Read More. Play More. Learn More.
20
Jun

5 Ways to Read & Learn with Dr. Seuss

By

 

A tip of the hat to this clever cat; these are definitely not your Grandma’s ABCs. In Oceanhouse Media’s Read and Learn Dr. Seuss’s ABC, beginning abecedarians will delight in discovering letter names and sounds via humorous, alliterative rhymes about Aunt Annie’s alligator, goats wearing goo-goo goggles, and the quick Queen of Quincy. Look below to learn how Oceanhouse Media delivers Dr. Seuss’s beloved Green Eggs and Ham on a digital platter and more.

Dr. Seuss’s ABC – Read & Learn – Dr. Seuss

Ages: 1 – 5 yrs.
Developer: Oceanhouse Media
Download Price: $3.99
Platform: iPad

Dr. Seuss’s ABC Read & Learn digital book by Oceanhouse Media is a highly interactive, not to mention highly entertaining, ode to the classic book–and to the master himself. The story introduces children to letter names and sounds via humorous, alliterative rhymes about Aunt Annie’s alligator, goats wearing goo-goo goggles, and the quick Queen of Quincy.

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice review and click here to purchase.

 

 

Green Eggs and Ham – Read & Learn – Dr. Seuss

Ages: 2 – 5 yrs.
Developer: Oceanhouse Media
Download Price: $3.99
Platform: iPad

“I do not like green eggs and ham. I do not like them Sam-I-am.” How many times between our childhoods and our years as parents have we uttered those words? The classic story, which teaches children to try new things (no matter how they might look) has helped children learn to read for nearly sixty years. In its new Read & Learn series, Oceanhouse Media delivers Dr. Seuss’s beloved “Green Eggs and Ham” on a digital platter.

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice review and click here to purchase.

 

 

Oh, the Places You’ll Go! – Read & Play – Dr. Seuss

Ages: 3 – 11 yrs.
Developer: Oceanhouse Media
Download Price: $3.99
Platform: iPad

“Oh the Places You’ll Go,” Dr. Seuss’s classic story of heading out into the world and making one’s way, delivers the timeless theme of confidence and perseverance in the face of life’s challenges. The new digital storybook adaptation by Oceanmedia presents the familiar story in an entertaining and interactive way.

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice review and click here to purchase.

 

 

The Cat in the Hat – Read & Learn – Dr. Seuss

Ages: 2 – 5 yrs.
Developer: Oceanhouse Media
Download Price: $3.99
Platform: iPad

Dr. Seuss’ classic book, “The Cat in the Hat,” has an updated digital book complete with the full text and original illustrations that has endeared its characters to generations of children and adults alike.

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice review and click here to purchase.

 

 

The Lorax – Read & Play – Dr. Seuss

Ages: 2 – 8 yrs.
Developer: Oceanhouse Media
Download Price: $3.99
Platform: iPad

The Lorax is back! This time, Dr. Seuss’s beloved character stars in his own interactive app-book. The Lorax, who “speaks for the trees,” tries desperately to protect the environment from the Once-ler, a greedy businessman who is destroying the forest. Only after the forest has been completely obliterated does the Once-ler see the folly of his ways. Fortunately, he saved one last seed, which he shares with a young child; and, he leaves the child and reader with the message: “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” A timely message, to be sure.

 Click here for the full Parents’ Choice review and click here to purchase.

 

 

19
Jun

Announcing: Spring Parents’ Choice Book Awards!

By

Parents' Choice This Week

 

Parents’ Choice Book Awards!

We’re pleased to announce the Spring 2017 Parents’ Choice Book Awards.

We invite you to meet some of the winners:

There are impossible puzzles and problems with pudding. A boy-loving bird and a rocket-loving boy. There are stories about women who think and who build, and more about wide awake children and those reluctant to sleep.

Browsing the list, you’ll meet an elephant who treasures a green umbrella and an octopus who wants a spaceship. Keep scrolling and you’ll enter an exquisite world of poetry.

Parents’ Choice Award-winning books take on serious topics of mental illness, and war, and explore making choices: about moneyfriendship and perseverance.

Each and every one a page turner.

Behind the scenes with author Lucy Cousins talking about her Parents’ Choice Award winning book, Hooray for Birds!

 

 

06
Jun

6 Ways to Make Math Fun!

By

 

2 apps + 1 magazine + 1 game + 1 puzzle + 1 toy = 6 Ways to Make Math Fun!

