iLearn With – Planet Boing HD

iLearn With – Planet Boing! HD

by Tribal Nova

As we near our 200th educational app review, we are pleased to share with our readers the latest and greatest things that development group, Tribal Nova has to offer your preschooler to kindergartener. Tribal Nova is no stranger to the app world, with several iLearn With educational series already on the market: Seasons, Counting & Addition, and Mighty Jungle Animals. In each, users play and learn alongside kid friendly characters, Poko, Bibi, Babu and Mr. Murphy. As of late, this friend list is growing as your child visits the Planet Boing. Planet Boing HD is like the “hub station” that connects all the educational series in one central location as it tracks and reports your child’s progress. As your child builds essential skills in math, science, language and literacy to name a few, they will be encouraged and rewarded through a variety of game break type activities. As our own resident expert explored, all we could hear were “hoops, hollers and oh ya’s”. Planet Boing HD is a free download to your iPad device and runs on those devices with an iOS of 4.0 or later.

Upon entering Planet Boing HD, parents or educators will want to establish an account, a total of four can be created. Each account is associated with an avatar or icon and that child’s birthday. Depending on the number of devices in a school or home environment, the ability to switch accounts is very easy. Planet Boing HD was designed to meet the academic needs of children ages 3-6, but it also meets the “gaming for a reason” requirements of both parents and educators. From the main menu of Planet Boing HD, children are able to see not only their avatar but a colored tracking bar. This indicates their success based on those academic skills experienced. In addition, a new reporting feature is now associated with most iLearn With educational app series. An adorable eye winking bumble bee indicates that a particular series is connected to Planet Boing HD. Parents and educators can now see how their child(ren) are virtually growing while they play with Poko, Bibi, Mr. Murphy and their friends from Ice Land Adventures, a new literacy application now available. See what is “buzzing” around as your child games for a reason. The iLearn With “academic trees” are currently broken into four categories: Math, Literacy, Science and Language. Branches of each of these trees indicates which games will reinforce specific skills. By simply selecting a section of a branch, additional information is provided of those skills played/not played and the user’s level of success. If an educator or parent feels that a particular skill needs reinforcing, users can immediately access it by clicking the play button.

Whether your child is developing their understanding of phonics, letters, days of the week, weather, numbers or operations, a little “down time” is always a nice reward. Such down time would be to design your very own alien within Planet Boing HD. Aliens can be customized in a variety of ways through a roller deck of options. Such options include: altering their aliens hands, feet, eyes, nose, and accessories. Initially this roller deck is pre-installed with items, but to increase those options, users must play within the iLearn With educational app series. At an early age, they will be learning that you can’t get something for nothing! By simply tapping a needed item, users are then connected to a particular iLearn With app series. Through leveled progress activities in science, math and literacy, users will earn or unlock new customizations. Once items are earned, users can then go on a psychedelic like ride as they zip along the planet’s floor to unknown places in the sky.

At this time, Planet Boing HD is linked in with reporting features to the following iLearn With series:

iLearn With Poko: Seasons is an application which develops ones vocabulary as your child learns the essentials to the seasons and weather. Here are the skills that will be uncovered.

✔ Game 1: Weather conditions – Learn to distinguish seasons and weather conditions by comparing different pictures.
✔ Game 2: What to wear – Find Poko and Bibi’s clothes and objects that do not fit weather conditions.
✔ Game 3: Days and activities – Explore week days and match the right activities to the weather conditions.

iLearn With Poko: Addition is an application which encompasses both numbers and early addition facts. Here are the skills that will be uncovered.

✔ Game 1: Bowling – Count and add up to 6 bowling pins by playing with Poko and Minus.
✔ Game 2: Building blocks – Help Poko, Bibi and Minus group sets of blocks and learn to add up to 10.
✔ Game 3: Poko’s toys – Find all the objects Poko is looking for in his room and learn to add up to 15.

iLearn With Ice Land Adventures is the newest addition to the iLearn With series and builds your child’s knowledge of letters, phonics and words.

✔ Game 1: Letters – Learn upper-case and lower-case letters as well as their names.
✔ Game 2: Phonics – Compose syllables by combining vowels and consonants.
✔ Game 3: Words – Spell words by placing letters in the correct order.

