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  Lvl 5 - Mogul

Lena L.

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 mother of four active kids who works from home full time and also homeschools all four of my children. I use the Ipad on a daily basis to reinforce lessons for school work as well as allowing time for creative play with apps. I am always on the look out for the newest and greatest app.

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 - Homeschooler

Date when her/his profile was validated: 2012-10-01

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

Total review Karma: + 14     ?

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

Little House Decorator v1.0 [text]

Link to the App Store

What I liked My kids had a lot of fun with this app. They thought it was neat to pick their own house to decorate and to have the moving truck drop off the boxes. The kids enjoyed decorating all the rooms with furniture, as well as people. It was also fun for them to move on and decorate other houses.
Improvements The kids mentioned a few changes they would like to see. First, they would like the people to move and be able to sit or lay down. Next, they didn't like that some objects became too small when added to a room. It would be nice to have the ability to manipulate the size of objects. The last thing they would like to see is the ability for the people to get in the cars and drive to the other houses to visit.
General review Little House Decorator is a fun, engaging app that allows young children the opportunity to be creative. Once your child chooses which house they want, they will have fun picking out furniture to fill every room in the house. Once they are done, the child can take a picture of the finished house, and move on to a new house to decorate.

Treasure Kai and the Seven Cities of Gold [text]

Link to the App Store

What I liked I enjoyed reading the book and progressing through the app. It was nice to see the interaction between the brother and sister in the story and them working together to solve the mystery. The graphics were beautiful and really made the story. The extras at the end were a great addition as well and really turn this into a learning app.
Improvements I kept waiting for more interactivity. While it was fun to click on elements in the story, it would be more engaging for some of the elements to include links to activate a learning component. Maybe clicking on the map and then a maze popping up for the user to find their way through in order to get to the next city would be fun. I know that younger children may not be able to complete such components, so maybe they could be turned on or off under settings.
General review Congratulations to the developers of Treasure Kai and the Seven Cities of Gold for another great adventure. My sons age 8 and 9 loved reading this story. As a parent, I am always looking for apps that are fun and educational. I love that the app is an interactive book and also offers activities at the end for comprehension and spelling.

The Ant and the Grasshopper v1.1 [text]

Link to the App Store

What I liked This is my first 3D pop-up story book and I must say, I was excited. It was as if the book came alive when I turned to the pop-up page. My children loved this feature as well and couldn't wait until the next pop-up page. The interactive feature of gathering candy and food was fun for my children.
Improvements In a future version, I would like to see the interactive elements on the pop-up pages increased as well as explained better. For example, when gathering candy, you could tell the children "bring the grasshopper some candy and snacks" so they know where to take it. Also, you could have a feature that would count the items as they are brought and then tell them how many more items are left to bring.
General review I felt that "The Ant and the Grasshopper" was a fun pop-up story that told a good lesson for kids. I think with a little more added features, this would be an excellent app that would involve learning and play. Overall, I would recommend this app to the 3-5 age group. Great job to the developers and keep up the good work.

Wubbzy's Train Adventure [text]

Link to the App Store

What I liked This is our first Wubbzy's app. The kids liked the fun characters in Wubbzy's Train Adventure and the interactive features throughout the story. The popup games were also an added plus for the kids. They also enjoyed the coloring pages after the story.
Improvements What we did not like about Wubbzy's Train Adventure is that the story didn't really have a point. In fact I thought it was a little scary for kids. Talking about a train that first is broke, then is going to fast, and lastly can't stop are not exactly kid friendly topics. The main frustration was the videos. Each and everytime we tried to watch, the video played half on the screen and half off (I am using an iPad 3). Then at the end of the video, the app would freeze up and not let you do anything else. I had to delete and reinstall the app 3 times to finish the review.
General review I think the app could use some upgrades as far as the story goes. It should be more kid friendly. It would be nice to have more games to play along the way, and more to do once the characters reach the Kooky Karnival. Most importantly, fix the videos. I would not pay $1.99 for this app as it is.

Worlds: Tracing App - LITE v1.0 [text]

Link to the App Store

What I liked I thought Worlds: Tracing App Lite v.1.0 was a fun app for little children who are learning to write. I like the idea of having different scenes to tap on and unlock words. Naming each item in the scene allows the child to associate the letters with a picture and begin to read words instead of just tracing them.
Improvements The following is what I would like to see changed or updated in a newer version of this app:
1. I don't like the sad stars a child receives when they attempt to trace the letters too many times.
2. I would like to see arrows telling the child which way to trace, to eliminate the guessing.
3. I would like to see the app provide not only the letter name but also the sound when traced correctly.
4. Last, I would like to see a picture shown after the word has been traced and said out loud.
General review All and all I think this is a good beginning app for children to learn to trace letters. My child enjoyed tapping on each word and tracing it in order to complete the whole scene. This app allows children to learn letters and begin to read words.

