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Krista C.

Status: Beta reviewer

Categories of apps she/he wants to review: Books - Education - Entertainment - Games - Lifestyle - Photography - Productivity - Utilities - Other

iDevices she/he owns: - iPad2

Description: I am a stay at home mom with three active boys- ages two and a half, five, and seven and a half. My two and a half year old son has Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS). We love to use the Ipad for therapy, education, and entertainment.

Profile categories: Can test apps with kids ages 0-2 - Can test apps with kids ages 3-5 - Can test apps with kids ages 6-10

Date when her/his profile was validated: 2012-07-11

User who invited him/her: Jean-Eudes L.

Total review Karma: + 3     ?

Each time a developer thinks a review from a reviewer is useful, he give to this reviewer +1 in review Karma. The more Karma a reviewer has, the better her/his reviews are assessed!


Her/His app reviews

Chocolate Chip Cookie Factory: Place Value (v1.0) [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked I like the cookie factory theme. Love multiple player profiles. Could more be added for a classroom setting? I liked how the place values are represented and being able to rearrange values by opening packages. Sales records are helpful feedback for parents/ teachers. I can really see the educational value.
Improvements In some formats the difference between 10,000 and 100,000 is confusing- maybe use different colors or label? Love to see more of a reinforcing element when each total for the order is reached- Maybe a happy customer or total # (from that order) flash on the screen and an X or sad customer when the number exceeds the order. Otherwise one could mindlessly press cookies to reach totals. In division especially it seems you can't get a incorrect answer which I think is fine for lower levels but on harder levels you should be able to fail or experiment (be able to remove cookies from one order)
General review Chocolate Chip Cookie Factory is a fun and educational way to work with place values while practicing addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. With multiple levels this game is easy to customize to the child and offers lots of room for growth. I would like to see place value labels and more clear reinforcement of answers added in future versions and then this would be a 5 star app!

Trains Story Puzzles - The Little Engine Who Saved the Carnival! [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked I like the idea of a combination of a puzzle and a book. I liked that the child needs to complete a puzzle and is then rewarded with a part of the story. The difficulty level progressed throughout the app. I always like when a storyline has a clear positive message.
Improvements Sometimes it is hard to see all the loose pieces as they are piled on top of one another. There is no customization available on the app. Might be nice to have a few difficulty levels available. My 2.5 year old can do the first puzzle but gave up half way though when it became to difficult. Likewise my 5 year old found the early puzzles too easy.
General review Trains Story Puzzles - The Little Engine Who Saved the Carnival! is a sweet little combination story and puzzle app reminiscent of The Little Engine That Could. Train loving preschoolers can enjoy a positive motivational story while working through progressively harder puzzles. Would love to see different difficulty levels to make this app's play value have a longer shelf life and wider age appeal.

Math Guardians 1.5 [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked I like the options to select the standard, advanced, or custom modes. I think the game appeals to a wide range of ages which is hard to do in a math app. It is quick moving and the ability to save the game mid-campaign is nice. A variety of characters adds to the age flexibility.
Improvements In custom mode I am able to crash the app by unselecting the functions (can select large numbers only but unselect add/div/etc.) Also even with neg. numbers turned off there are neg. numbers given as possible answers. This is confusing for early elementary students who have not been introduced to the concept. Sometimes there are 2 identical choices for answers. Would love multiple user profiles, customizable characters and ability to change characters mid campaign. I find the battle mode distracting- fight or do math? I can get though an entire battle sometimes without the math.
General review Math Guardians' fast action battles entertain a wide age range of children while working on math concepts. The app can be customized to work on specific skills while saving the planet from aliens and robots. The pace and arcade style of Math Guardians will motive your child to practice thier math. In the future I would love to see multiple user profiles and customizable characters.

The Magnificent Travelling Palace 1.0.1 [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked We loved the beautiful illustrations. The opening scene is spectacular. My family enjoyed the story and learning more about another culture. Having the narration feature is very nice especially since there are so many cultural and unfamiliar words in the text.
Improvements Some of the animation/ interactions did not relate to the story, ie- the monkey in the market place. Also as a parent I do not love the re-occurring theme of keeping a secret from the children's parents. I would prefer if it was less prominent in the story line. The read to self feature would benefit from the ability to be able to get help with individual words since there are many unfamiliar words in the text. I would love to see some recommendations at the end for ideas of where to go to continue learning more about Indian culture- perhaps some book recommendations?
General review The Magnificent Travelling Palace is a entertaining and educational adventure story. Gorgeous illustrations and animation along with captivating text brought us along for a amazing journey into the culture of India that my family can revisit again and again.

