Meal Monsters – Review


What we love…

Kids learn how to cook in the real world using on-screen interactive and animated instructions

What we’d love to see…

A section on the nutrition vocabulary words

Summary

A fun and entertaining recipe app that gets kids excited about cooking

Our Rating

Your children are done with preparing and cooking virtual meals in their favorite apps and they are now ready to undertake the challenge of making real food. They want to enter a real kitchen, don the apron, handle real ingredients, use real utensils and kitchen equipment, follow a recipe, create a yummy meal and eat it. So, what is the next app, you ask.

Well, they can graduate to the Meal Monsters app which uses cute animations to teach kids how to make real food with the help of 3 funny meal monsters – Sal, Gor, and Pom from the Planet Yum. This free-to-download Meal Monsters app comes with 3 simple recipes and 4 bonus monster-themed activities. A passcode-protected in-app purchase unlocks 5 additional recipes and more are in the works.

The recipes are all easy to make and offer a variety of homemade goodies. Starting with a no-cook recipe for preparing a smoothie, subsequent recipes require more ingredients and involve more steps. An adult should be on hand to supervise.

The recipes begin with food facts and nutrition information, encouraging children to have the habit of seeking out these information and use only ingredients with high nutritional value. To make the recipes suitable for families with different dietary needs, alternative ingredients for a vegan diet and allergen information are also included in the recipes. Each recipe serves at least 3 persons (kids love to share their creation with the family) and includes serving suggestions.

After choosing a recipe, children can first go through the steps in the app before attempting to make it. Each step in the recipe is presented through an interactive animation that requires kids to be actively engaged in the cooking process. They learn about the various food preparation and cooking methods – weigh, measure, peel, chop, grate, whisk, mix, blend, boil, microwave, bake, fry, etc. They also learn about the utensils and kitchen equipment that are used in the recipes. Cooking and playing with the meal monsters at the same time makes the process less intimidating and helps build your child’s confidence. It’s just a lot more fun!

What I like about this app is that it is child-friendly with cute characters and their silly antics. The monsters in the app also add some amusement for the kids, making it possible to enjoy the app even when your child is not cooking. There are 4 monster-themed activities to keep kids entertained outside of the kitchen – the ‘Planet Yum’ Movie tells the story of the 3 Meal Monsters, the Family Album introduces the characters, the ‘Make a Monsie’ allows kids to take a monster selfie while the 3-levels Monster Match game features food/objects and characters from the app. And these are all included in the free app.

Cooking is a fun family activity and it has many educational benefits like learning about nutrition, following instructions, sensory exploration of different food textures, improved fine motor skills, hands-on learning of math and science concepts, and etc. Besides being an important life skill, the ability to cook builds your children’s self-esteem and encourages them to seek healthier food choices when they are eating out. They are also more receptive to trying out new foods that they have prepared and cooked themselves. (This really works!)

Healthy recipes for kids are easy to find but an app that offers both interactive animated instructions and fun activities is a godsend to any family. It will help make your children’s early cooking experience more enjoyable and rewarding. Meal Monsters is free to download and your children can play with it right away. But soon, they will be asking to make all the yummy food that they see in the app. Have fun!

 

 

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Meal Monsters

Meal Monsters Meal Monsters by Meal Monsters Ltd

Price: $FREE

Meal Monsters is an animated educational app that combines recipes, games and storytelling to encourage children to cook and eat healthy meals.
It is through engaging recipe stories and exciting characters.

 

 

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.



Orbi Home Wi-Fi System RBK50 by Netgear – Review



Having internet dead spots is one of the most frustrating things!  I recently was given the chance to test a Netgear Orbi and it’s safe to say my frustrations are much less!  Previously I have tried a number of routers and ultimately needed to use boosters in the house to get the signal strength throughout the house.

What we love…

Orbi is easy to set up router that provides wi-fi in my whole house without having signal boosters or dead spots

What we’d love to see…

Reminders from the app from Netgear to update firmware or simply reboot the router every so often

Summary

Orbi has made my home internet so much faster.  Even though the cost of the Orbi is a bit higher than a traditional router – having a simple easy solution means I can spend more time with my family doing what matters without having to worry about my internet.

Our Rating

 

recommended-by-the-imums

netgear-ambassaodorDisclaimer: I am a NETGEAR Ambassador and I received this product in exchange for my honest, unbiased opinion and review.

iMum Mary had similar experiences when she reviewed Orbi last year.  Read her review here.

