I Can Be a Superhero During a Lockdown by Rachel Tepfer Copeland – Review

I Can Be a Superhero During a Lockdown by Rachel Tepfer Copeland is a social story available on Kindle and Amazon in hardcover and paperback. The author wrote it after her son went to preschool and they did a lockdown drill (ALICE drills) and had hidden in a dark room behind backpacks. This book is designed for young children from preK and older. The author is a Certified Child Life Specialist and mother of two in search of a child-friendly and developmentally appropriate book for her own young son. It is written in picture book style and encourages lots of interaction between the reader and the child(ren) when reading it.

What we love…

easy to understand child friendly text about a lockdown drill with easy to follow rules for children from preschool and older

What we’d love to see…

printable set of rules to be posted or shared with kids – I printed the rules page myself for my preschooler

Summary

Overall, this is a non-scary book that provides great information to children and helps them anticipate what a lockdown may look like and what is required of them. By providing concrete directions, they are encouraged to listen, stay still, and quiet. This helps to break it down into more concrete language that children this age need. The social story is designed for children in PreK and older, but can be adapted based on your child’s skill level and understanding.

Our Rating

recommended-by-the-imums

The story is illustrated and is designed in a way that it is easy to read with children and encourages them to relate to their own lives – such as following the rules about wearing a seatbelt and wearing a bike helmet. The book then transitions into talking about school rules and fire drills. The book then transitions to a lockdown drill. It breaks down the rules into simple easy to follow directions of what to do including listening, staying quiet and very still until children are told to move. The children are given jobs and encouraged to follow directions. They are told to stop when the lockdown drill happens no matter if they are working playing or being outside. The children are portrayed as superhero’s and help keep themselves, their classmates, teachers and those around them safe.

During the lockdown drill it shows a dark classroom with children hiding and reminds them of the simple directions listen, stay quiet and stay very still. It also tells the children that they may hide in unconventional places like a bathroom, closet or other place that the teacher or adult in charge deems safe.

One of the things I liked about the book was that it featured many illustrations and was easy for my preschooler to relate to. I also liked that when you tapped on the text boxes, the text enlarged making it easier to read. I also liked that the book wasn’t too scary and didn’t portray the bad guy as too scary and he did not have any weapons. The police officer was very gentle as well. I also liked that the book talked about different potential locations for the lockdown as well as telling them that any adult in charge can give directions. With my preschooler, he is very concrete and sharing with him that any adult may give directions helped him to understand a bit better.

One of the enhancements to the book would be a printable that kids could use after reading it with their parent, caregiver, teacher or other adult to remind them of the rules. Having something to color and refer to visually can sometimes help children. I printed out the page of directions for my son to review with him.

Overall, this is a non-scary book that provides great information to children and helps them anticipate what a lockdown may look like and what is required of them. By providing concrete directions, they are encouraged to listen, stay still, and quiet. This helps to break it down into more concrete language that children this age need. The social story is designed for children in PreK and older, but can be adapted based on your child’s skill level and understanding.

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.

 

Dr. Panda Town: Vacation by Dr. Panda – Review



Dr. Panda Town: Vacation by Dr. Panda is universal app for iOS and Android featuring Dr. Panda and the gang on vacation! Visit one of five islands on a boat which you pilot around the harbor. The app, free with in-app purchases was tested with a full unlock. Islands include: Winter Island, Forest Islands, Deep Sea, Spa and Pool Deck, the new locations are Ancient Ruin & Underwater City. Let your mind wander with these fun vacation destinations. There are seven different areas to explore and 30 characters included in Dr. Panda Town: Vacation – there are people of various ages and ethnicity as well as your favorite Dr. Panda characters from other apps. Once you are inside a scene, you simply tap on the paw print to bring up the menu of characters.

What we love…

fun new areas including an underwater world and ancient tomb add more hours of fun along with great hidden surprises when you tap around

What we’d love to see…

Skiing, educational video within the ancient ruins and perhaps integration of a “way” to get to your vacation destination like an airplane, car or train

Summary

The new play areas are super fun additions to the existing game. My kids loved taking the treasures from the ruins and moving them to other vacation locations.

Our Rating

Dr. Panda Town: Vacation by Dr. Panda is universal app for iOS and Android featuring Dr. Panda and the gang on vacation! Visit one of five islands on a boat which you pilot around the harbor. Dr. Panda Town: Vacation, free with in-app purchases was tested with a full unlock. Islands include: Winter Island, Forest Islands, Deep Sea, Spa and Pool Deck, the new locations are Ancient Ruin & Underwater City. Let your mind wander with these fun vacation destinations. There are seven different areas to explore and 30 characters included in Dr. Panda Town: Vacation – there are people of various ages and ethnicity as well as your favorite Dr. Panda characters from other apps. Once you are inside a scene, you simply tap on the paw print to bring up the menu of characters.

