i Learn With - Planet Boing! HD is part of a series of iPad apps that combine learning with fun for toddlers and young children. This particular app in the series is great for the younger players and is the central zone for both parents and kids with a free-play environment filled with lots of bright colors, music, and interactivity.
Before jumping into the fun, bouncy, colorful world, you can customize your character's look. This includes the shape of the torso, head, feet, hands, ears, and more, as well as his or her color. You can also roll the dice for a random customization.
When making customizations, you'll discover some that aren't available. If you tap it, a window will popup tell you how to unlock the item. This typically must be done by completing levels in other apps. This is a great way to motivate your child to play these learning games, but it can also get annoying for the younger kids who don't understand why the window popped up or what it says.
The main part of this app is Planet Boing, the fun world where you take your character to bounce around and gather bubbles that release things like music, shapes, characters, colors, and more. You can drag your character around the world with your finger or flick the character and watch him or her fly and bounce around.
In addition to interacting with your character in Planet Boing, you can also interact with different elements in the world, like trees and flowers, by tapping on them. You can also add more bubbles to the screen by tapping on the magic chest.
One of the fun elements of Planet Boing, is that if you have the new iPad or an iPad 2, you can use the front-facing camera to bring the fun to your world. My daughter thinks this is just hilarious.
In the Parents Center, you can see how your child is progressing in the other "i Learn with" apps and see recommendations of which apps you should get next. (Must register for a free account). These other apps are only $0.99 each and offer a lot of fun, educational content. I'll briefly share some features of i Learn With Boing: Ice Land Adventures! with you.
i Learn With Boing: Ice Land Adventures! has three main mini-games: Letters, Phonics, and Words.
In the Letters game, you have to pick the polar bear that's holding the letter shown at the bottom of the slide and guide him down the slide to help him collect all the ice cream balls.
In the Phonics game, you are given a sound, like "ma", and one letter of that sound. It's your job to fling your letter at the penguin that has the other letter on his hat. For example, if you are given the letter "a" and the sound "ma", your goal is to use the slingshot to hit a penguin with the "m_" on his hat.
In the Words game, you are given a word with a blank spot above each letter of the word. This word is actually on the back of a whale, and there are seals swimming in the water with a letter on each of their hats. It's your job to drag the penguins to their corresponding spots on the whale. When you get it right, the whale jumps up in excitement.
At only 20 months old, my daughter really loves this app. It may seem boring to the average adult, but for a young toddler, bouncing characters around on the screen and seeing bursts of color and shapes provides endless entertainment. She's still a little to young for the educational apps in the series, but I'm sure she will love them once she gets a little older, especially since she's already familiar with the characters.