Well.. I haven’t done any iphone app reviews for a while! That is mainly because I like to download the app, and then let the children play with them for a while to see whether they come back to that app time and time again or not at all!
This week I have a few that Red Ted adores. Though I confess, I am not 100% certain of them myself. They main problem, that I am finding, as Red Ted gets older, is that the apps become more computer game-y. And I just haven’t gotten my head around that yet. What do I think about computer games?!?! Argh. So far all the apps have been about new words or doing e-puzzles or some number and letter recognition. Great in my eyes.
But slowly they are turning into apps about “winning” and completing challenges. How can I argue though with completing a challenge? Surely that is still good? There are also a number of “app books” out there, that promote themselves at apps, but I would say are more of a cartoon – again, Red Ted adores them, as does Pip Squeak, but they are not really that booked base (See the Dr Seuss range of apps by Oceanhouse media – they really do “read like” books with lots of words being emphasised and highlighted as you go along). What do I think of these? I don’t know…..
We received all of the apps below free of charge, but I only ever review the apps that we like…
Rockford’s Rock Opera – an ecological musical
This is a series of apps about a little dog that goes on a number of ecological adventures. I confess to not have watched them all yet (there are 4 apps with several chapters). But Red Ted is CONSTANTLY looking at these apps. They are a hybrid between story telling, musical and reading… Great for children’s listening skills. All the songs are accompanied by words, so if you (ahem) want to, you can sing a long with your children. The illustrations are captivating and interesting. There is a magical feel to the whole series. Kind of perfect for Christmas.
Like the sound of this iphone App? Want to win a WHOLE SET? All you have to do is stop by – leave a comment below, telling us what YOUR favourite App is and a winner will be drawn randomly!
Open to UK residence only. Giveaway closes on Tuesday 7th Feb 2012. Winner will be selected at random and decision will be final.
Ok, this is one of those apps that I really cannot decide on what I think. On the one hand it really is rather good. Brilliant in fact. Red Ted adores it and wants to play it all the time. What I really like about it, is that all the instructions are written AND spoken. Some apps (see below), give you instructions, but if a child is playing by themselves and can’t read they find out more through trial and error what exactly they have to do. This app also gives you spoken hints as to what you need to do if it “senses” that the child isn’t playing it correctly (e.g. you need to scroll the screen to find things in the next of the room). It is very well designed and it is great for any child that is into Fireman Sam or the firebrigade in general (you get to see lots of their equipment etc. The only bit I am unsure of, is that it does have this taste of “early computer games”. Eek.
We love the Tinga Tinga Tales on Cbeebies, so when we received this App for review, I thought the children would love it. Well they do. They do enjoy all creatures and different “games” they can play. However, having just looked at Fireman Sam, a version 2 could really benefit from voice over instructions. The challenges themselves are fun (there is only one that we don’t really get) and Red Ted likes playing on it. However, voiced instructions would help him more!
An app based our Jess the Cat. Overall another great app similar to Fireman Sam one above – there is a good voice over to help younger children understand what and how they need to do something. There are “spot the difference”, puzzles and painting games. What I like about the painting game in particular, is that you can mix colours and learn a bit of colour theory. Fabulous. There are one or two games within the app that we are little unsure of (how do me make the “what to ladybirds eat app” work?) but the majority are great. I love how you can grow a bean (by getting a pot, adding soil, seeds, water and sunshine etc). The only but is the same as with the Fireman Sam one – is this a computer game disguised as a kids app? Or is that what kids apps are all about? Also there is one confusing feature – the child is asked whether they want to “Quit” or “Play Again”. You tick in the affirmative and cross in the negative. Red Ted regularly gets confused as to whether he is supposed to click on the tick or cross… e.g. “Tick to quit” and “tick to play again” – which is it?
I learn with Transportation by Dada Company – last but not least, possibly my (!) favourite of today’s reviews is this quirky little app. Yes, it does the same as many other apps do – you look at colours, and numbers and words etc.. however, I just LOVE the music that goes with this app and the design. It is quirky, beautiful and individual. Which I love. The only “but” on this app, is that it has slightly longish load times between pages (which can be frustrating for a 2yrs old), but a) my kids have got used to it and still play and b) the developers are working on it. Big thumbs up. Nice educational app, not pretending to be anything it is…. Yay.
Category: iphone App