PhotoGridPro v2.1 [text]

Link to the App Store

What I liked I thought PhotoGridPro was a fun app that allows me to quickly edit pictures that I take from my iPad before sending to friends and family. I was surprised by all the options in the app itself. The app offers so much more than just a simple crop. I also love the collage options. The many features it offers reminded me of using photoshop or other high priced editing software.
Improvements There are only a few things that I would change or add to future updates for PhotoGridPro. The first being to add more stickers. A lot of the stickers are no ones I would use while editing pictures of my children. Next, I would like to see different backgrounds, such as for holidays or seasons. The last thing I would add is more text fonts.
General review I think PhotoGridPro is a must have app for anyone who takes pictures using the iPad. You will no longer have to download the pictures to your computer and edit before sharing with friends. This app has all the features you will need built right in. Simply open the app, pick the picture you like, edit using lots of different options, and share. Easy and fun.

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

Link to the App Store

What I liked Meet the Insects: Village Edition is a great visual app for young children. The app is educational and fun at the same time. I love the audio details of the insects and the detail provided for each insect. The highlights for me and my children were the observation journal and the videos.
Improvements I think this app is great and would only suggest a few changes when it comes to the quiz section of the app. First, I would like to see the O and X quiz changed to a checkmark and X. I believe kids identify the checkmark with correct more than they do O. Another thing I would like to see added to the quiz section is a lifecycle quiz. Maybe pick an insect and put the lifecycle in order. This is what they would get quizzed on in school, so it should be a major section in the quizzes.
General review Overall, my children loved this app and so did I. As a homeschooler, this app teaches my children about insects in a way that it is fun and engaging. Boys and girls alike will enjoy flipping through the insects and listening about the different characteristics of each. As an added bonus, they can explore with the app and record observations in their journal. Worth every penny!

Fuzzy Little Caterpillar [text]

Link to the App Store

What I liked The Fuzzy Little Caterpillar is a fun app for children of various ages. All of my children aged 3-9 enjoyed playing this app and learning cool facts about music and caterpillars. I enjoyed that the app teaches the life cycle of the moth and butterfly in a fun, interactive way.
Improvements The main thing my children didn't like was having to touch the items on the screen in order to fill up the flowers at the bottom and turn the page. They would get frustrated trying to figure out what else to touch. They also didn't get much out of the music section. Having never had any type of music training, it was confusing and boring to them.
General review I would recommend the app, Fuzzy Little Caterpillar, to parents and teachers who are looking for a fun way to teach about moths and butterflies. This app does a very good job of demonstrating the life cycle of both in a way that children will understand.

Weather and Clock for Kids [text]

Link to the App Store

What I liked This app was fun and engaging for my children. They loved clicking on different parts of the world and seeing what the weather was like! I like how the time is shown on both a digital and wall clock for children to learn both ways. I also like the 7 day forecast so they can learn about reading the forecast.
Improvements I would like to see the 7 day forecast show temperature high's and low's. The clock ticking is too loud in my opinion. It would be nice if when you click on the clocks if they would say am or pm after the time. That way children can begin to learn that there is a difference between 9 am and 9 pm. Maybe even have it say, "9 hours and 21 minutes am, morning time".
General review My children and I thought this app was fun, entertaining, and educational. Not only can you see the time and temperature where you live, but also explore the same for places around the world. This app is a great learning tool for kids. They will keep coming back to explore.

Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp 1.0 [text]

Link to the App Store

What I liked What I liked about Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp was the beautiful illustrations. The vibrant colors and details helped make the story come to life. You can tell a lot of detail was put into the illustrations, making them stand out among the words.
Improvements What I didn't like about Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp was the fact that the book does not have a "Read To Me" option. A lot of children struggle with reading and would need that option to get through this long story. I also didn't like that the book is not very animated. Most children book apps are full of exciting things to discover on each page that go along with the words. This book was boring in that aspect. I also didn't like the use of different fonts. This can become distracting to children.
General review I found the story intriguing and the illustrations beautiful. I would like to see updates made to this app that would include a "Read To Me" option, and more interactive elements to go along with the story. As the app is right now, it is nothing more than a reading book for older children. Younger children will not enjoy this book.

flippi memo v1.0 [text]

Link to the App Store

What I liked Memory card games are a favorite among my younger children. Most memory apps they play provide an exciting element such as sounds or revealing a puzzle picture. This app doesn't provide these elements which was disappointing. My child did enjoy clicking the cards and turning over the animal cards. The pictures were cute for young kids.
Improvements What I would like to see improved with this app is the following:
1) add sound when matches are made
2) make the matches disappear
3) flip back over the cards if a match isn't made
4) provide clear instructions on how to start a new game ( young kids don't understand to click on the sun card for a new deck)
General review I think as the app is right now, it should be offered for free. Work needs to be done to make the app more entertaining, engaging, and educational. This app would work for children under age 3 in my opinion. Since this age would enjoy turning the cards over and seeing the pictures. Children over age 3 will not be challenged and the app will become boring very fast.