There are 15 pets you can take on vacation as well as a bunch of great outfits, and you can easily switch from day to night. My kids loved tapping on everything to find secret and hidden areas – I’ve shared a few spoilers below just in case your kids are struggling to find them. One of the other things I liked was that I was able to encourage my kids to narrate what they were doing and tapping on – we practiced counting, colors, naming items just to name a few.

There are seven areas to explore inside Dr. Panda Town: Vacation from aboard the cruise ship: beach, forest, winter scene, deep sea and activities aboard a cruise ship.
**NEW ** Underwater City – this is one of the brand new areas in this new update. Head underwater to a fun city to explore! There is music , sea creatures including fish, a fun seahorse and even a spinning egg with a hidden treasure (be sure to tap it and see the other items appear including the throne and there’s even a hidden door. Be sure to tap on the handle in the music room where you can toggle between music on a red carpet or a fancy meal! My kids loved the different foods at the fancy table. Tap on the table in between near the anchor and you can go deeper into the ocean to explore more ruins. Don’t forget your life jacket! The basketball floating in the ocean was fun tool.
**NEW** Ancient Ruins – Pack your bags and head to the desert – it’s time to explore the ancient ruins! This area opens with a market in the desert with all sorts of fun items to discover including food, vases, hats as well as tools like a hammer, magnifying glass to start exploring. Use the magnifying glass to find hidden surprises like a light over the throne. Try out a cane or find the hidden character (hint – it’s yellow!)
Forest Islands is everything that outside play should be according to my kids. From a tire swing, to a zip line, swimming in the pond, catching fish, a mini recycle game and more! You can also hang out in a tent, cook fruits and veggies as well as other foods on the grill and even shine a flashlight after dark. My younger son loved toasting marshmallows on this island, playing with the fireflies and sleeping in the hammock. When play time is over, you simply tap the arrow and head back to the ship.
Winter Island (winter activities) features everything winter! From penguins, snow mobiles, building a snowman, skating, ice hockey, snow tubing and more! My older son liked the ice hockey and playing inside the cabin.
Beach: Here there is music, ice cream, volleyball, sand, hang gliding, beach fun, rafting and even a snorkeling trip in a underwater shipwreck. This island also includes a treasure chest — make sure you find the hidden key to find the gems, and lots to explore underwater.
Aboard the ship: you are the captain! You can play with binoculars, a compass, test a protractor, try charting your course and steer the ship. Down a few steps is a relaxing music lounge, observation deck, luggage storage space and even an outside spot where you can test out some foods. There are lots of hidden surprises like the dolphins jumping, octopus grabbing onto the ship, and spaces to hide and jump in. Head down to the pool deck and you can play in the water slide, lounge with a drink, play dress up, listen to music ,test the diving board and more! Don’t forget the water guns and sunscreen! There’s even a small area where you can make a variety of frozen drinks and even recycle your unneeded items.

My kids really liked the new addition of the ancient ruins and underwater city. This is a fun no rules app which they can play for a few minutes when we are running to an appointment and waiting or even just during some downtime. The wide variety of areas allows kids to explore and learn with fun activities and is a great way to practice language skills describing what you are seeing. For my preschooler we practiced counting the number of objects, naming them, we also looked for colors and shapes as well which really helped because he was having fun and playing.

In terms of improvements, my kids wanted a “way” to get to the vacation which could be an integration with Dr. Panda Airport, Dr. Panda Bus Driver or another way to get there. Traveling for them is a big part of the fun on vacation. They also said they would love an area where they could have waterslides off the cruise ship or even go skiiing in the Winter Island. It would also be great if there were videos about ancient ruins and how they came to be to add an additional educational aspect to Dr. Panda Town: Vacation. My kids also wanted a “selfie snap” like in Dr. Panda Town Mall.

Dr. Panda Town: Vacation is free with three unlock options. To unlock Winter Island and Spa the cost is $2.99. To unlock the forest, pool & deep sea the cost is $3.99. To unlock the ancient ruins and underwater city the cost is $1.99. You can unlock the entire app for $5.99 USD. The unlock works for all devices in your iTunes account. Overall, Dr. Panda Vacation is a fun app that encourages open ended play for children. The wide variety of options encourages kids to play and explore and the integration with the other Dr. Panda Town apps provides a significant value add because you can bring all of the apps together. Be sure to check out our other reviews on Dr. Panda games. The in-app purchases are accessed via a shopping cart which requires you to enter the year to access the app store.

