Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Review: Starfall Gingerbread app with Little Miss M's corner


Purpose of the app: To learn 2D and 3D shapes in a fun and interactive way.

Strengths: The story and instructions are read aloud. The shapes are easy to distinguish and are always labeled. The pictures are adorable and the music is enchanting. In addition to the intended goals of learning shapes, basic body parts and colors can also be learned.

Weaknesses: Limited shapes to use within the games and no real extension activities once the shapes are mastered.

Suggested Audience: Anybody working on shape usage and identification.

Star Rating Breakdown
Meets Intended Goal
Entertainment
Worth the Price
Ease of Use
Educational Value
Level of Customization

If you would like to download Starfall Gingerbread ($0.99 iPad/iPhone), please support Smart Apps for Special Needs by using this button:


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My kids love decorating gingerbread cookies, but it is such a messy endeavor. Starfall's gingerbread app encourages the user to learn different 2D and 3D shapes while decorating a gingerbread boy or girl.

Start by choosing a gingerbread girl or boy; girls have a bow on their head and boys wear a bow tie. Next, the user is instructed to choose eyes from circle, triangle, square or rectangle. The chosen eyes adorably bounce into place. Then, a 3D nose is chosen from a sphere, cone or cube. Move along and pick buttons from the same shapes as the eyes. Now, it's color time. Eyes are first and can be blue, brown or green. Colors are both labeled with words and appropriate colors and said aloud -- hooray! Buttons are next and can be purple, yellow or pink. I was happy to see these were the color choices for either gender gingerbread. Lastly, color the nose (either red, brown or orange).

A cute poem is read, as each word is highlighted and the gingerbread creation dances around the screen and into the oven. Completed gingerbread friends are added to the cookie sheet, so that they can be used to run the maze. The maze is a separate activity and can be customized in the preferences section to follow either one shape or a pattern. The maze section frustrated me a bit because it seemed to react more slowly, and I had to push each shape. This, however, is probably good for the novice shape identifier. Of note, while in the preferences section the auto-read option can be turned on or off. I, of course, like it to be on, but perhaps you want to encourage your child to read the words themselves.

I did feel like there should have been more to do. I would have liked to be able to combine the shapes or learn even more shapes as the current ones were mastered. I also would have liked the option to label cookie trays for the different children. In addition, it would be nice to have extension activities where you could create an entire gingerbread by yourself. For what the app is, however, it is really good and $0.99 is a good price. I think I just like the app so much, I wanted to be able to do more!

Little Miss M's corner


I think this app is fun. It's fun because we get to make gingerbread cookies. I've learned a lot about circles. I don't really like when I use the cube for the nose. I would only play this app about once a week because it's super cool but there is not enough to do.




From iTunes:
The Starfall Gingerbread app is a delicious way to learn 2D and 3D shapes. Children choose a girl or boy cookie, then decorate it with shapes and colors. In this App edition, create a tray of gingerbread cookies, then choose a favorite cookie to run through a maze following shapes or shape patterns. Run the maze again and again, it’s different every time!
- Fixed minor audio issues.
- added 6 new shape patterns to the maze!
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Amanda has been craving a really good gingerbread cookie since she started writing this review. Gingerbread coffee will have to do, since it has far less calories!

Little Miss M is 8 years old and in third grade. She is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, ADHD, developmental coordination disorder and a host of other medical complexities. She is amazing and represents a large part of our target audience.

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