Fractions+ [text]

Link to the App Store

What I liked I like that the app uses a leveled progression approach to practicing the fractions. Each level builds upon the last and teaches the child a new concept. I also like the approach of finding the equivalent fraction circles and testing hand to eye coordination.
Improvements There are a few improvements I would like to see. First, I think the levels should have more practice time with the fractions and less time with just matching the circles to pop. Also, I would like to see a list for parents and teachers of what each level teaches, so that we will know what the child will learn and when.
General review I think Fractions+ is a fun, engaging app that will allow your child to grow in their knowledge of fractions. Children will love the gaming atmosphere and not realize they are learning fractions. Each level is a progression, teaching your child step by step how to locate and identify fractions.

The Miracles of Jesus [text]

Link to the App Store

What I liked My children and I really liked The Miracles of Jesus. The read to me option has a nice voice narration and lovely music playing in the background. I love that you can change the reading level of the story. The best surprise was all the different activities offered to go along with the book.
Improvements It is hard to improve on such a good app. The only thing I would add to this app is maybe a question and answer section that the child can fill out, like multiple choice to test comprehension. Also, a vocabulary recap or activity would be a nice addition.
General review This storybook app is a wonderful addition to our family. The children are able to learn about the great miracles Jesus performed in an easy format. The activities after the story are such a great bonus for the children. This is a storybook your kids will keep coming back to time and again.

Phonics Fun Readers (version 1.2) [text]

Link to the App Store

What I liked What I liked most about the app was the activities that go along with each book. The glossary section is great to teach the child the words before reading the story. The song activity is a catchy way for the child to learn the words as well. The find it and choose it activities help to reinforce the words the child is learning in an easy, fun way. I also like the fact that you can buy more books as the child learning ability increases.
Improvements What I disliked the most about the book I reviewed is that there is not an option for the child to touch the words and read the story by themselves. It is nice to have the read to me option as they are learning, but as the child progresses, I would like to see the option for them to try to read the story by themselves and touch the word and hear it sound out if they forget the word.
General review Phonics Fun Readers is a cute learning app for beginning readers. Not only does the app offer a basic introduction to reading, but also as the child progresses, more levels can be purchased for an expanded learning capability. Fun activities with each book add to the child's learning. I would recommend purchasing these books at the bundle price to get the full value of the app.

Strawberry Shortcake Berry Best Friends [text]

Link to the App Store

What I liked I like the fact that this app is not just games, but also has a story with a meaning that goes along with it. The story is cute and teaches the child something. I like the questions at the end of the story to test comprehension. The games and coloring pages are fun and entertaining as well.
Improvements The app is great and I didn't find a lot to change about it. Maybe you could add in fractions in the Berry Blitz game. It could be a way to "sneak" in math as well. For example, the strawberry blender could so 1/4, 1/2, 3/4 full once they collect that level of strawberrys. That way they will have a fraction along with picture showing how full each blender is.
General review I think this app is fun, engaging, and entertaining for young children. My children loved reading the story and discovering all the little "extras" hid on the page that make the story come alive. After the story, they enjoyed playing the games. My girls loved the salon games the most. They enjoyed painting nails and fixing the girls hair. Great app!

Money Math: Counting Coins [text]

Link to the App Store

What I liked The app, "Money Math: Counting Coins", is a wealth of knowledge for children learning their coins and counting money. There are so many different games and levels for the child to choose from. I especially like the added bonus of learning about each state quarter and the state for which they come from.
Improvements There are two things I would change in this app. First, being the pyramid game. The children seemed confused and not really interested in collecting the coins and playing the game. The other thing, is the making change section. I think it would be an added value for the child to be able to move coins into a box and learn to count up to the next dollar. Physically moving the coins would allow the child to learn this concept easier.
General review I think the app, "Money Math: Counting Coins" is a great buy for any child learning coins and how to count money. There are so many options to progress through the app and learn how to count coins. There is also an added bonus in this app that teaches a little about each state and shows the state coins. Your child will enjoy playing this app over and over.

Tic Toc Time: Break down the day to learn how to tell time [text]

Link to the App Store

What I liked What I liked about this app is the different approach it takes to teaching a child to tell time. Reading a clock can be difficult for a child to understand and grasp, especially when it comes to understanding am and pm. This app is wonderful about teaching how the earth moves and helps the child visualize time using things they already know.
Improvements The only real problem my child encountered when using the app was when having to select the correct time on the clock. Sometimes the app didn't recognize when she had the hands of the clock positioned correctly. One time was 7:30. Both my 6 year old and 10 year old kept trying to get it to recognize and it kept saying it was wrong. Finally I messed around with it and turned the hour hand to 8 and it took. I don't know if there is a way to fix the sensitivity of the hands or not but it can be hard for a child.
General review This app is such a great, unexpected, addition to our homeschool. Not only can my child learn to tell time, but they can learn many other things that I've never seen the math books teach along side telling time. My child loved learning about a compass, the sun, shadows, and more. A must have app for any child learning to tell time.

