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  Lvl 4 - Expert

Fides 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: - iPad3

Description: I am a mommy to four beautiful kids ages 5 to 14. One of my children has speech and language delays. I am a home educator and I have a degree in Communicative Disorders. I am always in the lookout for good quality apps both for speech therapy and for academics.

Profile categories: Can test apps with kids ages 3-5 - Can test apps with kids ages 6-10 - Teaching kids ages 3-5 - Teaching kids ages 6-10 - Teaching kids ages over 10 - Homeschooler - SLP

Date when her/his profile was validated: 2012-08-13

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

Total review Karma: + 9     ?

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

Felt Board 1.1 [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked I love that there are so many pieces included in the Felt Board, which means lots and lots of different scenes and stories for the kids to create. It is very easy to use. The graphics and colors are beautiful and easy on the eyes. I also love that you can glue pieces together.
Improvements The eyes, nose, and mouth all come attached together. I think kids would find it more fun if they could pick these pieces individually. I would also like to see vehicles, preferably with the wheels unattached so they can mix and match. More clothes and costumes for the characters.
General review This is one of the best apps I have come across. It is excellent not only because it stimulates children's imaginations, but also encourages the art of visual and oral storytelling. I would highly recommend it to anyone who works with children - parents, teachers, and therapists.

Fido's Treehouse Scavenger Hunt v1 [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked I think kids enjoy scavenger hunts and this is a very good app that allows them to do just that. There are plenty of things to discover and play with. Among my favorites are figuring out clues, inflating a ball and raking leaves. The clues in the challenge mode are difficult enough so that the child would really have to think through them. Of course, if they get stuck, there is always a hint button. I like that even in the free play mode, everything is still accessible to the child, minus the scavenger hunt and its rewards.
Improvements I would love to see maybe two or three more areas to explore. There is an activity that requires the child to dig in the sandbox to find something. When the child clicks on the shovel, the shovel automatically digs in the sandbox and reveals the hidden object. I think it would be better and a lot more fun if the child can do the digging himself/herself, similar to the raking activity where the child has to hold on to the rake and guide it in order to rake the leaves. I also found that Fido is a bit hard to understand, I still can't fully make out what he says when you click on him.
General review Scavenger hunts are so much fun and this game is sure to be a hit with the kids. There are a lot of things to discover and do around Fido's treehouse. My kids enjoy this and my older ones who play the challenge mode find that sometimes they really have to think hard to figure out the clues. I love it!

Fire Rescue! [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked This app is both fun and educational. Through interactive animations, it teaches young children about fire safety in a way that is easy for them to understand and remember. The graphics and characters are very appealing to little ones. The game guides the child from start to finish. It is not necessary to finish the game in one sitting because the next time it is played, it starts right where the child left off. I also like that you can customize the emergency number. My preschooler loved this game and remembered a lot of what the game taught her.
Improvements The app crashed a couple of times. I think it would be great if it can save gameplay for more than one user, for schools and families with several young children. After the app is played through once, it would be great if it would allow the child to chose what activity do instead of having to go through everything all over again. There are a lot puzzle activities and only one dot to dot, one painting, one matching. An even amount of each would be better. Toby never finds his way out of the room. Teach kids not only to dial, but also what to say when calling 911.
General review I think this app is a fantastic way to teach young children about fire safety. The interactive animations make it easy children to understand and remember concepts. It also includes a lot of fun games such as saving a cat from a tree, cleaning the fire truck, puzzles, dot to dot, and more. However, I feel that some of the fire safety lessons were incomplete. There are are a lot of other important safety rules not covered.

