Yaya Learns English by Kiddies City – Review


What we love…

bright interactive app that encourages children to learn a variety of words in English ranging from numbers, colors, shapes, and everyday words.

What we’d love to see…

use of matching numbers to roman numerals for the counting, no timer for some of the games, shorter “test” at the end of the app

Summary

Fun interactive kids app that teaches children numbers and a variety of words in a interactive birthday adventure for Yaya.  There is no IAP or advertising.

Our Rating

Yaya Learns English by Kiddies City is a iPad only app in which a young girl named Yaya explores the city in a variety of interactive scenes.  Each scene has a variety of activities from finding coins and matching them up by numbers in the train scene, to earning tickets at a theme park and attending a birthday party!   The app uses U.K. English, but many words are similar to American English and it is great for kids of all ages.  The app features English, German, Spanish, Korean, or Chinese as languages.  There are four apps in the series including Yaya learns German, Yaya learns Spanish, Yaya learns Chinese all of which have a similar story just with different languages tied to them.  The app features multi step directions, completing a task, finding coins and matching them up, getting the birthday ready and more.

My son loves anything to do with trains – so he really enjoyed putting together the tracks and matching the first letter of the objects (“r” for rainbow and “t” for tree).  He really enjoyed trying to make the tracks correct so he could continue within the app.  At the birthday party, it was fun for my son to help Yaya decorate by making juice – he chose orange and loved watching the blender make it.  He also enjoyed matching the letters to the words and getting stars for finishing each task.  The app has beautiful artwork with animations throughout including floating balloons.  As a mom, I also liked my kids could touch the speaker icon to hear the word spoken again.  The app features numbers from one to ten and thirty seven other words like apple, roller coaster, bridge, house and other words you use everyday in the English language.  The narration in the app is well done by a native English speaker.  I would suggest this app for kids aged four through about second grade because of the complexity for some of the mini games.  I liked that the app had a comprehension test at the end – although 30 questions seemed a bit high – I would prefer if there were ten or so questions that rotated through.  My older son especially enjoyed the birthday room and making the cake, blowing up the balloons and sorting the candy items for the favor jars.  The app features a gated parental area which includes a glossary of the words including pronunciation, links to social media.  This parental area is accessed by touching a number and holding it for three seconds.

iPad Screenshot 1

In terms of improvements, seeing a number on a coin versus the roman numeral can be confusing for kids who may not have learned that concept yet.  I have a 3 year old who loved finding the coins, but had a hard time matching them to the roman numeral because they were not the same. When you successfully complete the numbers, you are presented with a screen which shows the coins – again with numbers and the spelling of the number which is different than how it is presented within the app. Older kids may understand the concept more clearly and be able to execute   There are also a number of items within the various screens it would be nice to see an interaction with when you touch them.  In the park, my son got frustrated because when you put the kids on the rides you are timed as you answer questions – it would be nice for younger kids if you didn’t have a timer because when time ends you have to start the level again.    I would also like to be able to mute the background music – as it can be a bit distracting but when you turn down the sound you lose the narration.

Overall, this is a cute app designed to help kids learn English in a fun and interactive way.  It is designed for children who already speak English  as well as non native English speakers.  The mini games are fun and have good replay opportunities – but younger kids especially can get frustrated when you try the app because of the inconsistencies in the levels of the games.  There are no in-app purchases and no advertising contained within the app. This is a fun educational app that will have kids playing over and over again.


Yaya Learns English
Yaya Learns English
by Chin Yee Karwehl

Category: Education, Games, Family
Requirements: Compatible with iPad2Wifi-iPad2Wifi, iPad23G-iPad23G, iPadThirdGen-iPadThirdGen, iPadThirdGen4G-iPadThirdGen4G, iPadFourthGen-iPadFourthGen, iPadFourthGen4G-iPadFourthGen4G, iPadMini-iPadMini, iPadMini4G-iPadMini4G, iPadAir-iPadAir, iPadAirCellular-iPadAirCellular, iPadMiniRetina-iPadMiniRetina, iPadMiniRetinaCellular-iPadMiniRetinaCellular, iPadAir2-iPadAir2, iPadAir2Cellular-iPadAir2Cellular, iPadMini3-iPadMini3, iPadMini3Cellular-iPadMini3Cellular, iPadMini4-iPadMini4, iPadMini4Cellular-iPadMini4Cellular, iPadPro-iPadPro, iPadProCellular-iPadProCellular, iPadPro97-iPadPro97, iPadPro97Cellular-iPadPro97Cellular, iPad611-iPad611, iPad612-iPad612, iPad71-iPad71, iPad72-iPad72, iPad73-iPad73, iPad74-iPad74
Size: 229.25 MB

$1.99USD

Screenshots for iPad
(Click to enlarge)

NOTE: A fee was received to expedite this review to the top of our waiting list but this payment has not influenced the objectivity of the review and all opinions have been offered honestly.

