Simple Sort: Continents

Simple Sort: Continents

by Kids and Beyond

How many people can say that they went to the library, learned a wide range of geographical facts, played and had fun while doing so?  Probably not too many.  However, all of those things can take place in the palm of your hands as you explore Simple Sort: Continents by Kids and Beyond on your iPad device running iOS 5.0 or later.  With multiple learning and play modes, Simple Sort: Continents will have your child continent hopping and as Kids and Beyond states giving your child “a whole new global perspective.”  With professional narration, detailed and colorful graphics, young learners will be building what we like to call their “knowledge filing system” with animal species, man-made wonders, various landforms, rivers and vegetation of the seven continents of the world.  In building this knowledge filing system, users will have the know with all to guide Ms. Clever Cloud.  The Clever Cloud family need to do some major fact clean up, but they need your child’s help.

As you enter this educational app, flip the page of this virtual encyclopedia in order to get started.  Immediately, young learners are presented with a choice: Visit the Library or Play Game.  Which direction will your explorer take?  Regardless of which direction is taken, users will be supported along the way through voice over explanations and descriptions of each geography fact.  However, like any research of new topics, it might be best to begin in the library.

The library is broken into seven colorful books, each representing a continent.  To enter the library, simply tap a colored book, its continent name will be announced as it opens to the table of contents.  On the left side of the page, users will see a map of what that continent looks like.  In addition, on the right side of the page, users will have varying amounts of chapters to review, some books have more chapters than others.  Chapters can be read in any particular order and can be revisited at anytime.  Upon entering a chapter, users will read and listen to quick snippets of information based on that chapter.  Whether your child is just learning to read or already knows how, facts can be read to them or by them.  Unlike a typical encyclopedia, this virtual book does not present information in an overwhelming manner.  With only a few sentences and an image to showcase the new fact, users will be on their way to increasing their knowledge filing system.  A note to the developers – might it be possible when an explorer taps the recorded reading that the sentence also highlights the words as it is read.  In addition, we wonder if it might be possible to tap on a sentences coordinating image which would then enlarge center screen to provide users a closer look.  Whether you are a parent or an educator (in a school or at home), this virtual library provides children a great introduction to those standards being met in the classroom like knowing the five themes of geography as it relates to various regions and being able to describe the diverse nature of our world.

Close the book and put your knowledge to the test.  Help Ms. Clever Cloud sort out the continent facts into its correct bucket.  Upon choosing the “play game” mode, users will have two options, to play and sort with or without a timer.  The green button indicates that this will be an untimed exploration.  While the yellow clock button indicates that your game will be timed.  Simply choose as few as 2 continent buckets or as many as 6.  When your child has chosen as many continent buckets as they feel confident in, simply click the green button to begin.  Whether you choose to play timed or untimed, developers have included support along the way.  At the top of the screen, users will find labeled continent buckets.  Underneath will be familiar graphics that users came in contact while visiting the library.  Simply drag and drop each; landforms, animals, rivers or vegetation to its correct bucket.  Concerned that your child may have forget what something is.  Not to worry! Developers have included a recall feature.  For this feature to be present, simply use either a single or double tap on a graphic.  A single tap will announce what the graphic is, whereas a double tap will announce both its name and fact.  For those sorting with a timer, high scores are stored within the application and calculated based on the number of buckets played.

Once your child successfully sorts items, players will be presented with a world map and which have red blinking dots on it.  These red dots will indicate where in each continent geographic landforms, rivers, animals and vegetation can be found.  A nice added touch which helps children to make further academic connections. A note to the developers – we noticed when selecting buckets that one area was missing.  Was Antarctica missing due to its limited amount of information provided in the library?  In a future update will more information be provided on this location or any other?

Overall, Applicable2U was really pleased with Simple Sort: Continents.  For those just entering school, it’s a great way to learn and travel the world without leaving the comfort of their home. In addition, it also provides an added reinforcement of social studies skills learned for our older elementary students.  To learn more about our friends at Kids and Beyond, please visit their website here.  To begin exploring the continents of the world and to help Ms. Clever Cloud sort unknown facts, then begin downloading Simple Sort: Continents to your iPad device for a meer .99¢ today!

