Duolingo Launches Children’s Literacy App #LearnALanguage

duolingo kids

Duolingo Launches Children’s Literacy App, Duolingo ABC
Available on iOS, the Free App Helps Children Ages 3-6 Learn to Read

Duolingo, the company behind the world’s most popular language-learning platform, has announced the launch of Duolingo ABC. Available on iOS, the free English literacy app teaches children ages 3-6 how to read. The app is designed specifically for younger users to enjoy independently, as the company’s goal is to help children have fun while they practice reading and writing.

The app can be downloaded for iOS at: Apps.apple.com/app/duolingo-abc-learn-to-read/id1440502568

“We created Duolingo ABC to tackle the global problem of illiteracy,” said Luis von Ahn, CEO and Co-Founder of Duolingo. “Teaching people how to read and write can change lives. By taking everything we know about how people learn languages, and how to keep learners motivated with gamification, we believe we can make a dent in global literacy rates.”

Developed by learning scientists, the new app includes over 300 fun, bite-sized lessons teaching the alphabet, phonics, and sight words. Duolingo ABC is aligned with Common Core standards and based on recommendations by the National Reading Panel.

Duolingo ABC does not feature ads or in-app purchases and is available on iOS. It can be found in the App Store in the United States, Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

For the Young Ones, Pineapple Pen app

apps for kids

Games geared towards children are everywhere. There are dress-up games for girls, popular cartoon games for boys, and just about everything in between. But not all kids’ games are worth our children’s time. More specifically, I’ve seen my fair share of “kids’ games” that are simply inappropriate. That’s why the hubby and/or I check every game first. If our young one is going to spend hours (or even just a few minutes) playing, we want to ensure that everything is up to par. And that means no violence, no bad language, and hopefully, a productive time.

The Purpose
Pineapple Pen is a game that tests players’ reflexes and timing. In that sense, I’ve found the gameplay to be pretty productive. Plus, its simple nature—there’s only one button to press—is perfect for our youngest to enjoy. In Pineapple Pen, players try to hit gliding pieces of fruit. There’s nothing else to control or worry about. In fact, there isn’t even a character to move left or right. Tap the screen to throw the pen, and hope to hit the target.

The very basic controls are part of Pineapple Pen’s mass appeal. Everyone from age 2 to 92 can play. Of course, there are a few other elements to the gameplay that make things even more challenging. For one, no two fruits glide exactly the same way. During the first couple of rounds, apples and pineapples might fly straight left and right. But after that, anything goes. Fruits can glide in circles, diagonal lines, or totally random paths. Certain fruits are also armored. Instead of falling after one hit, protected fruits require three strikes. More hits = more points = more fun!

Types of Games
There are three different ways to play Pineapple Pen. Classic mode was described above. That’s the main gameplay mode, and our young one’s favorite. For older players, Hardcore mode is a great choice. There are no slow-moving, easy levels in Hardcore mode. Instead, players will face zippy fruits right from the first round. The third mode, Orbital, is a bit more unique. All of the fruits in Orbital mode fly around in a circle. Each fruit crosses your path twice during every orbit, but at different distances. So, it’s actually twice as hard to hit. Try it, and you’ll see what I mean.

Practically every addictive game gives players a reason to come back for more action: unlockable items. In Pineapple Pen, there are 16 different throwing utensils. Players begin with a basic pen. After earning 200 coins, they can unlock a pencil. The standard pencil is followed by all sorts of oddities, from darts to screwdrivers. There’s even sharp lipstick! With a new item every 200 coins, the savviest gamers will keep playing to unlock each one.

Pineapple Pen is simple enough for the youngest players and can be tough enough for the most experienced ones. It’s safe for kids and entertaining for us parents, too!

Moana: The Movie, the Games

moana app

Moana, the newest animated film from Walt Disney Pictures, is still filling theaters around the world. It’s one of the top-ranked movies of the year, beloved by critics and audience members of all ages. If you haven’t already taken your children to see it, I confidently recommend doing so. Older children, teens, and thrill-seeking adults can enjoy Moana in 3D, which offers an entirely next-level type of entertainment. However, the story and 2D visuals are captivating enough that the non-3D movie is very much worth seeing.

After watching Moana at the theater, a great way to stay connected is through video games. These days, sites like Poki offer countless web games for free. On Poki, each game is sorted into categories, which makes it easy to find exactly what you want. Today, I’d like to share what my child has been playing lately: Moana games from Poki!

The Moana games on Poki are a subsection of the movie games category, which includes hundreds of titles. Some of the most popular movie games are based on Frozen, Cars, or Spider-Man. But the hit film of today is Moana, and there are many exciting adventures to discuss.

