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Geeks With Juniors is a weblog about (geek) parenting and technology. Our posts are mostly iPad/iPhone app reviews showcasing the best apps on the App Store.

Friday
Apr182014

Relaxing Game Shu’s Garden Lets Kids Create Gardens on Alien Planets

While I do not doubt that missions and achievements, when done right, make a game exciting, I also feel that some games can still be rewarding without them. A case in point is Shu’s Garden, an app by Canadian developers Colin Sanders and Jason RT Bond. Aimed at little ones, it’s a charming game that focuses on pure creation and exploration.

In Shu’s Garden, kids bring life onto a barren planet

The Rolling Alien Gathers All the Seeds

As its title suggests, Shu’s Garden is actually a game about gardening. Its heroine, Shu, is a bouncy alien who “nourishes the soil wherever she rolls”. The premise is that kids roll Shu across her barren planet, making grass sprout in her trail. They can also make her collect seeds and plant them to grow new plants.

The controls are simple enough: just tilt the device to get Shu rolling. Tap the screen to make her shrink, and release to send her flying into the air. The ability to jump is particularly useful when Shu has to collect seeds at high places, for example, on trees or on top of tall monuments that dot the planet’s surface.

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Thursday
Apr172014

Duckie Deck Sandwich Chef Will Inspire Kids to Get Creative with Their Sandwich

Sandwich is a popular food item consisting one or more types of food placed on or between slices of bread. It's also easy to make, thus there is an endless number of sandwich variants in the world.

Both my sons love to try different kinds of sandwiches, so they were really excited that they could create their own sandwiches in Duckie Deck's latest app: Sandwich Chef.

Chop ingredients into fun shapes and use them to decorate your sandwich.

10 Funny Faces and Playful Shapes

To start playing, select one of the sandwich designs provided in the app. Each design has its own set of ingredients and step-by-step instructions. After showing all the ingredients briefly, the app moves them to the side of the screen.

The first thing to do when preparing your sandwich is applying butter on the bread. Then, you take one ingredient at a time, chop it down to one or more pieces, and lay them out to decorate the sandwich. These ingredients form unique shapes, such as a smiley face, car, or snowman with headphones. Then, you can eat the sandwich and prepare a new one.

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Wednesday
Apr162014

Is Apatosaurus Okay? Takes Kids Back to the Jurassic Age

I’m pretty sure most, if not all, kids go through a “dinosaur phase” at some point. Maybe it’s because dinosaurs aren’t like any other animal on Earth today, but whatever the reason, many kids (and adults) sure find dinosaurs fascinating.

If your kids are excited over all things dinosaurs, then today’s app pick might interest you: Is Apatosaurus Okay?, a jurassic-themed interactive book from developers Oceanhouse Media.

Is Apatosaurus Okay? is an interactive storybook that takes kids back to the jurassic age

Going Back in Time

Is Apatosaurus Okay? is a book written by Ben Nussbaum, about a lone Apatosaurus on a journey towards her nest. Her irregularly slow movements catch the attention of a pack of Ceratosaurus, and soon they pounce on her. Can she defend herself against her attackers and reach her nest safely?

Aimed at kids ages 3–8, Is Apatosaurus Okay? is an educational story filled with fascinating facts about the jurassic era. The title has been carefully reviewed by paleontologists at the Smithsonian Institution and officially licensed.

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Tuesday
Apr152014

Word Teller for Kids Lets You Learn the Sounds and Rhymes of the English Language

Earlier this year, I wrote about how my four-year-old needed help identifying words that belong to the same rhyming family group, such as cat/hat/bat and car/star/jar. I also wrote how difficult it was to find great apps that focus on word rhymes.

Therefore, I am grateful to find Word Teller for Kids. Developed by Fernando Pires (who brought us TapTapToink), this brand new app focuses on helping juniors learn the sounds and rhymes of the English language.

Word Teller has 32 groups of English words with similar sounds and/or rhymes.

Learn 44 Sounds of the English Language

When you start the app for the first time, you will see a simple word building activity. You are required to build a word that represents the image on the center of the screen, using the letters that scroll from right to left. To help you figure out what the image is, you can tap to hear its name or you can match the colors of the letters to their placeholders.

Once you have completed the word, two other words will appear on screen. They belong to the same rhyme family as the word you’re building. For example, “pool” and “school” will appear as soon as you complete building “tool”.

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Monday
Apr142014

Odysseus for Kids Introduces the Greek Mythology in an Adventurous Storybook

I still remember the Hercules TV show that introduced me to the Greek mythology. I also remember watching Troy the movie, but not much else. I have not read many books nor play many games that feature the famous Greek gods and heroes.

A few days ago, the team at Quelle Histoire and Historia contacted us about their recently released app: Odysseus for Kids. It features Odysseus, the King of Ithaca, and his adventure to Troy and beyond, in a storybook app with 15 beautifully-illustrated pages.

Odysseus includes the famous story of the Trojan Horse used in the Trojan War.

From Ithaca to Troy and Beyond

The story starts by introducing the royal family of Ithaca and telling how Odysseus got his name. Odysseus grew up and married Penelope, and soon, the story enters its first major turning point: saving Penelope’s cousin, Helen, from the Prince of Troy who kidnapped her.

Accompanied by Achilles, Odysseus created the giant wooden Trojan Horse to sneak into the city of Troy and rescue Helen. After a successful 10-year war against the Trojans, Odysseus and his crew set sail for Ithaca. Unfortunately, they failed miserably to find their way back home. Instead, they got dragged along on a long and winding journey, encountering various Greek mythical gods and creatures.

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