Archive for the ‘iphone App’ Category

Review – Where the Wild Things Are & Peekaboo Farm

Kid’s  Book and Kid’s iPhone App reviews continue. For my “reasons” behind “Why Apps?!” look here. Type “Kids” or “children” or “educational” into the Apple iStore and you get bombarded with Apps. Which to get?! Look no further… As well as our usual Monday Morning Book Club review!

All previously reviewed books can be found on my Amazon store:

Red Ted Arts Book Recommendations on Amazon

Book Review – Where the Wild Things Are

Where the Wild Things are

Where the Wild Things Are, Maurice Sendak. Read together age: 2.5yrs – 5yrs, Read alone age, 6yrs – 9yrs

For me “Where the wild things are” is such a classic children’s book. Max is a naughty boy and gets sent to his room without supper, there he embarks on a magical story to where the wild things are.. My favourite line is “Let the wild rompus start!”. Eventually though he misses his family and heads home… I am a huge Maurice Sendak fan and have many of his other books, so it is only natural that this book should be on my list!

Kid’s iphone App Review – Peekaboo Farm

Peekaboo Farm. No Kid’s iphone App review is complete without the inclusion of Peekaboo farm. Everyone I know seems to have it! It is lovingly designed, so the images are hugely appealing to both children and, erm, me. What it does: you hear an animal sound and get a chance to guess what animal it is. When you tap on the barn door it opens to reveal an animal behind. A child’s voice (American) then tells you the name of the animal. We like how all the animals go to sleep at the end of the “cycle”. Red Ted loved it, though is getting slightly bored of it now (he is 2.5yrs), but Pip Squeak (9mths) is fascinated by it. So it really is a fabulous App for the tiniest amongst us – Red Ted does still play with it, just not as often. It also has a Spanish language option…

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Reviews – Hooray for Fish & Dr Seuss – The Big Brag

Kid’s  Book and Kid’s iPhone App reviews continue. For my “reasons” behind “Why Apps?!” look here. Type “Kids” or “children” or “educational” into the Apple iStore and you get bombarded with Apps. Which to get?! Look no further… As well as our usual Monday Morning Book Club review!

All previously reviewed books can be found on my Amazon store:

Red Ted Arts Book Recommendations on Amazon

Book – Hooray for Fish!

Hooray for Fish! Hooray for Fish!By Lucy Cousins. Red Ted’s “first” favourite read – I picked up a hardback copy at Tate Modern Bookshop. He really enjoyed it the most 9 months – 12 months, though he does still enjoy it now, especially since I have brought it back out for Pip Squeak. We love all the different, bright and colour fish! Our favourite bit is probably the very rhythmic  “Eye Fish, Shy Fish, Sky fish, Fly Fish” page, but that is just us. It is all lovely! I now know all the words practically off by heart!

From a parental perspective, it is great, as it has lots counting going on, lots of colours to identify, stripes, spots etc etc so they are definitely learning too!

One of my (!) favourite Lucy Cousins books.

Kid’s iphone App – Dr Seuss – The Big Brag

We were lucky enough to be given this iphone App for review. I ADORE Dr Seuss, I love his books and we already have a number of the other Dr Seuss iphone Apps. So I was chuffed to bits to receive this brand new App for Red Ted and me to enjoy! Hurray. Especially, since I haven’t read the book yet!

What do we think? Well, we ADORE it (almost a given). There are so many things we like:

1) I like the voice over – voice can be so irritating, but they have this one spot on

2) The intro music – very “Dr Seuss” – cheeky, quirky and fun

3) The way, as with all of Dr Seuss’s apps, you can tap on the images and you see the word appearing and being read out – great for additional vocab learning (e.g. “Hill” or “Ears”)

4) How you have Read To Me, Read My Self  and Auto Play modes

Because of these different “Modes” (point 4), this App has appeal to a number of age groups. Red Ted (2.5yrs) use the Read My Self mode like a book when we are on the go and I didn’t get a chance to pack a book. I get to read and gets to tap and scroll. Older children learning to read (5-8yrs), can assist their reading skills with the Read to Me function or go it alone in Read My Self. OR, you can just relax, sit back and use Auto Mode.