Jack and the Beanstalk a Mathematical Adventure - HD V1.1 [text]

Link to the App Store

What I liked I enjoyed the concept of this app. My children had fun listening to the story and enjoyed the little breaks in between to solve the math problems. The problems are right on level and easy to understand. I enjoy apps such as this one that are able to entertain and teach at the same time.
Improvements I think it would be nice to see a help button in case the child needs a little nudge to remember how to work a problem. For example, a hint to count by fives on a problem. I would like to see the shape problem improved. It goes on for too long before finding the correct shape and the names get covered up. A different layout would help on this problem.
General review Jack and the Beanstalk a Mathmatical Adventure is a fun, great app for young children. As the story unfolds, the child gets to solve math problems that go along with the story. Your child will have fun listening to this story and practicing their math skills.

Lola's ABC Party 2 [text]

Link to the App Store

What I liked The positive reinforcement provided by Lola Panda makes ABC Party 2 a fun game for young children. My child enjoyed playing along and would get excited when Lola would say, "You are as smart as a panda". I like the idea of finding words, spelling words, and writing them all in one game.
Improvements What I would like to see changed is the order in which words are introduced and used for play. For example, I believe it would be better reinforcement for a word to be introduced, then asked to say and write the word, followed by spelling it, and finally picking it out among other words. Then the process can be repeated for a new word. A review could be given every 10 words.
General review This app is a fun, educational game for young children. They will be asked to identify, spell, and write words. Lola panda is a fun character that encourages the children and rewards them throughout the game. It is an easy game to understand how to play and will bring hours of fun to you child.

Simplex Spelling Phonics - Rhyming With CVC Words (v 2.0.0) [text]

Link to the App Store

What I liked I love all apps by Simplex Spelling and this app does not disappoint. I love how the app uses the approach of rhyming, segmenting, and blending to teach early readers. The app is easy for young children to learn and use. My 4 year old quickly caught on and was able to spell the words after seeing the pattern. I also love that the spelling list are provided for teachers.
Improvements I would love to see the app expanded and cover 2, 4, and 5 letter words. That way the app can reach the Pre-K through First grade range. I know you have other apps that cover harder words and different grades, but every child learns differently. I feel that offering the rhyming/segmenting approach for more grades would help those children who like to see patterns.
General review Simplex Spelling has done it again with Rhyming With CVC words. This app is a great addition for any teacher, parent, or homeschooler. The app is easy to use for young children and a great start for young readers. Spelling list are provided in advance for you to review before the child begins each level, and the child can stay on a level for as long as they need before moving on. Great app!

The Reading Train: A Common Core Early Literacy Tutor Version 1.0.3 [text]

Link to the App Store

What I liked Overall I liked that The Reading Train app offers multi-level play for children as they progress and that you can add more than one child to the app to track progress. I also like the options within the books to either listen, read, or record yourself reading. The vocabulary pop ups are great as well for harder words.
Improvements I would like to see several updates that I believe would enhance this app. First, I do not like the fact that when you click on what level you want to work on, another train pulls up that is a different level. It is confusing for the child and they might pick the wrong book by clicking on a Level C book instead of a Level A book. I also do not like that you have to hold your finger on a word for a while before it tells you what it is. The book options seem to generic and not very interesting to little readers.
General review Overall, I like the concept of The Reading Train app. I do believe that some changes and additions can be made in order to make this app great. Parents will need to make sure their child stays in the correct level of books to avoid reading frustration. Kids will enjoy getting to record themselves reading a book or listening to fun songs.

Meet Science: Magnetism and Electricity (v1.0.1) [text]

Link to the App Store

What I liked I like that the app is fun, engaging, entertaining, and full of experiments. Kids have many areas to explore and learn using the app. It is bright and attention grabbing. The graphics are great and I love the glossary area. The app is easy for children to use and learn on their own.
Improvements A personal pet peeve I have is people saying magnets stick. Tape sticks to paper, magnets do not stick, they attract and repel. Even though this is an app to make science learning easy for children, we still need to teach them correctly from the beginning. Also, I would like to see more scientists added in the glossary area. You should also include a disclaimer on every experiment that they should have an adult or teacher around to help. You wouldn't want a kid using a hammer and getting hurt.
General review There are so many ways for a child to learn using this app. From fun games to neat experiments and more, children will be entertained. Science is so important and lacking in the US educational system today. This app will help explain a lot of the important concepts children should know, in a kid friendly manner.