Animal Farm 3 in 1 - YogiPlay / v 1.0 [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked The graphics are lovely. I like that the animal sounds are true recordings and not a voice over "quack" or "moo". The stickers are fun for young preschoolers. I like that there are several levels to the memory match game. Play for all of the games is intuitive.
Improvements There is not alot of education/ play value here for the money. The stickers have scaling issues- why are the people bigger then the barn and the horse and duck are the same size? The "animals" game needs more interactive elements. Maybe kids can drag the letters into place?
General review I honestly don't love this app. The educational value and play value are low especially for a paid app. I am also not fond of the YogiPlay features. On this app the only thing it is tracking is the memory game but kids can access (through the gift icon) other activities in Yogi World including videos. I don't necessarily want my kids watching videos on my iPad when I thought they were playing an "educational" /interactive game app.

Ride a Pony with Kate and Harry v1.0 [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked This is such a sweet adorable app. I love how easy and intuitive it is for little ones to play. My three year old enjoyed playing it independently. No clutter, simple controls, and colorful fun graphics make this a great app for your target age group.
Improvements I think the icon could have more unisex appeal. Some people may pass it by in the app store because it seems like a "girly" app. A back button would be a nice addition. I can totally picture a cowboy western styled pony and or an english/ dressage styled pony being included. A circus pony might be fun as well. A "glow" around some of the interactive features would help point them out to little ones.
General review Don't be fooled by the icon- boys and girls will love this well designed, adorable app. 2-5 year olds will be delighted by the simple and intuitive game play. My three year old son was able to play it independently with almost no instruction from me. He loves customizing his pony and riding off on an adventure. I look forward to trying other Kate and Harry apps.

Tomo Garage 1.0 [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked Tomo Garage is engaging with it's very fun and bright colors and graphics. My 5 year old enjoys the spelling portion and the vocabulary words used are motivating to children in this age category. My three year old likes pressing the letters and having them spin.
Improvements Clearer navigation. A tutorial would be nice. The opening screen is confusing as the "play arrow" is somewhat disguised. Would like an option on the spelling game to have blank boxes without the letters- i.e. CAR would be 3 blank boxes at the bottom. Words could be ordered more logically. My 3 year old can beat each level by tapping randomly- not learning anything. Once you collect the items it seems you might be able to use them in the garage- but taping them just causes them to become larger and say their name. I was expecting more. Only accidentally stumbled on the music box feature
General review Kids will love the bright graphics and learning to spell fun words in Tomo Garage. The vocabulary keeps children engaged in learning. The idea behind this app is sound but it could use some tweaking. Clearer navigation and additional difficulty levels would be a big improvement.

Wubbzy's Fire Engine Adventure [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked I love the multiple reading options included in this app. The story is fun and playful. I enjoyed the voice acting, music and sound effects. There are many fun interactions on every page. My kids enjoyed listening to the story and the music videos.
Improvements While the app is fun the educational value is pretty low. There is very little to be learned from the story-line about fire engines or fire fighters. The educational games seem like a bit of an afterthought. The counting game is impossible to count too high or too low. The letter game has you spray the letters always in the same order- top to bottom. I think both of these games could use improvement. Would also like individual word help added to the "just a book" feature.
General review Wubbzy's Fire Engine Adventure is a fun and playful book app with many extras. With multiple interactions on each page, this app kept my children easily entertained. The 3 different reading modes allow you to customize your child's experience. Videos and games extend the play value.

Animal Planet Hide & Seek Pets [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked There are many activities built into this app. The narration is clear and friendly. The graphics are bright and colorful with real pictures of the animals. I like the pattern making activity- that is one that I have not seen often in other preschool apps of this type.
Improvements The apps navigation can be a bit slow to respond at times making it frustrating for my children. More information about the care of pets would be nice- for instance what the pets eat. My kids would love more of a virtual pet mode where they could feed and care for the various pets. I don't love how the "learn" option goes to the "grown ups corner"- my kids were expecting more detailed information regarding the animals. I think at $3.99 it is a bit overpriced for a preschool app.
General review Animal Planet Hide and Seek Pets contains many activities to entertain your animal loving preschooler. There is so much to do and learn, your 3-5 year old will enjoy this app for hours. My childen like feeding the bird and playing the animal piano.