We are two mums, three kids, two dads and one elusive cat living in Ireland and every now and then we post about the nice things we find. 


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16 posts tagged ipad app

A Royal Fairytale - Ink Robin

Very happy to see that my favourite story book app developer, Ink Robin, has not only updated their Will & Kate - A Love Story app to include the forth coming heir to the throne but also have released the it as a printed book.

The original app saw Will and Kate meet, fall in love, marry and live happily ever after but the updated version, A Royal Fairytale, now includes a brand new baby. 

See more from Ink Robin and buy A Royal Fairytale here, buy the print version here and join the royal watchers waiting for the real birth here.

Cat Doorman’s Little Red Wagon

Guest  post from dad to be, James Kelleher.
Cat Doorman is Julianna Bright, and vice versa. She’s an Oregonian artist/mom/musician who’s collaborated with a bunch of American northwest indie rock heroes (including members of The Decemberists, Golden Bears, Black Prairie and Built to Spill) to make Songbook, a very charming folksy, old-timey album for children. Little Red Wagon is the first companion app to launch alongside the album, it’s developed by top toddler-catnip producers Night & Day Studios, and it’s very lovely indeed.
On launching the app, you’re dropped straight into Bright’s instantly appealing hand-painted world, where you choose whether you’d like a guitar, piano, or full band backing track. Then it’s right into the song adventure, where a girl in an orange dress gathers supplies – all dropped into the red wagon of the title – for a picnic in the forest. The dairy is run by a goat (the chèvre is recommended), the bakery by a cat: my weekly grocery shop now seems sadly mundane by comparison. 
The song itself is great, a blessed relief from the brain-mulching music found in most apps aimed at children, and appears in full notation at the bottom of the screen in case you’d like to play along. All the interaction cues necessary to progress are well signposted, but there are plenty of mischievous hidden surprises for curious tappers too. Trust me when I tell you: those pooping cows are going to be tapped A LOT.
This is another great app from Night & Day, with lashings of their customary attention to detail, plenty of charm and a lot of heart. 
To find out more of James Kelleher’s views on apps and the rest of the world follow him on twitter here.

Night & Day Studios - Richard Scarry’s Peekaboo People iPhone & iPad app

Night & Day Studios have created many of our favourite apps and this time they have combined their classic Peekaboo format with one of our favourite illustrators, Richard Scarry, for Peekaboo People.

As with Peekaboo Barn and others it’s the usual simple but good format of a hidden character with a tap to peek and hear the new word. This time its the Busy Town people in the lift on their way to work. The benefit of Scarry’s wonderfully illustrated characters is familiarity from the books but also the extra detail allows for more conversation about the image; ok so he’s a doctor but he’s also a lion, and what’s he wearing? A lot more room for external interaction with parent and child as well as child and screen.

The options as always allows for a child or adult voice narration however our toddler reviewers Mina and Cal did seem to be a little wary of the rather gruff man’s voice so the child voice was definitely the preferred. A future update with the ability to record your own voice would definitely be welcomed.

In addition to Peekaboo People Night & Day have a new Christmas version out, Peekaboo Presents to help you prep toddlers’ enthusiasm for the Christmas season even more, if that was possible. See the full range of Night & Day Studios apps here and download Peekaboo People here.

Piccadilly’s Circus - New story book app from Ink Robin

We are big fans of storybook app creators Ink Robin and luckily they like us too and kindly allowed us to try out their newest iPad storybook, Piccadilly’s Circus.

Illustrated by the very talented Adam Larkum, who also illustrated their original app Will & Kate, and narrated by comedian Trevor Lock (you may know him from guilty pleasures show Star Stories), Piccadilly’s Circus tells the tale of a successful circus troupe who when confronted with a challenge to replace their ringmaster for a night end up swapping all the roles with, of course, hilarious consequences.

As always with Ink Robin apps, the essentials of picture book story telling are prioritised with the quality of the illustration and tale stading up for themselves. On top of this then is layered the iPad interractive elements, with simple but fun rolling bears on balls, fire breathing lions and candy apple throwing monkeys. Add to this the excellent sound effects (Cal’s favourite Mr Piccadilly’s sneezing, mine the old style radio tuner in his caravan) and you have another perfect picture book app. 

Based on the new library shelf fomat that opens with the app it looks like we will be treated to many more wonderful stories from the team at Ink Robin. Find out more and download the app for iPad here

Peekaboo Fridge & Friends - the iPad & iPhone app of choice for toddlers returns

Night & Day Studios, creators of the much loved by all toddlers Peekaboo Barn app, are back with their latest installment, Peekaboo Fridge.

If you’ve ever wondered what sound a strawberry makes or what the fruit and veg get up to in the fridge after dark, Peekaboo Fridge is here to show you. Following the classic peekaboo listen then see format, with simple and intuitive screen interactions, toddlers can learn the names of 13 wholesome foods. Our toddler was particularly fond of the mustachioed cheese and the cheery juice box (which also prompted many drink requests). And for existing Peekaboo fans, don’t worry, it still ends with the essential “Shhh, they’re sleeping”.

For those of you new to smart phones or just new to toddlers you can get a free taster of the Peekaboo series with their new and free Peekaboo Friends app. As future Peekaboos are released (an Ed Emberley Halloween and Richard Scarry character based Peekaboos soon to be released) a lite version will be available in Peekaboo Friends to try out before you buy.

