I admit, I am not a big fan of technology. I try to limit screen time as much as I can. While I do see many benefits to some of the stuff that is out there, I really struggle with managing and monitoring all of it. Often I find too, that there is very little educational content to things (I say its fluff). While I want to allow my kids time for fun, I want to see learning happening at the same time. Because learning can be fun. Last year we had the opportunity to review Star Toaster and we really enjoyed it! This year we have been given the chance to review their new app, Orphs of the Woodlands at Tangletree. Being that my kids really like using apps for “learning” we did not hesitate to agree to this one! Here is a chance to have an app that is sure to bring lots of fun (and secretly lots of purpose) to our days.
If you are not familiar with this company, Star Toaster creates amazing interactive books for our kids! The stories are so fun to read together and they are full of lessons on a variety of subjects. As you complete each lesson, you are able to care for more and more of these orphaned woodland creatures. A big bonus for my creature loving kiddos!
The app, Orphs of the Woodlands at Tangletree, is available on iTunes and is only for Apple devices. We used our iPad for this but it also could work on an iPhone; it does require an iOS 8.0 minimum. This is recommended for children ages 9 to 11. I used this with my oldest son who is 10 and a very reluctant reader. I also used this with my younger son who is soon to be 7 and struggling but eager to read for himself.
This app is a prequel to the original Star Toaster story, The Treasure of HighTower. This is a 122 page interactive book telling the story of Abba the Flying Squirrel in the form of a journal, written by Abba himself, telling of his adventures with his friends in their fort called Tangletree. As our kids read there are highlighted words and phrases which they are able to touch and learn more about, expanding on both their vocabulary and grammar too. And there are also lots of great activities for them to do along the way. The Right Writer, encourages them to identify proper grammar (homonyms, compound words, etc) as they complete Job Training and Help Wanted opportunities in their journey. I have to say my favorites were the Cricket Cards! 🙂
What kind of shorts does a cloud wear? Thunder wear..”
There are so many ways that this app makes reading fun! And this isn’t just a story. It is such an adventure! As they read and gain Job Training, they can become Sound Scientists. or Hedgehog Pro’s. They can study to become a Load Lifter or a Woodlands Wordsmith. They have such fun titles for every one of the activities that are in this story for our kids. It really makes the story become so much more alive and helps encourage our kids in their reading too! There are even little tips for our kids along the way, like the Memory Tip that encourages them to picture something they are trying to remember in their mind; its a great way to encourage the use of visual reminders!
I truly am impressed with the variety of lessons within this app! I love the story; it has great quality characters. A story line that is truly inviting and really draws you in! The chapters are short enough for my oldest son (who really doesn’t like to read) to enjoy. There are 75 lessons with over 120 tasks for to challenge our kids. Every activity is designed to help our kids learn valuable skills in math and science, character/virtue training, grammar and so much more…. I definitely recommend this app. For both my reluctant reader and my struggling reader this has both engaged and encouraged them!
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