Archives For IPad

child using e-reader on iPad

It is Summer! An extra good time to relax and learn while having a good time…

As a home educator and a mom, I really count on technology to provide my kids with all kinds of resources and activities.

The tech resource getting the most use lately in our homeschool and home is my our iPad.

From using safari for quick research, to watching documentaries, to reviewing apps with whiteboards and algebra, my teens get a lot out of the iPad. My youngest really likes the iPad most for watching shows and playing games. I am okay with that, but I try to find at least educational games and things for her on there.

A new e-reading platform launched by Ruckus Media Group called the Ruckus Reader turned our iPad into a fun e-Reader for my baby!

The Ruckus Reader IS the main technology. Within that, there are loads of digital storybooks you can download for your children. Right now, I think there are about 30 titles that work with this format. The titles range from the storybooks to interactive readers (iReaders and eReaders) that have both the story and then games and maybe video as well, and also some of my favorites — the video books, great stories narrated by celebrities.

The titles are basically for kids 3 to 8. You will see old favorites like My Little Pony, Curious George, Crayola. Many publishers are working with Ruckus Reader, so there are many ebooks so far, and more are being added all the time. I just got a notice to go update and get a new ebook that was just added, in fact.

I like that there is a real variety of fiction and non-fiction, and the videos and such. My daughter is already a good reader, so I am not using the app to teach reading so much, but for the younger children, many of the titles are designed to build upon each other and help children learn to read, while the included games actually measure the child’s progress.

You can download Ruckus Reader titles individually, but it is great to download the whole library! The price is very reasonable at $24.99 for six months, as you get access to over 25 titles. OR, you can get the first title in a series for free, then pay $3.99 each or 2 for $5.99. My daughter and I loved getting the entire library, it felt like Christmas downloading like crazy!

Our favorite titles in this Ruckus Reader?

I love, love the SeaWorld Bookshelf. This includes Sharks, Penguins and Whales.

My daughters favorites include My Little Pony and Transformers.

We are both looking forward to one that is coming: Cyberchase!

There is a nice twist on this App, as it keeps track of my child’s progress and emails me updates, called the Reader Meter, weekly.

So what are the Cons?

  1. I worry that I will lose all the ebooks we have if I do not get this again in six months.
  2. I wish all the ebooks would stay under one main icon on my iPad (I hate having lots of icons all over the screen)
  3. Although the technology for the reading is designed around state standards, it is still a new technology. So far, my meter reader is a little off and doesn’t “know” that my child is a good reader. I have seen this with several of our technologies that keep track of childrens progress. It is still a developing technology.

What are the Pros?

  1. I have tons of really well designed eReaders, iReaders and Videos right on my iPad desktop.
  2. With the six month subscription, I have almost 30 ebooks already, o that is less than .99 cents an eReader, iReader or video. And, I will continue to get more.
  3. All are educational in nature and suitable for her age. She does not get frustrated and need help, but sits and plays.
  4. The titles include tons of characters she knows like Curious George and My Little Pony, plus old classic stories that she enjoys.
  5. Most of these titles have options so they can read the book to the child and they lead the child in the games
  6. The reader meter does keep track of what my child spends time on and I can eve email that info to her dad and grandparents (you can set it to email to up to four email accounts)
  7. The App notifies me when new titles are available.
  8. I love the little library shelves in the App. Adorable setup

All in all, I really recommend the Ruckus Reader App. Go take a look! You can connect with Ruckus Reader:



*I received a trial membership for Ruckus Reader in order to do this review. I have given my honest opinion.

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School? Oh not yet!

Heather —  July 12, 2011
There goes my baby!

There goes my baby!

I am enjoying Summer. No curriculum notes. No organizing. Just hiking, feeding, a bit of my youngest making me let her cut her hair. Why do they all grow up just when I’m getting the hang of being Mom? {sob}

Anyway, while I’m trying NOT to do any real work, I have seen tons of little items around the net I would love to share. They are all random ~ health topics, education, blogging stuff for Mamas, just fun.

Linked only by the fact that I think they are great tools to check out! (no affiliates here today, haha) So, grab a cup of coffee and see what you think!

1. Healthy Child, Healthy World

I adore this site and all their fantastic information. Don’t be overwhelmed by how much info is on there, just dive in and take a tip or two… and grab a free, new APP to help you chose wisely for your family:

Download @Healthy_Child’s FREE app 2 get quick tips 4 safer products & healthy living!

2. The Team Umizoomi Fan Club

I got an email about this this morning and my 6 year old is super excited. What is Umizoomi Fan club? Based on a Nick Jr show, this online club offers games, printable activity packs and coloring books, a fan club newsletter and monthly special stuff just for members. A great way for your kids to be learning without even “working”  Free, easy to sign up. Perfect.