The story itself is about a Bear and a Rabbit engaging in a “Big Brag” of who is the best animal in the world. The Rabbit has fabulous hearing abilities. The  Bear has amazing smelling abilities.. and then a little worm comes along and shows how he can see right around the world – we get a wee less in geography and foolish animals… And a little lesson on bragging! All excuted in the well known Dr Seuss drawing style.

WE LOVE!

 That way we get to read it at our pace (which you can anyway by just scrolling through), but also to tap at all the pictures.

Previous iphone Apps reviews:

I Hear Ewe (free) – All 5 Duck Duck Moose Giveaway + Giveaway + mini review – Face iMake (free at time of posting) –KidArt – Dr Seusss ABC –The Wheels on the Bus – Duck Duck Moose

Book, kid’s iphone App & Music Review – When we were very young, I Hear Ewe & Beautiful Creatures

Kid’s  Book and Kid’s iPhone App reviews continue. For my “reasons” behind “Why Apps?!” look here. Type “Kids” or “children” or “educational” into the Apple iStore and you get bombarded with Apps. Which to get?! Look no further… As well as our usual Monday Morning Book Club review!

All previously reviewed books can be found on my Amazon store:

Red Ted Arts Book Recommendations on Amazon

Book Review – When We Were Very Young, A. A. Milne

Reading Age: 6yrs+ Read Together Age: our house from 0 yrs – 6yrs

When We Were Very Young (Winnie the Pooh)“When We Were Very Young” – A.A. Milne.  As a key “Reader to Red Ted”, I asked The Englishman for “their” favourite read… The Englishman didn’t quite get that this was about the books that Red Ted “demanded”, however, he did have a very good point: “I grew up with A. A. Milne, particularly “When We Were Very Young”. I am now immersing Red Ted in the same. Most people know A. A. Milne for Winnie-the-Pooh – however these forty-four poems – first published in 1924 – are a cracking read. Red Ted loves them – as much as I do. For Winnie-the-Pooh fans, he makes one of his first appearances in this book (thirty-eighth poem in the book, Teddy Bear)”. The point I want pick up on, is the fact that he reads some things with Red Ted that he grew up on and tha9 he loves. This brings passion and pleasure to reading and helps the little ones get into it too!

Children like rhythm and rhme, so a book of poems for children really should feature in all children’s libraries. There are many wonderful nursery rhyme books to choose from, but why not get something more “classic”?!

When  I try and pick this book up to read it to Red Ted, I get a VERY CLEAR “No Mummy Read the book! Daddy read!” – this is one for Daddy and Red Ted only. No mummies allowed! And I am sure it will form part of Red Ted’s treasured childhood memories of his bedtime stories with Daddy.

I think that that is lovely!

iPhone App Review – I Hear Ewe

  

Ok, a little bit of a funny one to review, as I don’t much like it. There, I have said it. But these are reviews about things for our children, and not everything Red Ted likes, I like and vice versa.

So I decided to bring it to you anyway, especially since it is another FREE App. And so long as they are free, what is the harm in trying them out?

So what is the App and what does it do? Basically, it is  a whole range of pictures – predominately animals, but a page of vehicles too. Press on the image and a voice says “This is the sound a xxx makes” followed by the pretty realistic sound. Red Ted is able to spend AGES playing with this.

What I do like about it, is that you can change the language to English, Spanish, German (ha! There you have it) and Chinese! You know I am keen for the English/ German bilingualism, however, I am also keen for Red Ted to get an understanding that there are other languages too (he loves saying “Au Revoir” and “Ciao Ciao”). So, we sometimes play with the languages on this App.

It has languages. It teaches a bit of vocabulary and it is free. So give it a go and see what your toddler thinks!

Previous iPhone Apps:

All 5 Duck Duck Moose Giveaway + mini review – Face iMake (free at time of posting) –KidArt – Dr Seusss ABC –The Wheels on the Bus – Duck Duck Moose

Music

With all these “rhyme time” and “music” classes available for our toddlers, parents often forget that they can enjoy music together at home. I have sought out nice music for us to listen to together from the beginning and am always keen to try out new things, as well as expose my children to classical music.

