Maya’s Dress Up (for the iPhone and iPad)

MMaya’s Dress Up.

In this game you can select from a number of different dolls to dress up: Maya herself, or one of her friends. You can change their hair style and color. There are hundreds of different clothing, shoes and accessories. You can change an item’s color or how they’re “layered” on your doll. You also have a number of different backgrounds to choose from. The selection is massive, really. And the publisher has plans to continually add new items.

You can save your favorite designs and send them to your friends.

Here’s a video so you can see how the game works. Or learn more about this game on the publishers website.

We’ve downloaded a few other free dress up games but none had the kind of selection this one does.

Maya’s Dress Up iPhone App: $2.99*
Maya's Dress Up - Total Eclipse

Maya’s Dress up HD iPad App: $4.99*
Maya's Dress Up HD - Total Eclipse

*Price at time of this writing. I received a copy of this app for review purposes.

smarTouch Gloves Review and Giveaway

So as I posted earlier, for my birthday my husband, parents and siblings all chipped in to buy me an iPad. I can tell you that the iPad is the most awesomest thing ever, but that’s for another post. There is, of course, one problem having gotten an iPad for my birthday, and that my birthday comes in the fall – cold weather will soon be upon us. (Yes, even after I move to California, I’m sure I’ll need to wear gloves, because it does get cold there once in awhile) – and actually – what’s that saying “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco?” I’m the type of person that wears gloves the instant there’s any kind of chill in the air. Obviously gloves and iPads / iPhones don’t usually play nice. I’ve seen some versions of gloves that will work with these devices, but they usually have some sort of weird nubby thing that’s sure to fall off at some point.

Well, Isotoner has come out with a great pair of gloves that work with the iPhone and iPad but without the nubby thing. They’re called “smarTouch” gloves. (Although I’ve seen them in some stores listed as “Smart Touch”) They sent me a pair of gloves to try out and I can attest that they do in fact work. There’s a piece of conductive thread woven into the index finger and thumb that the iPhone and iPad does register. My one complaint is that it would be even better if this material were on ALL the fingers – especially for use with the iPad because I do use QWERTY typing on it quite often. But hunt-and-peck typing is better than having to release my hands to the elements just to type a few words!

One additional nice feature these gloves have is the non-slip palms so that hopefully I won’t drop my phone and crack the glass again. Ahem. Yeah, that wasn’t fun.


Isotoner has reserved two pairs of these gloves for me to give away.

Required Entry: To enter the giveaway, please leave a comment on this post and tell me what your favorite winter activity is.

For an additional entry: Tweet the following (and leave a second comment telling me you did so):

Enter to win a free pair of smarTouch Isotoner gloves that work with the iPhone/iPad! >> @theworkingmom

(click the link to tweet)

Contest ends October 18th, 2010 at 10pm MST. There is no purchase necessary to enter the contest. I will be using to choose the winner. I’ll contact the winner via email, and he/she will have 48 hours to respond. After 48 hours, if I don’t receive a response, another winner will be chosen.

*Disclosure note: the smarTouch gloves were provided to me by Isotoner.

Mathomatix Number Sense HD iPad app review


The creators of PunFlay’s Mathomatix Number Sense for the iPad, outdid themselves from a technical and educational standpoint.  As a child works her way through the 5 different games included in the application, she is having fun while gaining number skills and concepts that build on each other in a natural and pedagogically appropriate way.  I wonder how many other apps have been checked against the National and California Standards for teaching mathematics to kindergarteners.  Very impressive!

Booster Balls focuses on counting from 1 to 30.  The child collects 10 balls at a time and then feeds them to a cute little monster.  A child’s voice gives clear and easy to follow instructions and provides a model for the child to count along with.  The game is simple and fun.  My six year old granddaughter, Kayla, liked catching the balls and feeding them to the monster even though the game was clearly no challenge.  Five year old Joey and 3 year old Leah really enjoyed counting along, and with each repetition of the game became more confident.

Do the Dotty is a “connect the dots” game with sets of 10 numbers up to 30.  Now we are upping the ante.  Not only do you have to be able to count, you have to recognize what the number looks like and follow the instructions, connecting the numbers in sequence to create a picture.  Kayla, of course, breezed through, repeating the game many times, changing the colors of the completed pictures.  Joey declared the game really fun, but required some assistance as the numbers increased.  After a few tries, he began to recognize the numbers on his own.  I could tell that playing the game over a period of time would improve his skills.  Leah loved creating the pictures, but needed a lot of help following the directions and recognizing the numbers.

