Yaya Learns English by Kiddies City – Review

Yaya Learns English by Kiddies City – Review


What we love…

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

What we’d love to see…

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

Summary

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

Our Rating

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

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

iPad Screenshot 1

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

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


Yaya Learns English
Yaya Learns English
by Chin Yee Karwehl

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

$1.99USD

Screenshots for iPad
(Click to enlarge)

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

Alison, the American iMum is from Massachusetts. She lives there with her sons and husband. In their spare time, they enjoy playing outside, enjoying nature and of course testing apps and fantastic products on their devices. They have a variety of devices including an iPad, iPhone, and an iPod and is often found with a device! 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.
Grandma’s Beach Fun by Fairlady Media – Review

Grandma’s Beach Fun by Fairlady Media – Review


What we love…

fun beach themed app with seven mini games and two interactive mini games which have kids learning and having fun all at the same time!

What we’d love to see…

beachball themed activity, naming of objects in the sand art or even storytime at the beach

Summary

Overall, this is a fun beach themed app which is great for the summer or perhaps even a snowy day when kids are wishing for a nice sunny day.  It has good educational content which has kids learning and having fun at the same time.  Best for preschool or early elementary school ages.

Our Rating

Grandma's Beach FunGrandma’s Beach Fun by Fairlady Media is a fun new beach themed app which has you joining Grandma and Grandpa on a trip to the beach – sans the sand in your car on the way home!  The app has seven educational games ranging from: find the beach gear, beach art, word rhyming, umbrella matching (fun twist on typical picture matching), math (shake the coconut trees to add numbers up to 12), word find (beach themed!) and my kids favorite tide pool critters.  This app, aimed at the preschool and early elementary age children includes math; literacy via reading, spelling, rhyming; water sports, art using beach shells and fireworks.  Skills practiced include fine motor, working memory, cause and effect.

This is a cute app which had a lot of enjoyment for my kids.  Grandma and Grandpa are back again – this time with a great beach themed app – perfect for anytime especially those long car rides during the summer or perhaps a rainy day outside.  There are seven educational games which include: math, literacy, memory, creativity and more as well as videos about beach animals and water sports, make your own fireworks and help Grandpa avoid obstacles while water skiing!  One of my favorite things about Fairlady Media games is the parental control which allows you to turn on and off specific mini games if they are too hard or too easy for your child – this meant that my older son who has mastered the addition and found it “too easy” was still able to enjoy other mini games like the airplane rhyme, waterskiing jump, and even the beach themed crosswords.  My older son enjoyed the waterskiing jump and airplane rhyme the best out of the mini games .  When we packed Grandma’s beach bag we also talked about why each item was important like sunscreen, a towel or even a pail and shovel.  My kids really like this series of apps, although I personally can’t imagine my grandparents going water skiing.  The umbrella matching was a fun twist on a typical memory match game with the umbrella animating to display the item and then the umbrella’s disappearing as the items were matched.   The app interspersed more fun activities like waterskiing, the touch tank and art with harder activities like the word find or math.which kept my son interested.  He liked that you could touch and drag across to highlight the words within the app and as a mom I liked that you could turn the hints on and off.  The fireworks activity was a fun way to cap off the app.

I’d love to see a fun beach ball themed activity – one of my favorites with my kids when we go to the beach is to toss it around.  We also enjoy building sandcastles – similar to the art where we were able to take different objects to make a picture. It would be great if the different objects, like shells or driftwood were named as you made the art.   I’d also love to see a beach themed story of some sort added to the app so kids could either listen or practice reading it.

Overall, this is a fun beach themed app which is great for the summer or perhaps even a snowy day when kids are wishing for a nice sunny day.  It has good educational content which has kids learning and having fun at the same time.  Best for preschool or early elementary school ages.


Grandma's Beach Fun Grandma's Beach Fun by Fairlady Media

Price: $2.99 USD

Join Grandma for fun in the sun! Choose rhyming words to cause airplane acrobatics, match up items under the umbrellas, go waterskiing with Grandpa, solve some coconut math, create crazy beach art, find.

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.  Links in this review may earn us affiliate income which helps to support The iMums.

Alison, the American iMum is from Massachusetts. She lives there with her sons and husband. In their spare time, they enjoy playing outside, enjoying nature and of course testing apps and fantastic products on their devices. They have a variety of devices including an iPad, iPhone, and an iPod and is often found with a device! 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.
 Grandpa’s Toy Shop by Fairlady Media – Review & Giveaway

Grandpa’s Toy Shop by Fairlady Media – Review & Giveaway



iPad Screenshot 2

What we love…

fun toy themed app that includes skills like math, reading, creative design, problem solving

What we’d love to see…

ability to have a budget for toys, more options when designing your own toy

Summary

Remove this text and add your own here.