 

DragonBox BIG Numbers

Ages: 6 – 9 yrs.
Developer: WeWantToKnow AS
Download Price: $7.99
Platform: iPad

DragonBox Big Numbers is a compelling, even addictive, opportunity for kids to practice counting, addition, and subtraction of increasingly large numbers. Starting with only a single apple tree bearing three fruits, players collect and exchange items to build up a whole world. They plant more trees and exchange apples for coins and gems that open new areas, then smash rocks, go fishing, and chase bees to collect even more items that can be exchanged for bigger and better places.

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice review and click here to purchase.

 

 

Math Bakery 1 – Start Counting

Ages: 2 – 8 yrs.
Developer: Pi education
Download Price: $1.99
Platform: iPad

Math Bakery 1, from Pi Education, is a useful app for children who are just learning addition and subtraction. The game is set in a bakery, where a pair of kids need to work on their math homework, but there are cookies that need to be baked — so the baker (their dad?) suggests they combine the two activities.

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice review and click here to purchase.

 

 

Owl Magazine

Ages: 9 – 13 yrs.
Publisher: Owlkids Publishing
Newsstand Price: $5.25
Subscription Price: $34.95 / 10 Issues

Canada-based OwlKids’ magazines Chirp, chickadee, and OWL tailor smart and entertaining content to audiences as they grow, from pre-K to tweens and young teens. OWL’s emphasis is on STEM subjects-science, technology, engineering, and math-and it delivers with a whiz-bang design chock full of interesting short articles, infographics, puzzles, quizzes, crafts, comic strip action, and humor.

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice review and click here to purchase.

 

 

Tiny Polka Dot

Ages: 3 & Up
Manufacturer: Math for Love
Price: $14.99

Let’s show math a little love. Tiny Polka Dot is a card deck set of 16 games to teach counting, arithmetic and logic. The set includes 66 cards in 6 suits (suits consist of dots arranged in a ten frame, dots in 2 colors, dots in a classic dice pattern, different sized dots, dots in a circle, and numerals), 8 double sided cards with game directions and a guide for adults to help young players understand each game. Each game’s directions are clear and indicate the best age and number of players. Not only is each game age appropriate, the design of the card (the suit) fits with the development of each stage of learning.

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice review and click here to purchase.

 

 

Color Cube Sudoku

Ages: 8 & Up
Manufacturer: ThinkFun, Inc.
Price: $19.99

Color Cube Sudoku is a 3×3 matrix of 9 plastic cubes, each cube having 24 individual colored tiles. The object is to play the classic game of Sudoku, but with colors rather than numbers. Players work (and work, and work) to arrange all nine cubes so that no colors repeat—in any row or any column.

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice review and click here to purchase.

 

 

Smart Numbers

Ages: 3 – 6 yrs.
Manufacturer: Marbotic
Price: $59.99

Smart Numbers merges physical and digital play—no Wi-Fi or Bluetooth required. Inspired by the legendary Montessori Method, this charming and effective educational “toy” uses a tablet, smart-touch wooden numbers, three free apps, and multi-touch screen technology to teach numerals, counting to 10 and basic addition and subtraction skills.

For current or aspiring bilingual families, the apps are available in 13 languages: American English, British English, French, German, Dutch, Spanish, Catalan, Italian, Portuguese, Brazilian Portuguese, Polish, Swedish, and Danish. Smart Numbers is compatible with all iPads and many Samsung tablets.

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice review and click here to purchase.

 

25
May

Announcing: Spring 2017 Parents’ Choice Toy Awards

By

closeup little girl with surprised face

Spring 2017 Parents’ Choice Toy Awards

We’re pleased to announce the Spring 2017 Parents’ Choice Toy Awards.

We’ve long known that it’s fun to swim like a mermaid. But who ever thought Atoms could be happy? Or a tiny robot could express a fear of heights? Or than learning to read Chinese could be game changing?

The Girls Can movement is alive and well, in science and in history. Much needed Random Acts of Kindness are top of mind for us this spring, as are portable playhouses, playing with words, smart numbers and a clever way to recycle an old smartphone.

There’s a lot of wow and plenty of wonder in this list of toys and games and puzzles.

Click here to read more, and play more to learn more.

Designed to help parents and caregivers of all achievements and backgrounds make informed decisions about which new products are right for their children, the Parents’ Choice Awards is the nation’s oldest nonprofit program created to recognize quality children’s media and toys. The Parents’ Choice Awards program honors the best material for children: books, toys, music and storytelling, magazines, mobile apps, video games, television and websites.

