Abigail’s Tales: First Day by Dabster Entertainment – Review



 

What we love…

beautifully illustrated book that tells us about Abigail’s day and her nervousness about it as well as all the ways she no longer needs to feel nervous.  Sharing ways not to be nervous was my son’s favorite part.

What we’d love to see…

way to customize the games so they didn’t get so hard quickly and ability to turn off the time

Summary

This is a beautifully illustrated book and game app which will help kids get over their jitters before the first day of school.  I can’t wait to try it with my older son before he goes back to school in the fall.

Our Rating

[APP ICON] Abigail’s Tales: First Day is the story of Abigail and her first day of second grade.  When she wakes up, she realizes it’s the first day of school and she begins to get nervous about it.  Abigail begins to get nervous about her funny feeling in her stomach, her mom reassures her about her first day of school and calls them butterflies.  Abigail gets ready for school and meets her classmates in Ms. Brady’s class.    This app features word highlighting, narration and beautiful illustrations.  It is both a storybook and a game.  The app features a typical second grade day including lunch, a field trip and time with friends.  The app includes a matching game and an opposite game.  The matching game has pictures and items to match.  The opposites game requires you to match up words.

I liked the reminders on how to help Abigail prepare for her first day, deep breaths, good thoughts, a uniform that is similar to other kids. A hug from Mom helps make the butterflies go away as she heads to class.  I also liked the story, it reminded me of somethings I might have done or my older son might have done like running around on the playground.  It’s great to see Abigail with her friends in the story and she’s no longer nervous about going to school.  First day jitters are always so hard for my kids – and I’m hoping when August rolls around that we will be able to read the story and remember that the first day is just another day.  I liked hearing that Abigail liked cats – I prompted my son to what he would say and he said art and lunch!  The ending also made me laugh when Abigail puts a special surprise in Jake’s pocket!  I also liked that kids could choose to have narration on/off/restart as well as the text highlighting on or off depending on their reading level.

In terms of enhancements, the games did get hard quickly.  The timer made my son a bit nervous the first few times he played.  I did like that the app adapted and made it harder or easier for him.

There are no in-app purchases, external links or advertising contained within the app.  This app is best for early grade school or perhaps older if kids are nervous before the first day.

This is a beautifully illustrated book and game app which will help kids get over their jitters before the first day of school.  I can’t wait to try it with my older son before he goes back to school in the fall.

Google Play
Amazon


Abigail's Tales: First Day
Abigail's Tales: First Day
by Dabster Entertainment LLC

Category: Education, Entertainment
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone5-iPhone5, iPadFourthGen-iPadFourthGen, iPadFourthGen4G-iPadFourthGen4G, 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: 294.51 MB

$0.99USD

Screenshots
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Screenshots for iPad
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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.

Dr. Panda Trucks by Dr. Panda Ltd – Review



 

What we love…

fun truck themed app which encourages kids to knock down and build new buildings

What we’d love to see…

more realistic sounds for the horns on the trucks as well as a tutorial for how to drive and maneuver some

Summary

Overall, this is a super cute construction and truck themed app that will have your preschooler and older kids building for hours.  You can knock down the building, head to the factory for new blocks and build your new creation all in moments.

Our Rating

Dr. Panda Trucks by Dr. Panda Ltd. is a brand new Dr. Panda themed app featuring 7 unique vehicles.  The app features a bulldozer, dump truck, truck with wrecking ball, army style truck which shoots cannon balls, crane, and a cleaning truck.  My son had so much fun building with Dr. Panda.  This app is full of fun – first you demolish the existing building using a variety of trucks and then the building begins.  After demolishing the building – you go over to the brick factory to get bricks to build your new building.  Then you can head for paint or go to the construction site and start building.  After you get to the construction site – you move a lever and dump the dump truck which then creates a building.  To put the finishing touches on you can head over to the door and window building to load up the dump truck.  We used the crane to move the windows on top of our newly constructed building.  When you open the app, the trucks are all neatly parked – you can either drive them from the parking lot or access them from a top menu which is accessed via swipe at the top of the screen.  I enjoyed hearing my son narrate a bit as he picked his favorite trucks and was building.  We named colors, favorite trucks and described what we were doing all while playing with the app.  It’s a great app to use your imagination with as well as practice fine motor skills.

iPad Screenshot 1

My son’s favorite part was getting bricks to build the new building.  He loved seeing them sort and organize themselves into the back of the truck.  He also liked making the different truck noises including beeps, saying “watch out” when he dumped the dump truck.  You can build up to six different buildings at a time.  My son loved scooping, pushing, building, expanding the buckets, dumping and more.  As a parent I loved the variety of buildings kids could make as well as the variety of things they could do.  The hidden surprises like the mud that made the trucks spin made my toddler smile.   His favorite truck was the street cleaner which picked up the mess.