Alison, the American iMum is from Massachusetts. She lives there with her two sons and husband. In their spare time, they enjoy playing outside, enjoying nature and of course testing apps and fantastic products on their devices. My older son loves technology and loves testing out the “latest and newest” apps and tech. I love sharing information about apps and products with others to help them make decisions without feeling overwhelmed with all of the choices.


Words with Ibbleobble app by KidDotCo – Review



iPad Screenshot 2

What we love…

great graphics, cute characters, fun rewards and the great learning potential

What we’d love to see…

the words read out at first and then as children select them and once solved to reinforce learning

Summary

a great little app for children to learn new words in a fun and rewarding way

Our Rating

Children can learn new words in a playful and colourful way with the Words with Ibbleobble app by KidDotCo. KidDotCo are also the creators of such apps as Division / Patterns / Subtraction and Multiplication by Ibbleobble. Words with Ibbleobble is a word game which lets children, learn new words, improve their vocabulary and communication skills. Its simple format is easy for children to follow and understand and is a great app for children with autism.

Children choose a friend they want to play and learn with from a range of characters like Mr Mousey the mouse, Lola the chicken, Fin the hedgehog, Tom the frog, Nancy the sheep, Kelly the rabbit and Florence the fox. Each friend also has an info sheet to learn about them, their likes, favourite colour and favourite friend. Each character is linked to seven learning themes – Shapes & Colours, Food & Drink, At my school, On the farm, My home, Holidays & Travel and All about me.

Children can learn at their own pace or against a clock, can choose the game level of their choice – easy / medium / hard and can solve hundreds of different puzzles. When children answer correctly to a multiple choice word game of three words, the character is rewarded with their favourite treat or object which in turns makes the character happier as more games are solved and gives children an incentive to keep answering correctly.

My three year old liked the fun characters and rewards system. Although she cannot read, she understood the concept of the game. She knew what the images represented and took some guesses to the answer but even though she didn’t win all the time, she was shown the correct answer after a few guesses and as she played the same themes. I also read out the options which helped her understand the order of each word and in turn improve her visual memory of the words.

We would love it if each word was read out by the character at first and then as the child selects it to solve the multiple choice game. It would also be great if when solved the word appears and is read out too to reinforce learning.

We love this app as it has great graphics, simple concepts, it is easy for children to understand and learn from. We really like the use of cute characters, themes, rewards that children can appreciate as well as the multiple choice game. This app has no ads or third party advertisement or in-app purchases. There is however a parental area which has access to other apps from the developer as well as other options which is locked by a parental gate.



Words with Ibbleobble Words with Ibbleobble by KidDotCo

Price: $1.99 USD

Winner of the 'Highly Commended App' award at the Lincolnshire Digital Awards 2016.

Words with Ibbleobble is an incredibly fun word game that helps to teach children new words. The app will help.

Catherine is a mother of a little miss almost 3 years old. Originally from France she now lives in Melbourne, Australia. She loves to explore their beautiful city with her daughter and sharing their adventures with other parents. Catherine has a passion for social media, blogging, technology and food. Before the arrival of her daughter, Catherine was studying and working in the field of IT and still loves all things tech! She loves finding new apps for her daughter to learn and play with and share great apps with other parents.


Bitsboard PRO – The Best Educational Learning Games and Flash Cards in 1 App by Innovative Investments Limited – Review & Giveaway



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What we love…

Fully customizable lessons with lots of different learning modes.

What we’d love to see…

Even more boards on math.

Summary

Bitsboard Pro is the ultimate educational app with top-quality content and outstanding enabling features to meet the learning needs of every child.

Our Rating

How many times have you wished that you can modify a well-developed learning app just that little bit to better match your child’s skills. Or thought of replacing some of the content with your own instead? Have you ever wondered if there is this ONE App that can meet most (if not all) of your child’s educational needs? What about an app that can accommodate the educational goals and learning difficulties of an entire class?

