A World of Words

Reviewing children's books

An app for the boys

Mr Potato Head

Sorry about the slightly late post this week, I’m off to Mauritius in less than two weeks and have been excitedly packing and keeping busy! It’s therefore taking me a little while longer than normal to read my current book, The Clock of Time, by Nancy Klann-Moren, so today’s review is for the above app.

PH1I don’t know about you, but my older niece and nephew have loved the Toy Story franchise since they were in nappies. ‘Aylees’, their baby babble word for Toy Story 3 (short for aliens) was practically their bedtime story (when they weren’t visiting me!).

PH3

If you look at the apps on my phone, a good two-thirds could be said to appeal more to girls rather than boys. When I saw this, I knew I had to get it for Lewis.

I can’t actually remember how much I paid for this – once bought, I can never seem to get Apple to show me how much it was! It must have been free or cheap though, as the app does have adverts. It took a while to train the children not to touch anything before the play button popped up! You can also buy bundles as in-app purchases, but I’ve found there are enough costumes without needing to buy more.

PH4

You basically get several choices of costumes to put onto Mr Potato Head, and these can be mixed and matched. It’s a great idea – there are male and female versions of several costumes, including cowboy, pirate, circus performer, alien, etc. In the pictures I mixed him up so he’s a pirate with sparkly eyes and a father christmas nose and moustache. You also get a choice of where to put each accessory, so if you want, you can put the eyes where the ears are supposed to go, or the ears where the legs are supposed to go. One big drawback about this, though, is that sometimes it can be a little tricky to get things in the right place, as well as mistakenly turning the wheel Mr Potato Head is on – while Caitlin can manage to get around these things, Lewis isn’t quite there yet, so it does mean an adult (or older child) does need to be keeping an eye. By the way, Lewis is 4 in July, and Caitlin is 5, just to give you an idea of age.

Once the dressing up is done, you can choose one of several scenarios – including pirates, cowboys, aliens, candyland and a ballroom. There, you get a choice of 5 things you could make Mr Potato Head do, although I think these amuse me more than Caitlin and Lewis, who just love to dress him up! You can also press the camera to take pictures of Mr Potato Head’s antics, which is how I got most of the screen grabs.

PH5

Generally, I’d definitely recommend it. It’s the first one both Caitlin and Lewis go for, and particularly Lewis. While he can get a little frustrated at getting stuck every now and again, they both love being able to dress up Mr Potato Head, and it’s fairly easy to make them take turns.

Oooh, and a quick side note – I should be seeing my website artwork soon so I hope to be revamping the design ASAP!

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Something a little different

Just a short post today! Since moving house, it’s been a while since I’ve been able to sit down with the kids to read anything, and therefore, I don’t really have any new book reviews for their age group.

 

Kate and Harry

 
However, there are loads of children’s apps out there, and I thought I’d write about Kate and Harry build a ship today. Basically, there are five steps, each with 5 options of a different ship component. It means that you can make a submarine with fairy lights and a cannon, or a pear ship with a mermaid fin instead of propellers. Once you’ve made your ship, there’s a short sail, where you can tap Kate or Harry (whoever you’ve chosen) to get them to say hello, as well as various other things to keep engagement up.

I’d thoroughly recommend this one! If I remember rightly, it’s 69p from the Apple store, and it’s the one app I have on my phone that keeps both Caitlin and Lewis happy. It’s saved the day (and my sanity) on a fair few occasions when they were bored and bickering. One ‘go’ lasts for about a minute, so it’s perfect for making them take turns. They always end up with something different since there’s so much choice, and it can also be a way of focusing them. You can get them to make the perfect pirate ship, for example. Actually, I’ve also played this with N, my best friend’s nephew. The complete opposite from Caitlin and Lewis, N had to be encouraged to make random choices, and spent all his time making submarines!

I have a few reading apps I’ve been trying out with the kids too, but I’ll talk about these another time. Does anyone have a good app they find is fail safe with their children?

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