So I was very pleased when the lovely people at Beautiful Creatures asked me to review their children’s music album.

Beautiful Creatures is fab new music production from South Africa. I was chuffed to download their original Beautiful Creatures album. We have always enjoyed eclectic music and have all sorts from the very traditional nursery rhymes to American vintage songs to alternative music such as Putumayo. What Putumayo is to “to the world”, Beautiful Creatures is to Africa. Catchy tunes with an African twist (lots of African animals of course). One song reminds me a little of the Rocky Horror Picture show (Lucas the Lazy Lion), whilst others are wonderfully mellow (Down comes the rain). When we put it on for Red Ted, he started jumping up and down and twisting and turning. He particularly like the Mafutha song (“More Tut Tut Tut more!” – Tut tut tut = Elephant in Red Ted speak).

You have adults singing the lead with chidlren in the chorus. No annoying high pitched or patronizing adult voices. Proper singing! What says it all for me, is that The Englishman will put on this album! He isn’t very good with  the normal children’s music…

If you are uncertain about buying you can preview it on the Beautiful Creatures blog, but I do think this is worth adding to your music library!

Book & iPhone App Review – The Tickle Book & Faces iMake

Kid’s  Book and Kid’s iPhone App reviews continue. For my “reasons” behind “Why Apps?!” look here. Type “Kids” or “children” or “educational” into the Apple iStore and you get bombarded with Apps. Which to get?! Look no further… As well as our usual Monday Morning Book Club review!

Book Review – The Tickle Book

The Tickle Book: With pop-up surprises The Tickle Book, by Ian Whybrow and Axel Scheffler.  

Reading age: 5yrs – 8yrs. Read together age: 18mths – 4yrs.

Another favourite of Red Ted’s. He adores the tickle book – especially on the first page where he loves to “knock on the door” to find the tickle monster… I think that the anticipation of the tickle is the fun thing. He even learnt to pull some of the pully things from around 18mths onwards (if you helped him). Note: do NOT let your little ones play with this one on their own, it will get destroyed, as The Englishman found out one morning. “Me” was not happy… a new went on order. Tut tut. We do let Red Ted “play” with his books, but I do take care with the ones that have high damage risk – simple flaps he’s ok with, but the tickle book was just too exciting and interesting… how does it all work?! It was just asking to be pulled apart.

The drawings are classic “Scheffler” drawings, so if you like his illustrations, get this book!

All previously reviewed books can be found on my Amazon store:

Red Ted Arts Book Recommendations on Amazon

Kids iPhone App Review – Faces iMake

Faces iMake icon Faces iMake   App Review Faces iMake

 Age: 3.5yrs – 99 yrs.

Ok, so this is one, that is really for me. When I first downloaded it I got soooo excited.

But let’s start at the beginning. This App is an Arty App. I am always on the look out for crafty and arty ones (as well as decent music Apps, please do let me know if you have any top tips). Faces iMake is one of those lovely Apps that is ABSOLUTELY free. Yes Free (or at least it was when I downloaded it last week). And free things are not always bad. Download it. Give it a go and if you don’t like it delete it.

Self Portrait

So, why do I love it so much. Firstly, it comes with the most fabulously little catchy tune (ok, some of you may find it irritating, but in Kiddie Land, I like it!). It is a happy, light hearted App. You are encouraged to draw faces using all sorts of manners of things. Like a 3D collage on the iphone. Doodling with objects. You have a choice of veg, kitchen equipment, toys, tools etc etc and you, well make a face! This App is even better emulated at home, with real things, as children let their imagination run wild and get to feel lots of tactile objects.

What I also like about the App, is that it has some “tutorials” – to me – they are lovingly produced – I love the guy talking, he has a passion for art and a passion for creating fun faces with things. He encourages you to have a go and think about what things represent. If you were doing daddy, who likes cooking, which items would you use etc?

A lovely App. Probably for the slighly older children (and yourself), though Red Ted (2.5yrs) does play with it. He just doesn’t quite get it yet.