As you can see Tribal Nova has been hard at work to make their educational apps meet the needs of our school age children. Through vibrant graphics, familiar characters as seen on TV, clear and concise directions, a great deal of repetition and reinforcements, your child will be saying “iLearned With” and had fun while do so. Overall, we love the recent updates and additions that Tribal Nova has offered to our iPad device. In the coming weeks, see additional branches of learning that will be offered on Planet Boing HD. The three iLearn With series briefly mentioned above can be downloaded to your iTunes library for $2.99, however, keep your eyes open for future sale prices. To learn more about Tribal Nova, please visit their website here. If you are interested in making a full educational connection and management system for your child’s learning, then be sure to add Planet Boing HD to your device today by simply clicking here.

A disclaimer that should be shared with my readers is that Applicable2U was a part of the pedagogical design of iLearn With – Ice Land Adventures HD and Planet Boing HD.

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Woozzle Wood Puzzle for Toddlers

Woozzle Wood Puzzle for Toddlers

by Swan Soft

The moment you come home from the hospital with your bundle(s) of joy, your world completely changes. Your organized, clean, adult like home takes on a whole new persona from year to year. As your little one(s) grow, so do their toys. Amazingly, toys encourage children to manipulate, explore and imagine. No matter how they play and learn, toddlers and preschoolers will be building and reinforcing their vocabulary, making connections wherever they go. On a daily basis do you find random pieces, unsure as to where they belong? Well now you can control some of those pieces as your child(ren) plays on their mobile device.  From the developers of Swam Soft, Woozzle Wood Puzzles for Toddlers was recently updated for your Apple device running iOS 4.0 or later.  Have your toddler or pre-schooler piece back together 24 familiar objects from automobiles, food, animals and toys.

Put your real world Melissa and Doug puzzle boards into one interactive application.  Woozzle Wood Puzzle is very easy to navigate for the youngest of fingers.  Upon entering, users will be presented with a main menu filled with colorfully decorated wooden squares.  As puzzles are chosen by the user, they will magically break apart into several pieces.  With appealing sounds, your child will feel like they have just shaken, rattled and rolled their puzzle  apart.  Your “work table” screen will have an etched out image which your child must fill and match with colored pieces from the bottom.  Simply scroll, drag, and drop into place.  As pieces are dropped correctly they will lock into place.  However, if incorrectly placed they will bounce back to the bottom of the screen.  Your child will be amazed at how puzzle pieces will merge together as one as smiles light up their faces when they are verbally rewarded.  Verbal reinforcements can be set in 10 different languages ranging from English, French, Dutch, Japanese and Italian.  A note to the developers – as puzzles are built, might it also be possible to incorporate the spoken vocabulary word as well.  By integrating this into the application, users will be making both a visual and auditory connection through their manipulation.  Since Woozzle Wood Puzzle’s is also targeted towards pre-schoolers, we wondered if an option might be added to the “settings” which would allow users to shake their device, making sized pieces different.  Through this incorporation, users would begin to develop their critical thinking and problem solving skills.

Overall, Woozzle Wood Puzzles for Toddlers is engaging as it has a great deal of potential in future updates.  If you would like to learn more about the developers from Swan Soft, please visit their website here. Currently, Woozzle Wood Puzzles can be downloaded and added to your iTunes library of apps for .99¢ by simply clicking here. If your little one just can’t get enough Woozzle Puzzle time, then be sure to download their free coloring book as well here.

This review is also featured at Fun Educational Apps site.  Visit their site to read this and many more educational app reviews.

Kandoobi: Animal Edition

Kandoobi: Animal Edition

by Kandoobi

Has your child “kandoobi” lately?  Are you wondering what that even means?  If so, then it’s time to meet the next educational app developers from Kandoobi.  They are a development group designing apps so “kids can do” on their own or with the support of a parent.  They recently released Kandoobi: Animals Edition for all Apple devices running iOS 4.3 or later.  It is a creative application designed for toddlers and preschoolers.  This target audience love to manipulate and explore.  Well, now it is time to accomplish those two things as they encounter 100+ adorable animals all dolled up.  For $2.99 and one simple download, users will get their hands on four interactive games.   Whether you are playing at home, school or on the go, your child will soon be saying they “kando.” Kandoobi: Animal Edition encourages letter recognition, builds one’s creativity and imagination and allows users to manipulate and match animals from all types of environments.  Come fly, swim, slither or walk in order to have some fun!

Knowing the population that this educational app was designed for, developers have certainly created a very kid friendly navigation menu, intuitive tasks and buttons as directions are very short and sweet.  In addition, we immediately noticed how both verbal and visual representations were incorporated on the main menu as a way to support all learning styles. Whether your child is a toddler, preschooler or grade level, they want to hear or see words of encouragement.  Throughout each game, reinforcements are presented as auditory sounds such as: a bounce, pop or magical stars. As they game for a reason, users will certainly not be surprised or confused when they play the pre-installed games – Letters, Coloring, Scratch & Fill or Matching.