This is a tall order for any app considering children learn at different pace and thrive in different learning environment. And to be able to add our own content in an app seems like an impossible task! But Bitsboard Pro has all our wishes covered. It is the ultimate educational app for children from preschool right up to elementary school level, giving you access to thousands of topics (with many new ones added every month) and the ability to customize the way students learn in the app as well as the app content itself.

Alright, most of us don’t have the time nor inclination to create our own content. We just want an app that has ready-to-download learning materials and Bitsboard has lots of content to offer. After creating a user account, you can browse through Bitsboard’s extensive lessons catalog or search for specific lessons and download (over the internet) the ones that you need. Here, lessons are presented in individual boards, each containing a series of flashcards (bits). Topics include languages, vocabulary, grammar, reading (sight words, word families, phonics, readers), sentence maker, speech, spelling, letter tracing, math facts, math operations, money, time telling, sign language, routines, sequences, emotions and many more! The free version of Bitsboard itself comes with lots of shared resources that you can start with right away.

What I really love in Bitsboard is that you can choose up to 30 fully customizable learning modes or games that help children to learn and retain the information presented in the lessons. You can start with the simpler games and progress to the more complex ones. With so many different ways to learn the same materials, students remain engaged and learn better. Check out Bitsboard’s long list of fun learning games – Flashcards, Explore, True or False, Photo Touch, Photo Hunt, Memory Cards, Pop Quiz, Match Up, Word Builder, Sentence Builder, Spelling Bee, BINGO, Letter Tracing, Sequences, Related items, Word Search, Word Chunks, Crosswords, Unscramble, Say It, Missing Item, Puzzles, Reader, What’s Next, Odd One Out, Sort It, Side by Side, Story Time, Genius, Review Game and Board Creator

For each game, you can modify things like the session length, with or without visual/audio hints, spelling order, display options, number of tiles, matching options and answer mode. Customization is easy but it would be tedious if you have more than 1 user. Luckily, you don’t have to keep adjusting the settings and preferences as these are saved for each user (unlimited users for the Pro version). Likewise, the tracking of detailed progress and lesson plans is stored at the user level. Bitsboard’s learning algorithm also ensures that each game automatically advances according to the individual user’s skills.

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If you are an educator, you will like the ease of creating custom lessons with your own cards (from photo library, dropbox, web search or Bitsboard Catalog of images), audio recording and text (words, phrases, sentences, description). Your students can learn anything you present to them using the Bitsboard learning games. You can also set up your own exclusive class with your own selection of boards for sharing with your students or fellow teachers privately.

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I’m truly impressed with all the meaningful features that have been continually added in Bitsboard in order to support students and educators. There are many more that are not mentioned here. This all-in-one educational app far exceeds all my expectations in terms of content and ability to be customized. I don’t think you’ll find another app that is as versatile and comprehensive as this. Bitsboard Pro is an essential learning app that all families and classes must have!

Bitsboard PRO – The Best Educational Learning Games and Flash Cards in 1 App
Free lite version –

Bitsboard PRO - Flashcards & Educational Games App Bitsboard PRO - Flashcards & Educational Games App by Innovative Investments Limited
Category: Education, Games, Family
Requirements: Compatible with iPad2Wifi-iPad2Wifi, iPad23G-iPad23G, iPhone4S-iPhone4S, iPadThirdGen-iPadThirdGen, iPadThirdGen4G-iPadThirdGen4G, iPhone5-iPhone5, iPodTouchFifthGen-iPodTouchFifthGen, iPadFourthGen-iPadFourthGen, iPadFourthGen4G-iPadFourthGen4G, iPadMini-iPadMini, iPadMini4G-iPadMini4G, iPhone5c-iPhone5c, iPhone5s-iPhone5s, iPadAir-iPadAir, iPadAirCellular-iPadAirCellular, iPadMiniRetina-iPadMiniRetina, iPadMiniRetinaCellular-iPadMiniRetinaCellular, iPhone6-iPhone6, iPhone6Plus-iPhone6Plus, iPadAir2-iPadAir2, iPadAir2Cellular-iPadAir2Cellular, iPadMini3-iPadMini3, iPadMini3Cellular-iPadMini3Cellular, iPodTouchSixthGen-iPodTouchSixthGen, iPhone6s-iPhone6s, iPhone6sPlus-iPhone6sPlus, iPadMini4-iPadMini4, iPadMini4Cellular-iPadMini4Cellular, iPadPro-iPadPro, iPadProCellular-iPadProCellular, iPadPro97-iPadPro97, iPadPro97Cellular-iPadPro97Cellular, iPhoneSE-iPhoneSE, iPhone7-iPhone7, iPhone7Plus-iPhone7Plus, iPad611-iPad611, iPad612-iPad612, iPad71-iPad71, iPad72-iPad72, iPad73-iPad73, iPad74-iPad74, iPhone8-iPhone8, iPhone8Plus-iPhone8Plus, iPhoneX-iPhoneX
Size: 197.08 MB