Previous iPhone Apps:

KidArt

Dr Seusss ABC

The Wheels on the Bus – Duck Duck Moose

Kid’s Book – Nutshell Library, Maurice Sendak & Kid’s iPhone App Review – KidArt

Kid’s  Book and Kid’s iPhone App reviews continue. For my “reasons” behind “Why Apps?!” look here. Type “Kids” or “children” or “educational” into the Apple iStore and you get bombarded with Apps. Which to get?! Look no further…

Kid’s Book Review: Nutshell Library – Maurice Sendak

Nutshell Library (Caldecott Collection)Nutshell Library by Maurice Sendak. Reading Age: 5yrs +. Read together Age, 1.5 yrs+. Red Ted has always loved these, at first because he loves little books he can hold and put in and out of little boxes. Now (2.5yrs) he is starting to get interested in the little stories. He likes the rythm of counting and the funny little pictures. He doesn’t quite understand all of it yet (e.g. Chicken Soup with rice looks at the months and I don’t think he knows what “February” is yet) but he enjoys them non the less. I love these, because a) I had two of the little books when I was little b) I love Maurice Sendak’s quirkiness and c) (for all parents) it has counting, seasons and alphabets + a little cautionary tale involving a lion. What more could you want?! I have given these as presents before – they make a great little gift!

Kid’s iPhone App Review: KidArt

   Being a crafty sort of mum (not that you hadn’t noticed yet…), I did want to find a crafty App. There are a few around and I basically chose one based on reviews I found online. So we got KidArt. Red Ted took to it straight away. It has a catchy tune when you first load it that Red Ted loves to wriggle too. Then you have a simple touch screen and colour selection pallet. You can also use some “stickers” and different backgrounds. Give it a little shake and your last addition disappears. You can also save the artwork and send it to family if you really want! Although, I (!) find it a little hard to draw accurately, the simple menu, bright colours, fun music and shaky shake eraser really to please Red Ted, and that is what it is all about. A bit of colour. A bit of art and a bit of fun. Lovely.

Remember though, there are many FREE Apps out there. Sometimes it is the “Lite” version of something as a taster and sometimes they are just free. Don’t knock the free stuff a 2-3 yrs old will probably be more than happy. Some of the “Lites” are irritating as they add several screens to try and make you buy the full version, which with toddlers can be infuriating. If this is the case just delete it! But do get all the Lites first before you buy and you will see if you like the App.

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Kid’s Book & Kid’s iphone App review – Dr. Seuss One Fish, Two Fish & Dr. Seuss’s ABC

Kid’s  Book and Kid’s iPhone App reviews continue. For my “reasons” behind “Why Apps?!” look here. Type “Kids” or “children” or “educational” into the Apple iStore and you get bombarded with Apps. Which to get?! Look no further…

 I am linking this up this week’s Jenny Matlock Alphabet Soup! Any letter goes… but as there is the wonderful Dr Seuss ABC review below, I thought it would be rather fitting! We love Dr Seuss and all his quirky books and we love his ABC!

Be sure to come back in about 2 weeks time I will be running a fabulous Giveaway with Duck Duck Moose and you can win some of their excellent iphone Apps like Baa Baa Black Sheep & Fish School!

Kid’s Book Review – Dr Seuss One Fish, Two Fish Nursery edition

Dr. Seuss Nursery - One Fish, Two Fish, Three, Four, Five Fish!: Bead BookOne Fish, Two Fish Nursery Edition. Dr Seuss. We all know and love Dr Seuss. I didn’t actually grow up with it, so for me every “new” book is a new discovery. However, I particularly like this Dr Seuss’s nursery edition. Not only do you get the wonderful One Fish, Two Fish counting book, with the marvelous Dr Seuss illustrations and trademark rythm, but the 5 little fish on the top act as counters. Red Ted (2.5yrs) and Pip Squeak, just play with them, but still, counters they are. Something is going somewhere subconsciously! Also means, that Pip Squeak likes this book a lot earlier than she may have done. (Oh and you get to explore colours too!).