Letters –  Upon entering the first academic game, users are presented with a 6 page catalogue of animals to choose from. Whether the animal is known as a creature to fear or “ooh and ahh” over, illustrators have done a nice job at designing colorful and eye pleasing graphics with their wonderful expressions and unusual accessories. It is up to the user where they would like to begin.  As an animal is chosen, game play within Letters continues in order from that particular animal.   Immediately, users will notice that the screen is divided into three parts: draggable Scrabble pieces on the left, animal graphic on the right and its corresponding word at the bottom, grayed out.  It is up to the user to match those grayed out letters at the bottom with those Scrabble like pieces by simply dragging and dropping them into their correct places. If a Scrabble like piece is tapped, the narrator will announce that letters name. As users begin to recognize and match letters, it is also important to note that they do not have to be dropped in any particular order.  If letters are dropped incorrectly, they will bounce back.  Once the animal’s name is spelled, both letters and animal will animate across the screen.  Game play continues as the train drops off and introduces the next animal friend.

The next gaming option is Coloring which allows users to be creative as they learn various art skills.  As they color with Kandoobi: Animal Edition, children will build their vocabulary of color names while manipulating three writing utensils: a pencil, paint brush and an eraser.  Coloring exploration can occur in two ways, with those animals previously seen in the “animal catalogue” or as free choice.  Regardless of which is chosen, users are given a paint palette of both primary and secondary colors. Depending on a users age and creative need will determine if a thin lined pencil or a thick stroke of a paint brush is required for their coloring page.  If mistakes are made, no need to panic, developers have also included an eraser.  As coloring pages are complete, share them with others by simply tapping the button in the upper left hand corner, as it is saved to your devices camera roll.

Does your child or student have difficulty with their fine motor skills, but love to be creative?  Then, the next gaming option of Scratch & Fill is just what you are looking for. Scratch & Fill does not require users to stay within the lines, simply swipe your finger from left to right, up and down and the colors will come alive within the picture. The last gaming feature called Matching is one that has children manipulating with puzzles.  At the top of the screen users will see an outline of an animal.  While at the bottom of the screen are three choices.  The goal is to simply drag, drop and match the correct animal puzzle piece.

Kandoobi: Animal Edition is very academically appropriate for this age level.  It provides just the right amount of repetition, supports ones creativity, and allows for independence.  It is an educational app that disguises learning as fun.  To learn more about the Kandoobi development group be sure to visit their website here.  If you are looking to stimulate your child’s need for creativity and imagination, then begin downloading Kandoobi: Animal Edition to your iTunes library by simply clicking here.

This review and many others are featured on Fun Educational Apps, AppStar Picks and iear.org

Animated Puzzles

Animated Puzzles

by Alexandre Minard © AR Entertainment

And so our review tonight continues with our “learning is fun” series from AR Entertainment as we travel across the world building puzzles to learn about animals, their habitats and the geography that surrounds them. With colorful graphics, Animated Puzzles turns your Apple device into a virtual wooden board as pieces are zipping around their environment while offering a 2 dimensional feel. Travel across the continents of North and South America, get a little chilly in the Arctic, dive deep into the Atlantic and Indian Ocean and explore what Africa, Australia, and Asia have to offer. Animated Puzzles is designed for all Apple devices running iOS 3.0 or later, however, for those implementing it with an iPad device, it works best with the latest operating system. Like all other “learning is fun” app collections, Animated Puzzles is initially a free download offering young builders two animals, a penguin and a camel. To extend their animal adventures seven additional animals can be unlocked with an in-app purchase of $1.99. Animated Puzzles has a great deal of potential as it enhances visual and spatial skills and works on one’s hand-eye coordination.

Upon entering this educational app, users will be presented with a map of the world as satellites hone in on particular parts of the world. Simply tap an unlocked animal and piece their environment back together. In a future update, we would love for users to hear the animals name when tapped prior to entering their environment. This would provide the target audience more exposure to new vocabulary. Environments will initially appear dull and boring, as it is your goal to drag and drop the colored images to their correct place. Each puzzle contains anywhere from 10-15 pieces. But be warned that parts of the wooden environment will move. By selecting one piece of the puzzle you will make all other pieces invisible, making it slightly easier to locate where that piece belongs. By locking all animals, plants and geography into place, users will make the environment come to life. As you navigate and learn about animals all over the world and ocean, users will find it very easy to navigate from one location to another. However, as we manipulated certain puzzles we found that the animation was rather fast and at times very busy. A note to the developers – might it be possible to incorporate a scroll bar feature at the bottom of each environment that would allow users to slow down or speed up those pieces that are animated. By adding this feature, children of all learning styles and needs can be successful without frustration. Whether you travel to one or all locations, puzzles can be repeated at any time.