Recognizing  the numbers in sequence is one thing, but finding them in random groups is another challenge.  Numberella provides this challenge.  The players are asked to pick out a specific number floating in a cloud to create a rain shower.  Easy for Kayla, not so easy for Joey and Leah, but entertaining enough not to discourage repetition which leads to learning.

Now we come to the really conceptual challenge,  using an understanding of what the numbers stand for to manipulate objects.  Fishoonka and Toot Toot Train accomplish that brilliantly.  Fishoonka emphasizes the concepts of ‘more and less’ by having kids move fish back and forth to create the requested pattern.  Toot Toot Train takes it to the next level by requiring the addition or subtraction of cars to create the desired train length.  Joey needed guidance to achieve this but began to get the hang of it.  Even Leah began to get the idea and was very pleased with herself.

All in all, I give this app 5 stars.  As an educator, I appreciate the careful crafting of the games from the concrete to the conceptual.  This is a real learning tool as well as an attractive and entertaining game, a bargain at $1.99.  Bravo, PunFlay!

Number Sense HD: $1.99*


*Price at time of this writing

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

Baby Explorer – iPad App


Baby Explorer was a real winner with my neighbor’s seven-month-old grandson, Elan. The App features brightly colored activities that are virtual representations of the traditional “busy box”. Elan could choose from wheels to spin, butterflies to slide, buttons to push and sounds to change. Although putting the iPad in his mouth was something he found really appealing, it is not recommended. 😉

The bright and attractive colors got his attention immediately. Many of his movements were random, but since they produced interesting sounds and visual changes, he was encouraged to keep swatting away. Soon he began to purposefully go for particular activities. The spinning wheel was easy for him to do and produced a satisfying melody. Random pokes at the objects on the central display caused eggs to hatch, frogs to leap and flowers to explode, depending upon what was selected. He had a little more difficulty making the rings move along the virtual rod. They seemed to hang up a little even when I tried them, as did the spring loaded butterfly. I was actually surprised by the length of time this App held his interest. After seeing Elan’s reaction, I have no doubt that this App will appeal to babies from about 6 months to perhaps 1-1/2. My 2-1/2 year old granddaughter, Leah, played with it for a while and then moved on to something more challenging.

Baby Explorer is well designed to stimulate the curiosity of tiny tots and does a good job of encouraging the development of hand-eye coordination. This app would make a useful addition to a parent’s toolbox of worthwhile activities to entertain and stimulate the development of baby.

Baby Explorer: $2.99*

*price at time of this writing.

My Numbers – iPad Game

Unfortunately, I do not yet have an iPad. I do plan on buying one within the next year or so – probably waiting until version 2 is released and my husband is employed again. Heh. However, I’ve gotten a few requests to review iPad games, so I have enlisted the help of an official iPad app tester: My mother! :) Since she often entertains grandchildren aged 3 to 13, she’ll be able to see how an app appeals to a wide range of ages. Here is her first review of My Numbers.


Review by Esther Makower

My Numbers is designed to help a preschool child master numbers from 1-10. The visuals are slick and beautifully crafted. The buttons are big and easy for a child to navigate while having a very satisfying three-dimensional, tactile quality, seeming to actually depress and click realistically. A color wheel allows the child to change the colors of the buttons on the screen. A number of pleasant melodies (even to the ears of an adult) can be selected to accompany the game as well. Another set of buttons provides a choice of objects to count (fish, birds or flowers) which appear on the screen when the corresponding number button is depressed.

As each of the ten number buttons is pressed, a child’s voice calls out the number and an object appears on the screen. A child can also press on the objects that appear on the screen to elicite the vocalized number.

Although My Numbers is rated as 4+, my 3 year-old granddaughter, Leah, enjoyed it immensely. She delighted in changing the colors and music, calling out the numbers as she pressed each button. My grandson, Joey, 4 ½, said it was “cool” but wanted to “turn off the voice” so that he could show me how well he could count all by himself.

The overall appeal of My Numbers would be best for a toddler who is just beginning to learn numbers. Its exciting visuals, fun sounds and music with voiceovers are designed to aid in the development of hand-eye coordination and to spark an interest in math basics.

Perhaps in another version, it would be nice to see some additional features that would provide more of a challenge for the older preschool child.

You can see a YouTube video of the app here.

My Numbers: $2.99* Price has dropped to $0.99!

*price at the time of this review.