Out of the box, Orbi was easy to set up.  I installed the companion app on my iPhone and within 10 minutes, I had both the main unit and satellite set up – firmware updated and running!  The best part – I no longer need to remember two network names – my devices will seamlessly swap between the 2.5G to the 5G network without me having to change anything!

Orbi is an all in one unit – there are no antenas that are external.  You place one unit close to your home modem and use an ethernet cord to plug the modem and the base unit together.  Then, you can place the satellite unit in the house where  most of your electronics are – for me that’s on the first floor near our living room.  We have a TV/DVD player that we use to stream, a home laptop as well as various bluetooth speakers and a charging dock for our devices.  Orbi is cool to the touch, so I didn’t worry about my four year old touching it in error and hurting his hand.

One of my favorite things about Orbi is the ability to configure as little or as much as you wish!  I have an Orbi app on my phone and can use my Amazon Alexa to enable or disable the guest internet with a simple spoken voice command.  I also loved the integration with Circle parental controls – as a mom I’m always watching how much screentime my kids get – with Orbi I have a second person on my shoulder helping to monitor and make sure that they are not accessing sites that I don’t want them to.  Once I got Orbi, and upgraded my cable modem to a CM 1000 I was finally getting the speeds I was paying for with my home internet!  One of the other things I liked was the ability to share WiFi with a QR code or even via a text message to other Apple devices.

 

Inside Orbi

6 dedicated WiFi antennas supporting Tri-band WiFi with dedicated 4×4 Tx/Rx backhaul.

2 antennas for Dual-band front haul connections to WiFi devices (2.4GHz + 5GHz Low-band).

 

To start using Orbi, you plug it into your cable modem using the included Ethernet cable.  Plug in Orbi and turn it on.  Orbi will turn solid white and then pulse white when it is ready for you to set up with your home internet.  The goal is with the base and satellite, that you get a blue ring.  Blue= good connection, amber= fair connection, magenta= unable to connect.   When I first set up the Orbi in one part of the house I got an Amber, so I simply moved it around a bit until I got a better connection.  My favorite part?!?  I finally got a connection in both parts of my downstairs as well as on my side deck so we could stream to our heart’s content.  If you still struggle to get a good connection, Orbi has other units you can purchase to help boost the signal throughout the house as well.  When setting up you can either plug into the included ethernet ports or use WPS setup to allow your devices to find Orbi.  You can see a device list of connected devices and turn on/off the internet with a tap.  WIth our previous router and old modem, I was lucky if I got half the speed I was paying for.  Now I can stream on multiple devices, use the internet and even play music without worrying about my connection.  I pay for Blast services with Comcast and got 296 down and 12 up once I installed Orbi.  This was not location dependent within the house either.

In terms of improvements, I wish the Orbi app would send you a reminder when you need to update firmware or do some other type of maintenance to the network.   Other than that – really there is nothing I would change.

Orbi has made my home internet so much faster.  Even though the cost of the Orbi is a bit higher than a traditional router – having a simple easy solution means I can spend more time with my family doing what matters without having to worry about my internet. Available from Amazon and other fine retailers.



NETGEAR Orbi NETGEAR Orbi by NETGEAR

Price: $FREE

The Orbi App from NETGEAR makes it easy to set up and get more from your Orbi WiFi system.

You can quickly install your WiFi in just a few steps. A dashboard provides easy access to additional.

 


Circle: Smart Family Controls Circle: Smart Family Controls by Circle Media Incorporated

Price: $FREE

Circle is the smart way for families to manage content and time online, on any device.

Circle works with your home Wi-Fi and manages every device on your network, both wireless and wired, without.

NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.The links in this post may contain affiliate links where The iMums will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on our link, this helps to support the costs of running this site and we appreciate your support.

 

NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly. The iMums are  NETGEAR Ambassadors.

 

Tech Specs

Tech specs

Combined WiFi speed 3,000 Mbps (1733 + 866 + 400Mbps)
Coverage 5,000 sq ft
Dedicated Backhaul 4×4 (1.7Gbps)
WiFi Technology Tri-band

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.

Mobo Kids Puzzle World by Mobo Kids – Review


What we love…

Mobo Kids Puzzle World is brightly animated geography app designed for the youngest of learners which teaches shapes, colors, famous sights and listening skills

What we’d love to see…

ability to interact with the pieces more after they are placed or the country is finished.  Ability to have language within the app or allow a parent to record the names of the different places and countries using the microphone on their device.

Summary

Overall, Mobo Kids Puzzle World is a fun way to introduce kids to world geography at a young age.  The bright interactive colors, puzzle matching and sounds keep them engaged and learning within the app and wanting to play more.

