MFF: Dorothy the Rainbow Fairy by Integrated

Dorothy the Rainbow Fairy by Integrated is a great science storybook.

Like most good digital storybooks, you can read the story yourself or let the book read it for you. It also has the typical interactive touch elements on all pages.

But it also has items I have not seen in other story books. Some of those interactive elements are modeled after pop-up or slider books. In most pages you can slide a virtual tab, or spin a virtual wheel.

The book is about fairies and rainbows. And if the book is correct, I might have learned a few things I didn’t know about the origins of rainbows. Overall a high quality and beautiful digital book.

Available in the Android App for Kindle, Google Play and the Apple App store. I received a free iOS version from the publisher. It works offline, and I didn’t see any in-app store.

Shiny Circus by Shiny Things

Shiny Circus by Shiny Things is an educational math app geared to children 2 to 5 years of age. It consists of a story about the circus and a set of math concept activities. The story part of the app is typical of a good interactive story book. The words of the story are highlighted as it is read and each page has interactive elements.

Although the story part of the app is extremely well executed, the math concept activities are extremely impressive. My daughter of 5 year old (apparently the top of the range) had a great time dressing the clowns, balancing the weights, and arranging the stairs. The only activity she didn’t like was the Angry Bird style game: she found the voice coaching too repetitive. What is really impressive is that she had no idea that she was learning new math concepts. Some of the concepts and activities are too advance for the lower age children, be ready to help them.

Overall the music, illustrations, the narrating voice (human) and the animations are all very well done. One of the best apps reviewed this year, and easily worth the price. If we had a sixth star, this app would get it.

I received the app for free from the publisher, and reviewed it on my iPad. The app is available in the Apple App Store, and I couldn’t find an Android version.

TapThePic by Oleg Fedorov

TapThePic by Oleg Fedorov is a straight forward app targeted at very young children. The concept of the app is to show pictures of items or people and have the child touch them. When the child touches the picture it zooms and the app makes a sound.

The free version of the app comes with one set of pictures, but you can buy other sets on the in-app store. Both the settings for the app and the in-app store are only visible when you sequentially click on the four corners of the screen. You can also make your own sets. I could imagine making a set with pictures and sounds from other member of the family. Image one where when your child clicks on your picture you tell him/her you love him, and clicks on the dog and the dog barks. Unfortunately all my children are past the age where this app would be entertaining.

Overall a great concept well executed for an age group that doesn’t get that much attention. The free version was recently updated to include more pictures and backgrounds.

I tested the free version as prompted by the publisher. It is available in the Apple App Store. Works offline, and does have an in app store to buy other picture packs but it would be impossible for the targeted age range to accidentally find it.

Gombby Channel by Magnistage

I played this app with my 5-year-old daughter. Here at Smart Kids’ App we are always behind with reviews: too many ask for reviews, and not a lot of time to do them in.

My plan was to do a few today, and schedule them to be published through the week. Unfortunately that will probably not occur. You see my 5-year-old saw me launch this app, and after asking me a few times how to play it, she has now seen all three fee episode. I am probably on the hook for some of the paid ones.

Gombby Channel is not a game, but rather an app where you can watch the Gombby an animated cartoon series. As stated before the first three episodes are free, after that you are forced to buy more episode if your child wants to continue to watch.

The episodes are beautifully animated and illustrated. The music is beautiful. The colors vibrant. Overall they are of very high quality. The stories (the 2 I have seen at this point) are gentile and appropriate to the age that they are targeted for. The stories usually have educational arcs that are explained through the episode.

Overall I really like the app and Gombby. And by the looks of it, so does my 5-year-old daughter. Available in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. I reviewed the Apple version on my iPad.

I received a press release from the publisher suggesting I review this app.

Teach Me Apps: English for Kids by Bee Digital

Teach Me Apps: English for Kids by Bee Digital is an iPad app with 12 distinct activities. The include site works, vocabulary and spelling activities. All the activities are well thought out. For example the Alphabet activity has a particular object for each letter, but if you play that activity over or even go back to a previous letter the object is different. I also loved the voice is human and clear. The illustrations are beautiful, and the music is varied and not annoying.

Teach Me Apps: English for Kids is a great app for native speaking little children and for anybody learning English as a second language. I couldn’t find anything that I disliked about the app. Even the background is one of the cutest backgrounds I have seen in a while (kids drawings). The app has no ads, no in app purchases and the external links are protected behind a parent log in. I reviewed the full version as provided by the publisher, but a free version exists.

