Kidloland Preschool App – A review

Oscar and I love technology. Always have. From as soon as he could grasp for it with his pudgy little baby hands, he wanted to play with my phone. And now I have an iPad he’s taken his love of app based entertainment to another level. I don’t have a problem with this. My son’s autism means he learns in a very visual way and I’ve found apps, of all kinds, to be thoroughly useful for him. From hand eye coordination to speech and vocabulary to problem solving and plain old having fun, we love apps in this house. So when I was approached by Kidloland to try out their app I was intrigued. Here was an app that wasn’t just songs or just games or just fun, it seemed to be a bit of everything. We couldn’t wait to try it out!

Kidloland is a app designed specifically for preschoolers and toddlers. It has over 500 Nursery Rhymes, Songs, Stories, Activities and Games, with no advertising what so ever. Advertising in apps for children is a bug bear of mine so I was pleased to find none here. It works on a subscription basis of 1, 6 or 12 months. We used to subscribe to BabyTV and that was just short cartoons. There is so much more to this.

The app

My first impression of the app, on downloading it from the iStore, was it was huge! There are just so many different parts to it! As always, when I download content for Oscar, I took a look around myself first and I’m so glad I did. I found each ‘pack’ needs to be downloaded to your device individually before using it. I’m glad I realised this before giving it to Oscar, as I know he’d have been frustrated had he not been able to access everything straight away. The downloading does take a little time, but fortunately there is a “download all” function for each pack. I did have an issue downloading one of the songs, but I remedied this by skipping that one and downloading it individually. I also told Kidloland about it and they gratefully handed the info over to the tech team so it may not be an issue any more.

The look of the app is bright and fun, with all original characters and animations.  I have all the packs in the app, but you can choose which ones to download. I love that, as it means you can concentrate on a particular theme if you prefer. It also allows you to control how much memory the app takes up, which if you download the whole thing is a lot! However, downloading it means you don’t need a signal (or wifi) to use it, which is a definite plus point for me!

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Just some of the packs available on the Kidloland app

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The content

It is split into sections you would expect such as stories, numbers, games etc. But I love that it also has other sections such as fruits and vegetables, months of the year and even a whole section devoted to dinosaur themed activities!

It even has a Dinosaur section!

It even has a Dinosaur section!

The pineapple song!

Fun with fruit!

Learning Letters!

Learning Letters!

I assumed Oscar would be drawn to the games and initially he was, but after a while I noticed he was playing more with the songs. The nursery rhymes are set to interactive animations. Touching the characters makes them move or do surprising little things, which he seemed to love! I just love the concentration in his face here. Getting video of Oscar is so hard, but I love that he’s so engrossed here he doesn’t even notice me!

Thoughts

Kidloland is well made, well thought out app, which keeps on expanding (I’ve had two more packs updated since we originally downloaded). Oscar starts school in a few weeks and some of the games were a little simple for him, but he still found things to enjoy and good fun to be had. I only wish we’d found this app a year or more ago! It would be a great learning app for younger toddlers.

There is so much do and chose from in Kidloland. Although your child is bound to find favourites, they’ll never be bored.

 

 

Thank you Kidloland for gifting us a 12 month subscription for the purposes of this review. As always I wasn’t paid to write this post and all opinions are my own.

You can download the app for iOS, Google Android and Amazon Android.

 

Boolino Friend Review: George and the New Craze

We’re very excited to have recently been chosen as a Boolino Friend, (a book reviewer) for children’s online book and reading platform, Boolino. Boolino are a company on a mission to turn children into book lovers by helping their parents find the books they like in an easy, intuitive way.

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Oscar and I love reading books together. I’ve been reading to him since he was born and he joined our local library when he was just three months old. Stories have been part of our bedtime routine for the longest time and today we love it. However, it hasn’t always been this way. There was a time when bedtime stories were just too much stimulation for him and so despite the ‘advice’ that all parents should be reading to their children at bedtime, we had to stop, take a step back and hope he’d come back to it.

Thankfully, after about a year, he did and he now loves stories more than ever. Most nights we have at least one, if not two (if not three if he’s feeling lucky!) stories. He loves all sorts of books, in all sorts of different styles. Rhyming, funny, factual, he loves them all. But one thing they all have to have in common is good strong pictures; clear, with lots of interest. He’s currently learning his letters and although he doesn’t yet read, he likes to be able to gauge what’s happening in the story from the illustrations.

Our first story from Boolino; George and the New Craze by Alice Hammond was exactly the kind of bedtime book we love. Clear and fun, with plenty of engaging illustrations (by Kimberly Scott).

Front cover of George and the New Craze by Alice Hammond

George and the New Craze by Alice Hammond. Our first Boolino review.

George and the New Craze is a story about a giraffe and his friends at the Heavenly Hippos Wildlife Park who want to collect as many “People Cards” as the Penguins have!

Oscar liked

Oscar loved that there were plenty of illustrations of animals for him to name and count. He also loved that it was set in a wildlife park, something he could relate to, having recently had a very successful day out at Marwell Zoo.

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Oscar enjoys the pictures of the animals

Mummy liked

There are two things I love about this story. One is the underlying message that sharing lots of things is more fun than keeping one or two things to yourself. As sharing is a concept we are constantly having to reinforce with Oscar I loved this element of the story.

The other thing I loved was the idea of the People Cards.  There are several illustrations of the cards. Each one has a name and a brief description of the person. I love the illustrations and Oscar loves me to go through them, naming all the faces. I feel sure it’s something he will start to memorise soon.

Page from a book

Just one page of card illustrations. There are many more.

I loved this element of the book, however I was a little disappointed to see that of all the People Cards, no one was described as a Stay at Home Mum (or similar). That’s obviously a personal thing, but worth noting I felt.

Overall we really liked this book. It was just the right length for bedtime and had many elements Oscar loved. He loved it so much that he wanted to ‘show the people’ what he was reading. The concept of sharing rubbing off already!

Oscar loved the book so much he wanted to 'show the people' what he was reading. The concept of sharing rubbing off already! Apologies for the picture quality. That he wanted to share it at all makes up for all the blurry shots I got!

Apologies for the picture quality. That he wanted to share it at all makes up for all the blurry shots I got!

 

Thank you to Boolino for sending us this book to review. I was not paid to write this post and as always all opinions are my own.