Tiggly Christmas Review

I’m excited to share Tiggly Christmas with our fans.

I’m excited to share Tiggly Christmas with our fans. KinderTown loved Tiggly Shapes this year, and the Tiggly Christmas app is equally exciting. Thanks Tiggly! In order to use Tiggly Christmas, KinderTown recommends that you purchase the Tiggly Shapes. They are rubbery 3-D shapes that interact with the iPad, perfect for toddlers. Tiggly Shapes are appropriate for children ages 2-4. They make a unique gift for the techy toddler. The shapes are made to interact with iPad and the iPad mini. Tiggly Shapes also work with the free apps, Tiggly Safari, Tiggly Draw, and Tiggly Stamp.

Tiggly Christmas

Decorate your very own tree using the Tiggly Shapes. The app prompts your child to match the Tiggly Shape with the outline on the screen. Once the correct shape is placed on the outline, the app says the name of the shape and shows the word as well. Voilà! It becomes an ornament on your tree. Next, presents are shown and children must match their handheld shapes to those of the presents. Many of the shapes combine to make a toy that children can play with in the Christmas scene. Children can send their creations to friends with the assistance of an adult. Children are developing their spatial understanding using circles, squares, triangles, and stars as they play. Tiggly Christmas is $1.99 and available for iPhone and iPad. The app can be played without the Tiggly shapes, as in the iPhone version, but  KinderTown recommends the use of the manipulatives to maximize your child’s learning experience. KinderTown also really enjoys the Tiggly blog. The blog includes educational math activities to complete with your child offline.

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Educational Apps for the Holidays

Add a little magic to your holidays this year by enjoying these KinderTown-approved educational apps.

 

Add a little magic to your holidays this year by enjoying these KinderTown-approved educational apps.

12 Days of Christmas

12 Days of Christmas is a delightful holiday app that gives kids an opportunity to experience the traditional song. Read KinderTown's review.

12 Days of Christmas is a delightful holiday app that gives kids an opportunity to experience the traditional song, and also creates a custom video of themselves singing. You have two options for game play: sing-along or play-along. In play-along, your job is to follow along with the song and tap the number that goes along with the song patterns. In sing-along, your child records him- or herself, both video and audio, singing along. Create your own family’s 12 Days of Christmas. The app is $1.99 and appropriate for children ages 3-6.

First Words Christmas

First Words Christmas will support your beginning reader in building winter holiday words, sound by sound. Read KinderTown's review.

First Words Christmas will support your beginning reader in building winter holiday words, sound by sound. For children already blending sounds, First Words becomes an app for practicing spelling. Parents can set up the appropriate environment for their child by adjusting the variety of settings. Thematic words paired with colorful pictures for young children, and options for parent customization, are what make this app a success. The app is $1.99 and appropriate for children ages 3-6.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

How The Grinch Stole Christmas! brings the classic holiday story to your device. Read KinderTown's review.

How The Grinch Stole Christmas! brings the classic holiday story to your device. The original story, text and illustrations, are easy for your children to listen to or begin to read themselves. The interactivity in this text is timed to not disrupt or distract from the story. The best part is that you don’t have to read the story aloud day after day if you use the “read to me” feature. We enjoy the apps for the family to listen and share together in the car or as a bedtime routine. The app is $4.99 and appropriate for children ages 3-8.

KidsMag Christmas Edition

For the holiday season, KidsMag has released a special Christmas issue. Read KinderTown's review.

KidsMag takes the traditional children’s magazine and makes it come alive with thematic interactive games, teaching moments, art and music. For the holiday season, KidsMag has released a special Christmas issue that has your child dressing up Santa and a Christmas tree, spelling Christmas words and playing with shadows. KidsMag integrates vocabulary lessons with meaningful Math, Science and Language activities, created in a learning environment where kids thrive. Kids Mag Christmas Edition is $1.99 and appropriate for children ages 4-8.

Wubbzy’s the Night Before Christmas

Wubbzy’s The Night Before Christmas takes your child through the beloved Christmas poem with a few new twists and turns. Read KinderTown's review.

Wubbzy’s The Night Before Christmas takes your child through the beloved Christmas poem with a few new twists and turns. Features include options to use the app as a book with no hotspots, or with full interactivity while the story is read aloud or with just word support. In the app you’ll find flying sled games, coloring pages, and a few other surprises. At the end, parents are supported with questions for talking and thinking about the story. Overall, Wubbzy’s The Night Before Christmas is a fun, colorful story that kids love to listen to. The app is $2.99 and appropriate for children ages 3-7.

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Thinking About Purchasing an iPad?

Thinking of purchasing an iPad for Christmas? iPads are becoming increasingly popular with children and parents. What does the iPad have to offer children ages 3-8?

 

Thinking of purchasing an iPad for Christmas? iPads are becoming increasingly popular with children and parents.

App Selection

Many say that the iPad has the best collection of apps to offer, and here at KinderTown we agree. Want to develop creativity? Work on Math facts? Gain assistance with reading? Learn the letter sounds? The iPad has a vast selection of educational apps available. Download KinderTown onto your device so you’ll always have a handy guide sorted by age group, device, and subject area.

