i Learn With Boing: Ocean Adventures! App Review
App Name: i Learn With Boing: Ocean Adventures!
Mom’s Rating: 5/5
Kids’ Rating: 5/5
Recommended Grades/Ages: Preschool, Kindergarten, Grade 1
Skills Developed: Vocabulary, Categorizing, Sentences, Following Directions, Spatial Awareness
Reviewed on: iPad
i Learn With Boing: Ocean Adventures! includes three early language arts mini-games that Boing, a cute alien, guides your child through in a fun-filled underwater world with fully narrated instructions and animated games. The language arts skills included in this app not only include the more quantifiable skills of building sentences, but also include many ‘softer’ early language skills such as careful listening, following directions, and more.
In Vocabulary your child is asked to find objects based on their descriptions. Level 1 gives simple tasks, “Find the grape.” Level 2 asks, “Find four kitchen items.” Level 3 asks, “Find four animals that live in the zoo.” Levels 2 and 3 call upon more categorization and grouping skills. The objects are hidden in bubbles beneath, behind, under a variety of sea-creatures and landscape objects. Some are even hidden behind glass that needs to be wiped clean with a finger before the object is revealed.
In Listening Comprehension your child is asked to listen carefully and follow the given instructions. When the correct spot is tapped a clownfish will appear there. Level 1 asks, “Touch behind the rock.” Level 2 asks, “Touch in front of the green coral.” Some of the objects are given in multiple colors so children need to be more discerning. Level 3 asks, “Touch on top of the big red ray.” Some objects are now displayed in different colors and sizes. When four clownfish are successfully placed they’ll do a little dance to different styles of music.
Sentence Formation uses a color-coded prompting system to help children build simple (and silly) sentences. Colored crabs are dragged and dropped onto the correct dots, each crab displays an image and says the name of the image when tapped. When the sentence is arranged to your child’s liking an animated video of the formed sentence is shown along with a text banner where the words highlight as they are read.
A sample Level 1 sentence is “The potato waters the screwdriver.” As the sub-levels (every 3 activities) are advanced through, fewer hints are provided (colored dots are removed, more crab choices are given, crabs are given more modifiers etc.). Level 2, “The carrot dances with the octopus in a bathtub.” Various setting/spatial specific settings are added to the end of these sentences. Level 3 lets your child give the crabs signs to hold that add descriptive elements to the sentence, “ The cucumber in costume flies with the toothpaste with polka dots on the moon.”
Sentence formation can be played with one or two players. Two-player mode has players taking turns to build the story in a round-robin fashion – the crab pictures disappear once placed so the story is a mystery until it is finished.
Each of the games is on a timer, and your child can restart if she runs out of time. Tapping Boing at any time provides the game’s instructions again. As your child moves from the level 1 form of the games into levels 2 and 3 they become more difficult. Each activity round counts towards the completion of a level, 3 rounds completes a sub-level and 9 successful activity rounds (3 sub-levels) finish a given level.
As your child successfully completes steps in each of the three levels of each game she can win prizes and awards that are displayed in the spaceship area of Ocean Adventures! There are 27 in total (one for each sub-level) and a new alien avatar to play with in and these earned awards are transferred to Planet Boing! The free app that lets your child create and interact with her choice of earned avatars using the rewards earned in the connected educational apps.
Many of the features of Ocean Adventures! (outside of the unique mini-games and theme) are identical to those of Ice Land Adventures! which we previously reviewed in full here. The parents center and statistics are the same across the apps, the below information details how they work.
The app supports multiple independent children’s profiles (up to four) if you register online. You will also then be able to see your child’s advancement through each of the three games, showing the number of attempts and the average success rate as well as letting you compare statistics with the average for children the same age as your child. You can see most of these within this app, but the full reports are given in Planet Boing! an integrated rewards app.
This app definitely works best with a WiFi connection. With the inter-app connectivity that transfers rewards to Planet Boing, the WiFi administered progress tracking for multiple students and parents, you’ll definitely get the most out of this learning experience wither an internet connection.
The educational games etc. all work fine without registration or an internet connection, though they’ll only show progress for one player, and Planet Boing will only include the basic set of options – your child won’t be able to unlock further ones.
Other Notes: This app doesn’t include any ads or social media integration. It does include an in-app purchase, link to email, links to online registration (within the app), links that open the rewards app Planet Boing, a link to the App Store, and social media integration in the parents center.
What We Liked:
Now that we own more ‘Boing’ series apps from i Learn With (all of them so far actually), my children are SO motivated to interact with the entire suite of early learning apps so they can early ALL of the prizes. The power of the integrated app-based early learning system is really apparent once you have a few of these titles installed on your iPad. My girls not only have a blast with the apps themselves, but the reward-based app has made a world of difference in their enjoyment of the directly educational apps.
The Sentence Formation game was definitely the hands-down favorite mini-game at our house. My 9-year-old was surprised to hear that the app was only recommended for children up to 6 because she has SO much fun building silly sentences herself. This game definitely has the widest age-range appeal because my 4 and 6-year-olds love it too – I could barely get a chance to go through all the levels myself without tiny hands trying to grab the iPad from me!
Because Ocean Adventures incorporates so many early thinking skills that are considered ‘soft’ skills in many cases (vocabulary, categorizing/grouping, following directions, placement of items, etc.) this is an excellent app for special needs children who specifically need more practice in these areas.
What We Didn’t Like:
i Learn With Boing: Ocean Adventures! is an excellent addition to the integrated i Learn With series of early educational apps. With three educational mini-games related to early language development skills (vocabulary, listening comprehension, and sentence formation as well as skills like categorization and spatial awareness), this high-quality app with virtual rewards and tracking for parents has been a winner here at our house.
Have you downloaded this app? Let us know what you and your children thought – leave a comment!