Brave Rooney by Bacciz

Brave Ronney by Bacciz is a story about a little boy starting at a new school where he doesn’t feel as special as the other kids. It has all the usual features that make such apps entertaining.

As usual you have multiple options on how the book is read. Including being able to automatically flip the page, read out loud, show the words, and highlight the words as they are being read. The illustrations are unique and quirky. The pages are filled with interactive elements. The story is engaging and fun to read. The music is catching and not annoying even after reading it a couple of times. Overall very little to complain about. At $1.99 it would be hard to find a paper book as engaging and fun as this one.

The app has no advertising (other than on the last page promoting the companies services), no store, and works offline. I received a free copy from the publisher and tested it on my iPhone. I couldn’t find an Android version.

Cutie Monsters Jigsaw Puzzles Preschool by Little Phoenix Interactive

Created just for toddlers, Cutie Monsters Jigsaw Puzzles by Phoenix Interactive is a learn to count interactive app.

Cutie Monsters has beautiful and creative illustrations, and good sound effects. As far as educational content the app consists of two main activities. One is an interactive story book. You have the option of either reading with the app by touching each word or letting the book read itself. In between the pages that have the story text, there are pages where you can click at animal parts to count. The second part of the app is the puzzle scene where you put together the monsters you just played with. The pieces are of a decent size, and snap into place when they find their place.

I questions some of the permissions required to run the app (on Android), especially since it doesn’t seem that it uses them. But overall it is a beautifully executed app. No in app purchase. No ads. And no internet required.

The app was reviewed on a Kindle Fire HD and is available on the Amazon App Store for $1.99. It also available in the Google Play and Apple App store (for other amounts). I limited free version exists.

Monkey Math – Jetpack Adventure by GiggleUp.

Who doesn’t like monkeys? Especially flying monkeys! Monkey Math by GiggleUp is a math educational app where a flying monkey avoids obstacles, shoots down enemies with bananas, and collects coins. All these activities have to be performed by answering math problems.

The graphics and animations are great, the music is ok (it might get annoying to parents after a while), and the game is actually fun to play (even for me). The story behind the game is nicely narrated using comic strips illustrations. The app supports multiple users and keeps track of each child’s progress.

As far as dislikes, the app does have an in-app store that is fairly easy to get to.

If you are into doing math drills with your child, and want an app that does that and provides some entertainment value then this might be the app for you. Since a free version of the app exists, you can always try it before you buy it. I tested it on my full size iPad. No android version exists. It works offline. The app was reviewed at the request of the publisher, and is available in the Apple App Store for $2.99.

Toca Tailor by Toca Boca

Toca Boca makes some great education apps for kids. Toca Tailor is no exception. In this app you design and dress avatars with your own tailored creations. Your child can pick the fabric, length, width and style of the garment. Since the app is extremely open-ended, it allows for many hours of experimentation. Once your child has created the perfect outfit, your child take a picture of it to share it with his friends. Also your child is able to place the avatar wearing his/her creation in the real world using the augmented reality feature of the app.

The graphics, sounds effects and music again are top-notch. This app provides a little more guidance than the other Toca Boca apps that we have reviewed (an added benefit). Although probably geared for kids 5+, the app could easily be used for smaller kids.

Unfortunately like almost every Toca Boca app it is not available in the Android market. I have noticed that some of the new apps are, so maybe at some point they will have Android versions of these apps. I reviewed it on my full size iPad (the app was provided for free). It is available in the Apple App Store for $2.99 (From time to time they do have it on sale).

Wee Subs by Wee Taps

My daughter loves build a apps. Most of them are riddled with ads or gameplay that forces you to buy coins. Wee Subs by Wee Taps is a build a sub app. You get to pick from multiple parts to build your perfect sub.Then you get a chance to collect fishes and treasures while exploring the sea. You have to also avoid mines and what seem to be toxic drums (although there doesn’t seem a problem if you do hit them).

With beautiful graphics and interesting music, the game is a joy to play with. I also like that the app has no words,the game encourages discovery.

As for dislike, I wish there was more. I was there were more parts, deeper and varied seas, and more fish. Overall a good app. I couldn’t find a free or an Android version. It works offline, and it is available in the Apple app store for $1.99. I reviewed the free copy (provided for free by the publisher) on my iPhone.

The publisher was also kind enough to offer a free code for a promotion. You can enter the promotion at the bottom of the review or on the promo page.