Monday 6 October 2014

Kids' app review : DADA Treasure Box

It's very likely that you've never heard of DADA Company. They're a small independent Spanish  publisher who specialise in what they call edutainment, fun engaging apps where children discover and learn about emotions and fundamental values. They sent us through a few codes to check out some of their apps over the summer and they've just released a great value bundle of five of their most popular and award-winning apps at a lower price - at £3.99 for five apps, you get 60% off compared to buying them individually.

Here's what you get in the bundle :

Marina and the light - "A unique award-winning app that helps children with vocabulary and imagination development, playing with an interactive story without words where you are the main character of the story. This original format stimulates interactive imagination allowing parents and children to create their own story offering multiple narrative possibilities." Pierre likes to go through the different scenes by himself, clicking on things to turn lights on, watching the sun come up or flying on the bird past skyscrapers, and, if prompted by me, he will invent a story and dialogues based on the visuals.

Four little corners : "Winner of the prestigious Bologna Ragazzi Digital Award 2013, this story combines colours and geometrical forms to tell the story of a group’s ability to solve a problem based on adaptability and acceptance of one the their members, the main tools available being solidarity and generosity. " This is a lovely story with some great life-lessons about racism, acceptance and integration. I did think it would have limited appeal though so I thought that once Pierre had watched it a few times, he'd get bored and want to delete it from the ipad. I was amazed to see that he keeps coming back to it though, like a favourite bedtime story that he knows off by heart but still enjoys listening to.

 1000 adventures : "a game book featuring pirates, aliens, castles, cowboys, dinosaurs… nothing is really as it seems to be in this story: the daily routine will be transformed in something fun showing children to use their imagination to realize the fantastic side of life." This is a fun app to get your kids exploring the scenes and looking for interactive elements - there is a scoreboard on each page which indicates the elements that must be discovered in order to complete the screen. It's full of unexpected surprises that Pierre loves discovering and he really enjoys turning banal, everyday situations into exciting adventures. I can tell it's really caught his imagination because he mentions scenes from the app during the day, saying he's going to be a pirate at bathtime or turn us into aliens at the dinner table !

 D5EN5: The instruments : "an interactive game with universal commitment, designed for children between 0 and 5 years old to have a first approach to music in a fun way, allowing them to know and relate different sounds and musical instruments." This one gets on my nerves after a while because it's a bit noisy but Pierre likes it !

 Off to bed! : "The perfect app that helps parents to put their children to sleep. With the help of a beautiful interactive lullaby, kids understand and assimilate the sleeping ritual taking the main character of the story to bed. Elected by Apple as one of the best 5 apps of 2011 in the Apple Rewind 2011." This is another app that invites children to develop their imagination and see the exciting stories that can be created from real-life situations. It's a nice app to enjoy together in the run up to bedtime or naptime, in place of a bedtime story.

The DADA Treasure Box has been designed to cover all types of content, from an interactive lullaby to put children to sleep, a story without words that promotes imagination, a game book that allows kids to discover the world of music or apply children’s fantasy and imagination to daily routines, or a wonderful introduction to fundamental values like equality and friendship in a unique story.

As a grown-up, the apps may at first seem quite limited in what they offer, but it's through exploring them with Pierre that I've seen them really come to life. There really is nothing like a child's imagination, and these apps tap into that creative spirit.

star rating : 4/5

RRP : £3.99

Disclosure : I received download codes, in order to write an honest review.

Other blogposts you may be interested in :

Kids' app review : Gruffalo - Games

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