$19.99USD

Giveaway

If you would like to win a promo code for this app, please enter via the widget below. This giveaway is open to everyone, worldwide, and an iTunes account is required to claim the prize. Please ensure you have read and understand our Terms & Conditions. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

NOTE: A fee was received to expedite this review to the top of our waiting list but this payment has not influenced the objectivity of the review and all opinions have been offered honestly.

Grace was working in the fields of early childhood education and staff training before quitting to attend to her 4 children full time. She and her family live in Singapore, which is well known for her highly competitive education system.


The Sounding Out Machine – Assistive Reading Device by FizzBrain – Review



iPad Screenshot 2

What we love…

allows kids to “read on their own” and become more comfortable with hard words by using their decoding skills to learn them.

What we’d love to see…

parental gate to protect the teacher and my word so kids can’t send an email by mistake or delete a student

Summary

A great app to practice word decoding skills in a fun way that doesn’t have the pressure of making a mistake in front of the teacher or let’s kids practice on their own.  I have seen great improvements especially in “hard words” and my son is asking to read now rather than being “forced” to.

Our Rating

The Sounding Out Machine - Assistive Reading DeviceThe Sounding Out Machine – Assistive Reading Device by FizzBrain is an iPad only app that helps kids who are reading to focus in on specific words that they may not know.  The app allows you to take words in three forms and then sound them out.  This app can be used with preschool through elementary school and is great for emerging readers.  By learning how to break a word down, they are more successful and ultimately that leads to more reading because it is fun rather than “something they have to do”.

The three modes of the app are:
•Camera mode – take a picture of the page of the book using your iPad
•Library mode –  Take a picture ahead of time, save it on your camera roll and open it when reading
•Typing mode – Type in your own word

It presents with a screenshot of the different types of reading modes.  You also create a profile for each child so that you can track the types of “hard” words on a daily, weekly and monthly basis so you can see change over time in reading comprehension.  You can also send the reports via email to parents or even teachers.  There are “teacher settings” – I put my own email here.  You can either have the app read phonemes as one unit or read every letter and ignore phonemes.  I tried it both ways, however, since my son is working on phonemes in school we primarily did it that way.  A quick tip – if you are going to use the library mode I found it much faster to photograph the pages of the board books and other books we were reading ahead of time without “help” as the pictures were clearer and there wasn’t the frustration if they were blurry.  Also, by making the library ahead of time, he knew the books that his brother liked or the ones he liked and could practice them on his own when he had time with the iPad.  I liked knowing that he was reading, and so I gave him some extra time with the iPad so he could practice. The app also allows you to track a photographed page with a box to cover up the extra words so if your child has trouble focusing on a specific word due to too many on the page this can help as well.

After getting the photo of the page either from the library or taking it on the fly, a colored box comes up that you move to the word that you need help sounding out.  Once the box is on the right word, you click “read my word”.  You are brought to another screen where you can see the word you put in the box and then have to type the word in using the on-screen keyboard.  After you type it in, you are prompted to see if you have spelled the word correctly.  I tested it both with the correct and incorrect spelling – and if the word was misspelled then the app said it “wasn’t in the dictionary” but you could use your card to try to sound it out again.  Once the word was spelled correctly or was in the dictionary, you could see the word and cover up parts of it to sound it out – in this case “roaring”.  You could either use a card and cover it up as you worked with your child or hit “teach me” which covered up the word and showed it letter by letter as it was sounded out.   There are different types of cards you can use which include “regular”, “see through”, “double”, “peekaboo”, and “teach me” which you can also change the colors of.  When I sat with my son, we used our own card to sound out words and then would use the teach me mode as well.    The word is also color coded into sections to make it easier to sound out.    The typing mode was harder for him, because even though he had the book in front of him sometimes he would make mistakes copying it down to be sounded out.  The app has great directions which explain how to use each function and button and even let you change the word from phoneme/syllable to blending on the fly.

