Home : Boov Pop! App Review

If you have been to the cinema lately you may have seen a trailer for the new Dreamworks film. Home. In short, some aliens called Boov come to earth hide from their enemies, to make it their new home. Home : Boov Pop! is based on the animation, and we were given an early preview.

Home : Boov Pop

Home : Boov Pop has been developed and published by Behaviour Interactive and is exclusively available in the App Store now. An Android version is set to follow soon.

The game has in-app purchases, something you’re warned about immediately, which I appreciated as they’re often hidden away. I’ve had a play with H, we tried to load it up on her 1st Gen iPad, but it won’t work – so it’s on my mini. The game is free, so you wouldn’t be out of pocket, mind and it doesn’t take up a lot of space.

Each level has coloured balloons you have to pop, and you’re set a target on each level. Combinations of balloons can help improve your score, and you aren’t limited to a grid – if you can make a circle, go for it. You may find obstacles along the way to make it a bit trickier.

Home : Boov Pop game

I’ve been playing ‘Frozen – Free Fall’ for the last year, which follows a similar path – and the fact I’ve played for so long makes me think that Home : Boov Pop will be one we’ll be using a long time too. There are obstacles in the way, rainbow balloons so you can change colour, and most importantly of all, things which H wants to play (she wasn’t keen on the Frozen game).

The animation ‘Home’ is based on the book ‘The True Meaning of Smekday’ which we don’t own, though reading about it I think it’s around H’s reading level and we’ll be investigating further.

We’ve only had a short preview on Home : Boov Pop, so we’re not very high level-wise, it’s straightforward, fun, colourful and full of praise at the end of each level.

Home : Boov Pop Tip & Oh

I remember from the Home trailer how they travel around the world, and from pictures I’ve seen the game has elements of this in there – right now I’d say give it a go! It’s free, disable the add-on’s and enjoy!

Home’s Official Website – it’s out in cinemas from March 27th 2015.

We were provided with a code which gave us a one-day preview of the game. All opinions are our own.

App Time – Jump Up and Join In! with Carrie and David Grant

So following on from our previous post, we’ve been playing with the Jump Up and Join In (JUJI) app for kids that we previewed at Egmont’s offices.

It is based on the Lion’s Speedy Sauce book which we’ll be reviewing soon. The app is very straightforward and uncomplicated. While H isn’t reading properly yet she can work out words and knew which sections she wanted to go to – the colours are bright and colourful and really appealing – and they have good fonts!

JUJI - Main

That place would be her favourite section – the song – and has so far made about ten different videos of herself dancing with Carrie and David while singing the Speedy Sauce song (which we then did a recording of ourselves and she knew all the words to) – she’s picked it up quickly! You can choose various costume combinations to wear as well as adding a picture of yourself and changing the background.

The app has several areas where you can enter the game – if you read the story you occasionally get the JUJI logo which takes you to other interactive parts of the game (and while you’re in each section the characters all have little things they do if you touch them too which H really likes) – so far she’s fascinated with making videos and singing (future pop star in the making maybe?).

JUJI - video

What I like about the app is the various ways you can play – and it’s making learning fun. She likes reading the story ‘Lion’s Speedy Sauce’ plus there’s a section where you can play along with bongos, repeating patterns or with keys repeating the tunes – Lion’s Speedy Sauce is all about rhythm which I think she’ll benefit from.

That and both songs so far are incredibly catchy – you’ll end up singing them yourself, let alone your child.

JUJI - game

If this app proves to be successful, hopefully other books in the series will be added, which is great. We’re finding it lots of fun, although dragging H away from making videos of herself is proving difficult!

JUJI - Bongo

Jump Up and Join In – the App is available now from the App Store

We received a code to review this, all opinions are our own. The iTunes link is an affiliate link.

Write To Read – App Time

Write To Read is a new app which encourages children to learn to read. We’re finding it really interesting too, surprisingly so!

This is going to be a two-part review – Write To Read is a new app from WriteReader which encourages children to learn to read. Now, H is  almost four and already knows a few words – so I was curious to find out more.

Write To Read

What you get is a really straightforward app and one which I can see how it works – H is doing this at a very basic level (one word descriptions – ‘mummy’ rather than ‘this is my mummy’ sort of things). She starts school in September so I fully expect her to get a lot more from this towards the end of the year, which is when I’ll post a follow-up.