Kid’s iphone App Review: Dr Seuss’s ABC

Dr Seuss’s ABC. I am a Kid’s iPhone App convert and do let Red Ted play every so often (under supervision, as he accidently deletes stuff!). My most recent acquisition is the Dr Seuss ABC App. Now, how can you feel bad if the little one is learning the alphabet. What I really like about this App, isn’t just the Dr Seuss drawings and colours, but in particularly the music and voiceover. Both done very nicely, with a lovely flowing rhythm to it. Brilliant. Also, tap on an image and the word will appear. Will definitely help with literacy skills! (0r so I tell myself! ). Red Ted really enjoys this App.  At 2.5yrs I thought he may be too  young for it, but he isn’t. I think he likes the music but also the words appearing and scrolling along the pages. For older children, you can switch the sound off and they can “read to themselves”. The tapping and scrolling still works!

Also linking up with these wonderful book sharing blogs!!

      Photobucket   Weekly Linky on My Blog  

Book & Kid’s iphone App: The Black Book of Colours & Wheels on the Bus

They say you should try things out on your blog from time to time and not be afraid of change! So I have decided to ammend my “Books for you Monday”. You will get one book and for a short while one iPhone App.

The book

The Black Book of Colours

The Black Book of Colours, by Cottin and Faria . When I first came across this book, I knew we had to have it. Simply because it is so different. We like books that a quirky and new. However, this book is so much more than that: it teaches your children about others and their disabilities. The Black Book of Colours is a “rainbow” book all in black and white. Each colour is decribed from the point of view of blind  Thomas “Yellow tastes like mustard, but is as soft as a baby chick’s feathers.” It is accompanied by relief illustrations in black and everything is written in words and braille. Personally, I am fascinated by braille – how can we learn to make our fingers so sensitive that we can actually read all those little dots?! The book has the braille alphabet in the back too. This is a great book to talk about what life with out sight might be like. To help build compassion, but also to stimulate the imagination. What does “blue” sounds like to you?! Red Ted is just about old enough to discuss the colours like this, but I will be taking this round to my neighbours house for the 5yrs old and 7yrs old to test too! 

The iphone Appt

Firstly, some background: 

 Before I had Red Ted and Pip Squeak, I was very anti Television, anti computer games and anti chocolate for young children (I myself didn’t have a TV for three years and it was rather liberating!!). So, I thought about the whole “no bad” things for my children thing for ages and came to the following conclusion: all in moderation and everything has it’s place. A friend of mine grew up without a TV, resulting in him going round to friend’s houses and just sitting in front of the TV there – no socialising nor interacting. So no TV = not good. Also, peer pressure means that you should at least have an idea of what is what etc.. So I decided – SOME TV is ok, so long as it isn’t too much and we didn’t abuse. I feel even better when Red Ted watches German DVDs, because then it becomes “educational” (how we kid ourselves).

Same goes for computer games – I so don’t want to have the zombie children that have computer consoles as arm extensions and only look in the direction of flickering TV screens. So, I was all “non of that, thank you very much”. But you know, maybe computer games (in moderation!) aren’t so bad. Chosen well, I am sure that they do stimulate and develop certain skills etc.

I delved into that world with my first iphone app: – The Wheels on the Bus by Duck Duck Moose. I am sorry, but I have to say, it is FABULOUS and Red Ted LOVES it. Perfect whilst I need to change Pip Squeak and Red Ted needs a little distraction – you see “time & place”. I love the music – they have made a really nice recording, you can switch from “their voice” to a recording of your own, to just violin or piano. In theory you can download it in German too, but I haven’t succeeded yet. They also have some “interesting” bus riders – e.g. a baker with his cake. But I think that this is the charm of the song – children love it if you make up “random” verses (well, Red Ted does). The images are bright, colourful and very child friendly (of course!). And I do like that the PCness of it: the bus driver is a girl! Yay! The only “but” is that the words are slightly different, this must be an American version and they sing “the bus goes all over town” instead of “all day long” and that we have a yellow school bus and not a lovely English Red Bus. Still. We love it. Red Ted got the hang of it in no time and now aged 2.5yrs knows it back to front.

I then went applicaton mad and downloaded a whole load of other stuff… to be reviewed over the coming weeks!

So. This is the MODERN good life – think of it in terms of minimum impact on the environment – a great little gift to your child without adding to the mountain of “stuff” they already have!

(PS if all this sounds familiar, I wrote the above for The Good Life a few months back, we like recycling)

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