Wednesday, October 12, 2011

iPad App Review - Kandy Fish

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For my first app review, I want to look at an app called Kandy Fish,  Kandy Fish is an Educational App for iPad by Emantras Inc.  The app sells for $0.99

Edit 10/13/2011:  The developer of Kandy Fish emailed me yesterday, less than 24 hours after the initial review.  I think that says quite a bit about the company for such a small blog like mine to be recognized.  Thanks, Punflay!

This particular app is one of Ayden's favorites.  He loves fish and aquariums, so was immediately drawn to it.  The app itself has many area it covers including a free-form color section, color matching, patterns, and drawing shapes.  It also includes a book that the app will read to you that includes most of those different learning areas with it.

Kandy Kolor - This section is for free-form coloring.  Basically, a coloring book on your iPad.  I'm not a huge fan of this type of section in an app, but the kids do seem to enjoy it and it helps out with some of those fine motor skills and coloring in the lines.  Since we can't seem to get Ayden to pick up a crayon (or any other writing utensil) it does serve a purpose for us in him acquiring those skills. 

As you can see from the screenshot below, you can choose your colors and then basically just color like you would normally.  The arrows to the left and right of the pictures are how you choose different pictures to color.  It's fairly straight forward and simple.

Color Pots - This is a fairly easy color sorting game.  Four colors, four fish for each round (the colors change each time)...and you drag and drop the fish into their respective buckets.  There is a verbal prompt when you drop an incorrect color as well as a visual queue that it was incorrect.   When you get one correct, the app verbally tells you what color it is and when you have correctly dropped all four fish into their buckets you also get a verbal "awesome" remark before switching to the next "round".  It is a fairly simple matching game.  My two year old loses interest very quickly in this section, but Ayden plays it a lot.  The colors it covers are red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet.

Kandy Fun - This section is all about simple patterns.  Most of the patterns are like red, yellow, red, _____.  It is certainly not an activity for advanced children.  The verbal remarks consist of telling you what color fish you touch, telling you when you incorrectly complete a pattern with "Try again!", and of course "Awesome!" when you correctly repeat a pattern.

Kandy Time - This is my favorite part of this app.  It focuses on drawing lines and shapes - a fantastic fine motor skill activity!  It has a simple outline on the screen to "guide" you and verbal prompts to "Make the fish _______".   Both Ayden and Issac work on this part, though it is more difficult to get Ayden to do it - he much prefers other sections.  You can see in the screen shots below that it asks you to make the fish swim in a circle, then you draw the circle and the fish actually go swim around the line you drew.  The one downside to this section is that the shapes are very sensitive.  You have to get them very close to "perfect" for it to work correctly.  Regardless, it is perfect for beginning to draw shapes/lines.

Read - Essentially an app-read book that will read each page to you that goes over all you can learn in the different sections.  The person playing turns the pages, so there is some mild interaction.  It does not prompt you to turn the pages though, which is a slight downside. 

Overall Impressions - I love this app because there are so many things for the kids to do while using it.  It teaches colors, patterns, shapes, and focuses on fine motor skills while working on those different things.  Even the reading section has some fine motor skills as you are swiping to turn the page.  If your child needs to work on these skills, I feel the $0.99 price tag is quite acceptable. 

Developmental Age:  The developer recommend 3-5 years for the age on this, but I feel it is more suited for a 2-3 year range when used for learning.  My 2.5 year old has most of the skills needed for each section except the shapes drawing which he has picked up very quickly, I just can't see a 4 or 5 year old playing this more than once or twice.


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