Essentially, you’re creating an online photo book and your child will explain what each picture is – in their own writing and spelling. You (as the adult) then type in the correct sentence underneath so the child knows what the correct words are and this in turn helps them learn to spell – you’re working together making your own story. We’re actually doing something quite similar – a couple of months ago I started a photo blog for H which has one new photo a week which she describes and I type up –  and this app takes the learning a step further. She will often try to spell words, so the formation of them is there – and I feel like this complements what we do really well.

Write to Read - basic

Also – Write To Read has no Comic Sans!

It’s really clearly explained and straightforward to work, and I’m looking forward to using it as her spelling progresses.

Once your child doesn’t need help from a parent they can create their own books without the repeated spelling, so this does have a long life ahead of it – you’re spending a fair amount for something which could last you seven years or more.

The Write to Read app is aimed at 3-10 year olds and completely revolutionises the way children learn to read. It has been phenomenally successful in Denmark where it is used in more than 300 schools and nurseries. Write to Read encourages children to learn to read by physically writing and spelling words on the iPad rather than reading the printed word on a page.

Write To Read costs £4.99 from iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/write-to-read/id590707197?mt=8

We’ll post a follow-up later in the year, but right now I think this is brilliant and has a lot of potential. For the month of July Write To Read is available at a cheaper price as well!

We were gifted this app to review, all opinions are our own and honest.

App Time at Mum Friendly

App Time – Guess How Much I Love You iPad App

Guess How Much I Love You app 2This app is currently free at the App Store. If you’ve seen the ‘Guess How Much I Love You’ tv programme you’ll be familiar, and even more so if you’ve read the books.

Guess How Much I Love You features two full interactive episodes ‘Touch The Stars’ and ‘Snow White Hare’ broken into sections with an activity relating to that part of the story – from matching shapes to turning the iPad to guide Little Nutbrown Hare on the screen.

Guess How Much I Love You app

At the end of each story there’s an option to send a postcard to someone – you can pre-set the addresses in the options menu of the game.

We love the show, and H is really enjoying the app – I’m not sure if it has always been free, but in case it hasn’t, grab it quickly – it’s really lovely.

Guess How Much I Love You – Interactive Episodes – SLR Productions Pty Ltd

The Guess How Much I Love You website (with activities and fun things)

App TimeWith thanks to the Facebook Apps For Parents group for the heads-up!

App Time – Peppa Pig’s Holiday

Peppa Pig has a new game out, based on a few episodes from the latest series – this time she’s on holiday. H is still very Peppa obsessed, and I can’t see an end to it soon. This game follows a similar pattern to previous ones, so anyone familiar will know the kind of thing.

You play games and earn stickers to place on a page within the app. Simple enough – and this time the food creation part is to make a pizza which we all had fun with – you’ve the additional skill of chopping the vegetables for toppings, and the pizza to serve.

Peppa Pig's HolidayH has been getting a bit frustrated with it though – but I think that’s a really good thing, and I’ll explain why. These games have an element of your child having to pay attention – the ‘At The Airport’ section has several bags which pass through the X-Ray machine, and you have to match the right item to each bag – but the item disappears. I like this as I’ve felt like while we’ll play the games they can be repetitive (H doesn’t mind), so having to listen, remember AND get it right appeals to me in a big way. The first part of the game has you placing the bags on the conveyor belt – and you’ll get various commands – “five bags”, “all the green bags”, “three yellow bags” and so on, with the second being the part where you identify the correct items.

In ‘Going to the Beach’ Peppa and George are getting ready for the beach, and need help picking their swimming costumes and beach toys as well as applying the sun cream!

In ‘Ice Cream’ they help Auntie Goat make ice cream – it’s similar to the last ice cream game on the previous app – you create one and pass it on to whoever is next in line.

‘Swimming Race’ is based around the pool at the villa, and can be played with up to four players (or just one) – similar to some of the ones on Sports Day, quick and fun especially if your child is the competitive kind (mine is… sigh).

‘Sky High Song’ is the ‘Big Balloon’ song which features in the holiday episodes – just the video. It’s short but for the Peppa fan that will be possibly all they could ever want.

‘Postcard Sticker Book’  is the section for the stickers – collect them throughout the game and arrange on some postcards –  and you’re able to make the stickers bigger or smaller which will help with the pincer grasp if help is needed. That and you can put a gigantic Daddy Pig in the swimming pool too which always amuses H.

Peppa Pig's Holiday ipad

The game is out now and released by P2 Games – and already is at the top of the charts. Having a Peppa fan in the house, she enjoyed the game a lot. I feel like there’s a lot of repetition in this game from previous ones – although the ‘At The Airport’ section more than makes up for it – I want my girl to concentrate and remember things, and for this alone I’d recommend this app.

