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
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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.

Dr. Panda Town: Pet World by Dr. Panda Games – Review



Dr. Panda Town: Pet World by Dr. Panda is a fun themed pet addition to the Dr. Panda series of apps featuring Dr. Panda Town. Each area of the app had fun twists and turns and I was able to encourage language. We did this by telling my kids to count, describe what you see, tell me what colors are there while they played as live narration. There are over 30 characters, five action locations, four theme park rides, hidden surprises found by tapping, and full of free play!

What we love…

fun areas for kids to explore and learn about animals with no rules, ability to use language to describe what they were seeing and doing as well as encouraging exploration.

What we’d love to see…

more costumes to dress the animals up in, ability to better take care of animals rather than just a band aid or an IV that runs out in the veterinarian

Summary

Much like other Dr. Panda apps, my kids enjoyed playing with Dr. Panda Town: Pet World – they had so much fun tapping, exploring, hatching new animals and bringing them to other Dr. Panda Town locations.

Our Rating

The Dr. Panda Town: Pet World app features a variety of areas you can visit, note some of these areas are gated and require an in-app purchase (IAP) to be able to access them.

A fun concession stand where you can make water, drinks and other concessions as well as my personal favorite cotton candy which changed colors as you made it. My kids loved that too! There is ice cream, a Ferris wheel, carnival games and other great fun options.

Magic Castle: Be sure to tap on the train which is your gateway to the magic castle! The train brings you further inside the app inside a castle where you can cast spells, dress up and more. There are a variety of props including a throne, books, music, moving animals, a playing harp and more! Don’t wake the sleeping giant!
Enchanted Café: Hatchery (cleverly disguised as a “tea house” where you can find, sort eggs and hatch new pets from eggs by tapping on them and placing the eggs inside a matching color flower. Each time you get a fun new addition to the app!
Veterinarian (pet hospital) where you can scan your pets using an x-ray, give your pets a swim, give them procedures, brush them, do minor surgery, examine a heart and lungs and even dress up your favorite Dr. Panda people characters as veterinarians. Outside there is an ambulance and wheelchair to transport your pets to the clinic.
Travel station where you can get a passport, have packed bags, see times in different places – I also loved that Dr. Panda showed both NY and Beijing on the clocks and that they would move around in sync. My older son is learning about various time zones and thought this was a fun feature as well as the ability to open luggage. In the next room over there are a variety of animal habitats including a fish tank, various animal food available from a vending machine, collars and other pet habitats. My kids loved putting the dog in for a nap, playing with toys as well as opening and closing all the doors of the habitats. Outside there is a small park compete with the fixings for a birthday party including cake which you make in a muffin pan and sprinkles! Pets and humans could take a swim in the bone shaped pool and have a variety of meals poolside from the concession stand. Furry friends could also play in the mud puddle and then go for a swim to get clean.

One of the great things about Dr. Panda Town apps including Dr. Panda Town: Pet World is that when you buy each individual app you can navigate within the apps using an included map and bring your pets to other Dr. Panda town locations. I loved the variety of objects to touch, explore and play with within the app. My four year old is really into pretend play and enjoyed being a veterinarian and helping the animals as well as adopting new pets. My older son liked the carnival, hatchery and train. Dr. Panda apps have no rules and that made this all the more fun for my kids who could explore each of the individual areas as they wished without having to play a game or move on before they were done. We have all of the other Dr. Panda Town apps and my kids loved bringing the animals on vacation, to the mall and more! They even went shopping at the mall with their new pets in hand!
In terms of improvements, in the vet shop, my son struggled a bit to get the IV to work – I’m not sure if it was meant to just flow water out or if it was supposed to make the pets move around as they felt better. My kids also wanted animal specific items to help them feel better along with a way to clean the fish tank! Using the bandages if you tap on them it makes a bandage, but it won’t let you wrap a leg. My kids also wanted a section where they could dress up their favorite pet, inside the mall are a variety of costumes, but not necessarily ones appropriate for pets. They wanted Halloween or holiday themed costumes or even clothing to depend on the season like a coat.