Animated Puzzles is designed for children ages 2-6 and as most parents know their little sponges are looking for any new knowledge that they can. This educational app can be incorporated in a number of ways. For the early toddler population, it’s about having fun with animals as they build, manipulate and develop their fine motor skills. In doing so, they can most certainly be independent learners. As children near the preschool age, the question and need for information develops. With parent interaction and conversation, children could discuss animal names as they compare and contrast the different environments. For those nearing school age, they are capable of doing all of the above, however, I think they might like an added feature. In a future update, might it be possible as the environment comes to life that a WOW fact is presented and read aloud. It could be a feature that is turned on/off when necessary and with each return visit to an environment a new fact is learned.

Overall, Applicable2U liked Animated Puzzles. To gain the fullest potential and possibilities of return visits around the world, users will want to have access to the full version. Yes, having seven additional animals to build and play with is great, however, Applicable2U believes it needs a little bit more. Possibly some of our suggestions will come in handy. As mentioned in our previous post, to learn more about AR Entertainment and Animated Puzzles, please visit their website here. To set off on your animal travels of the world today, simply click here to add Animated Puzzles to your iTunes library.

My First Puzzles: The Alphabet

My First Puzzles: The Alphabet

by Alexandre Minard © AR Entertainment

Tonight we continue our series of reviews from developers at AR Entertainment.  The next in our line up is part of the “learning is fun” educational puzzle collection called My First Puzzles: The Alphabet. As Applicable2u plays the role of both a parent and an educator, I began introducing my son to what we thought were age appropriate “academic” things (ie. colors, letters, shapes) during his toddler years.  Unfortunately the approach that we took wasn’t what our son wanted.   When we wanted to practice “academic” things,  he wanted nothing to do with learning thus putting frustration on all parties.  So the traditional way of teaching was put on hold and we chose to go another route, to make learning fun.  When learning is seen as fun, the desire and curiosity builds.  If only we had the “learning is fun” educational collection at the palm of our hands several years ago.

While playing My First Puzzles: The Alphabet, listen to calming music on your Apple device running iOS 3.0 or later and manipulate small and large puzzle pieces in order to build and match letters.  As letters are correctly built, learn how to pronounce all 26 letters of the alphabet.  If English is not your native language, not to worry.  Developers also offer this educational app in Dutch, French, German, Italian, and Spanish.  My First Puzzles: The Alphabet is initially a free download offering four free puzzles as it introduces the first seven letters of the alphabet.  While exploring the free version, users will be given a quick glance of the applications potential.  For an additional in-app purchase of $1.99, young learners will be able to unlock 12 additional puzzles, thus providing them access and experience with all letters of the alphabet.  An added bonus, once your native language is learned, extend the use of this educational app by supporting your child as they learn to say and build letters of the alphabet in another language.

My First Puzzles: The Alphabet is a pretty basic, easy to navigate educational app that allows most users to be independent.  Playing and learning go hand in hand as your little one drags and drops various puzzles pieces into an empty lettered place holder.  Tap one piece and all others will appear transparent. When placed correctly, players will be reinforced with a chime. Once letters are successfully built, each piece manipulated will pop up randomly in a 3D fashion and narrated with its letter name.  A note to the developers – once a lettered puzzle is complete, might it be possible that pieces pop up not randomly but rather in a sequential order.  By sequential order, we are looking for puzzle pieces to visually represent the formation of each letter of the alphabet.  Since the application does focus on school age children, this would be an added bonus and reinforcement.  In addition, we wonder if My First Puzzles: The Alphabet will also include the manipulation and building of lower case letters as well in a future update.

Using your mobile device has so much potential and with My First Puzzles: The Alphabet learning happens as your child drags, drops and listens for some form of positive reinforcement, a chime.  It’s time to steer away from the traditional workbook and hop on board with those 21st century skills as it integrates with your Apple devices.  For children who struggle with holding a pencil, that need learning activities like letter recognition as a way to build their fine motor skills then you will want to try My First Puzzles: The Alphabet.  Make learning fun by getting to know AR Entertainment and the applications that they have to offer your child(ren) or students, be sure to visit their website here.  Children need to know all the letters of the alphabet, so why not download the full version of My First Puzzles: The Alphabet to your device by clicking here.