Buy Peppa Pig Holiday by P2 Games here
P2 Games

We were given a code to review this app, all opinions are mine. H loves it. This review also contains an affiliate code.

App Time at Mum Friendly

App Time – The Wheels On The Bus app

I am currently sitting down on the laptop, a lazy Saturday sort of moment, with H sat next to me on the iPad. She’s playing this game, and is playing ‘The Wheels On The Bus’ app on the keyboard on this section of the game. She’s absolutely hooked – really focused and playing along – for the first time ever. She’s doing it correctly, and isn’t getting frustrated.

Wheels on the Bus Main Screen

A bit of background – a while back we reviewed the ‘Four Little Speckled Frogs’ activity box on here – and the same people – Music For Kids have now made available the Wheels on the Bus app for the iPad with P2 Games – and it sits perfectly alongside the game. It’s all about teaching children about music – I don’t want to confidently declare she’ll be playing it on her own in a week, but she has recognition of the notes that make up the song – and being very sticker motivated, is delighted when she earns one as well. There’s something different about this game and I haven’t yet worked out what – it could be the slower tempo of the song, which allows her to play at a similar tempo, it could be it’s really nice and clear to join in with maybe. I know she loves earning stickers as each sticker does something, makes a noise, plays a song even.

Wheels on the Bus Play Along

There are several sections to the Wheels on the Bus app – you can paint some pictures (which she always enjoys), you can do the stickers, you can play the tunes (and make up your own with several different tones – our favourite was the last one – green maybe? It makes all kinds of great noises!) and you can put together jigsaws.

In fact, what I like about this game is that she’s learning – it’s one that I’ve been able to sit alongside her and help, but she’s got her head around quite quickly and done on her own.

Wheels on the Bus Sticker Scene


That’s why we’re loving this game – she’s got a real sense of pride when she’s played a tune she recognises – and I think that’s a fantastic achievement!

The Wheels on the Bus app comes from P2 Games Limited and is available on the App Store now and costs only £1.49.

We received a code to review, all opinions are our own

App Time at Mum Friendly

App Time – Mog the Forgetful Cat

Mog app from HarperCollins

Mog the Forgetful Cat is a wondeful Judith Kerr book – and one I’m sure most people are familiar with. Back in the summer I decided to buy this app, as while it’s nice we read to H, she is left on her own from time to time (like when I’m cooking), and it’s nice for her to be able to read books rather than just play games. This app is fabulous – as you can record your own voice to the Mog book, so essentially you are reading to your child and of course there’s Judith Kerr’s illustrations.Mog App - game

Each page is interactive, and as well as being read by you (or Geraldine McEwan if you’d prefer), there’s some fun extras too. There’s a game – although that’s suited to a child that can read (or learning to) as it doesn’t speak the words (which would be handy!) – you have to match Mog’s expression (sad, happy, surprised, cheeky, sleepy) and if your device supports it, you can take photos or add one from your library.Mog App

We don’t own the first Mog book (shame on us!), although do have several Judith Kerr books – so know that H enjoys reading them. She has been known to sit and read the book several times on this app!

The app is available for £2.49 from the App Store from Harper Collins Publishers Ltd.

App Time at Mum Friendly

Giveaway – DC Super Friends: Haunted Heroes

We reviewed the excellent ‘Trick Or Treat – Halloween Peekaboo‘ from Night and Day Studios just a week ago, and now we’ve a super quick giveaway – it’s for an app – DC Super Friends : Haunted Heroes – which we’ve not tried as it’s probably just a bit too old for H (it’s suitable for 4+), though it follows plenty of familiar themes – jigsaws, colouring and sticker activities – and it’s iPad only. Now I know Halloween was last week, but this looks pretty cool – look – Superman, Batman, Green Lantern and more! Proper retro DC Superheroes too, I have to add.

DC Super Friends: Haunted Heroes

The local Halloween festival is underway but the children think the haunted house is full of real ghosts! It’s up to the Super Friends to investigate, but are these heroes haunted by something more sinister? This is a Halloween themed story with child-friendly versions of some of DC’s superheroes!

