First of all, I just have to say, I am not very technology oriented. I know, strange for a blogger, but given the choice, I’d rather live in the woods free of electricity and all electronics. However, I don’t live in the woods. Sometimes there are moments in the day where I need to keep Mickey Blue entertained without my involvement. And for that, I use the best toddler app that I have ever come across!! And now you have a chance to WIN a 1month full access subscription at the end of this post.
Kidloland is an app designed for children ages 1-5 years old. It has literally thousands of nursery rhymes, songs, games and storybooks for the kids to enjoy. But, that’s not the best part! Kidloland has truly been designed for kids to use – no parent required!
Kidloland was developed by Internet Design Zone, a creative team based out of India that focuses solely on high quality apps for children. Their aim is to educate while entertaining, and they do a great job of it. They are considered one of the major app developers by Google Play with over 40 million downloads of their 25 apps.
Given the background of the design company, I expected a very high quality product, and I was not disappointed.
Another reason I would say Kidloland is the best toddler app has to do with their nursery rhymes. Nursery rhymes have a long standing history in our culture and it continues for a reason; the rhymes and repetition are excellent for teaching children early literacy skills of how our language works. Many nursery rhymes are also short in nature. Because children have shorter attention spans, this allows them to maintain interest from the beginning to the end of the rhyme. You can learn more about the benefits of teaching your children nursery rhymes in this post from PBS.org.
Kidloland has preserved the historical wording of many of their nursery rhymes (I haven’t listened to every single one yet). I appreciate that they haven’t modernized these classics in their words. However, as opposed to watching a video, the nursery rhymes on the app are highly interactive. Your child can touch the characters and items on the screen. The colors change and characters react, keeping your child engaged with the song.
Mickey Blue loves the games on the app. He spends most of his allotted time playing them – and I don’t mind. Instead of being another pointless game, Kidloland has games that teach kids. Mickey has learned to count to 11, place pieces of puzzles together, connect the dots, and early letter recognition just to name a few.
When you download the app, none of the games come downloaded with it. At first I found this frustrating because I needed to go in and download a few for him. However, I have come to appreciate this feature.
First off, instead of bouncing from game to game, I have control over how many different games there are. He also has a chance to get to really try out just a few games at a time. He has found several that are his favourites. There are a few that he doesn’t seem interested in yet (whether personal preference or age and stage). By downloading a few at a time, I can swap out the games as he tires of them and download new ones for him to try. New games and activities are also added to the app every month so there are endless options for learning and playing.
Right now Mickey has a fascination with vehicles and we have found numerous games with vehicles for him to play. Each ones has a different focus.
He loves the fire truck game – because he loves all things firetruck or firefighter related. In this game he has to dress the firemen: giving each character a set of boots, pants, jacket and helmet. This is great for working on his fine motor skills. He has to slowly drag each object to the right body part of each character.
After, you need to place the firefighting equipment on the truck. Each object has a matching shadow on the truck where it belongs. Once all the tools are in place, the firetruck drives along a street. You come to a building with a fire in it and then take the firehouse to spray it out. Once out, you can drive along again to find another fire. After putting several fires out, the game goes back to the beginning for the kids to play again.
I appreciate that the game plays in a loop. For younger kids who love repetition, it allows them to play over and over without needing help from a parent.
Another vehicle game he enjoys is one where he connects the dots to form a vehicle, then washes and dries it.
I learned to read with phonics when I was a child and it’s what I have used to teach my own children to read as well. I think having a strong foundation in phonics builds really strong readers. So, I appreciate that Kidloland has taken a phonics based approach to early language skills. There are games, activities and songs. Each one helps learn the names and sounds of the 26 letters of the alphabet.
Mickey hasn’t explored many of these yet as he is only just starting to become curious about letters and sounds (but he is only 2). However, I’m glad to have found an app that can grow with him over time.
Mickey Blue is coming around to songs, but he has not always enjoyed music, so it’s helpful that Kidloland has alternatives like the activities and games if he doesn’t want to listen to the songs.
There is also a song list that you can create that holds up to 25 songs that will play in a loop for your child. Again, all of the songs are interactive and your child can touch the screen multiple times without turning off the song, game or activity. This has avoided a lot of potential frustration! Great addition from the makers!
A lot of thought went into designing the navigation in kidloland, making it another reason Kidloland is the best toddler app.
The navigation buttons in the app have been well designed with kids in mind. The home button in the upper left hand corner takes you back to the home screen, as normal. However, in order to activate the button, it must be pressed and held for 2 seconds.
This avoids unintentional tapping of the button, and for younger children, prevents them from bouncing around in the app without really doing anything. Mickey has mastered the home button now, but in the beginning it kept him focussed on each activity longer or asking for help when he wanted to change.
As I mentioned above, there is also a song list where you can download your choice of songs for your child. It can hold up to 25 songs and you can easily swap out any of the songs at any point.
The parent access to all of the features for Kidloland is in a menu that you access from the home screen. You need to push the button for 2 seconds. A pop up appears asking a simple addition question (that is different each time) in order to go in and make any changes within the app.
I really appreciate an app that gives you exactly what you pay for without always asking for more. And I dislike apps that have advertising in them, especially for Mickey, because I need to sensor them a lot more. With Kidloland, I can have a few moments to finish dinner, or deal with a cranky baby.
It is free to download the basic version of Kidloland. This version has a few samples that you are able to access right away from most of the categories. To get complete access to all the feautures, activities and songs, you need to subscribe. At regular price, the subscription is $4.99 / month, $24.99 for 6 months, or $39.99 per year (USD).
Congratulations to our three winners! If you didn’t win the giveaway but are interested in taking a closer look and trying out Kidloland, you can find the app at any of the links below!
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Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Internet Design Zone and I received compensation for my review.. After trialling their app on my own, I reached out to them to seek an opportunity to share with all of you because I truly like this app. It really is the best toddler app I’ve come across. My opinion of this app is entirely based on my own experience while testing the app and is not influenced by any third party.
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