Our Rating

GGrandpa's Toy Shoprandpa’s Toy Shop by Fairlady Media is a universal app for iOS featuring Grandpa and a variety of great activities including design and building of toys, pricing of toys, helping customers choose a toy, using the cash register to calculate totals as well as cleaning up after they have closed for the night.  Skills practiced include math (1 – 20), reading (spell the names of ten different toys including robot and boat), creative design of toys, selecting different parts to make a robot, using the cash register to add up the total and pricing the toys.

This app from Fairlady Media reminds me of going to the toy store with my son.  There are so many choices of things that he can choose.  My son loved making toys including robots by choosing arms, legs, body and head, decorating items using jewels, spelling of a variety of toys, helping the customer choose items, and adding up the total of the items purchased.  I loved the life skills of choice, finding objects on a list and pricing them as well as adding up the total.

iPad Screenshot 4

I loved how many choices were available to design the toys.  My older son loved designing a kite, making a colorful teddy bear while my younger son scribbled and made the jewels to the crown.  I also liked that the activities were step by step including the building of the doll (head, body, arms, legs) and similarly the robot was built the same way.  After you created the design and toys they would go to the toy shop to be displayed – something my artistic 8 year old loved!  I also liked that I could customize which games were appropriate depending on the child so I could turn them on and off as well as the music.  My son also liked to see his creations displayed.  I also liked seeing how my son would look at the prices of the items as he tried to figure out the cost for each of the specific items.  In addition, I liked how there was a specific pattern – first you make toys, then you “open” the shop by making a sign advertising one of the toys you made, spinning the pinwheels and putting out the sign.  Next you price the toys before the customer looks for specific toys – which helped kids pick which ones they needed from a field of eight.  It’s also nice that the toys rotate making it fun for kids to play over and over.

In terms of enhancements, it might be fun if you were given a budget and then the child could figure out which combination of items you could buy for x amount versus using the shopping list.  My son also wished that there were more choices for coloring in the designed toys like the sailboat or that he could choose the width of the crayon.  For those that are not yet good at math, it might be nice if the cash register had an icon to represent the specific toy by touch instead of adding them together.  Currently the cash register does have some icons but they don’t represent toys that I saw on the shelf on a routine basis.

Overall, this is a fun app designed for preschool age up.  I liked that you could pick games which catered to your child’s strengths which meant that more or less mini games were available depending on your child’s skill level. There are no external links or in-app purchases.  There is advertising for other Fairlady Media apps but it has a parental gate of a birth year in order to proceed.

Grandpa's Toy Shop
Grandpa's Toy Shop
by Fairlady Media

Category: Education, Family, Games, Educational
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
Size: 76.23 MB

$2.99USD

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.

If you’d like to win a copy, please enter using our widget below
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Alison, the American iMum is from Massachusetts. She lives there with her sons and husband. In their spare time, they enjoy playing outside, enjoying nature and of course testing apps and fantastic products on their devices. They have a variety of devices including an iPad, iPhone, and an iPod and is often found with a device! 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.
 Square Panda Phonics Playset by Square Panda – Review & Giveaway

Square Panda Phonics Playset by Square Panda – Review & Giveaway



Square Panda Phonics Playset

What we love…

ability to use a multisensory approach to learning letters which includes apps and physical letters placed on the playset to form words; included parental dashboard to track your kids progress

What we’d love to see…

ability to customize words in all apps, a mobile friendly version of the Square Panda Playground website

Summary

The Square Panda Phonics Playset is a great demonstration of how you can use your iPad and integrated playset to provide learning both on the screen and using tactile letters to complete a goal – I can’t wait to see what else this company will bring.

Our Rating

 

recommended-by-the-imums

The Square Panda Phonics Playset by Square Panda which features a bluetooth enabled playset to engage kids in learning a variety of activities from learning letters, spelling, letter sounds, rhymes, learning new vocabulary words and more.  The set consists of 45 Smart Letters, a Playset box which you pair to your iPad and holds your device while in use, access to the Square Panda Playground where you can manage a parent account, see information about your child’s progress and additional learning opportunities as well as 4 AA Batteries.  The Square Panda Playset requires either iPad 3, iPad 4, iPad Mini, iPad Air 2 or iPad Pro in order to run and you must be running iOS 8.x and above.  The Square Panda Phonics Playset provides a multisensory tactile learning experience which combines content on your iPad with letters and visuals within the app. It includes 14 levels of phonics play as well as an integrated dashboard to track progress.