Experience the adventure in this DC Super Friends Reader App!
► Word highlighting for younger readers.
► Read along with professional narration.
► Record your voice reading the story, or have your child record theirs.
► Customize your experience: Text display, audio, and autoplay mode can be turned on and off.
► Easily jump to your favorite page or activity with the visual index.
DC Super Friends: Haunted Heroes
► Personalize Your App! Use the camera to take a photo with the DC Super Friends. iPad 1 users can import a picture from Photos.
► Collect DC Super Friends Points! Throughout the story, look for opportunities to earn DC Super Friends Points. Collect them all and receive an in-app reward!
► Interactive Pages: Watch animations unfold and tap mysterious hot spots for surprises.
► Stickers and Sounds: Choose an animated background and use digital DC Super Friends stickers to create your own scene with fun audio to match. Use multitouch to spin, shrink, and grow the characters! Share by email or save to Photos.
► Puzzles: Tap the puzzle icons and turn pages into jigsaws to solve.
► Coloring: Get creative with the DC Super Friends palette. Share by email or save to Photos.

From ScrollMotion in partnership with Night & Day Studios.

I have one code for this, which runs out on the 17th November – if for any reason the code doesn’t work, Night & Day will honour the winner – so not long to try win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

App Time – Around the Clock by Wombi

H is a bright little girl and wants to learn, which is great. We’ve been doing lots of learning how to tell the time but couldn’t find anything which could give it a context – she’ll look at the clock on the wall and work out the time, but doesn’t quite get it yet – mainly the time of day.

Around the Clock by Wombi

Then ‘Around the Clock’ came into our lives – a really charming app which has plenty of fun as well as learning in there – you’ve a clock which has a window next to it, so you know if it’s day or night – and a little activity once you hit the ‘play’ button which will also relate to the time of day.  The app is an introduction to the clock and how a day can look, rather than teaching your child to tell the time (though it helps!)

Around the Clock by Wombi

The tasks are really simple, but clever enough to be fun so H was never bored – and given there’s 24 hours in the day, that’s 24 different parts of the game. Each game has a fairly simple straightforward task for the bear to do and once a challenge is completed you get a happy bear.

Around the Clock by Wombi

The Guardian listed Around the Clock in their Top 50 Best Apps for Kids too!

Here’s a YouTube video so you get a proper idea of how it works –

Around the Clock gets a thumbs up from us – anything which is educational and fun is a good thing – and this fits exactly where we are with learning right now – I’d highly recommend if your child is starting to learn to tell the time.

Around the Clock is available from the App Store and costs £1.99

We received a promo code to review this app, all opinions are our own.

App Time at Mum Friendly

App Time – Magic Belles

Magic Belles Logo

Have you heard of Magic Belles? There’s six of them and they live in Bellevue. They’re colourful, have pleasant music accompanying them and there’s quite a lot to do – spotting things, colouring in, animated stories, crafts – oh and there’s also the Flutterbud Club (and we’re loving Rainbow Belle’s Rainbow ring)! They’re targeted at girls, particularly ones of H’s age; three and upwards. Here’s what their creators Luma Creative have to say:

Magic Belles is a brand with good values and special wishes:

  1. To help little girls appreciate the many wonders of life.
  2. To celebrate and encourage their talents.
  3. To engage them in the magic of music.

We hope, with your help, that these wishes can come true!

We were given an opportunity to review the Magic Belles app, which has just been released. I sat with H and we went through each section so we could see what you had to do. I’m very much a fan of letting her work out games herself with minimal help from me, and happily she played immediately and with no help – a very good sign.

Magic Belles Homepage

So the app opens and you’re greeted with this page. If you’re familiar with the Magic Belles website, then clicking the blue bird in the middle will take you to a very familiar page

Magic Belles

Drag each Magic Belle onto the star and they’ll play their tune (which is quite lovely and hypnotic!). However, if you know about this already, chances are you’ll be exploring all the other parts of the game…

Here’s what you get:Magic Belles - how to play

So as you can see there’s more than just the games – little extras and what H and I love is how lovely it looks – bright and colourful and most of all fun! (and an additional huge bonus point from me – no Comic Sans to be seen ANYWHERE which is a good thing!)

Magic Belles

Of all the games, H’s favourite by far is Cupcake Belle’s one – she always going back to that one first – though loves playing Star Belle’s dot to dots game (and has a real sense of pride every time she completes one). MY favourite is Love Belle’s guitar game when I can get a turn…

All the games are really straightforward to play – they’re not complicated at all. We also celebrate music in this house and I love how each game follows the same overall tune but is based around each Belle’s part. The extras in each game are fun too, and helps with H learning to explore beyond what is obvious.

We love Magic Belles – this gets a BIG thumbs up from H!

Magic Belles: Magic Music is available from the App Store for £1.49 now. There’s a free Lite version too which has the first game – try it out!

We received a code to review this app – all opinions are our own.

App Time at Mum Friendly