Coolest Geek Toy (that my daughter is loving right now)

OSnap Circuits line. Basically they’re these pieces that very easily snap together, and you build various electronic devices. A fan, (that also doubles as a flying saucer with the right set up), an alarm, a music box, a light switch, etc. etc. It makes building circuit boards as easily as playing with Lego’s. They have a little booklet with easy to follow diagrams showing you how to build the various projects. There are symbols on the pieces that show you how it would look on a “grown up” diagram. As well, the booklet explains what is happening with what you’re building – so it’s teaching you as well. My daughter cruised through the first set she got for her birthday (something like 100 projects). So we ran out and got an add-on set that had 300. For a kid that normally has a fairly short attention span, she is playing with this toy way more than I expected.

If you are looking for a really cool science type toy – this one is a great idea. The site says it’s good for kids aged 8 and up – but it is simple enough I think kids a little bit younger than that could even do it.

Click here to see the larger Snap Circuits SC-300 set on (you’ll notice it has 5 stars and something like 469 reviews. I’m not the only one that thinks this is the coolest toy ever) 😉

Here’s a video of her playing with one of her circuit projects:

Lola’s Alphabet Train – iPhone Game

WClick here if you’d like to see a video of the game.

Lola’s Alphabet Train: $1.99*


Lola’s Alphabet Train is also available for the iPad:
Lola’s Alphabet Train HD: $2.99*


*price at time of this writing.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of these apps for review purposes

The Big Brag and Yertle the Turtle – ebooks for the iPhone and iPad

Oceanhouse Media has recently released the next set of Dr. Seuss books as universal apps that work both on the iPhone and iPad. I’ve already expressed my love of Dr. Seuss books, so once again I’m thrilled to see the collection continue to expand. The Big Brag and Yertle the Turtle feature the ability to read the story yourself, have the story read to you (manually turning the pages), or auto play (pages turn automatically). Sound effects can be turned on or off.

In case you’re not familiar with these titles: in The Big Brag, a rabbit thinks outloud to himself about he thinks he’s the best animal of all, at which point a bear listening nearby disagrees with him and boasts that he is the best of all animals. So they put their skills to test against each other, the rabbit trying to hear as far away as possible, the bear trying to smell as far away as possible. They are then interrupted by a worm who says he can see so far, he sees around the world and back again to two fools who have nothing better to do than argue who is better than the other.

In Yertle the Turtle, Yertle is king of his pond, and all he can see, but he is greedy and wants to be king of more – to do so he needs to see more. So he orders his poor loyal turtle subjects to come and make his thrown higher and higher. They obey, but one turtle complains that it isn’t fair. Yertle ignores his pleas and continues to order more and still more turtles over so he can sit on them. Finally the complaining turtle sneezes and makes the huge turtle tower crumble to the ground, sending Yertle into the mud and freeing all the turtles.

I think you’ll love these stories as much as my kids and I do. Zach happily listens to the stories over and over again.

The Big Brag: $1.99*

Yertle the Turtle: $3.99*

*price at time of this writing
Disclosure: I received a free copy of these apps for review purposes

Highlights My First Hidden Pictures – iPhone Kids Game

IHighlights Magazine falls into that category. Of course, one of the best parts to the magazine was always the hidden pictures game. This game is now available on the iPhone with Highlights My First Hidden Pictures. The game is every bit of fun on the iPhone as it was in print, but with more bells and whistles. The pictures are in color – when you find an item, simply touch it and it’s marked as found. You can zoom into or out of the picture.

The game comes with 8 puzzles, and if you register, you get 2 bonus puzzles. More puzzles are available for purchase as an in-app purchase. One thing I really liked that they did was explain how to TURN OFF the ability to purchase items from within an application so if you don’t want this ability freely available to your child, it’s pretty easy to enable and disable.

When I played the game, the pictures were fairly easy to find – although I did struggle on a few. Zach also liked the game and found a few right away, but seemed to struggle on some of the items as well. I would have assumed that the game would have been easier than it was given it’s title, but I still thought it was well done. Also, features like the “hint” button help reduce any frustration a child might have from not finding the item more easily by zooming in closer and closer to the item, each time you lick the “hint” button, to help you find it.

The game is available for both iPhone and iPad (however, and iPad Optimized version is still in the works). Additional puzzle packs cost as little as $0.99. To see a video of the game click here.

Highlights My First Hidden Pictures: $1.99*


*Price at time of this writing.

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this app for review purposes.

Green Eggs and Ham – eBook for the iPhone / iPad

OGreen Eggs and Ham.

There are three options for the story: Read to Me (The story is read to you, and you can turn the pages manually. This gives you time to click on things in the picture to have the word shown to you), Read it Myself (You read the story, you turn the pages. You can still click on individual words to have them read to you, or pictures on the page to have the word read and shown to you), Auto Play (The story is read to you, and pages are turned for you. There is a pause at the end of each page so you can click those pictures and words still). They’ve added some sound effects to the pages. If they drive you crazy, you can turn those off too – click on the little “i” on the main menu and you can turn them off.

I really love the Dr. Seuss books, and I’ve been really pleased with the way Oceanhouse Media has been creating the eBooks. They’re fun, the kids love them. If you’d like to see the full collection they have available, check out their website.

Green Eggs and Ham: $3.99* (one app works on both iPhone and iPad)


*Price at time of this writing.

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this app for review purposes.