My son struggles with word “decoding” which means that at times he can look at a word and even though he might know it, he can’t figure out what it means. We pretended to be an investigator as we sounded out the words and looked for clues like an ending or broke it apart as we read.  I can do that when I read with him, but when he reads on his own, he is more likely to look at the picture and make up a word if he doesn’t know one (which is developmentally appropriate at this time).   This is the perfect app to help him with that and I have seen based on the words in the library an improvement.  The app’s dictionary has over 80,000 words including multiple forms of the same word like “roar”, “roared”, “roaring” and they welcome suggestions from people on new words that should be added.  My son has even started to when reading use his fingers to chunk the word and sound it out – especially if it’s been one he practiced within the app.

I loved this app – my seven year old has started reading to his brother via board books and sometimes the words are too hard.  I photographed all the pages on my camera roll of “Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear” by Bill Martin Jr. and then my son and I practiced reading them using the app.  By photographing the pages and putting the blue box around the hard words – he was able to sound them out and begin to recognize them so he could read the story to his brother more easily.  I loved that it encouraged him to read – we tried both with the camera photographing them ahead of time and photographing them as we read.  If I photographed them and put them on the iPad in the camera roll, he could then go back independently if he had trouble reading or we could do it together.  I also loved the “my words” so I could see the words he was having trouble with and then as time went on how the words changed.  I could also see it when my son reading to his younger brother – reading was cleaner and more fluid as he got better at chunking the words himself rather than just saying “I don’t know this word – tell me”.  To be fair, I know he’s working hard on reading in school as well and I’m sure that was a big help.  My son also told me he liked practicing on his own, because he could practice by himself without worrying that he was doing it “wrong”.

In terms of enhancements, I would like to see the “my words” email function protected by a parental gate.  My son figured out how to go in there and send out multiple emails when he was supposed to be reading.  The teacher settings area wasn’t protected either and my son tried to delete his profile, luckily it came up with a display box and he clicked he was not the teacher so we did not lose his progress. All other links including app store links in the “info section” are protected with a complex math problem.  It would also be nice if there was a “library” that stored your old words so you could tap on those to see them sounded out without having to find the photographed page again or take another photograph.

Overall, if your child has trouble decoding words or is struggling with reading this is a great tool to add to your app library.  I have many reading apps that I have used with my son, and one of the reasons we liked this one so much was that it broke things down into manageable chunks and let him read on his own.  Seeing my older son read to his younger brother in a more fluid way is a huge win in my book.  I’ve noticed other improvements in his reading skills as well – and when you compare the cost of this app to the hourly cost of a reading tutor, this is a great purchase to help carry over skills at home.  Another example, my son is starting to like to read for pleasure rather than it being a “have to do”.


The Sounding Out Machine - Assistive Reading Device
The Sounding Out Machine - Assistive Reading Device
by FIZZBRAIN LLC

Category: Education
Requirements: Compatible with iPad2Wifi-iPad2Wifi, iPad23G-iPad23G, iPadThirdGen-iPadThirdGen, iPadThirdGen4G-iPadThirdGen4G, iPadFourthGen-iPadFourthGen, iPadFourthGen4G-iPadFourthGen4G, iPadMini-iPadMini, iPadMini4G-iPadMini4G, iPadAir-iPadAir, iPadAirCellular-iPadAirCellular, iPadMiniRetina-iPadMiniRetina, iPadMiniRetinaCellular-iPadMiniRetinaCellular, iPadAir2-iPadAir2, iPadAir2Cellular-iPadAir2Cellular, iPadMini3-iPadMini3, iPadMini3Cellular-iPadMini3Cellular, iPadMini4-iPadMini4, iPadMini4Cellular-iPadMini4Cellular, iPadPro-iPadPro, iPadProCellular-iPadProCellular, iPadPro97-iPadPro97, iPadPro97Cellular-iPadPro97Cellular, iPad611-iPad611, iPad612-iPad612, iPad71-iPad71, iPad72-iPad72, iPad73-iPad73, iPad74-iPad74
Size: 331.74 MB

$3.99USD

Screenshots for iPad
(Click to enlarge)

NOTE: A fee was received to expedite this review to the top of our waiting list but this payment has not influenced the objectivity of the review and all opinions have been offered honestly.

Alison, the American iMum is from Massachusetts. She lives there with her two sons and husband. In their spare time, they enjoy playing outside, enjoying nature and of course testing apps and fantastic products on their devices. My older son loves technology and loves testing out the “latest and newest” apps and tech. I love sharing information about apps and products with others to help them make decisions without feeling overwhelmed with all of the choices.

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