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The Pirate’s Treasure

The Pirate’s Treasure – A Memory Game
   by Wombi

It must be a pirates weekend as this is our second review of an interactive pirate app.  With Halloween just around the corner, taking on the role of an alternative character as one plays on their mobile device sounds like a lot of fun.  Several weeks ago, many in the app world were celebrating “Talk like a Pirate Day.”  During that time, The Pirate’s Treasure memory game app was brought to our attention.  With a five year old running around, game playing is all the craze.  Applicable2u was excited to experience and review an alternative way of playing a game with my son.  Recently updated, The Pirate’s Treasure – a memory game can be viewed on all Apple devices running iOS 3.1 or later. This interactive game allows you to choose from 8 different pirate friends, three levels of play and can be experienced in 14 different languages. No matter how old the user might be, participants will be challenged throughout as they play individually or with a parent or friend.

Overall, this memory game application is very easy to navigate from beginning to end.  Before the treasure hunting can begin, users must select their favorite pirate.  As the adorable pirates wave their hands back and forth as if to say, “pick me, pick me,” users can scroll through their options by simply swiping left to right over each pirate.  Along with choosing their “game pieces”,  users will need to decide what level of play will take place. Levels can be changed by clicking the wooden board at the top of the screen.  Through each level, a users memory will be put to the test.  Level one is the simplest mode of play where they will be presented with a 5 by 2 array.  The middle ground mode, level 2, will be a 6 by 3 array game board. Finally, level 3 is the most challenging as users will attempt to make matches with 30 skull and cross bone coins to choose from.  If choosing to play with another friend or family member, Wombi Apps figured out a way to avoid possible arguments of who goes first.  Keeping to the pirate theme, the first play is chosen with the spin of a compass.  Wherever the directional lands, this will determine who goes first.  If a player makes a match, then they get to go again, however, if wrong, then the other player gets their turn.  Pirates will be able to see how well they are doing as coins are stacked next to them.  The game ends once all matches are found.  The one with the most matches earns a treasure to put in their treasure chest.  A note to the developers – after successfully completing each level, might it be possible to have a distinguishing gem or treasure that could be added after each win. Along this memory journey players will become familiar with a whole other language outside of those designed by the developers.  Players will soon be talking like a pirate!  In addition, players will become familiar with those items that a pirate encounters while on the high seas.

Whether you are playing together at home, waiting in a restaurant or playing individually while driving in the car, Pirate’s Treasure – A Memory Game is definitely one of our new favorites.  Are you looking to add a new application to your device that will provide your child(ren) with logical and memory skills?  Then Applicable2U is offering one lucky reader a promotion code.  The first to become a new subscriber of Applicable2U and comment within this review will receive an email from me and directions on how to add Pirate’s Treasure – A Memory Game to your Apple device.  If you would like to learn more about Wombi Apps and the many other educational apps that they have to offer, please visit their website here.  Did you miss the offer but still want to download Pirate’s Treasure to your iTunes Library, then simply click here to begin talking like a pirate today!

Abby’s Toys – Games for Kids

Abby’s Toys – Games for Kids
  by 22learn, LLC

How many times have you gone on a play date and your son/daughter is in total awe of their friends toys?  Toys that you too have at home, but when there they don’t play with them?  This is a regular occurrence in our home.  What if they could play with their toys on your Apple device?  Well now you can, thanks to 22learn.  At the end of July, they launched Abby’s Toys for toddlers and preschoolers.  An educational app that encourages users to carefully listen to directions, explore, match shapes and words.  Users will experience toys of all kinds with the hope that stereotypes will be thrown out.  With the help of Emma and Tom, your little ones will be developing their fine motor skills while having fun as they learn a variety of age appropriate skills.

