Thursday, December 16, 2010

Tiny Planets

Product: Tiny Planets

Vendor Contact Information:

Buckingham House, West Street, Newbury, Berkshire RG14 1BE, England


Age Appeal: 4-12

Format: online gaming experience

Price: Many items on website free, to watch most of the TV episodes, read books and buy extras on My Tiny Planet you need to purchase keys at 10 keys $1.95, 25 keys $3.95, 85 keys $9.95, 250 keys $25.95, 600 keys $49.95

Winner of two BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) awards- Interactive Best Entertainment Website and Best Children's Interactive, Tiny Planets is a fun, fictional and interactive website for kids. When the kids have their Cadet accounts, they can go to:

Tiny Planets TV where kids can watch the different television episodes which were co-created with Sesame Workshop

  • My Tiny Planets is an online community where children adopt a planet, go to different areas through wormholes and play with other kids.
  • Tiny Planets Fun is where there are games, coloring books and comics.
  • Tiny Planets Books has interactive stories with Bing and Bong and the locals and the flockers.
  • Tiny Planets Learning has lesson plans that incorporate the television episodes and books into a complete learning experience.
  • Tiny Planets Labs is where the new games are tested out.
  • Tiny Planets Blog is where families can go to learn even more about the site.

Our Experience: We started Tiny Planets by exploring each planet and looking at the free books and movies after I signed the kids up for their cadet accounts. I also signed up for a parent account, so that I could add the keys to the cadet accounts. After that we worked on trying out games, like Lava Rescue and Afraid of the Dark. Those games were a little tricky for B and C, but they had a fun time trying them out. It was a couple days later when I helped the kids discover My Tiny Planets, the online community where the kids were able join other kids exploring the different neighborhoods. They are now asking me every day if they can play.

What I Liked:

  • The lessons involve the book, TV. and coloring book.
  • It was a safe site for the kids as they could only go to specific areas and on My Tiny Planets they could only “say” specific phrases to other kids.
  • Alpha Defender was a game where you type the letters as they come towards you it was challenging and good for learning the where the letters are on the keyboard.

What I Disliked:

  • When moving from planet to planet, for example TV to books, we would get logged out and we would have to log in again.
  • To get the learning experience with the lessons you would have to buy a lot of keys.

What B (boy, just turned seven, some first grade and some second grade) Liked and Disliked: I disliked that you don't learn anything and that it was hard to do some of the games, really hard. I liked that you got to watch TV. I wasn't sure when one of the book stories ended, because it just stopped. Those were my first thoughts. Here are my current thoughts. I liked shooting Quasars (stars), the music and making friends on My Tiny Planet. I am glad the books match with the TV episodes. Here is information about what happens with purchased keys. “When you purchase a book, video, planetary assets they are yours forever. For example, when you purchase a video it gets placed into the "My TV" and will be there whenever you log into your account.”

What C (girl, just turned five, working on Kindergarten) Liked and Disliked: I didn't like the game, "starlight", on My Tiny Planet, because it was really hard. I liked all my new friends. I'm going to change my ship. I liked the TV episode, “Picnic Poser.” And when I didn't know when I went to the stars I pushed the movie, but it would do it and not say anything. I didn't like that. My Tiny Planets was good and the wormholes were fun. I liked to play games and boom things. Traveling around was so so fun. In Star Fractions (My Labs) stars fall down and break, then you rebuild the stars, then they go floating back up into the sky and you can do it over and over again.


Other Products Available: None at this time.

I would recommend Tiny Planets for families with children under the age of fourteen who want a safe place for their kids to play. For more reviews go to The Homeschool Crew review page.

Disclaimer: I received this product for free for review purposes through The Homeschool Crew. All links were current when posted.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Apologia Press- Good Morning, God

Product: Good Morning, God by Davis Carman and illustrated by Alice Ratteree
Vendor Contact Information:
Apologia Press
Apologia Educational Ministries
1106 Meridian Plaza Suite 220
Anderson, IN 46016 US
Phone: 1-888-524-4724
Age Appeal: 1-8 years of age
Format: hardcover book, 48 pages, ISBN 978-1-935495-25-3
Price: $14.00


“These commands that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” Deuteronomy 6:6-7 (NIV), is the theme of this book.

Good Morning, God told from the view point of a four-year-old boy is about his week with his family one day at a time. Each day for the young boy begins with a message to God, then continues with what he does during the day, followed by a bedtime prayer.

The application of Deuteronomy 6:6-7 can be done by the parents by doing the “Questions and Activities” in the back of the book with their children.

For a sample chapter please go here.

Our Experience: B, C and I were excited when we received this book in the mail. I opened it right away, took a look at it and decided that we would read the specific day of the week and do the activities. We waited until it was Sunday and we then began our week. It was during our school day that we did it during the week. It was a perfect break from our usual Bible study and the kids liked drawing pictures, like of our family, and studying the verses.

What I Liked:
  • The “Questions and Activities” section in the back of the book gives us greater insight into the daily story.
  • The section for the reader in how to use the book.
  • How the author takes the young boy through each day for a week.

What I Disliked:
  • Nothing

What B (boy, age seven, grade one) Liked and Disliked: I liked Good Morning, God very much. I liked Tuesday because the boy made a sandwich. And my favorite activity was from Saturday, because you can go on a bike ride. But we didn't go on a ride, because of snow. I think it is a good idea for kids my age to have this book, Good Morning, God. It teaches about how to be good, like not running, jumping, and climbing for cookies.

What C (girl, just turned five, doing Kindergarten work ) Liked and Disliked: I liked it all. I liked the kids coloring in the schoolroom. You don't jump on your bed and that is what the boy was doing Tuesday. I liked the picture of the little boy putting jam on the sandwich. I liked the activities. My favorite was drawing a picture of Jesus going up to heaven. I think this book is good for kids my age, because it teaches us about God.

Other Products Available: Good Morning, God coloring book ($4.00) and books about homeschooling

I would recommend Good Morning, God.

For more reviews on Good Morning, God by Davis Carmen go to The Homeschool Crew review page.

Disclaimer: I received this product for free for review purposes through The Homeschool Crew. All links were current when posted.