Saturday, May 16, 2015

Apps are "app"arently where it's appwrap

     It's a long weekend in Canada and we, as a nation, are celebrating Queen Victoria Day. This day is her birthday and although she was Queen of England quite awhile ago, we as part of the British Commonwealth, celebrate her birthday too.  

      It is a three day event with lots of family gatherings, opening up  of cottages(if you are fortunate enough to have one), and fireworks  displays to culminate the event.  So no bookwrap today but I think you will enjoy the kids' apps I have chosen to share with you.  Happy weekend everyone and be sure to read to your bunnies.


ArtKive is an app that is available for both Apple and Android devices. The working system is quick simple. You take a picture of kids’ artwork, and save in the ArtKive app. It is nice to have the options to edit the picture, such as crop the picture or rotate the picture. Sometimes you can take a picture of your child holding the art piece to add into the picture collections. 
One nice feature of the app is you can tag the picture with the child’s name, art work title, and time the artwork was created. For the time, you can choose kids age, or kids grade level, or the actual year or date. You can also add notes for each art. It is a good place to keep the fond memories related to each piece of art, how it is created, funny stories during the creation, where the art ideas are from, … 
After you’ve collected enough art work, you can create albums based on different criteria, such as the art created in a certain year or certain grade level, the artworks of one child. This helps the organization part of the art archive a lot easier. 
Finally, you can also create a book out of selected artworks and print out a hard copy of the art book. It is such a wonderful idea to have a keepsake or for a gift for grandparents. 
If you have a family member who doesn’t live nearby, you will like the social feature, which allows you to share the art on Facebook, or a sharing circle you created. You can also share your child’s art work publicly on Artkive museum. 
Do you have any tips on archiving children’t artwork? 
Artkive is available on iPhone, iPod and iPad. It is also available for Android on Google Play.

Guess the word with art:

Are your kids tired of memorizing words for school? Do you feel like trying something new to spark their interest in learning new words or spelling? You may want to try this fun app — Guess the Word with Art. It is not designed for student or any school curriculum, but it is fun to play. Players guess the word based on the letters they get and the picture they see. Each picture is original art and is funny in someway. It is a word game to play as a family just for fun.

When you start the app, you will see a fun picture giving some clues about the word. Below the picture are 4 tiles and each tile has 1 to 2 letters. Players need connect the four tiles in the order that can form a meaningful word corresponding to the given picture. If you identified the correct word, the app gives you a new picture and a new set of letters. If you failed to identify the correct word, you have chance to do it again. 
If you tried several times, but still can’t get it right. You can skip the picture or go to the dictionary to find the right word. It is nice to look up in the dictionary, as it not only gives you the word, but also the meaning of the word, and example of sentences using the word. Another nice feature is the dictionary’s language is set to be the same as your device’s default language. If you are a Japanese trying to learn English, you are looking up the dictionary in Japanese. 
As you solve the picture puzzles with words, you player status will change, from ESL student, to student, and on. 
There are more than 700 words in the app. The words are mostly based on how often they are used in daily life, instead of any curriculum levels. It is a great game for family. It is also a good tool for those who are learning English as a second language, as the words included in the app are all very practical ones that they are very likely going to use. 
There is also a mode you can test out your speed. There is a set time and you want to get as many words correctly as possible. 
For those who like to share their words on social media, you can connect your account to your Facebook and Twitter account and share your words on the social media of your choice. 
Guess the Word with Art is a fun word game app that every one in the family can play and several members can play together. It is available on iPhone, iPod and iPad. It is $0.99. 

Toca Nature:

Toca Nature is another wonderful app from Toca Boca. Like all Toca Boca apps, this app is again an open-ended play with no levels, no goals, and no scores. Kids use the tools provided to create a nature world and observe how elements in the nature connect to each other and interchange together. It is a great tool for kids to explore the nature and appreciate the nature. It is available for both Apple and Android devices. It is free on Apple App Store right now.

When kids first start the app, they see a piece of land, and this is the land they can make changes with the tools provided at the bottom of the screen. There are several tools kids can use to make changes on the nature world in the app. To use a tool, just tap on the tool once, and then tap on the spot on the land where you want to make changes. 
The Tree Tool: is used to paint out trees. There are 5 types of trees, and each type brings different animals. Although it is not spelled out in the app, in the parents section, you can find out the 5 types of trees are pine, birch, spruce, alder, and oak. 
The Axe Tool: is to cut down trees. 
The Mountain Tool: raise the ground to create mountains. If kids raise them enough, they will see snow on top of it. 
The Water Tool: is to dig into the ground. When kids dig deep enough, water will appear. 
The Magnifying Glass: is to take a closer look at a particular spot, that kids can take a closer look of some rocks, plants, and animals. 
At any time, kids can explore the nature. There is a globe at the right bottom corner of the screen. Spinning the globe will also spin the land in front of you, so kids can take a view from different angle. After kids zoom in to a spot with the magnifying glass, they can “walk” around by slicing finger on the screen. Depends on the plants and animals at that spot, they will see different food growing also. They can pick up the food by tapping on them, and the food will be saved in the containers at the bottom of the screen. When they see animals, they can feed the animals with the food they collected, and watch the animals grow bigger. 
 The design is very intricate. All elements are connected, like the type of animals is associated with the type of trees, the snow at the top of the mountain. The images are beautiful and the music is soothing and calm. It is a wonderful exploratory nature app for kids from preschool and up. It is a wonderful nature app for anyone at any age. 
Toca Nature is available for iPhone, iPod and iPad. It is also available for Android devices on Google Play.
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