Writing monthly reflection journals has been a helpful activity for me. It allows me to see what I have accomplished and which objectives I am still missing. Today is the third time I'm writing a reflection journal, and I will reuse the format I used last month, i.e. by organizing the journal into several topics.
Both Camila and I love storybooks. Stories keep our imagination working, and I even consider writing app reviews as a similar activity to writing short stories. During the month of September, we have reviewed several storybook apps that have strong themes and may be appropriate for more mature readers.
Other than Flora's Forest and Open Wide Snap which are appropriate for younger readers, we have reviewed three other storybook apps that have deeper storylines that can be used to trigger discussions with your juniors:
- Monkeys in My Head is a storybook app that tries to help your juniors who are having problems with their self-esteem.
- The Artifacts is a beautifully-illustrated app with a deep, thought-provoking and resonant story that many of us can reflect upon. It tries to provoke your juniors to think about the more important things in their lives.
- The Adventures of Don Quixote is a fun storybook app based on a classic novel by Miguel de Cervantes that tries to illustrate how living in your own imaginative life can lead to big problems.
We also highlighted one of the best storybook apps we found on the App Store, i.e. The Fantastic Flying Book of Mr. Morris Lessmore. Created in the same production settings as the Academy Award winner for Best Animated Short Film, the app has a beautiful storyline that encourages you to appreciate stories and their authors.
During the month of September, we have also reviewed three apps that try to help your toddlers to learn the letters in the alphabet. All of them have the key ingredients for successful toddler apps, i.e. interactive animation, excellent music and sound effects, and unique value propositions that set them apart from other alphabet apps.
First, we have Jazzy ABC and Wee Sing & Learn ABC that try to introduce your juniors to musical instruments while they are learning the alphabet. Then, we also have Wee Alphas that uses gorgeous illustrations to encourage your juniors to find the hidden letters within the body of the animals. I believe these apps are great additions to our ever-growing list of recommended alphabet apps.
Notable Apps for Toddlers
In addition to those apps, we have also reviewed five other apps that we believe are worth your investments of time and money. First, we have two bubble-themed apps, i.e. Bugs and Bubbles that offers up to 18 educational games for your younger toddlers, and Bubbling Math that allows you to customize math problems for your juniors to practice with. I believe the parental reports in Bubbling Math are really helpful and insightful.
Next, we have Move the Turtle which allows you to introduce the basic programming concepts to your juniors, and Tell Time that teaches your juniors how to tell the time using both analog and digital clocks. One of our readers sent a feedback confirming how Tell Time has helped his son to score a perfect 10 in his school exam. It felt so great to learn how the apps we reviewed help our readers and their juniors to reap the benefits.
Finally, we have Intro to Geography - North America, which is the first app that really opens my eyes to Montessori methods. I really like the approach that the app takes, and it has encouraged me to find out more about Montessori methods. I even started to consider about getting both my sons into a Montessori school. If you happen to know a good resource on Montessori methodologies, I would really appreciate it if you could share them with me.
We all know that Toca Boca is an awesome developer team that has brought us many toy apps for the iOS platform. During the month of September, Camila and I reviewed two Toca Boca apps, i.e. Toca Band and Toca Store. Both of my sons really enjoy playing with the apps. If you haven't read our reviews, I believe you should, because the apps are really good.
Right now, Toca Boca is more than just a team of iOS developers. In fact, that is not how my 3-year old son, Philip, knows them. Philip knows them as a brand of quality and fun. Toca Boca is among the first four brands that strikes gold in his mind. The other three brands are Chuggington, Oreo, and Apple. I believe this is quite an achievement.
Felix and Camera+
The past week also brings two good news for me, as a geek. First, Felix for App.net was launched. I have spent $14 for three different paid App.net iOS clients, and Felix is the best. If you're an App.net user and you're eager to get the best iOS client you can have, you might want to consider getting Felix.
Second, TapTapTap released a new Camera+ for the iPad, an updated Camera+ version for the iPhone, and added a great integration with Launch Center Pro. With this update, I believe the best camera iPhone app just got better.
We felt the best when a reader let us know how our reviews have helped him to learn more about the great iPad apps that are beneficial for his son. It is an encouragement for us to continue scouring the App Store for the best apps and share them with you. If you have any feedback or app suggestion, please do not hesitate to contact us via email or Twitter. We love to hear your feedback.