Moana Waialiki is a Pacific Island princess. To be more specific, Moana is Polynesian, and she is beautiful. When the movie was first announced, there was much discussion surrounding this new type of Disney royalty. Feminists and open-minded citizens everywhere praised the choice to showcase diversity on the silver screen. As a result, we have a movie and now many games that center around the proud Motunui native. The Moana dress-up games on Poki highlight her unique culture and clothing. The fabrics, dress styles, and jewelry are all based on authentic island fashion. Players will learn about Oceania while playing, as these games take place 2000 years in the past, just like the movie.

There are also different types of Moana puzzle games, including hidden-object and jigsaw challenges. In Moana Hidden Letters, players will use a magnifying glass to find the alphabet on the beach. In Disney Moana Puzzle, gamers must unscramble memorable scenes from the movie. Every puzzle piece is a small part of the big picture. This type of gameplay lets us relive iconic movie moments with Moana and Maui.

Have I mentioned that the Moana soundtrack was co-written by Lin-Manuel Miranda? That’s right—the award-winning composer and star of Hamilton helped pen the music for Moana. Best of all, some of Poki’s Moana games feature real music from the movie. When playing Kakamora Kaos, gamers are bound to be inspired by the movie’s original soundtrack. The orchestral symphony will charge the coconut-wearing pirates on their massive ship. Instead of playing a game on the computer, it will feel like you’re a part of the film!

After watching Moana, playing these games is the next best thing. Even if you haven’t seen the movie, the Moana titles on Poki are so much fun that they stand tall on their own. It’s time for your children to play with the Polynesian princess and her demigod companion Maui.

Zoonicorn Launches New App


The magical and popular Zoonicorn ( think Zebra + Unicorn) creatures have grown! Zoonicorn has launched a series of interactive stories, games and apps for both IOS and Android. 

This holiday season, win your child’s heart with Zoonicorns, a collection of four adorable plush toys, each with their own unique and loveable personality. A combination of exotic and mythical animals (zebras and unicorns), Zoonicorns are enchanting creatures that make the perfect companions for the fun-loving and highly imaginative child. Soft and snuggly, Zoonicorns will take your youngster on fun adventures in their dreamland, where together they teach other animals life lessons on friendship, kindness and compassion.

Zoonicorns NEW app further expands the Zoonicorn world through interactive activities which help kids feel better connected to their new best friends, while being entertained and educated. “Friends Through the Storm,” an interactive read-along, allows children to tap, play and find hidden interactive objects across the whole story. The “To Catch a Fish” app follows the Zoonicorns on the quest to help their friend, Pancake the Otter, catch a fish to prove he’s a big otter. “Ene’s Matching Game” will test your youngster’s memory skills through a fun game of matching the cards, but you have to be quick, the clock is ticking!

These kid-friendly apps can be used on both Android and IOS and are available through the Apple App Store and Google Play. The plush Zoonicorn animals are available through Amazon and the Zoonicorn site,  www.zoonicorn.com.

About Zoonicorn:

Zoonicorns are the perfect gifts to stimulate your child’s mind, sharpen critical thinking skills and discover prominent life lessons through magical adventures. Parents will find everything they need to order the digital stories, games and plush toys online in the Parent Zone at www.zoonicorn.com.

Colgate “My Bright Smile” app for kids

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

“My Bright Smile” helps parents and kids age 4-6 learn the importance of oral health. Not only does it teach children why they need to develop good brushing habits, but with five interactive games, plus word challenges and puzzles, the app makes learning fun. There is even a two-minute “Brushing Song” that helps children learn how long they should brush.

The app has been picking up awards, including a Mom’s Choice Award. And best of all, as part of the Colgate Bright Smiles, Bright Futures® program, it is 100% free to download from the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.

What’s more, Colgate produced a series of videos to help spread the word. These videos show actual kids discovering the gamessharing what they’ve learned, and how we make brushing fun, and mornings easier.

All of which continues Colgate’s commitment to oral health education. The Bright Smiles, Bright Futures® program has been running for 25 years, reaching half a billion kids around the world. http://www.colgatebsbf.com

About Colgate Bright Smiles, Bright Futures®

The “My Bright Smile” app extends and builds upon the success of the Colgate Bright Smiles, Bright Futures® program. In the United States, the classroom curriculum reaches nearly 9 out of every 10 kindergarten students each year, 3.5 million children in all 50 states, and more than 750,000 kids through our partnership with the Office of Head Start.

Globally, Colgate Bright Smiles, Bright Futures® is among the most far-reaching, successful children’s oral health initiatives in the world, reaching children in 80 countries with free dental screenings and oral health education. Colgate’s commitment to building a lifetime of healthy habits provides children with burgeoning self-esteem and a foundation for success – that’s the Power of a Bright Smile.