As you enter Abby’s Toys users are encouraged to enter one of two world’s.  At a quick glance, users are able to see those toys that appeal to Emma and Tom.  Simply select a friend and games/learning will begin.  Knowing the population that this application was designed for, the developers did a nice job making the directions clear and concise and easy to navigate.  Each room is set up with 3 games and 1 learning mode.  Game 1 is the “Find Me” activity.  Here users need to carefully listen to the narrator for the toy that needs to be found.  Through positive and negative reinforcements, users will attempt to find all of Emma’s and/or Tom’s toys.  With Nickelodeon game like music, the smile on your child’s face will be priceless.  With each return visit to Game 1, Emma’s and Tom’s toys and their location will change, making the game continuous.  Game 2 is the “Magic Toys” matching activity. Here users will need to catch the floating toys and drop them into the correct silhouette.   Toy names and sounds will be further reinforced as you magically put Emma’s and/or Tom’s room back together.  Now that your little one has found all his or her toys, it is time to learn.  When selecting the “learning” button, players will have the opportunity to free explore with little direction.   The only directions here are to tap a toy and to see what will happen.  If the “learning” button is chosen, toy names will be announced and a coordinating sound will also be heard.  A note to the developers – might it be possible for the objects to animate in more of  a realistic manner.  For example, if I tapped the blocks, the word would be announced and the blocks would begin to stack rather than spin.  After users have had a chance to find, match and free explore, it’s now time to extend the learning one step further.  With Game 3, the “Hidden Toys” users will need to unveil 10 hidden toys.  Players will hear a word and are then expected to find its matching image at the bottom.  Once found, simply drag that image to the toy shelf.  To guide all learning styles, 22learn has provided support for those requiring it. If your little one happens to miss or not understand the necessary word, the swinging parrot will guide them.   The parrot will do what they do best, repeat!  As toys are gathered, the card board boxes will be replaced with the toy(s) found.  A note to the developers – might it be possible to add a spelling feature once toys are placed on the shelf?  For example, if given the word fish, that image will animate and provide its sound as it already does.  However, it would be interesting to spell out each letter as it is highlighted in a bold color.  By offering this extension, you might meet the needs of those getting ready for kindergarten.

Overall, Applicable2U enjoyed our experience with Abby’s Toys for Kids.  Currently, this educational app is being offered at .99¢ which is 50% less than its normal cost.  It is an excellent toddler/preschooler application which will develop their vocabulary, build their love of all toys regardless of gender through repetition, appealing graphics and sounds.  If you would like to learn more about 22learn, please visit their website here.  Or you can click here to immediately begin downloading Abby’s Toys – Games for Toddlers and Preschoolers to your iTunes library.

Vinny vs the Curse of the Incas

Vinny vs the Curse Of the Incas

By Robochan

Its time to stimulate your mind with an app for your Apple device that has the feel of an oldie but goodie electronic light up game, “Simon.” Vinny vs the Curse of the Incas is categorized as an educational app because it develops ones concentration and memory. Designed for late elementary to middle school users. It is intended to challenge those using, yet rewarding as you successfully defeat a nasty curse. Navigate from San Francisco to the Peruvian jungles of South America while playing six memory games. As you explore, you are no longer some random person, you are now a special agent working alongside private investigator, Vinny and his friend, Cheeks. Unfortunately, Vinny has amnesia and needs your help. He needs your help to solve various puzzles in order to defeat the curse of the Incas before it’s too late. So what’s your memory quotient?

Unsure of what memory quotient means? No worries! The memory quotient refers to three types of memory skills that this app will test: spatial, sequence and set memory. Your memory quotient will be calculated as you play: List Memory, Scramble, What Doesn’t Belong, Repeat After Me, Tile Matching and What’s Missing. Before the adventure can begin, add your trainee name to the file by clicking the picture of Vinny. This interactive mission can have multiple trainees. As a family, play Vinny and the Curse of the Incas. As achievement awards are received, see whose memory quotient is the best. Your travels can occur in one of two ways, quick play or adventure mode. Try not to panic when frustration sets in. The developers have taken this sense of “giving up” into consideration. To relieve some built up tension, simply click the question mark in the lower right hand corner. Here you will find quick, yet very useful tips or suggestions for both parent and user. Like anything in life – practice, practice, practice!!

