchase of $3.99 for each of the following: Subtraction and Negatives or purchase the whole fish tank for $6.99.  Luckily, these fish won’t die as quickly as those from the pet store.

Upon entering the application users will want to observe their “fish tank.”  In the bottom right hand corner, users will see four icons: a fish, musical note, trophy and a question mark.  Each of these icons will support and guide the user as they go fishing. If this is your first time playing, users will want to tap the fish icon.  Upon tapping this icon, it would appear that an unlimited amount of fish “users”  can be added to the application.  Through exploration and gaming, users will be able to associate a creatively designed fish of their own to their account. If at any time, the sound effects or music becomes a distraction for students, simply return home and tap the music icon to off.   Based on your successes, the trophy icon will store your high score as it relates to other fish in the sea.  Within the question mark icon, users and parents will find a great deal of resources. With a how to play, a parent guide, and options, each users experience can be customized for them.  In addition, this home tank provides positive reinforcement to those playing, in the bottom left hand corner a very basic reporting system of your points, a multiplier, the number of colors you have unlocked, and how many fins styles your fish can have.  Once your fish has been dropped into the tank, it is time to play.  Play can begin in two ways: tapping the play arrow in the top right hand corner or interactively.  With your fine motor skills, tap and drag your fish across the screen and watch it follow your finger tip.  After a little playtime, it is time to get academically playing, drag your fish up to the play arrow.

Your first experience with Hungry Fish will require you to begin with the introduction.  Here narrators will explain how to play.  Feeding occurs through number recognition and combining numbers to make new sums so as to feed their fish.  Hungry Fish is visually explaining the concept of mental arithmetic as it shows multiple ways to make the same number.  With this free version of Hungry Fish, users will have access to 18 levels of difficulty as they explore the Wave Reef.  Levels of difficulty can range from simple number matching, to faster gameplay, to even challenging for the most math savvy individual.  Regardless of which level you choose to play, your goal is to feed your starving fish.  In the tank, you will see your fish will have a number on it, it is your goal to drag and drop a floating bubble of that same number into your fishes mouth.  At times, there are no bubbles with the exact number and it is now time to do a little combining.  If combining is required, then you must overlap bubbles to form a new numbered bubble.  It is important to note that your fish only likes to eat one bubble at a time, it’s matching number on its stomach. As you strategize combinations, don’t panic if you accidentally combine the wrong number, the surrounding sea life will blow out new bubbles so that you can fix your mistake.  Luckily no time will be eliminated from your score, however, with every mistake or lack of feeding, your fish will get smaller. No person or even fish likes to starve.

Overall, Applicable2U would give Hungry Fish two thumbs up! From the standpoint of a teacher, knowing that my students can actively be meeting the Common Core Standards in math at a variety of grade levels in one app is worth the download.  Yes, there is an added expense to extend the learning with subtraction and negatives, but for $6.99, it seems rather minimal.  Seeing my own addiction to it, I can only imagine how my students might feel.  If you would like to learn more about Motion Math, please visit their website here.  To begin feeding your virtual fish today, access Hungry Fish in your iTunes library by simply click here.  You will not be disappointed!

Faces iMake – Right Brain Creativity

Faces iMake – Right Brain Creativity

By iMagine machine LLC

As a learner what strategies work best for you? Are you left or right brained?  At this point are you wondering what that means?  If you are left brained then you like talking and writing, you are a planned and structured person and tend to control your feelings.  If however you are a right brain individual then you are spontaneous, prefer drawing and manipulating and respond well to demonstrated instructions.  iMagine Machine creator of Faces iMake have your hemispheric dominance, right or left brained, literally in the palm of your hands as you explore your creativity via your iPad device running iOS4.2 or later.  The creative juices of this application was developed alongside renowned artist, educator and author, Hanoch Piven. Faces iMake integrates a creative style of art as it entangles various benchmark assessments necessary for elementary students.  It explores various elements and principals of design: color, line, shape and space.

As we explored this multi-purpose application, we were intrigued to see in their About, a word cloud, Wordle describing what Faces iMake is capable of doing for your child(ren) or students.  iMagine machine describes this application as mind opening, original, social and provides the user an opportunity to try things.  It is an application that meets a child’s multiple intelligences.  To get started, users might find it helpful to explore the five pre-installed lessons.  Begin to develop your 21st century skills as you think outside the box.  Amazingly, Faces iMake has no right or wrong answers, it’s all about expanding your imagination.  Immediately, users will notice the various toolbars that can appear and disappear as needed.  Whether you are right or left brained, users may need some inspiration.  Click the “gallery” button and a sampling of twelve pieces of art are there to spark whichever side of your brain.  As you create, “bebop”  to the default application sounds or link to your own music.  Simply click the “plus” sign and your library of music will appear.  It is preloaded with a large library of clipart in such categories as: candy, toys, food and base templates.   In addition, users can incorporate their own objects by using the device’s camera.  Use those images already in your iPhoto library or shoot now.  The opportunities are endless.

No matter where you piece of art comes from, it can be manipulated in a variety of ways. As art is dropped onto the green canvas, users will immediately notice a dotted circle and a new toolbar.  Images can be cloned, locked in place, reversed, stacked, deleted and rotated.  Users will be manipulating and developing their fine motor skills as they make tapping movements like pinching, expanding and dragging.  As you imagine, build, giggle and smile, your artist does not have to be finished just yet.  Creations can be saved and shared to your iPad, emailed or posted to a Facebook account.  If however you want to take it one step further, share it via Tap2print.  Tap2print will turn your creation into a puzzle that can be purchased.  The artist inside you can now be manipulated in a whole new way.  An artist does not have to have a paint brush in their hand.  Art is taught in a variety of ways and Faces iMake is making that possible.  As a parent and educator, Applicable2U is impressed with the educational possibilities that this application has to offer.  Whatever  your child or student “imakes” it can then be integrated with a creative writing piece, thus stimulating those left brained students.

