Fortunately, as companies have realized the high level of interest that children everywhere have with iOS devices, they have found ways to take that love and turn it into an opportunity for education. Instead of assuming that all kids are going to want to do is use a slingshot to send birds flying across the screen, it is time to introduce them to ways that they can stay fully entertained... while learning at the same time.
Thanks to AppStart Learning, that dream is a reality in the form of their innovative and fun iLearn ‘N’ Play toys, apps and curriculum.
By taking a variety of early learning concepts and making them the basis of their iLearn ‘N’ Play Apps, AppStart Learning has combined technology and play into a revolutionary experience that excites kids as well as adults.
As I looked over the iLearn ‘N’ Play toys — the Learning Tablet, Adventure Explorer and Robbi — I was immediately intrigued with the thought and work that AppStart Learning had put into each one. Have your children practice their letter forms and penmanship on the Learning Tablet, practice letter recognition and motor control by driving with the Adventure Explorer or reinforce numbers and counting with Robbi!
While I had no doubt that my kids would be thrilled with any of the three options, when the Adventure Explorer arrived, the repetitive When can we open this? Can we open this now? Is it time to play with this? was only the first indication that they were happy with the choice.
Before I even opened the box, I was liking the features of the Adventure Explorer.
Of course I appreciate all of the educational aspects (what mom wouldn't?) but the fact that AppStart Learning took their curriculum even further and integrated it with a toy that would protect my devices, have the ability to be played on the go, and works with all versions of iOS devices? Bring on the learning and fun!
There was a split second after I removed the pieces from the box when I assumed that the setup for this toy couldn't be this easy... could it?
After popping a few batteries (not included) into the bottom of the Adventure Explorer, I went to my iPad's Settings and was pleased to see that the two immediately paired through Bluetooth. It only took another minute or so to download the Letter Explorer app and we were nearly ready to go.
Thanks to the stand that snugly fits into the base of the Adventure Explorer...
...placing my iPad in and knowing it was secure was a snap. All that was left was to launch Letter Explorer and my kids were driving their way through letter recognition, blending and reading.
While there are times when I have had to walk Big Sister E and Little Sister B through the directions and use of games or apps, they both were using the Adventure Explorer's steering wheel, sound effects and controls to interact with the app nearly immediately.
By simply turning the steering wheel and using the accelerator and direction controls, the girls have had a great time driving left, right, forwards and backwards to collect the letters indicated on the screen. Although Big Sister E is already fully proficient in knowing the alphabet, I love the way that this game has been reinforcing them with Little Sister B!
She just loves to drive through the various levels and see what surprises (vehicle, background location, etc) will change. As for me, I'm thrilled that every day since the Adventure Explorer arrived she has been so happy to recognize letters, sounds and spell simple high frequency words.
This really is a seamless combination of education and entertainment, and, as there is no time limit or pressure (if you miss a letter, simply back up and try again!), I'm thrilled that there is no frustration or stress that comes from it — just fun!
Along with popping the iPad into place to play Letter Explorer, the Adventure Explorer is also compatible with an iPhone or iPod — any version, so no worrying if you don't have the latest iPhone, your iPhone 3 or 4S will work just as well!
Simply lock your smaller iOS device into the upper casing and place the entire thing securely onto the stand (or take it to go) and your child is set to drive their way through this curriculum once again.
With plans to roll out new apps for each of their toys throughout the year, we can't wait to see what AppStart Learning comes up with to further increase my kids' love of the Adventure Explorer! This innovative device retails for $39.99 (as does Robbi; the Learning Tablet has a $19.99 price tag) and can be found in Target stores near you.
Just be sure to pick up the correct toy (and app) to coincide with the Apple device that you own:
- Learning Tablet: compatible only with the iPad, utilizes the Letterbox app.
- Adventure Explorer: compatible with the iPad, iPad mini, iPhone and iPod touch, utilizes the Letter Explorer app.
- Robbi: compatible only with the iPhone and iPod touch, utilizes the Numberbots app.
And, thanks to their generosity, one person will soon be combining technology, learning and fun as well, because...
One lucky person will win their choice of any one of the iLearn ‘N’ Play toys from AppStart Learning!
A big thank you to AppStart Learning for providing an Adventure Explorer for me to review as well as the choice of iLearn 'N' Play toy for one lucky giveaway winner. The opinions shared are my own and honest and if you really need to see more, click here to see how I roll.