When I was a kid, one of the many things I wished for was to have a birthday party all year round. Sounds ridiculous, I know, but hey, birthday parties are fun. Of course back then we didn’t have iPads, otherwise I would have turned to Maya the Bee: Flower Party to help make my wish come true.
Based on a popular German children’s book/animated series, Maya the Bee: Flower Party is a richly illustrated app in which kids help the titular character prepare for her birthday party. There are six activities available here, each suitable for juniors ages 3–6.
Maya the Bee: Flower Party is a game of exploration and discovery. The party spans three scenes, and in each scene there is a couple of activities. When kids open the app for the first time, they will go through a short tutorial which explains how to go back and forth between scenes (just swipe left or right) and to access the activities (just tap on the insects).
As I’ve mentioned, the app offers six activities:
- Make Music. Maya, Flip, and Ben have formed a band, and kids can swap the instruments they play to hear variations of the same song. Access this activity by tapping Maya the bee on the middle screen.
- Serve the Food. A jigsaw puzzle where kids either piece together a big fruit or match several smaller fruit shapes. Access this activity by tapping Willy the bug on the middle screen.
- Hide and Seek. Kids try to find Maya and her friends who are hiding somewhere in the picture. Access this activity from any screen by tapping Lara who pops out of a pink tulip.
- Read Flip’s Thoughts. A simple test of recognizing numbers, colors, and sizes. Kids must tap on the correct bubble that Flip is thinking, for example, “small purple three”. Access this activity by tapping on Flip on the right screen.
- Memory Game. Kids try find matching pairs by tapping on the pink tulips. Access this game by tapping on Ben on the left screen.
- Draw Party Decorations. A simple activity where kids must trace various shapes to make new party decorations. Access this activity from any screen by tapping on the glowing outlines.
When kids successfully complete an activity, they will be rewarded with new guests, presents, and party decorations. It is also notable that the activities progress in difficulty the more kids play. For example, Memory Game starts only with a few flowers, but more will gradually bloom to present more pairs.
If the activities get too difficult, the app also includes a reset button. This will wipe your entire progress and make the app like new, so exercise caution when using this option.
Parents Need to Know
Maya the Bee: Flower Party is a child-friendly app which uses narration and animated tutorials to help kids navigate through the activities. As such, the app should be easy to use by early and non-readers. The narration is also available in 10 languages: English, German, Dutch, Spanish, Italian, French, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, and Turkish.
The app is also quite safe without any ads and in-app purchases. There are external links to the developer’s website and apps, however they are protected.
Things I Like
While I am not familiar with the animated series the app is based on, I quite liked Maya the Bee: Flower Party. It has rich, interactive illustrations that draw you in, and a wide range of activities to keep you engaged.
The music activity is hands down my favorite. Despite having only three members in the band, there is enough variety in the song to keep the activity interesting for quite a while. Plus, I find it cute how the band bows when you exit the activity.
The other activities are also interesting as well. I like that even though the app is not exclusively educational, many of the activities address the skills necessary for a toddler’s development. For example, the game with Flip is great for enforcing their knowledge of colors, numbers, and sizes. The jigsaw puzzle and the memory game are great for honing problem solving skills and motor skills.
I also like that kids are also encouraged to play and explore at their own pace. There is no timer in any of the activities, and kids are free to tap on the objects on the party scene to see if they hide extra animations.
One critic that I have for the app is that the drawing activity is a bit difficult. You have to draw really close to the outline, otherwise the app would prompt you to try again. I imagine this would be frustrating for young kids, as even I had trouble tracing the objects successfully.
All in all, Maya the Bee: Flower Party is a great app that offers an immersive and playful learning experience for toddlers and preschoolers. Kids will enjoy playing with Maya and her friends in a wide range of activities, including finding pairs, matching shapes, forming a band, and playing hide and seek. The app is easy to use, with Maya providing narration to get kids on the right track. Highly recommended.
App was provided for our honest review.
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