As we tried new things with this application, Applicable2U would definitely give it two thumbs up!  This is an application that does not focus on a particular age group, it’s for all to enjoy and learn from.  If you would like to learn more about iMagine machine, please visit their website here.  What faces do you make?  Put them to art today by downloading Faces iMake HD to your iTunes library today.

Billy and the Snowman HD

Billy and the Snowman HD

by wotnot

This time of the year is one of my favorites.  There are so many traditions that families partake in.  It’s also that time of the year when your nightly routine includes reading classical holiday stories.  What favorites are on your list or mobile device?  Recently introduced to Wotnot of  Ever After Productions, Applicable2U chose to download and read their interactive book called Billy and the Snowman HD on this chilly December evening. It is an original story written by Chris Ventress and Gina Draz.  Immediately you are introduced to an adorable main character and his big blue eyes, Billy, who learns an amazing lesson about the meaning of giving to others. It’s a Christmas tale that gives their readers the feeling of a paperback holiday activity book full of  two dimensional graphics, a great deal of interactivity, a variety of sound effects and animation.  As Billy prepares for an exciting holiday season, he can’t wait to explore the outdoors as he has a snowball fight and builds a snowman.

Billy and the Snowman HD incorporates a number of features within this interactive book that will appeal to many.  Like most interactive books, it includes three reading modes: Read to Me, Read by Myself, and Auto Play.  With navigation arrows and home buttons, the littlest of fingers will be able to navigate from page to page.  As the narrator reads, those listening can use the magic of their finger to bring each page to life.  As your child(ren) explore this magical world of reading, they will be stunned as what will be unveiled.  As you, the narrator or  parent/teacher reads,  be on the look out for a red present button.  This unknown gift  feature will unlock a “short reading break” as the reader virtually builds a snowman and decorates their very own Christmas tree.  A thought for the developers – it might be interesting in a future update to include building a gingerbread cookie when Billy’s mom is in the kitchen rolling out her dough?  In addition, a nice feature that most parents and teachers like to see in interactive books is the option to turn highlighted words on/off.

Some might say that Billy and the Snowman HD  initially appears to be a Christmas story, however, it is so much more.   It is a book that can be read with a parent and yes, even within a classroom setting.  From the point of view of both a parent and a teacher, Applicable2U was pleasantly surprised to see the connection to the classroom that Billy and the Snowman HD could offer.  Simply connect your iPad device to your computer which is then launched on a larger screen, read aloud time will suddenly change as it steps into the technology world.  Throughout the story, parents and educators can ask comprehension questions, brainstorm predictions of what will happen next, and listen for various rhymes on each page.  Those rhyming words heard can become apart of a larger word wall.

This is the time of the year that we attempt to teach our students or children compassion towards others, to appreciate what  they have.  Initially, Billy is like most children, however, with one simple activity, building a snowman, he realizes something more important.  With only days left till Christmas and many other religious holidays, Applicable2U definitely gives Billy and the Snowman HD two thumbs up!! If you would like to learn more about Ever After Productions, please visit their website here.  During tomorrow’s Holiday App Friday which is hosted by Moms With Apps, Billy and the Snowman HD will be specially priced.  Be sure to visit Moms With Apps by clicking here.  If you miss this offer, don’t panic, you can still download it to your iTunes library by clicking here.

 

The Scariest Halloween Story Ever!

The Scariest Halloween Story Ever!

by 3CD

When my 5 year old son saw the candy corn icon on my iPad desktop several weeks ago, he was so excited to see what it was all about, until he heard the title, The Scariest Halloween Story Ever.  You could see by the look on his face that there was some uncertainty as to whether or not he wanted to proceed with our normal nightly reading routine.  An interactive book that tells an adorable story which is narrated by none other than, Candy Corn Man.  When reading users will be able to interact with each page in a variety of creative ways.  That initial sense of scariness will suddenly turn into belly laughs that you so love to hear from a child.

For Applicable2U, The Scariest Halloween Story Ever is definitely on the top of our Halloween story list.  Candy Corn Man is cleverly draw as he is equipped with oven mitts, a mask and a candy corn emblem on his chest.  It is his job to protect those reading this 3D like interactive book from the scariest things ever.  It is a Halloween story like no other.  Navigate each page with a simple click of what else, a candy corn.  Interested in rereading a page, with a quick flip of the candy corn, readers can now go back to a particular page.  The laughter, smiles and enjoyment can continue on.  Like other interactive books, 3CD did include the options of setting narration and sound effects to on/off, however, this is a book that truly makes it with these options set to ON!  Prior to beginning our review, we asked our trick or treater what his favorite part was.  Hands down, the ability to click on a drawing of YOU that suddenly looses an article of clothing.   With interactive features like a spotlight, throwing meatballs, chalk drawing, amazing sound effects and so much more, the Halloween spirit will certainly be felt from beginning to end.  Overall, The Scariest Halloween Story Ever offers a different approach to storytelling with your child selecting options of how one should proceed or not.

Although Halloween has passed, The Scariest Halloween Story Ever is one that your little one would love to hear no matter what time of the year it is.  If you would like to learn more about 3CD and the other educational apps that they have to offer, please visit their website here.  If your son/daughter loves super heroes, then why not add Candy Corn Man to your iTunes library repertoire.  Click here to begin downloading The Scariest Halloween Story Ever to your iPad