Our Rating

Mobo Kids Puzzle WorldMobo Kids Puzzle World by Mobo Kids is a universal app for iOS and Android that lets your kids explore the world using only their fingertips.  Mobo Kids is a Polish app designer . Mobo Kids Puzzle World is free with a one time in-app purchases of $1.99. The app has children engaged in a variety of ways using bright colors and animation to encourage them to complete tasks.  There is also a soundtrack to the app as well as the various sounds that are played when tasks are completed.  The app reminded me of using an atlas with various countries you could fly to.

When the Mobo Kids Puzzle World opens, your child is an an airplane and they fly to different countries.  once you arrive to the destination country, you are presented with puzzle pieces which you drag and drop match up on the screen.  As you correctly place the puzzle piece a sound and typically an animation are played.  Once you successfully place the piece, you then are moved to another spot in the same country for another puzzle piece.  For example in Canada, puzzle pieces include a lighthouse, a beaver and a piece of wood being chopped. The items shown are local landmarks or things that a country is famous for.  There are approximately seven pieces per country.  When the country is completed, the national anthem plays and you can fly to your next destination.  The app is designed for preschool aged children through early elementary school.  Skills practiced within the app include shapes, colors, problem solving, listening and learning about different countries.

Mobo Kids Puzzle World

Mobo Kids Puzzle World is a fun and educational game.  I enjoyed playing Mobo Kids Puzzle World with my preschooler and while he placed the pieces I described the items like a Double-Decker bus, Big Ben, rainbows in the UK or a hot air balloon and cheese in France.  TMobo Kids Puzzle World is bright, colorful and engaging for kids.  Each scene includes three different pieces one of which matches the shape in the background. Puzzle pieces are large, easy to drag with little fingers and match up.  My son had limited frustration with Mobo Kids Puzzle World– only a few times when he wanted to pick what he thought should go instead of what the actual match was.  As a parent, I liked that it was educational and included some basic geography, flags, famous sights in a specific country.  My son especially liked being able to choose which country he would fly to – and then telling me about what he saw.  For example, if he struggled with a piece I would tell him to find a piece which had specific colors to make it easier for him to find.  His favorite puzzle pieces were cars – I think that’s because they drove and he loves all things that move.

In terms of enhancements, Mobo Kids Puzzle World does not have any language in it.  That means that the different landmarks/puzzle pieces, country name and anthem are not spoken aloud.  For children who may not be able to read this is something that the developers should consider changing in the future.  Another option would be to allow parents to record the names of the landmarks or country name for kids as they play.  My son also wanted to go back and tap the completed country – but after you fly away from the country it resets and you have to fill it in again.  Another fun enhancement might be a passport that is stamped after you visit each country to signal that you have completed it.

Overall, Mobo Kids Puzzle World is a fun way to introduce kids to world geography at a young age.  The bright interactive colors, puzzle matching and sounds keep them engaged and learning within the app and wanting to play more.  There is no advertising contained within the app except for parental gated links to the developers other apps. The app is free with a $1.99 in-app purchase for the entire app.  Currently, the country of France is free.



Mobo Kids Puzzle World Mobo Kids Puzzle World by Mobo Kids

Price: $FREE

Puzzle World is a perfect app to send your kid on an entertaining and enlightening trip around the world. Explore colorful illustrations of countries by fitting puzzle parts.

Children learn about.

Google Play

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.The links in this post may contain affiliate links where The iMums will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on our link, this helps to support the costs of running this site and we appreciate your support.

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.

Bluebee Pals App by Kayle Concepts LLC – Review



Bluebee Pals App by Kayle Concepts LLC – Review

What we love…

Bluebee Pals app is a fun educational app which encourages kids to practice daily routines, using words to narrate what they are doing, sight words and play

 

Summary

Overall, the Bluebee Pals app is a fantastic app which encourages kids to learn as well as have fun. I love seeing all the different ways that my kids interact with the app and try the various activities. The app is gender neutral and allows you to pick your favorite Bluebee Pal to play along OR choose your own Bluebee Pal.

Our Rating

Bluebee Pals App

Bluebee Pals App

Bluebee Pals app by Kayle Concepts LLC  is a universal app for iOS and Android.  As many of you know, I have been part of The iMums for a really long time!  I’m pleased to note, that I had a chance to help design this app.  The app brings BlueBee Pals to life using an app which teaches life skills such as; bathing, tooth brushing, washing hands, bedtime routines, as well as a kitchen which encourages your child to feed Bluebee a variety of meals and snacks.  The app uses scaffolded learning, the first mini game is generally easier and for younger children – if you tap the arrow at the bottom you are given a more complex game for example, lining up your ABC’s turns into sight words.  In the ice cream mini game, first you find the Bluebee Pals and then you have to match them to the appropriate beach chairs. You can learn more about the app on the Bluebee Pals website.