You can find Dr. Panda Town: Vacation on your favorite platform by using this link. Be sure to tell your friends about the fun new additions.

Dr. Panda Town: Vacation
Dr. Panda Town: Vacation
by Dr. Panda Ltd

Category: Education
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, iPad75-iPad75, iPad76-iPad76, iPhoneXS-iPhoneXS, iPhoneXSMax-iPhoneXSMax, iPhoneXR-iPhoneXR, iPad812-iPad812, iPad834-iPad834, iPad856-iPad856, iPad878-iPad878
Size: 226.54 MB

$FREE

Screenshots
(Click to enlarge)
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.

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.

The Land of Learnia – Review


What we love…

Instructional scaffolding to help build skills mastery.

What we’d love to see…

Written instructions for parents.

Summary

A potentially addictive 3D mobile game cum Math and Spelling learning app for grades 1-3.

Our Rating

The Land of Learnia is a Math and Spelling learning app that is set in a 3D virtual world where students are tasked to open up the learning paths across the islands by mastering various skills from Common Core Math and Spelling for grades 1 -3. Each island in Learnia contains work from a math or spelling grade level and students can choose to undertake work from one or more islands at any one time. As rewards, players earn animals that they can feed and play with in Learnia.

Students begin their learning journey on the central Island of Learnia where they meet the owl, Waddle. Waddle likes to take a walk along the Spelling Street and the Path of Math but these paths are blocked by skill stones. Players have to help move the stones out of the way by passing the time-based challenges on each skill stone. Each stone represents a math skill or spelling list to be mastered and the stones can be dealt with in any order. Players are advised to prepare themselves well for the tests by completing a series of lessons and training exercises provided.

Once conquered, these skills stones are converted to bronze, silver or gold depending on the level of mastery, and you can repeat these tests to improve your achievements. As the learning paths are cleared, Waddle is able to move forward and collect coins and gems along the paths adding to the student’s collection.

Each skill stone along the Spelling Street teaches a new spelling list and it comes with 4 different spelling exercises to help students learn and retain the new words. As each word is introduced, a sentence showing how to use the word in context is given verbally.

At the other end of the central island, the Path of Math leads the way to the various math skills from grade 1 to 3. A combination of lessons and hands-on learning exercises help prepare students to master the skills at each skill stone. First, students are encouraged to explore the math concept using digital manipulatives to build understanding. Then they are guided step-by-step on how to solve math problems. Appropriate support and useful tips are given when needed. Students can choose to write their answers on the screen or choose from a virtual keyboard.

What I like in this app is that different problem solving strategies are taught using various tools. These math strategies help students make connection between different mathematical concepts and build upon what they have already learnt. With stronger understanding and practice, students learn the math skills more easily and quickly.

Students are rewarded with a shower of coins and gems after each exercise and test, regardless of the score. Gems collected give game time to play 4 different types of computer games (Molecule Madness, Snakia, Tic-Tac-Toc and Five In a Row) while the collected coins can be used to buy a variety of animals unique to each island, to populate the Learnia world. Players will need more coins to get these animals food (which has expiry dates) and play items. It’s deeply satisfying for players to see their achievements and collections proudly displayed on the Learnia map. They can move around the map, exploring the different landscapes and immersing in the environmental sounds. Just watching what’s going on in the Land of Learnia can be relaxing for students.

The Learnia app is free to download with access to 14 skills stones, 6 for math and 8 for spelling. Thereafter, you have to purchase access to the island(s) corresponding to your child’s grade level – $4.99 per grade for spelling and $7.99 for each grade level of math. [Update : Teachers and their students get full access for free from now till August 2019, find instructions here.]

A student’s progress is saved in the cloud and synced across tablets (iOS and Android devices), and parents and teachers can share access to the student’s account. The app is also suitable for use in a classroom where teachers can set up accounts for each student and monitor what each student is working on in real time. They have information on which questions each student needs help with and review these with the student.

The Land of Learnia combines the best of mobile gaming and digital learning in one app. Students will want to come back frequently to check out their Learnia world and do some math and/or spelling work in order to feed their pets. There is a lot of content (especially for math) included which will provide hours of work to help students build confidence and mastery.

 

 

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Google Play
Learnia
In-App Purchases
Spelling – $4.99/grade level
Math – $7.99/grade level
[Update : Teachers and their students get full access for free from now till August 2019, find instructions here.]

Learnia, spelling & math games Learnia, spelling & math games by Learnia Inc

Price: $FREE

Wouldn't it be great if your child would enjoy learning math and spelling skills?

Kids explore a 3D world with varied scenery and animals.
To advance, kids master skill stones containing exercises.

 

 

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.