The app has in-app purchases where you can unlock all three areas for $3.99 USD. The app has no advertising except for their own Dr. Panda games which are protected via a parental gate.

Overall, Dr. Panda Town: Pet World another great add to the Dr. Panda app collection. My kids and I enjoyed playing with it and testing it out. I loved the variety of things you could do within the app as well as all of the various interaction’s kids could do and explore. The first time my four year old played with the app he spent 30 minutes just inside the veterinarian swapping out each character and tapping on things!


Dr. Panda Town: Pet World Dr. Panda Town: Pet World by Dr. Panda Ltd

Price: $FREE

Grab your ticket and let the fun begin as you enter the gates to Dr. Panda Town: Pet World! Go on theme park rides, explore an enchanted café, hatch cool pets and more!

DISCOVER THE THEME PARK.

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.

Product Review: Mabot Starter Kit by Bell Robotics #STEM #STEAM #Robot

Mabot by BellRobot is a modular robot designed to teach coding and uses artificial intelligence. For purposes of the review I tested the Mabot in the starter configuration. Inside the box were a control ball, two drive balls, a battery ball which uses a lithium polymer battery, a color sensing ball and a six port connection ball. It also contained various connectors including a Lego Adapter, USB cable for charging, a disassembly tool, and quick start guide. There is a QR code to scan to install a companion app.

My kids love all things robots – after all we are a tech family and get to test out some fun products.

What we love…

Mabot modular robot was easy to put together and make various creations using plug and play. Used #STEM and #STEAM while encouraging creativity. I also liked the compatibility with Lego Techno.

What we’d love to see…

more straightforward instructions that were easier to find, a way to label each of the various balls with what they do either via colored dots or another method.

Summary

Overall, this is a fun modular robot designed for kids and adults which encourages creativity, #STEM learning and exploration.

Our Rating

recommended-by-the-imums

As a mom, I liked the fact that the Mabot robot was modular and easy to build. Mabot is recommended for kids six and up – my ten year old enjoyed building one of three suggested Mabot robots using the companion app. We did take a Sharpie marker and labeled each using the first letter of what it did. That made it easier for us to assemble the configuration and test it for review purposes. We put together the Mabot starter robot (which drove!) and then started experimenting with other configurations.

One of the great things was that my son was experimenting with putting different pieces in different ways to see what would happen – the ultimate STEM exploration. Mabot also includes a tool to take apart the modules – we used it both to separate the modules as well as remove the connectors – I suppose we could have pulled apart the modules but wanted to be careful of the pin configuration used within the connectors. Using the two companion apps, Mabot Go and Mabot IDE we were able to experiment with additional coding.

As a mom, I love all toys that encourage my kids’ curiosity. Bonus points if it teaches them something. It was simple to use once I figured out each module and what they did. When we played with it, we used it at the kitchen table so that the pieces didn’t get put somewhere else. Once we identified each of the pieces, building with the companion app was fun and easy. After building the Mabot starter robot we then started experimenting – and loved the various colors that lit up and things that we could see when we used the Bluetooth ball and tried the various levers to program and make it move. It also allows for hot plug and play which allowed us to start, stop, plug and unplug while experimenting without having to power off the Mabot.

In addition, it would be great to have a set of instructions labeling each of the modules included either inside the box or right inside the app. Amazon has an encyclopedia in the user guide listing, although I searched I was unable to find it on Bellrobot’s website. When I used the app, it got stuck because it couldn’t connect to the Bluetooth module – because I put the robot together wrong. Once I figured out my mistake, pulled off the connector pieces and put it together again it worked. This was a bit frustrating for my son, but once we figured it out we made many different robots.

Overall, the Mabot and companion apps are great educational tools that will encourage kids to learn, experiment, be creative and test new concepts. I loved that screentime was not just screentime but because educational learning time.

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.