In all, thanks to long-standing partnerships with governments, schools, and communities, Colgate Bright Smiles, Bright Futures® has reached more than half a billion children and is available in 30 languages.

Award Winning Curriculum

The cornerstone of Colgate Bright Smiles, Bright Futures® is its award-winning dental health education curriculum. Developed by global experts, Colgate’s multi-cultural materials help illustrate how to maintain healthy teeth and gums. Today, the educational curriculum has become a part of the permanent school curriculum.

Reaching Communities

In some countries, Colgate Bright Smiles, Bright Futures® is mobile. In the United States, Colgate’s fleet of mobile dental vans travel to rural and urban communities to provide free dental screenings and oral health education to children in need.

Panda A Panda

As fans of all things fun, humorous, and quirky we at Have Sippy Will Travel would like to introduce our American and international readers to Panda A Panda, the phenomena from Hong Kong.  Panda A Panda follows the adventures of On On and Guy Guy the pandas.

Panda A Panda have a quirky sense of humor and give international readers and fans a taste of Hong Kong.  The next step in the evolution of Panda A Panda is stop motion animation as well as digital comics, vinyl toys, plush and a whole plethora of other fun and imaginative panda branded items.  One of the most interesting aspects of Panda A Panda is their  support of the Friends of the National Zoo which is the non- profit that supports the Smithsonian’s National Soon in Washington DC, in the United States.



Their Kickstarter campaign has already raised in excess of $25,000.00 and is well on its way to global outreach and maybe further… One of the levels of backing available is the “Conservation Panda”, you will adopt a Giant Panda to help support the Friends of the National Zoo in their mission to support giant panda conservation. At this reward level, you will receive:

  • EXCLUSIVE resin figure available only during this Kickstarter campaign
  • CERTIFICATE from the Friends of the National Zoo
  • EXCLUSIVE digital wallpaper
  • EXCLUSIVE Early Access to the First Ever Panda-a-Panda stop motion animation.

The company JazWings is also involved in the campaign which means you will get some awesome perks for each contribution level.

The campaign was started to help fund the creation of Panda-a-Panda’s first-ever stop motion animation and introduce the brand to the rest of the world. However, the JazWings team feels they can achieve even more. As backers continue to fund the campaign, JazWings will release new and exciting stretch goals such as digital comics, extra stop motion animation videos, and more.

Crayola DJ Music App

New apps are available everyday, and as more come out they become more and more creative in what they offer the average smart phone or tablet user.  Today we are looking at just one creative app made by Crayola, Crayola DJ.


Crayola DJ is a fun new app where kids (suggested for kids aged 6 and up) learn about music production and music mixing in a fun, colorful, friendly way.  The app is easy to use and is fun for everyone, including adults, to become “celebrity” DJ’s.  In the app there are almost 100 exclusive tracks by professional DJs.  These tracks are from various genres like Holiday, Hip Hop, Dance, and Pop, which sound great and are easy to mix together to make head bopping, toe tapping beats.

Learning how to mix the various elements of the song is interesting, and its even more fun once you have an understanding of them as well and can mix with some background.  It is great fun taking and mashing up different genres and coming up with something interesting.  Why not mix dance and holiday tunes?  Each song can also be saved to be played again and again as many times as you like.


Once your track is complete, its time to perform.  In performance mode, there are strobe lights, effects, and a whole lot more fun as the user can get creative with their track and even score points as well.

DJ battle is a two player competitive mode where each player tries to out scratch and mix the other, this mode is quite fun although takes a bit to learn.

The new Crayola® DJ app is available now for $4.99 on Google Play for Android phones and tablets. In June, it will also be sold in the iTunes Store for iOS devices, for the same price.

Transformers Robots in Disguise New TV Show

There is a new kids TV show coming out called Transformers Robots in Disguise, a new take on a classic show.  The premiere is Saturday, March 14 at 6pm. Following the premiere, new episodes will be seen every Saturday starting on March 21st at 6:30am on Cartoon Network.


With every fun show comes a great toy line- and since Transformers is already so established (my husband and brothers played with them- and my husband still does- back in the 80’s, and my son loves them now) with great toys that transform as well as blockbuster movies and television shows spanning decades, you know this will be a hit.  We watched the first two episodes of “Transformers Robots in Disguise”, and my son loved them and is excited for the new show.  I won’t divulge too much information, but the show had a Japanese animation feel (think Pokemon-ish) to the art, and BumbleBee takes the lead from what we saw. This was just fine by my son, who likes the Bee the best. You will see some of your favorites as well as be introduced to many new characters, both human and “bot”.  The first two episodes also leave some large questions unanswered, so we ourselves will be tuning in to see what’s going on.
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