Setup is quick and easy.  First, you set up an account on Square Panda with your email and other information.  That gives you access to the parental dashboard.  After that you can unpack the Phonics Playset, install the 4 included AA batteries, download the apps and be using them within 10 or less minutes.  I spent some time in the Square Panda Playground website because I wanted to check out the features there.  There are so many great things!  You can add your own custom words including your child’s name – and for me when I last had my son use the playset I included words from his spelling list that week!  When you enter custom words they are put into your child’s games and you can even upload a picture to go with them!  Words must be between 1-8 characters, so more complex spelling words won’t work here, however, it’s a great way to practice.  The Square Panda Playground also lets you choose words for specific types of situations like bathroom and body anatomy as well as even excluding a specific letter if you misplaced it from the playset.  You can also block specific types of words if you wish which gives you a great level of customization.

iPad Screenshot 1

The playset includes 45 smart letters.  Vowels are yellow and consonants are yellow to make for easier differentiation between the letter types.  These all stored inside the playset case when not in use.  You can have up to three players per playset, and the content dynamically changes depending on which user is selected so with my 2 year old we are simply working on even identifying letters while with my 8 year old he is working on spelling words and earning badges.  The Square Panda Playset includes access to two apps, and one of the two apps Square Panda Lagoon allows you to use the custom words that you have created.   Square Panda Bowling (above) has you bowl with your finger to knock down the pins and spell out words.  It combines a multi-sensory approach where you do an activity, get a letter with your finger on your iPad and then properly place it in the try to spell the word.  Kids are taught to spell words correctly from left to right which is the way that The National Reading Panel recommends as well as the way that reading is taught in school.

iPad Screenshot 4

First of all – this is not the plastic letters that I grew up with!  Many of us may remember growing up and having the magnetized letters that we used to spell things on our refrigerator.  I loved that the app required letters to be correct before allowing you to move on.  Letters are placed individually in a white box at the bottom of the playset.  The must be positioned correctly and placed on the playset in the correct order.  The photo above is from Square Panda Lagoon and includes a photo as well as the word below to reinforce learning.

It isn’t often as a mom that I find a toy that both my 2 year old and 8 year old can use.  One of my favorite things about the Square Panda Playset is the level of customization that is included especially with the Square Panda Lagoon.  I can see it is a great way to practice “trick words” or words my son might be having challenges with at school and having a great way to keep track of what he is learning in terms of letters.  With my 2 year old, we can work on understanding letters and teaching him that my iPad is a learning device.  I also liked that we could store the letters inside the playset which meant that they were not misplaced the next time we went to use it.  I use a Griffin Survivor case on my iPad Mini because even though it’s “mom’s iPad” my kids use it a lot and I loved that we could leave on the protective case even when it was in use with the Square Panda Playset, this isn’t always the case with other products on the market.  I really liked the Square Panda Playground where I could keep track of what my kids were doing with the apps – I knew what my 2 year old was doing because we were playing together but with my older son I usually help him learn how to use something and then let him try and figure it out on his own.  I liked seeing the badges of the items he accomplished as well as the ability to add in the custom words for his spelling list that week!

In terms of enhancements, I wish that both of the apps included the ability to use custom words, my son enjoyed rolling the bowling ball in Square Panda Bowling more than the Square Panda Lagoon game – I’m not sure why he preferred it more other than he enjoys bowling, so having the two app options was great.  Square Panda is planning to add more apps Letter Lab.  I hope that they include the ability to use custom words in this app.  I’d also like to see a mobile friendly version of the Square Panda Playground – I don’t often get time to sit down at my computer so I was trying to look at it on my iPad and it wasn’t as user friendly as I would have liked.

Play with letters and words today...

The Square Panda Phonics Playset is a great demonstration of how you can use your iPad and integrated playset to provide learning both on the screen and using tactile letters to complete a goal – I can’t wait to see what else this company will bring.  The Square Panda Phonics Playset retails for $119 USD and includes a standard one year parts and labor if the letters malfunction or the product itself malfunctions.  It can be purchased from Square Panda for $119 USD.

alison

This is not your mom’s letter playset.  This is a fun and interactive toy which can be used by younger and older children and can customize and provide data about what your child is learning.  It is a true demonstration of what the iPad can do versus other tablets on the market.

Apps


Square Panda Lagoon Square Panda Lagoon by Square Panda Inc

Price: $FREE

A goofy chameleon with a love for dancing introduces children to letter sounds and phonics in a fun, exploratory way where any combination of letters (both nonsense words and real words) create a learning.



Square Panda Bowling Square Panda Bowling by Square Panda Inc

Price: $FREE

STRIKE! Letters meet their match in a bowling alley on a faraway island! With every roll of the coconut ball, your child learns the relationships between letters, sounds, and words. Compatible with the.

Video demonstration

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.

 

Giveaway

If you would like to win a Square Panda Phonics playset , please enter via the widget below. Winners will be emailed and must contact The iMums within 48 hours to claim their prize. This giveaway is open to to those with a valid US mailing address, and an iTunes account is required to claim the prize. Please ensure you have read and understand our Terms & Conditions. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Alison, the American iMum is from Massachusetts. She lives there with her sons and husband. In their spare time, they enjoy playing outside, enjoying nature and of course testing apps and fantastic products on their devices. They have a variety of devices including an iPad, iPhone, and an iPod and is often found with a device! 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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