3D Math Racing PRO - A Fun Math Facts Math Game (v1.1) [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked From the moment I opened this app I fell in love with it! It's the perfect math practice app for my boys who love car racing games. I like how it blends a popular game genre (car racing) with math. To power up the car or speed up, you must answer a math question correctly. You can choose the level of difficulty as well as which math concepts you want to work on. There's basic equations, percents, rounding, etc. You can either have auto steering or you can steer the car yourself by using the ipad as a steering wheel.
Improvements There is nothing that I didn't like about this app. I truly enjoyed this one and think that everything is very well done. The only thing I could suggest is maybe a reward system for completing the race whether they end up first, second, or third. It could be a trophy or medal collection, or perhaps after a certain number of races completed, a token to play free-style (without having to do any math).
General review I really love this app! It is one of the best apps I have come across for math drills or practice. It includes addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, rounding up, percents, counting up, counting down, greater than, and less than. You can even choose which numbers to practice and what level. Car racing is appealing to both boys and girls and this app, I believe, is worth more than it's price!

Treasure Kai and the Seven Cities of Gold [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked Treasure Kai and the Seven Cities of Gold is a fun story for the kids to read. My daughter recently read about Francisco Coronado in history class, and was really excited when she saw him in this game. Although the only thing historically accurate about this app is Francisco Coronado and his quest to find the City of Gold in 1540, it does bring a little history to life and sparks interest in learning more about it. Good graphics, a lot of interactive items, interesting clues, and a short memory game make this app enjoyable for the kids.
Improvements I thought, based on the description of this app on iTunes, that the user would play an active role in finding the treasure, but the only thing that the user really had to work on was help Kai get home by remembering the order the keys were found. I would love to see the kids play a more vital role and use their minds in the game like figuring out the clues themselves. I think the scene with the scorpion and spider would have been better if the kids were able to defeat the spider before moving forward in the book. I would like to see more historical facts spread throughout the app.
General review Overall, this is a fun story app for children. It can be used to supplement a history lesson on the Conquistadors. It can spark interest in learning more about Francisco Coronado and what really happened in his search for the legendary City of Gold.

Meet the Insects: Forest Edition [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked I really like what this app has to offer. It seems to be geared for middle to upper elementary. I like the "see the insects" activity where it looks like you have a box of insects and you get to observe them with a magnifying glass, read facts, answer trivia, see photos and videos. I like the "Insect Story" presentation. It is well done and informative. I also like the observation journal for kids to keep track of the different insects they come across. This app has very good graphics.
Improvements The videos and photos did not work for me, both in the "multimedia" and "see the insects" section. In the "multimedia" I just get a blank screen and the words "label" - this is for both photos and videos. In "see the insects", when I tried to click on a video or photo, the app crashed (exited). The search (magnifying glass) also doesn't appear to work. I tested this on an ipad3 using iOS 6.
General review I think the app has a lot of potential. I think if the photos and videos worked and the search was functional, I would have given this a 5 stars. It really is a very good educational app and one I would use to supplement science classes. I would love to see these bugs fixed and to take another look at it when it is working properly.

Splash Money [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked I love this app! It is very comprehensive. It begins by teaching kids how to identify different types of coins and at the very end, teaches them how to make change. The lessons are engaging and well illustrated. I love how you can touch the coin and it flips over so that you can see the other side of it. I love how it also shows how to use a number chart and a number line to count coins. The tests are fun and helps the child to grasp the concepts taught in each lesson even better. As always, I love the reports where you can keep track of how the child is doing. Kids earn coins to win prizes. The prizes are accessories you can put on the monkey. My kids thought this was fun.
Improvements I found a couple of bugs: (1) When taking the test for Lesson 2, Value of Coins, it asks the child what the value of a quarter is. This question should be taken out because the value of the quarter has not been taught yet and will not be taught until lesson 4, Quarter and Half Dollar. (2) During the test on Lesson 5, a picture of a dollar bill is shown an four answers showing values in cents (i.e, 10c, 50c, 100c). An incorrect answer to the question "What is the value of a dollar bill?" generates the auditory response, "The value of a dollar bill is one dollar" while showing the visual response "The value of a dollar bill is 100 cents." The auditory response is correct. (3)Not sure if this is a bug, but I found the monkey sound effects "oh-oh, woohoo, etc." a lot louder in volume than the rest of the app's audio. In fact, it was too loud.

