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Sunday 7 August 2016

Kidloland App review

Kidloland app review and giveaway

Last month I was given a year's subscription to the Kidloland app for pre-schoolers to try out and review, plus five, 3 month subscriptions for my readers to win. We have spent a good amount of time trying out this app and I can honestly say it is fabulous! Here's why...

I don't know about you, but I find it so hard to find good quality apps for children that also come with a decent amount of content - I spent hours of my time back in April when I was preparing for my bareMinerals shoot in London, downloading games and activities for Arthur on the journey down there. Sure, there were some great options, but most had limited in-app choices, and we all know how easily toddlers can tire of doing one thing right?! 

The great thing about the Kidloland app is the amount of different songs and activities available! The main home page has 17 different options to choose from: Nursery rhymes, literacy songs, number songs, songs relating to particular interests such as vehicles or dinosaurs, shape and colour songs, lullabies plus games and activities.
 When you click on each option, it is like entering an interactive family tree - except rather than family members there are more songs and activities. For example, the topic 'Animal Kingdom' has 54 different songs once you click through!

All of the songs can be added to your own personal playlist within the app, for you to play for your child too. Now I know what you are thinking - that is going to take up some serious space on your phone/tablet right?  - yes, if you downloaded all of the songs and left them on there indefinitely it probably would, but that is the great thing - you can delete and re-download as you need to. This goes for any of the songs or activities. 
 Word of advice here though, if you would like to use the app away from home and you wont have wifi - download the songs and activities you would like to use first, so that they are ready to play. ( Silly me didn't do this on my first attempt at trying this out with Arthur, away from home and I couldn't access the songs as I hadn't downloaded them).

Arthur absolutely loves the 'vehicles' option - once you click through to this there are different songs for different vehicles and they automatically move onto the next song when one has finished playing. There are subtitles which change colour with the song and lots of interesting background activity - Arthur loved  spotting the different animals and the 'football' too! For this particular topic, the female singing the songs sounds exactly like Katy Perry too! (If you like that sort of thing!)

I don't usually advocate screen time at mealtimes but he really enjoyed watching and listening to the vehicle songs and the distraction meant that he ate a lot more than usual!

Here are a couple of examples of the types of interactive activities available on the app - they are all very interactive and help with skills such as hand - eye co-ordination and observation:

A bit more info for you:

  • KidloLand has won the "Spring 2016 Academics' Choice Smart Media Award" recently
  • The app is based on a subscription, with costs as follows: 1 month subscription - £3.99,  6 months subscription - £18.99,  1 year subscription - £29.99
  • The app is aimed at children aged 0-5 and is advert free

As this is an honest review, I will mention where I feel the drawbacks were for me personally:

One thing that I did think could be improved with this app is having an option to turn off the background music which plays when you are scrolling between different activities or songs. The music is nice a calming and is based on research which has shown the benefits of background music whilst children are working or playing. I felt that the constant music became a little over stimulating for Arthur and made it hard to tell where one song started and finished as there was no 'pause'. The app developers are looking into this and will hopefully be adding a pause button soon!

As a Teacher - I loved that there was a 'phonics' section, but those who know me well will know that I am very particular about making sure the letter sounds are pronounced properly - in particular, but not adding a vocal "uh" sound to the end of letters. For example, not pronouncing 'p' and "puh" or 's' as "suh" - which this does. It is still a really great interactive way to help consolidate learning though, as long as you are teaching your child the more correct 'sound'  alongside this.