3. “The 40 Coolest Apps for Homeschoolers”

I just got a link to this new post and I agree that they have found all kinds of cool educational Apps! Many, I recognize, as I have been able to use the heck out of some of them:) A few were new to me, so go peek and find something to surprise your kids this morning! I’m partial to “This Day in History for iPad” while my kids may like that “Star Walk for iPad” I haven’t seen those! Some Free.

4. Math Blaster

I get to giveaway a 3 month subscription to this one next week! This is a Math offshoot from Knowledge Adventures (You may be familiar with Jumpstart, which is fun, too) Math Blaster is a browser based virtual world at for kids 6-12.

My daughter is just loving playing with her Blaster avatar; she’s a cadet at Blaster Academy. Let your kids check out arcade style math challenges, race through high speed missions…voyage to strange new worlds and enjoy wacky alien races…all while practicing their math skills! Free trial period.  But, Shhh, don’t tell them they are working. Ruins it everytime.

5. The Lunch Love Community Documentary Project

If your kids will be going back to school this Fall, be watching what they are eating! Check these out:

**The Parent Factor** ~ Against all odds, a group of visionary parents came together in the 1990s to organize and change the way Berkeley children would eat in school.

**But is it Replicable?**
Visitors from West Sacramento tour the Central Kitchen and Dining Commons wonder what can make a program like Berkeley’s work for them.

**If They Cook It, They Will Eat It**
Elementary school cooking teachers Kathy Russell and Brenna Ritch awaken children to the world through the food they cook and eat with one another.

NOW for the Mamas:)

1. Right now, I am finishing up a book called “From the Mouth of Babes,” Stories about life, children, faith, and this world we live in. This is a wonderful book of stories and devotionals written by a good blogger friend of mine, Kimberly. I am enjoying this tremendously.

The short stories are making me think. Each one is helping me to see the little daily activities we do with our children — for what they are — each little thing becomes our way of ministering to and loving our babies. Get yourself a copy!

You can also visit Kimberly on her blog, Until The Day Dawn. She just moved, so go support this busy Mama!

2. Voice Boks

Are you a blogger Mama? If so, go see this new very supportive online blogger community. Friend me when you get there! I have joined several fun groups and even started one of my own🙂 This is a great way to increase followers and find new blogs. Now, to find the time to play….

3. Are you a blogger who is sitting too much? Join this new meme and lose a bit of weight:) Thanks, April!

4. Are you a Mama who likes her wine too much? (That would be more than you really want too:) Ask me about The Vitamin Cure.

Ok. I think I’m done. Whew. To get more of my random, oldest child thoughts, join me over on facebook. Have a great day!!

iPad App, Teddy’s Day Free!

Heather —  December 19, 2010


Just passing on a quick note about a sweet looking  and currently FREE app for those of you with iPads (luckies!)

“Auryn has made its digital storybook iPad app Teddy’s Day FREE for the holidays. The iPad app is currently in the Apple store top 50, and can be downloaded here:

“What Does My Teddy Do All Day?” is an enchanting, interactive storybook about a little girl’s curiosity about what her beloved teddy does when she’s away. Will you help her catch Teddy having fun and secret adventures? Kids will love immersing themselves in a world of wonder and imagination, where characters come to animated life and respond to playful taps and tickles. Special interactive elements, including a color drawing tablet, makes this app in a class of its own. “Teddy” is sure to win the hearts of kids and parents everywhere.”


Giveaway Closed. These new apps look delightful! I haven’t tried them out, because I just have the iTouch–these are currently for the iPod and iPad, but I love the samples and the voices of Meryl Streep and Robin Williams, just for starters. And, it says you can record voices for personalized storytelling. How wild!

Definitely storybooks for the 21st century!

Anyway, I’m going to pass on this information and–I can giveaway a set! Read on!

“Ruckus Media Group, has just released their first classic animated children’s story applications for Apple’s iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch. The company’s first apps draw from the award-winning Rabbit Ears Library and feature well-known classic children’s stories told by top Hollywood celebrities. Each Play-Read-and-Record-Along application is available for $3.99 through Apple’s iTunes App Store and includes a classic video, readable text story and the ability to record voices for personalized storytelling. You can check them out at Ruckus Media Group or, just buy them on itunes:

The Velveteen Rabbit – Told by Meryl Streep, illustrated by Dave Jorgenson with music by George Winston. No child should miss this classic story of a toy, stuffed rabbit and his quest to become real through the love of his owner.
Tom Thumb and the Knights of the Round Table – Told by John Cleese, illustrated by Tim Gabor with music by Elvis Costello. No bigger than his father’s thumb, tiny Tom Thumb is on a larger-than-life journey in the land of King Arthur where his small size leads to mishaps and adventure.
PECOSBILLICONPecos Bill – Told by Robin Williams, illustrated by Tim Raglin with music by Ry Cooder. Pecos Bill is the bravest, orneriest cowboy in the Wild West, and the tall tales of his adventures are full of fun. The tale is one of courage, strength and humor.
John Henry – Told by Denzel Washington, illustrated by Barry Jackson with music by B.B. King. The tale of Big John Henry and his hammer, faster than any machine, belongs in every child’s memory and has been a staple of American mythology for well over a hundred years.
Johnny Appleseed – Told by Garrison Keillor, illustrated by Stan Olson with music by Mark O’Connor. The true story of John Chapman, better known as Johnny Appleseed, who roamed the frontier planting apple trees and spreading goodwill is intimately tied to the domestication of America. Parents’ Choice Gold Award for audio.

“We create stories for mobile devices that entertain toddlers to teens from their fingers to their minds, at home or on the road—and invite their imaginations to grow,” said founder and CEO Robert Richter. “Our applications are ideal for today’s families who are perpetually ‘on the go.’ It’s our goal to immerse children in a world of imagination.”

Ruckus Mobile Media is currently developing original apps with bestselling and award-winning authors and illustrators including Jon Scieszka, Rosemary Wells, Andrew Clements, Patricia MacLachlan and David Carter, among others, to create interactive works not possible within the pages of a printed book. The first two of these original applications, due next month, will be “Andrew Answers” by Alan Katz, author of “Take Me Out of the Bathtub and Other Silly Dilly Songs” and “A Present for Milo” by Mike Austin.

For the mandatory entry, tell me which story you’d enjoy most!

For additional entries, you can:

I will choose a winner on 11/27/10. Giveaway is for US only. Please remember to leave a way for me to contact you in your comments!

Park Math is another ingenious little App from the same people who created Fish School, an App I reviewed a few months ago. This App makes math fun! I should have known that App designers who are named Duck Duck Moose have good sense when it comes to fun games.

With Park Math, the child progress from simple counting to more advanced number concepts. This app would be appropriate for both Preschool and Kindergarten ages, say 2-6. As children play with Blue Bear and his friends on the playground, Park Math teaches counting, addition, subtraction, sorting and more.

So far, my daughter is enjoying this app and continues to ask to play with it. Kids know what they really like–and those are the things she asks for over and over:) She seems to get a kick out of the sorting and she likes the music, which includes well done instrumental music with nursery rhymes like This Old Man, Skip to My Lou, Five Little Ducks, The Muffin Man, and Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush.

(I later learned that this music was done with cello and guitar–thank you Duck, Duck–often I have to ask my kids to turn down the volume so my ears do not hurt…but this app is lovely–I even like little bears voice!)

As my daughter is my youngest and I think she is smart, I find I tend to push her and get items that are a bit ahead of her true readiness level. Several of the other Math apps I have downloaded for her are really just a bit too difficult for her–and instead of helping her enjoy Math, I am afraid I am making it hard and unpleasant. So, I was really glad to see her just have fun with this one–and she is still learning important concepts.

The Park Math really is making hard concepts accessible to young kids–sorting and counting are easy and fun–not boring and repetitious..and I love it that she can control the game–she decides if she wants to do subtraction or counting, for example.

The overall game includes 7 educational games that teach a math concept and kids can easily choose which they want to play by choosing kites:

  • SWING: NUMBERS – Count up to 50 as a rabbit swings.
  • SLIDE: ADDITION — Help ducks climb to the top of a slide and learn how to add.
  • SEESAW: GREATER THAN/LESS THAN — Balance a seesaw by adding and subtracting mice.
  • APPLE TREE: SUBTRACTION — Learn how to subtract as apples fall from a tree.
  • SANDBOX: PATTERNS — Complete the pattern in a sandbox with the correct toy.
  • BENCH: SORTING — Order the dogs from small to large.  Order numbers in sequence.
  • PICNIC: COUNTING — Feed a hippo the correct number of food items.

The Official Word: “Park Math includes 2 levels for Preschool and Kindergarten.  Level 1 includes counting up to 20 and addition/subtraction with numbers up to 5.  Level 2 includes counting up to 50 and addition/subtraction with numbers up to 10.  The iPad version, Park Math HD, will be released shortly, and will include a third level for First Grade with counting up to 100 and addition/subtraction with numbers up to 20.” Wish I had an IPad!!

Anyway, Park Math – by Duck Duck Moose is available on iTunes for $1.99.

My opinion? Get it. A Definite Winner!!

Check out  Duck Duck Moose