Applicable2U is impressed with the direction of learning that Robochan has taken. With eye appealing artifacts or graphics, a school connection can be made as trainees recall their study of the Incan empire. An app which stimulates the brain as it strategically works on your concentration and memory, skills which can be applied in school and at home. Vinny vs the Curse of the Incas keeps you coming back for more. Applicable2U will continue to keep an eye out for future updates. We noticed Vinny’s note on his desk stating that a store was coming soon!!! If you would like to learn more about Robochan, please visit their website here. If you are looking to increase your concentration or to develop memory strategies, then begin downloading Vinny vs the Curse of the Incas from your iTunes library here.

My Underwear

My Underwear
by Thumb Arcade

When I asked my son if he wanted to play a new game on my iTouch he immediately began jumping up and down for joy! When I told him that he would get to play with underwear, his first reaction was one of embarrassment and saying things like  “Mommy don’t say that word!!”  I just had to laugh.  Together we were intrigued to see the possibilities that an application named My Underwear would have to offer my son, my colleagues, and parents that I come in contact with.

With the artistic designs of Todd Parr, My Underwear meets the needs of various learning styles.  At this point you might be thinking, “Really, underwear?  How can this be educational?”  Oddly enough the word that my son didn’t want me to say in front of him actually encourages: hand-eye coordination, memory, motor skills and pattern recognition.  Upon entering you might find it symbolic that the four educational games are hanging from a clothing line.

Finger painting offers the user 10 possible underwear designs.  With such tools as a paint brush, pencil, paint can, color palette and stamps your little one will be able to design their own underwear.  Each art tool provides a different coloring experience for the user.  The paint brush offers a wider brush stroke.  Whereas the pencil is a fine point writing utensil and the paint can offers full coverage.  Through practice and repetition of each tool, your child will begin to control their fine motor skills.  To truly make it your own, add an unlimited number of clipart by simply selecting from such things as flowers, sports, animals, nature, food, and transportation.   Once complete, users have the option to save their creation(s) to your photo gallery on your Apple device which you can then share via email.

Match the Underwear has the user matching underwear to Todd’s lovable creatures based on shapes and colors.  This was my son’s favorite. He immediately knew what to do upon entering. The sounds of laughter was just priceless.  As I observed him exploring, I noticed that he was shaking the iTouch.  “Why was he doing that?” I thought. He very quickly realized that by shaking the device that it would change the types of animals and underwear designs.  Points are determined if you match the underwear to the animal correctly.  Want to be a little silly?  It’s okay, you will still get points even if you don’t drag it to the correct place.  How many underwear can you match in 60 seconds?

Feed the Monster’s objective is to feed the ravenous monster, flying UNDERWEAR from the sky!!  Sounds silly, but in fact it is working on your child’s hand-eye coordination.  It can be played in two ways.  For the first time user, they may choose to manipulate the monster with their finger tip so as to have more control.  For the child needing more of a challenge, they can move the monster by tilting the Apple device from side to side. Once control of the monster is gained, a user will notice in the upper left hand corner a monster meter.  The meter will begin filling up as the monster collects and eats underwear.  As the user progresses, scenes will change along with the monster friend and a surprise will appear when his belly is full!

Concentration is a familiar childhood game that works on a users memory.  Unlike the board game, this version is timed.  Cards are decorated with adorable objects and characters.  The more successful one is, the number of necessary matches will increase.

Initially My Underwear appears to just be a funny app.  But through exploration, it provides your little one a number of necessary developmental skills.  Applicable2U thinks it’s an “arcade” thumbs up!  If you would like to learn more about Thumb Arcade, be sure to visit their website.  What will your little ones reaction be when they hear you talking about My Underwear?  Begin downloading now from your  iTunes library here to see.