 

Creativity

The iPad allows creativity to the youngest learners. Apps that include pictures, drawing, creating stories and movie making are available for students as young as 3. Check out Draw and Tell for the youngest iPad user, and Toontastic for older children. Have your child create their own book with easy to use apps. You will be amazed at what they will create. Many iPad apps encourage exploration such as Bobo Explores Light and Monster Physics, which explores the use of gears and pulleys.

 

Portability

The iPad offers a great portable tool for kids. As our lives become increasingly mobile, so are our kids’ lives. In my house, we use the iPad everywhere. Try a great recipe in the kitchen, take pictures or your favorite toys and family members in the living room, and curl up with a digital book before bed. Time yourself in the bathroom while you brush your teeth. Take pictures of the changing leaves outside. The possibilities are endless. And, of course, take it along in the minivan while you wait to pick a sibling up from soccer practice, or  turn any waiting room into a classroom.

 

Access

Access to wi-fi seems to be everywhere now, potentially putting the world at your child’s fingertips. With the iPad, children can reach across cultures and discover new types of people and places without ever leaving their house. Our lives are all now global in nature with most jobs and work opportunities expecting people to work with people all over the world.  Read about a few global apps that your child may enjoy.

 

Easy to Use

Most appealing to many parents is that the iPad is easy to use. Guidance and troubleshooting are rarely necessary. Most 3 year-olds can pick up the iPad and are ready to use apps designed for their age level. They may even discover how to use the apps more quickly than adults.

 

While KinderTown recommends children use iPads as a learning device, it is a wise move to have a dinner time conversation about the use of the iPad, the responsibility associated with it, and your personal family values related to media. This is time well spent and may decrease conflict  over the use of the device in the future. Ask questions like these: Who does the iPad belong to? Is it a family iPad? When and Where can children use the ipad? What do we do if a pop-up box appears? Where is the iPad stored? How long can kids use the iPad?

 

Share your experience with us. Does your child want an iPad for Christmas?

 

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Image by Brad Flickinger, via Flickr. (CC By 2.0)



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Apps for Thanksgiving

I’m sure your family is preparing for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. Why not download a few apps to get you in the spirit as well?

 

I'm sure your family is preparing for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. Why not download a few apps to get you in the spirit as well?

Thanksgiving Apps

Blue Hat, Green Hat – Boynton

This digital book app by Sandra Boynton is a classic story to be enjoyed again and again by your youngest child. Read KinderTown's review.

This digital book app by Sandra Boynton is a classic story to be enjoyed again and again by your young child. The story is about animals getting dressed in human clothes. The turkey in the story can’t quite put the clothes on the right part of his body, indicated by the word “oops” each time. Your toddler is sure to giggle over his mistakes! The story has two options: I want to read it myself, or The big guy reads it. There is delightful background music that can be turned off from the Home screen if desired. This book is appropriate for children ages 2 and 3 and is the most fun when you read it with your child and prompt them to join in on the simple story after multiple readings. Another great way to enjoy the book with your child is by trying echo reading. Choose the option “I want to read it myself.” Then read the text yourself and have your child repeat the text read back to you. Blue Hat, Green Hat fits this activity well because of the short phrases and repeated words. The app is narrated by a calm voice and highlights the words as they are read. This is a great story to enjoy before nap time! Check out the other digital books by the author Sandra Boynton; again, they are a perfect fit for 2-3 year olds. The app costs $3.99.

 

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving – A Peanuts Interactive Classic for All Ages

The app opens with the classic “Peanuts” music and each page has a hidden leaf for children to discover. Read KinderTown's review.

The app opens with the classic Peanuts music, and each page has a hidden leaf for children to discover. The story has the options “Read to me” and “Read myself.” The words are highlighted as the narrator reads, and the characters on the page are animated like the classic Peanuts shows. In the story, Charlie Brown is not feeling thankful. His friends invite themselves over for Thanksgiving, and Charlie Brown is upset about preparing a Thanksgiving meal. Woodstock and Snoopy save the day by helping Charlie Brown prepare a Thanksgiving meal. The story does include nice interactive features on each page, but it is quite long and feels almost like you are watching a Peanuts movie while reading the story and turning the pages. This app is appropriate for children ages 4-6 and costs $5.99.

 

The Berenstain Bears Give Thanks

The Berenstain Bears are a beloved family in my house; my children often select Berenstain Bear books at the library, and to read before bed. Read KinderTown's review.

The Berenstain Bears are a beloved family in my house; my children often select Berenstain Bear books at the library and to read before bed. As a parent, I really like how they have a message and often give me a chance to talk to my kids about experiences we share in our life. I think the characters are easy to relate to, and that’s what has made them so popular for so long. The Berenstain Bears Give Thanks is about the time leading up to Thanksgiving Day and includes the bear children learning about the first Thanksgiving Day. The book does talk about being thankful and includes a coordinating Bible verse at the end. The Berenstain Bears Give Thanks is a part of the Living Light Series by Oceanhouse Media. Check it out here and be sure to download the free book The Berenstain Bears and the Golden Rule. The Berenstain Bears Give Thanks costs $1.99 and appropriate for children ages 3-7.

 

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