In terms of enhancements – my toddler said the horns didn’t sound like big trucks. At times, he had a little bit of trouble navigating using the bars to move up and down the various items as they were not typical of items he usually saw.  He also wanted to make the army style truck shoot higher but neither of us could figure out how to make it do that. It would also be fun to have a variety of buildings to choose from to build rather than having the app choose.  I’d also like to be able to choose the shape of the bricks I wanted.  Another wishlist item would be the ability to navigate all within Dr. Panda apps – similar to Dr. Panda Town.

iPad Screenshot 3

The app is free with in-app purchases (IAP) for all buildings or all trucks – if your kids like the app I would suggest paying for the unlock all.  There are advertisements for other Dr. Panda apps on the splash screen.  External items are parental gated via birthday.

Overall, this is a super cute construction and truck themed app that will have your preschooler and older kids building for hours.  You can knock down the building, head to the factory for new blocks and build your new creation all in moments.  It’s a fun game to play on the fly or to entertain your kids for a longer period of time.  You can read our roundup of all the great Dr. Panda apps we have reviewed here.


Dr. Panda Trucks Dr. Panda Trucks by Dr. Panda Ltd

Price: $FREE

Clear the way for Dr. Panda Trucks! Master the machines, build funky constructions and blast them to pieces on your very own construction site!
TAKE CONTROL!
Drive and control up to 7 giant vehicles.

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.

Toddler & Kids Learning Games by Clapenjoy SRL – Review


What we love…

Activities that help develop early science thinkers.

What we’d love to see…

A harvesting step to complete the plant life cycle and parents’ guide.

Summary

This is a fun app that stimulates preschoolers’ curiosity to find out how nature works.

Our Rating

Toddler & Kids Learning Games by Clapenjoy SRL is the perfect companion app for curious preschoolers to discover the wonders of nature that are all around them. What they learn in the app can be easily linked to what they observe in the real world.
 
There are 4 nature-based learning activities in the app. Through these activities, kids imagine what happens when temperature changes, grow their own vegetables and fruits, witness the transformation of a caterpillar to a butterfly and feed baby birds. They also learn about the life cycle of plants, butterflies and birds, and what is needed for healthy growth. All these information is presented in cute animation.
 

Besides the age-appropriate educational content, I like that the app frequently prompts young learners to think about what item or action is needed next. You can talk about the 3 options given and guide your child’s thinking process in choosing the correct option. As the answer options change at every play session, you can have different discussions deliberating and explaining why some answers are good choices and why others are not.
 

Another point that I like is that there are many opportunities for children to make decisions while playing the app e.g. which outfit to wear, what vegetables to plant, which fancy watering can to use, which fruit tree to grow and what color should the butterfly be.
 

This app is easy for young children to navigate, with prompts given when they are stuck. Players proceed from one learning section to the next seamlessly and there is no need for instructions. Simple finger actions like tapping, dragging and rubbing are all that is needed to activate a response from the app. There is also no time limit or score keeping in the activities.
 

In addition to the nature-based educational games, kids can also have fun with puzzles, memory match games and coloring pages that are based on the nature activities.

Digital puzzles take away the frustrations that some younger children experience when they don’t have the fine-motor skills to manipulate a physical puzzle yet. With digital puzzles, children continue to reap the benefits of putting together a puzzle like hand-eye coordination and problem-solving skills . Each puzzle in this app starts with 4 pieces. It gets more difficult with increasing number of pieces. But you can change the level of difficulty at any time by tapping on the ‘+’ and ‘-‘ on-screen buttons. In total, there are 30 puzzles of varying difficulty levels in the app to be solved.
 

The 24 memory cards games included in the app are also presented in increasing levels of difficulty, from 4 to 12 cards per set. Similarly, you can adjust the number of cards in each game. The memory cards are randomly generated and players get a different set of cards each time they play. These games are great for concentration and improving memory.

Coloring activities are always popular with preschoolers and having some sessions on digital coloring pages that are easier to complete can help kids achieve success and boost their self-esteem (especially when you keep a screenshot of their masterpiece). The 11 coloring pages in this app come with 4 coloring tools, an eraser and 13 color options. The paint brush, crayons and color pencils are standard offerings but the rub-and-color magic wand will be great for younger kids.
 

