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.

Wonster Words Learning by 77Sparx Studio – Review


What we love…

Playful animated videos that teach the meaning of new words

What we’d love to see…

Words to be introduced in increasing levels of difficulty, spelling from left to right only, more explicit prompts to help teach how to blend sounds

Summary

An engaging and outstanding multi-game app that teaches children how to spell, read and learn new vocabulary words that are beyond their school levels

Our Rating

Wonster Words Learning by 77Sparx Studio recently had a major upgrade to give children a new learning and play experience while retaining the same fun and playful approach that appeals to children.

From just Word Families, the app now engages learners through Stories, Math, Science and, Art and Music to teach students phonics, spelling and vocabulary. While the Phonics Word Families and Stories teach students new words by spelling and sounding them out, words introduced in the Math, Science and, Art and Music sections are taught by sight.


 

Settings

Before your child begins to play, I would recommend you to switch to the option to learn words in lower case in the settings as upper case letters are the default (unless you prefer to use upper case). You can also opt to turn off the music background in the app.
 

Word Families

There are currently 11 word families included in the app. Each word family introduces 8 words from the word family that are of mixed levels of difficulty. For example, the ‘at’ word family has the words splat, brat, rat, copycat, cat, flat, acrobat and bat instead of the usual simple CVC words like bat, cat, fat, hat, mat, pat, rat, sat and vat.
 


 

For each word, students are prompted to complete the word puzzle, from left to right, using the freely floating animated letters. But kids can also piece the word puzzle in random order. They can hear the associated phonic sound as they drag and drop each animated letters. Tapping on the letters in the word puzzle also produces the phonic sound. But once the animated letter is put in place in the word puzzle, the letter name is read out instead of the phonic sound. So kids get to learn both the letter name and sound.
 


 

After the word has been put together, a fun animated video clip featuring the Wonster characters is played to demonstrate the meaning of the word. For simpler words, a mini-game based on the word will start.
 

Stories


 

More words are introduced in the 11 original Wonster stories that revolve around popular children’s themes like birthdays, friendships, adventures, nature and space. Words relating to the theme of the story are taught following the sequence of the story. Word puzzles are also used here to reinforce the letter names and sounds. Again playful animations help define the meaning of each new word. What proved to be a hit with my youngest were the mini games that he was rewarded with as he built more words along the story path.
 

Themed Puzzles

For this update, the developers added puzzles and mini-games covering Math & Logic, Science & Nature, and Art & Music from their award-winning Puzzingo app to further build students’ vocabulary. I think it is meaningful for children to learn new words in context when these are grouped according to themes.
 


Math & Logic Puzzles
 


Science & Nature Puzzles
 


Art & Music Puzzles
 

Stenghths


 

Wonster Words excels in a few important ways. The animation video used to demonstrate the meaning of words are very well done. I like that there are lots of humor and playfulness in the videos to engage young learners. Plus there are some memorable comments (like “It’s easier to unwrap than to giftwrap” and “Never give up on the things that are important to you” ). Another star feature is the inclusion of many fun mini games related to the vocabulary words to keep learners entertained and interested. There is never a dull moment.
 


 

While the word and puzzles are easy to play, the learning content is not preschool materials but chosen to stretch students beyond their years. The words taught are varied in theme and difficulty level. And there are 3 different ways in which children can learn new words – by word families, through stories and themed puzzles. It’s amazing how much new knowledge young children can absorb when given the right tool. They learn difficult words easily when the gameplay is designed at their interest level.
 

Costs

Access to the app’s huge amount of content is through a monthly subscription of $7.99 after a 7-day free trial. A one-time payment for the lifetime all-access Pro version is $54.99. So, start the trial with your child right away and decide which option is the most suitable for your family’s needs before the trial period is over. You may be surprised to see how much your child will be enjoying learning while playing with the app.
 


 

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Wonster Words Learning Wonster Words Learning by 77Sparx Studio, Inc.

Price: $FREE

• Award-winning ABC, phonics, and spelling app!
Is your child learning the alphabet, spelling or phonics? Does your kid or toddler like silly videos and fun educational games? If so, download Wonster.

 

 

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.

Parker The Monkey Bluebee Pals by Kayle Concepts – Review & Giveaway


Parker the Monkey from Bluebee Pals

Parker the Monkey from Bluebee Pals

Parker the Monkey is one of the brand new Bluebee Pals that features a moving head, moving mouth, weights to help him sit as well as a very plush body.  Parker the Monkey and all Bluebee Pals connect to your Bluetooth enabled device which includes iPad, iPhone, iOS, Android, laptops and more and provides the sound/narration from whatever content you are using.  My kids love using their Bluebee Pals not just to narrate for apps, they also enjoy listening to podcasts, making phone calls and even listening to audio books while reading along with a physical book. 

Bluebee Pals are also motivating for my kids – sometimes we will pair my phone with a Bluebee Pal to help with everyday tasks like singing the cleanup song, reading books and even providing directions for a task.  I use Choiceworks frequently with my younger son and with Bluebee paired to my iPad he can decipher the tasks that we need to finish using a visual schedule.   Bluebee Pals are great for children with special needs Bluebee Pals also have their own free  app – you can read my review and I helped to design the app!   Bluebee Pals app is a fantastic app which encourages kids to learn as well as have fun. I love seeing all the different ways that my kids interact with the app and try the various activities. The app is gender neutral and allows you to pick your favorite Bluebee Pal to play along OR choose your own Bluebee Pal.

What we love…

improved battery, moving head and weighted body which allows your Bluebee Pal to sit up and hold the tablet or device they are narrating from without having to prop it up.

Summary

Overall, Parker the Monkey from Bluebee Pals is a fun way to add additional interaction to your tablet or Bluetooth enabled device.  My son loves hugging Parker and bringing him to appointments when he knows he will get his “iPad time”.

Our Rating

recommended-by-the-imums

I loved the improved battery for Bluebee Pals which seems to last significantly longer compared to our previous Bluebee Pal Hudson.  In addition the moving head makes the stories and narration more lifelike while listening.  We also love the companion app which focuses on life skills like routines including bedtime, early academic skills including colors, item identification and letters.  Of note, I had fun helping to design this app with my kids.  Bluebee works with all other iOS, Android and Bluetooth enabled devices which means that it can give a voice to a child using AAC apps, provide spoken directions or practice reading and even provide the sound for games. Bluebee is a must have tech companion that my kids love.  I especially liked as a parent that they can use Bluebee both on and off device to listen to different narrations, podcasts and play with quality educational apps. We recently listened to the Wizard of Oz from The Same Page Podcast using a Parker and my kids loved seeing him speak the words of the podcast.

Overall, Parker the Monkey from Bluebee Pals is a fun way to add additional interaction to your tablet or Bluetooth enabled device.  My son loves hugging Parker and bringing him to appointments when he knows he will get his “iPad time”.


Bluebee Pals
Bluebee Pals
by Kayle Concepts LLC

Category: Education, Games
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: 101.7 MB

$FREE

Screenshots
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Screenshots for iPad
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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.

 

Giveaway

If you would like to win Parker the Monkey from Bluebee Pals, 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 in the United States only and a valid mailing United States physical address is required to claim the prize. Please ensure you have read and understand our Terms & Conditions. Good luck! Blog post comment is a mandatory entry.

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