Review: Touch ‘n Sing app for kids

(Disclosure: I received monetary compensation to purchase two of the Touch ‘n Sing Super Value Packs. No additional compensation was received.)

As Baby J moves away from infancy and into toddlerhood, I’ve become increasingly interested in baby and preschool apps on the market. Let’s face it. Generation Z is tech-savvy. At 16 months, Baby J picks up my iPad, presses the “home” button, and then swipes his finger to unlock the iPad. He then navigates the screens until he reaches the app he wants to use.

I’m a firm believer that technology is no replacement for human interaction and instruction. But I also believe that technology has its place in our society and in our education system. It can complement instruction. With this in mind, I’ve downloaded numerous apps to help teach Baby J things like numbers and letters, but I don’t leave out entertainment value. My iPad has been invaluable on long trips and airplane flights, by keeping Baby J happy. And sometimes the iPad is the only reason I get a morning shower!

Touch 'n Sing

About:

Featured on the Daily Buzz, Galtime, and Huffington Post, the Touch ‘n Sing is a touch and sing along picture book for kids. This¬†educational app for iPhone, iPad, and Android. Designed for a variety of ages (2-6) and aptitude, Touch ‘n Sing combines education with fun. Each song has multiple levels, starting with easy and growing in difficulty. The songs have different categories that are labeled, so you know what learning objectives each song meets. Categories are colors, math, language, shapes, music, life skills, science, and culture. Change the music version in settings to sing along, music box, karaoke, or 8bit. Lyrics can be turned on in the karaoke version.¬†Individual songs can be purchased for $0.99, or you can buy a value pack of six songs for $4.99.

Our Experiences:

Baby J has a lot of fun with these songs. I’m calling them songs, but they’re more than that. They’re really games set to music, but definitely educational. These games are designed for kids older than Baby J, but he’s really getting into them! I purchased the newest value pack of six songs featuring Japan. One of the songs is called “The Ogre’s Pants.” The first level starts with a male ogre and a female ogre. The second level adds in a cat, and so on. Okay, this is going to sound weird, but bear with me. The ogres are naked. The child’s job is to drag the matching clothes down to the ogres. Baby J loves this! Last night he was doing an awesome job of pairing up the clothes with the ogres all by himself. I was so proud of him! Here’s a screen shot of the ogres:

The Ogre's Pants

“I’ve Been Working on the Railroad” -Touch ‘n Sing Along Picture Book
 Kintaro screen shot
Kintaro screen shot

There are two FREE Touch ‘n Sing songs available.¬†You can download them and others on the on the app store for iPhone/iPad and Google play for Android.¬†

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Review: Typecrush, “a puzzling game of words”

As a member of the Mosaic Reviews team, I received the Typecrush word game to review.

Typecrush- a puzzling game of words. Review from My Life: A Work in Progress

About:

Based on letter frequency analysis, Typecrush is entertaining and educational. Players aged seven and up can modify the game to be as simple or challenging as they like. The first person to solve the word gets to choose the next word; otherwise, there are no rules, unless you develop your own. The creators of Typecrush recommend playing with themes like celebrity names, U.S. states, and so on.

Our Experiences:

I played Typecrush with my sister-in-law while the boys were napping, and the “one rule” didn’t make sense in our situation. I’m assuming the rule works if you only have one word to guess but three or more players. Emily and I were the only players, and we each made a word for the other to guess.

We tried the celebrity name theme and that was too difficult for us. Apparently we have completely different people in mind when it comes to movie stars, singers, etc.! Next, we played the U.S. states themes. I’m a little embarrassed at how long it took me to guess some of the state names! It definitely highlighted to me that I need to brush up on my geography.¬†I think Typecrush is a fantastic educational tool for either a traditional classroom or homeschooling setting. This game would work well for a family game night too. Why not have fun and learn at the same time?

Typecrush- a puzzling game of words. Review from My Life: A Work in Progress

Typecrush- a puzzling game of words. Review from My Life: A Work in Progress

Typecrush could be used in any subject to quiz on terms. An English teacher could have the word “metaphor” hidden for students to guess. Then as clues, the teacher could list different examples of metaphors on the board. Students could quiz one another…there are a lot of possibilities.

I also like that Typecrush is eco-friendly and American made. Each game is handcrafted from 100 percent recycled materials. Currently, Typecrush costs $25 (including shipping), which may seem expensive for a game, but I think where and how the games are crafted affect the costs. You pay more for quality.

¬†If you’d like to learn more about Typecrush, visit their website and follow them on Twitter for more game theme ideas.¬†¬†

Mosaic Reviews Disclosure

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Review: “Rhythm Bears” children’s music CD

Groove Kid Nation sent me their “Rhythm Bears” CD to review.


 photo rhythmbearsfromGrooveKidNation_zpsb3392490.jpg

About:

Rodney Lee, founder of Groove Kid Nation, believes music is important for early childhood development. Lee has created award-winning CDs that expand “a kid’s musical journey with fresh age-appropriate concepts.”

“Rhythm Bears,” Lee’s third Groove Kid Nation album, features 11 tracks with instruments like the harmonica, fiddle, acoustic guitar, acoustic bass, clarinet, kalimba, ukulele, and didgeridoo.

Ten percent of the wholesale price of “Rhythm Bears” will be donated to Care.org to aid in the fight against global poverty.

Our Experiences:

As a cellist, I can appreciate Rodney Lee’s desire to expose children to “real” music as opposed to the manufactured, imitation sounds that toys produce. I suppose I’m a snob where music is concerned. For example, I have no idea what the “popular” songs are these days, because I only play classical music or traditional hymns (sung by children) when I’m driving with Baby J. Yes, I’m THAT mom.

I enjoy the music on this CD and always find myself tapping my foot along with the beat. It’s pleasant to listen to, and the¬†musicians on this CD really are talented and proficient on their instruments. For more on the musicians, click HERE.

The CD uses call and response to teach kids rhythm. The artist claps and then the listener is supposed to echo the clapping.¬†Baby J quite happily claps along with the music (big grin on his face). I wish I could say he gets the rhythm right, but, well, he is only 15 months. He does actually clap on the beat occasionally, and I convince myself it’s on purpose. =D

Memphis the bear

I appreciate the extensive list of child-appropriate musical instruments that Lee has posted on his site. Besides the booklet included with the CD, the website and Lee’s YouTube page contain additional resources to complement the disk.

Want to know more? Visit Groove Kid Nation on the web.

Note: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

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