The app is free to download and kids can play with the vegetable garden activity right away. The free app also comes with a puzzle, a memory card game and a coloring page for your child to try. The other 3 nature-based activities can be unlocked with an in-app-purchase (IAP) of $1.99 . The developer keeps the app kids-friendly by giving users the option to disable the IAP from within the parent’s section. You can also turn off the background music and sound effects (like the rabbit’s springy hopping sounds) from the parent’s section. It would be great if this section can also provide parents with the key learning points that they can highlight to their children in each of the learning activities.

Nevertheless, Toddler & Kids Learning Games is still a standout among the very few early science apps that are available in the App Store for the preschool age group. It encourages young learners to ask questions about how nature works and to find their own answers. It should be renamed to reflect its area of focus. Download the free app and check it out!

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Toddler & Kids Learning Games

Toddler games 4 preschool kids Toddler games 4 preschool kids by Clapenjoy SRL

Price: $FREE

Learning games for kids to explore the natural world, an early science kids app especially designed for AGES 2 to 5. Play and learn with free preschool and kindergarten interactive games, puzzles, memory.

 

 

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.

Who is the Ugliest of All? by The Happy Dandelion – Review



 

What we love…

fun interactive app featuring a girl as she dresses for a Halloween event, I really loved all the interactions on each page – and seeing what would happen if I tapped multiple times

What we’d love to see…

design your own treat bag, dress some of the other characters

Summary

This fun interactive Halloween themed app includes a girl and her inner voice as she gets ready in the mirror.  Join her adventures in picking her dress, shoes, socks, and makeup while getting ready.

Our Rating

Who is the Ugliest of All? iconWho is the Ugliest of All by The Happy Dandelion is a universal Halloween themed app for iOS featuring an interactive mirror.  The main character is a young girl who is trying to figure out what to wear to a Halloween trick or treat.  This storybook app has the main character picking out a dress – which she admits is tight and stained is her attire of choice.  She then puts on her stockings with a few repairs needed and mismatched socks of orange and teal as well as two different shoes – one grey and one brown.  Then it’s off to makeup, nails and hair.  Her hair has a raven nest with three small chicks and UV sunglasses to protect her eyes.  Be sure to check out the other apps by The Happy Dandelion which include Queen Bee in Paris, The UnStealer.

This app features narration of the story – simply tap on the text to have it read aloud as well as a variety of interactive elements on each page.  On the dress page there is a belt to tap, the dress which twinkles and disappears and then re-appears in the mirror.  By tapping on the mismatched shoes – a new rip appears which is quickly fixed by a spider who you can later swing after she’s completed her repairs.  Navigation is via hidden buttons at the top of each page – simply tap the left side to go back and the right side to go forward.

This app features the internal dialog  of a girl getting dressed for Halloween.  Join her as she finds her dress, puts on her mismatched socks and shoes while getting ready.  My favorite part of the app was putting on her makeup because all of the colors made me laugh – green lipstick, blue blush and the magic marker eyebrows.  The animations and illustrations in this app are great, I enjoyed tapping around (and tapping some things multiple times) to make sure I captured all of the various animations.  Seeing the gloves with no tips against the green smile and animation was cute as you could interact with each element.  The best though was the Raven’s nest in her hair – and the raven feeding her chicks with the worms!  The app is for older kids and adults as some of the self talk especially when she refers to herself as ugliest can be a bit self depreciating until you get to the last page when you discover she’s dressed for Trick or Treat!  On the last page you can unwrap a mummy, tap on Frankenstein, or make the magic stone glow.   The app ends well when you discover that the girl was simply putting together a Halloween costume!  I have to say that I have looked at this app multiple times – and it never fails to delight with the fun animations.

In terms of enhancements – it might be fun to dress some of the other characters on the last page or even to design her trick or treat bag,

This fun interactive Halloween themed app includes a girl and her inner voice as she gets ready in the mirror.  Join her adventures in picking her dress, shoes, socks, and makeup while getting ready.  The app is child-safe with no external links or in-app purchases.


Who is the Ugliest of All? Who is the Ugliest of All? by Joshua Wilson

Price: $3.99 USD

Who is the Ugliest of All? is an interactive Halloween Story featuring a young girl's internal dialog. With her questionable fashion choices and increasingly odd imperfections she challenges our conventional.

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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