In the High Tech Kids series, we share our favorite apps and kid friendly technology. Today, we review Nosy Crow, an independent award-winning company that publishes children’s books and smartphone iOS and iPad / iPad 2 apps.
“These apps are not existing books squashed onto phones, but instead are specially created to take advantage of the devices to tell stories and provide information to children in new and engaging ways.” Source: Nosy Crow
As posted in our previous High Tech Kids series post, all three of the Windy Pinwheel kids have iPads. They all have the original iPad. Neither of our families has upgraded the kids’ iPads for a couple of reasons. The first reason is that they are expensive and can break. The other reason is the original iPad does not have a camera.
Shortly after we started this site and posted about our High Tech Kids, a company called Nosy Crow contacted us and asked us if we would be willing to let our kids play with a couple of their apps and write an honest review. I am always open to the idea of finding new educational apps for our kids. So, we accepted this opportunity.
Excitedly, we downloaded a couple of apps – Animal SnApp: Farm, The Grunts: Beard of Bees, and Bizzy Bear Builds a House. Initially, we were disappointed because the only app we downloaded that worked on the original iPad was The Grunts: Beard of Bees app. Both of my children actually really loved it and wanted to keep playing it, so my initial disappointment started to lessen.
The Grunts: Beard of Bees app is pretty simple. You have to create a beard of bees on a man’s face. It sounds funny, but the kids thought it was hilarious. Especially the two year-old, who, after a several months of playing with these apps, still goes back to this one and cracks himself up.
The second app we played with the most was the Animal SnApp: Farm. My four year old loves this app and consistently plays it whenever she can sneak my iPad (remember this is one that can only be played on an iPad 2 and above). This app lets children choose what animal they want by aligning the top and bottom of a given animal to hear the story about that animal. Each story takes place on the same farm, but each one involves a different animal and their day on the farm. Each story is really interactive and encourages the children to participate in the story either by touching the animal to hear more about the animals thoughts or to go to the next page. This app is really cool, even as an adult, I enjoy watching the stories. One of the funniest things is that my daughter is learning to spell words and because Nosy Crow is a British company, several of the words are spelled differently and all the apps are narrated by speakers with British accents. The kids love it anyway and it doesn’t dissuade them from learning something new!
We also received the Franklin Frog app; “[a]n innovative, boldly illustrated non-fiction app exploring the life cycle of a frog.” This app was a little advanced for my two year-old. However, my four year-old daughter liked it. This is definitely an app that my kids will grow into and with. As they get older, they will explore new things about these apps which makes it a perfect addition to their iPads. As a bonus, I haven’t found many apps that explore the world of science and this is one of the rare few that expose them to this fascinating world.
Finally, we played with the Bizzy Bear Builds a House app a little However, for my son, this app was also a little too advanced for him as he just turned two years-old, so we will be hanging on to it for another year or so, until he can manage it. In this app, Bizzy Bear explores a house construction site. You can help him drive the bulldozer, operate the lift loader and get all the jobs done in the act of building a house. My son is already into trucks and has a couple in his collection, including two construction trucks, a dump truck and a backhoe. I am sure that he will grow to love this one in particular.
Overall, we loved the Nosy Crow apps and are so happy we found out about them by the company reaching out to use here on Windy Pinwheel. If you are looking for something fun and new to try over this winter break with your kids, we think these apps will be great for all ages. Have fun and enjoy!
Where: The App Store.
What: Nosy Crow apps. Nine apps are already available with Little Red Riding Hood app slated for release in 2013.
Need to know: Nosy Crow apps are all available for iPhone/iTouch devices and in HD for iPad. Most are only supported on the iPad 2 and above (which is why we gave a less that 10 rating in the iTunes category below).
Extra Extra: Nosy Crow also publishes books. Many include the same characters that are found in their apps.
Website/Contact Information: NosyCrow.com/apps/
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