Much loved by our toddler and highly recommended for little ones learning new words, Peekaboo Fridge will be released tomorrow, 30th August. Find out more about all the Night & Day Studios apps here.

Make Me Music musical app for kids

FeeFiFoFun, the company behind Flutterby Butterflies, which we reviewed last month, have just come out with their second app called Make Me Music. It is an interactive musical app where you can compose your own pieces, play one of a number of crazy looking instruments and record and send on your compositions to your friends. You have an option of three different background medleys, a guitar, a banjo and my favourite, a trumpet, choosing each one changes the background colour and beat. As with Flutterby Butterflies, it is fantastically illustrated by Alan Aldridge with conventional instruments like tambourines, maracas and didgeridoos playing alongside saucepans,
musical spiders, flowers, cowbell (and cow!), and much more. The instruments are both wildly creative and quite hilarious, the singing breadbox proving particularly popular with Edie. We had great fun with this, it’s aimed at three years old and over but Edie definitely enjoyed it and her Dad even more. We will be playing and recording our music for some time to come.

Make Me Music is available to buy here.

Caillou Stickers - iPhone & iPad App for kids

We were thrilled when we heard that Night & Day Studios were releasing another Caillou app, following on from the lovely Caillou’s World which we reviewed earlier in the year. Caillou has finally been shown on Irish tv and we’ve caught a few episodes so Edie was excited to see the familiar characters from the show. It works like a giant sticker album with lots of sticker options and backgrounds which you can work and rework, moving characters around, changing their size and listening to them make noises. Edie insisted on most things being left full size and also sending things flying “into the air” but it was great to see her imagination working. I think this is an app that she will grow with and play with differently as she develops. You can see some of her slightly surreal finished works below! A lovely touch is the ability to email your finished photos to your friends or family, we sent quite a few completed postcards ourselves. It is available to buy for iPhone and iPad here

The Numberlys - Alphabet story app from Moonbot Studios

Some time ago we purchased the highly rated app called The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by Moonbot studios, and sadly we never reviewed it here as it felt more like an animated movie being forced into an app format, and at the higher end of the app price range we really couldn’t recommend the purchase (although clearly the short film works better, Oscar nomination anyone!).

However with their newest creation, The Numberlys, the balance between animated movie, story book, game and introduction to the alphabet for the older child is reached. Created in a world where there are only numbers the Numberlys aim to create a new type of number, something different, an alphabet. As the cinematic story is told, in a style which is an homage to movies such as Metropolis, in story games and interactions help create the new alphabet, many a bit tough for our wee toddler but simple enough to be picked by slightly older kids (…and parents). It will take some more intensive toddler testing over the next few days but I think this is definitely an app that will be played again and again (…and not deleted to make space for more). Find out more about The Numberlys here.  

The Lonely Beast ABC - Alphabet App from Illustrator Chris Judge & Pilcrow


Delighted to be finally trying out the much anticipated Lonely Beast iPad alphabet app for kids, which is not only from the very popular illustrator Chris Judge but is also the first fully Irish made iPad app we have had the honour to review here.

Along with the beautiful illustration work from Chris Judge and his, already much loved by toddler Cal, Beast character from The Lonely Beast there is a lot of imagination put into what could have been a very simple alphabet app. There are some lovely subtle visual tricks within the app, like A is for ant panning in from an image of an expected apple, as well as the required for little ones attention grabbing screens such as D is for Drums with drummable drums. It is also a very Irish app with V is for Van showing the wondrous thing that is the Irish white van driver and for once allowing toddler to hear the letter R pronounced as we speak it here rather than the usual “Ahhhhr” or “Arrre” of the UK and US apps.

From the excellent illustration style, the catchy opening music (which I will be requesting all the way through the screens for the next update as mummy likes to listen to it while toddler plays) and the very clever and usable functionality this is an app which will be loved by both parent and toddlers as they learn new words and their alphabet from the Lonely Beast. Congratulations on the launch to the Pilcrow team, Chris, James and Simon, and looking forward to the iPhone version launch very soon. Download your copy of the iPad app here and keep track of updates on the release of the iPhone version here.




Dada Company - I Learn with Transportation

With toddler Cal’s interest in everything vehicular at an all time high, an introduction to the I Learn With Transportation iPad app from Dada Company couldn’t have come at a better time. 

I Learn With Transportation is a book format app with interactive scenes which introduce the user to six different concepts as they move through the pages; sounds, words, colours, shapes, numbers and travel. The cheery illustration style, music and even the slightly less pleasant to adult ears English voice over do a great job at capturing Cal’s attention and the familiarity of the vehicles and environments meant that he was very happy playing with the more complex pages dealing with quantity and travel concepts such as “to the sky” and “to space”.

There is a lovely flow to the user experience with the constant movement of the vehicles and the feedback of the interraction with the vehicles gives a very satisfying experience. In addition to this, each time you enter the app a new order of items in each scene is presented keeping the child’s mind stimulated rather than just learning by pure repetition. For us, this will definitely be an app that gets some long term use. Check out a video demo of the app here and download for iPhone or iPad here.

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