 

11
May

10 Ways to Build a Builder

By

 

Grippies Builders

Ages: 1 & Up
Manufacturer: Guidecraft
Price: $39.99

This brightly colored 20 piece set is sized just right for toddlers ready to build. The chunky pieces encourage tactile exploration of textures, shapes and colors. Experimenting with the magnetic rods and balls lead to interesting discussions and constructions – from boxes to boats to balloon animals.

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice Awards review and click here to purchase.

Lauri Action-Stackers – Big Builder Set

Ages: 3 & Up
Manufacturer: PlayMonster
Price: $39.99

This set includes 75 Tall-Stackers Pegs, six wheels, five hexagonal connectors, 30 square connectors, eight crepe rubber tower mats, and an 11.5-inch square crepe rubber peg board with 100 holes. The cleverly designed connectors invite building from all angles. Children can use the peg boards as bases for stationary creations or use the wheels to add motion to structures and/or movement to vehicles.

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice Awards review and click here to purchase.

Brackitz 170 Piece Inventor Setbrackitz

Ages: 3 & Up
Manufacturer: brackitz
Price: $99.99

These easy-to-handle playful planks and connectors are appealing to the eye, the touch, and both left and right sides of the brain. The three and four way connectors work at any angle, and the motion connectors allow designs to rotate.

As children’s skills develop, their designs will become more advanced in complexity and creativity. A good investment in playful learning.

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice Awards review and click here to purchase.

Kids First: Robot Engineer

Ages: 3 & Up
Manufacturer: Thames & Kosmos
Price: $49.95

This set features colorful, large, and easy-to-handle pieces that even the smallest hands can easily and successfully manipulate. And, all the pieces as well as the story/instruction booklet fit neatly into a sturdy plastic bin for storage and/or travel.

There are ten robot designs and instructions included in the storybook; however, children can use the pieces to build whatever they want. This provides excellent long-term play and learning values as well as hours of imaginative and creative play.

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice Awards review and click here to purchase.

Wonderhood Grand Hotel – Creative Building Set

Ages: 5 & Up
Manufacturer: Wonderhood LLC
Price: $59.99

This 62-piece building and play set is comprised of twenty-four double-sided plastic panels, thirty easy-snap connectors, four elevator pieces, one staircase, two figures, and one activity journal with building tips and challenges. The challenges range from building the hotel as high as possible, to building it to ensure certain rooms are close to one another.

Adding to the product’s long-term play value, not to mention appeal, is the fact that children can use the two included figures for hours of imaginative and cooperative play as they create and act out their own stories and scenarios.

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice Awards review and click here to purchase.

Lux Bloxparentschoice11-1

Ages: 6 & Up
Manufacturer: Lux Blox
Price: $29.99

Printed instructions are not included – and for a very good reason. The creators of these unique blocks have designed the Lux experience for open-ended free construction by putting the blocks together without a script or set of instructions.

They are a fantastic, hands-on way to teach children about geometry and architecture while honing fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, problem-solving, analytical thinking, and spatial awareness – and the creativity these lessons inspire.

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice Awards review and click here to purchase.

KEVA Maker BOT Maze

Ages: 7 & Up
Manufacturer: MindWare
Price: $39.95

This kit offers engineers and architects a gazillion (or so) ways to plan, build and experiment with how bots move through a maze.

The two bots (they look like the head of a giant toothbrush) can be customized with the included decorative items, or left as they are. The construction elements of the kit are maze designs in the making and opportunities to put the scientific method into practice.

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice Awards review and click here to purchase.

Remote-Control Machines: Custom Cars

Ages: 8 & Up
Manufacturer: Thames & Kosmos
Price: $99.99

This kit contains all of the parts needed to assemble 10 different remote control cars (one at a time), a simple, front-back, left-right controller and an instruction manual which outlines experiments to test skill and simple physics.

Children with any interest in cars or in building machines will be mesmerized for hours on end building and testing model cars.

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice Awards review and click here to purchase.

Arckit Go Colours

Ages: 10 & Up
Manufacturer: ARCKIT
Price: $59.99

This scale model-building kit contains approximately 175 pieces that can be used to construct architectural designs. The pieces are brightly colored; each element has its own color for a visually appealing but consistent look overall. Pieces allow for curved or flat walls and a flat or 45-degree-sloped roof (with optional dormer windows).

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice Awards review and click here to purchase.

Building Machines

Ages: 5 – 7 yrs.
Publisher: Abrams Books for Young Readers
Hardcover Price: $17.95

Young readers who can’t get enough of construction vehicles will have plenty to keep hands and minds busy building and learning.

Click here for the full Parents’ Choice Awards review and click here to purchase.