Wish list:
--I would like to the kids to be able to manipulate money more, not just when taking a test. My idea is to have a "free play" area so that the parent or teacher can provide added lessons on their own. The free play area should have an option of one money tray or two money trays facing each other. With two money trays, the student can play a shopping game with the teacher or another student. Kids love to play store and I believe it is one the most effective ways to teach them about money. Perhaps the teacher can also have the option to set how many dollars and coins are available in each tray.
--I would like the kids to have access to a pad (like in the Splash Math apps) when taking a test, specially when they are asked to count money or make change.
The kids were also asking about monkey clothing. They loved dressing up the monkey, but was asking where the tops and bottoms were. :-)
--The lessons show how to use a number chart and number line to count coins, but does not have the child practice this at all. Perhaps it can be included in the test?
--I would like for this to be a multi-user app. I have 3 kids than can really benefit with this app, but can only have one user at a time. Please consider making this and other apps multi-user.
General review I absolutely love Splash Money! It covers everything a child needs to know about money. I only wish I had this years ago because this is so much better than using real money and I don't have to worry about the kids losing the manipulatives. I would like for more than one child to use this app, but currently there is no option for that. Other than not being accessible to multiple users, I think this app is fantastic and I highly recommend this to parents and teachers. Another good one from StudyPad!!!

iTooch Elementary School [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked I was very impressed with the simplicity of this app. Children read the lessons and then review what they have learned by answering practice questions. Once they have mastered it, they can take a timed test. The lessons are easily accessible during the practice mode. A blackboard/drawing pad is available at all times to use. Practice and test questions include multiple choice, highlighting, and entering the answer via the keypad. It is very easy to use and makes studying fun for the kids.
Improvements When a subject is selected, the first thing presented to the kids are the practice questions. It would be better if it went on the lesson screen first. I would like to see more questions for both the practice and test modes. I think that at the 3rd to 5th grade level there should be a minimum of 20 practice questions and 10 test questions. I would like to have a way for the kids to write on the practice and test modes when solving math problems without having to use the chalkboard/drawing pad which takes you out of the practice and test screens completely. The cost is quite pricey.
General review Overall, I think this is a great app. It is well done, simple, easy to use, and engaging for the kids. It is definitely something I want to have as a supplement to our curriculum and would not hesitate to recommend this to friends who homeschool or are public and private school teachers. However, it is quite pricey and it definitely has room for a few improvements.

PhotoGridPro v2.1 [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked This is a good photo editing app. It is very easy to use. It has plenty of editing options and allows you to make collages and memes. You can share photos directly from the app or save them to your camera roll. It is very well done and simple to navigate.
Improvements There were very few stickers to choose from. I would like to see more stickers. I would also like an option to correct or remove items from my photo, similar to photoshop's "touch up" option. Another fun thing would be to be able to replace the background.
General review This is a good basic photo app that is very easy to use, even for children. For those looking for a simple way to enhance photos, this is worth looking in to. It is not for those looking for more advanced photo editing. It contains ads, but I believe you can pay to remove the ads.

Meet the Insects: Village Edition (1.0.0) [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked Another excellent app! Graphics are excellent and very visually appealing. Clear narration throughout. Plenty of information, photos, and videos for kids to digest. I love how the quizzes encourage the child to keep learning by providing positive feedback regardless of the score received.
Improvements I would like to see a playback control on each section of the "Insect Story" presentation. Currently, if you leave off in the middle of a topic, it stops where you left off and you are stuck there unless you re- start the entire topic by tapping on the topic heading. It also has quite a number of grammatical errors in "See Insects" that should be corrected.
General review Kids who use this will gain a deeper appreciation for the insects around them. There are plenty of information to digest, as well as photos and videos to enjoy. My only complaint is that is has numerous and very obvious grammatical errors. Other than that, i think it is a very good app. Although the little ones will find this app appealing, it is best suited for upper elementary children.