Upon opening the app, you are able to select your favorite Bluebee Pal – or one that you already have.  Then you can view an instructional video where you learn more about Bluebee Pals and how to connect them.  From there you can enter your child’s name – and while there touch each of the Bluebees to have them say their name and wave!  Choose your favorite color balloon, and a favorite activity.  A screen is presented with a variety of things you can do with your Bluebee Pals – did you know that Bluebee works with any Bluetooth enabled device ranging from a smartphone, laptop, smart TV, to a tablet?  After that you are brought to the hub of the app where you choose a room for your daily activity – which I will highlight below.

The app features narration and a variety of fun games as well.  Below I will highlight each – these can be accessed either from the house hub or via the Bluebee Pals library.

  • Kitchen – Enter and exit the kitchen to try a variety of meal options including: breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.  Be sure to enter and exit the kitchen multiple times so you can see each of the meal options.  The recycle bin lets you recycle items as well!  There are cups, plates, food and even a cake to put on the table.
  • Living Room – Enter the living room and tap on the various objects including the couch, iPad and laptop to hear their name
  • Bedroom – Enter the bedroom and see how Bluebee cleans his room and puts his sneakers away!  He also uses an animated guitar, shoe typing sequence and then a bedtime routine.  In this room you can also put Bluebee to bed, change the covers and then turn off the light.  After the Bluebee goes to sleep, you can go back to his bedroom and tap on the objects in the room.
  • Bathroom – Enter the bathroom and give your Bluebee a shower.  Turn on the water and then tap the sponge to wash Bluebee’s fur.  After getting out of the tub Bluebee needs to be dried with a bathtowel or blow drier.  Then, brush the fur so it’s soft and clean.  After bathtime, it’s time to brush teeth – kids move around the toothbrush to clean their teeth.  After 20 seconds, teeth are clean and it’s time to practice washing hands.  Then kids can tap on the items in the bathroom to hear their names.
  • Playroom – This room has learning and fun!  Kids can practice their ABC’s and sight words, drag Bluebee through the maze, find a Bluebee on the island and match them to chairs, move cars and trucks around the track and hear their horns.  Other mini games include a six piece puzzle, voice recorder so kids can record their voice — or parents can record their voice and have the app say it back.  There is also a robot game where you assemble robots, dress up and match fruits to the right color balloon.
  • Bluebee Pals Library – Using this library you can select a mini game for the playroom.
  • Bluebee Resource Section – this parental gated area requires a four digit date of birth where you can access resources including: voice recorder, activities along with app reviews, a letter from founder Laura Jiencke about Bluebee Pals.  This parental gated area does contain external links.

My son loves this app – one of his favorite mini games is the cars and trucks around the track.  He loves placing all the cars on the track at the same time and seeing them zoom around.  As a parent, I love that the app has both an educational and fun component to it.  My son will practice zooming cars, learning letters, practicing the names of foods and more!  I really liked that we can show a bath routine sequence, and then follow through in real life.  I also loved using the app with our Bluebee Pal Parker who speaks the narration and moves his head in time to the app.  My son also loved reading with Bluebee – for a full list of items that you can try with Bluebee – look in the resource section accessed from the main hub of the house or try this link.  The app contains a parental gated area with resources and external links.  I find that my son is repeating words that he learned in the app – especially in the kitchen and I’ve even gotten him to ask for a few foods like banana as a result of seeing them in the app.  Above, I have highlighted each of the individual areas and items within the app – my kids have spent hours discovering each section as well as practicing letters, puzzles, creative thinking to solve problems and more.

Overall, the Bluebee Pals app is a fantastic app which encourages kids to learn as well as have fun.  I love seeing all the different ways that my kids interact with the app and try the various activities.  The app is gender neutral and allows you to pick your favorite Bluebee Pal to play along OR choose your own Bluebee Pal.


Bluebee Pals Bluebee Pals by Kayle Concepts LLC

Price: $FREE

Bluebee Pals app is an interactive app which brings your Bluebee Pal to life! No Bluebee Pal is needed to use the app or you can use your own Bluebee Pal. The app features activities of daily living.

Google Play

NOTE: I was involved in the design of this app.  By clicking the link above and downloading this free app, you may help The iMums earn a small affiliate commission.

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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