5 Dice: Order of Operations Game v1 [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked Wow! This game is not only excellent in developing children's understanding of order of operations, but it can be very challenging for adults as well. Talk about brain exercise! Whew! I like that the game play is simple and easy to understand. The whiteboard is very helpful and Imlove that the dice in play is displayed on top. I also love that you can get a printable version of the game. I received the printable version very quickly via email. I also love that parents and teachers can track a child's progress via email.
Improvements The instructions were a bit hard to figure out, but I got it easily once I started playing the game. I would love to see a solution option. There were a few times I myself could not figure out what the solution was. I think it would be very helpful to have an option to see the solution or set of possible solutions to a given problem. I would like to see a "home" button added to the screen that appears after the student shoots his/her answer. Currently, the only options are to "re-shoot" or "shoot again"
General review I recommend this game for older elementary kids and adults. Younger kids may find this too hard or tedious. It is an excellent game that not only helps kids practice their math skills but also helps them understand and remember the order of operations. The game also provides teachers and parents with a printable option so that students can play the game without the ipad.

Weather and Clock for Kids [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked Vey cute and simple app for even the youngest child to enjoy and use. The app automatically sets your location, with your permission, right on start up. I was pleased to find how accurate it is in weather, time, and date. I love how the graphics reflect the current weather conditions and time. Kids can also see what the weather and time is like in one of the countries included n the app.
Improvements There are too few countries included in this app. I would like to be able to see more countries included and the ability to customize which countries appear on the list. When the clocks are tapped, the narrator says "x hours and y minutes". Clocks are not traditionally read that way, at least not in the U.S. I would like to hear instead "It is eight fifteen in the morning" Or "the time is eight o'clock and fifteen minutes"
General review This is a great app to have, specially if you are teaching your children about weather, days of the week, and telling time. I think it should make all countries available for the kids to explore. Currently, there is only 10 countries on the list.

Magikid Train v1.7.1 [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked This app is well done. I can see that a lot of thought, time, and knowledge has been put into it. I tested this with my daughter who is 6 years old and she absolutely loves it! This app is great for toddlers up to first grade. It covers colors, shapes, pattern recognition, counting, categorizing, and sorting. The animation and graphics are beautiful and vibrant. It's always exciting to see what the next problem is. Parents can set the train sped to slow, normal, or fast.
Improvements I really love Magikid Train the way it is. My daughter did run into a problem when she couldn't figure out what was to come next. She is to follow the pattern, but it gave her 3 different items so it wasn't very clear what the 4th item was supposed to be. She had to do trial and error with the items available. A great addition would be for the kids to see an animation of the train riding through town whenever they finish or win a set. Ability to add items to the town or have interactive items they can play with would be a good reward for the kids. Make it usable by more than one child.
General review Absolutely beautiful and very educational app. I would not hesitate to recommend this to friends. In fact, my 6 year old expert tester told me today "Mommy, this is a fun app! I really like it!" This app makes it fun to learn colors, shapes, pattern recognition, counting, and categorizing.

Magical Music Box v1.15 [text]

Link to the App Store

Rating  
What I liked I love the different music box animations to choose from. All have beautiful graphics and animations. There are many types of music to chose from including classical, nursery/children, cultural, and holiday. You can either "turn" the key to the music box to play it or have it play automatically. What I love most is that it provides information about each song including composer, year, lyrics, and any story behind it. It also has a player control (play, stop, random, and repeat)
Improvements I like that you can turn the music box key to play the song, but I would love to have it function like a traditional music box key where you can turn it all the way and then when you let it go, it will play the whole music. I would love to see more music selection as well.
General review Magical Music Box is a great music app for infants, toddlers, and older children, Little ones can enjoy listening to music while watching the music box animation. Older kids can learn more about the music they listen to be and be introduced to composers and time periods. There are various music box styles and music to chiose from. You can't go wrong with this app!