Monday, October 24, 2011

She Survived The Rainforest (And The Roadtrip)

Last weekend, Amara and I jumped into the mom-mobile for a girls' weekend in Chicago.

Yes, Amara hit me up for three days in the Windy City. And it was oh. So. Much. Fun.

But given the rising cost of airfare, I figured we could make do driving the five hours west rather than flying. But how on earth would I occupy an eight-year-old while I tried to stay in my highly caffeinated state?

Enter Ruckus Media. I was introduced to them at the Social Soiree during BlogHer11. And honestly, with all the hubbub surrounding back-to-school, I had forgotten about them. But Amara didn't. She knew she wanted new apps for the iPad. So we downloaded three interactive stories just before our getaway.

My personal favorite is Andrew Answers. It is cleverly written, although for a child Amara's age, the game was not that challenging. But Amara did find the story to be entertaining. She listened to it over and over again.

Now for the animal lover in my daughter, she adored Rainforest Survival Challenge. She loved it so much, she wrote her own review:
Rainforest Survival Challenge was a fun game to play. I liked it because you get to learn how different animals and plants survive in the rain forest with just themselves and their surroundings. I also liked that you could swap cards and use that instead of the card you had. You could put your name in and if you wanted to change it or if someone else wanted to play and didn't want to play with your name they could change it. The only thing I didn't like was that sometimes when I tried to move a card it was just frozen. That is what I think about Rainforest Survival Challenge.
Because she is a girlie-girl, I thought Amara would enjoy My Little Pony: Twilight Sparkle, Teacher for a Day. But the story just didn't grab her the way the other two app's did. She played this app once, and it has sat on my iPad unused ever since.

For the most part, all of the iPad apps were very engaging. And they really encouraged the kids to learn. This really just demonstrates to me how technology can be instrumental in education. Amara really focuses on the story lines when she's on the iPad. And it's super convenient for me to take the iPad with us on the go, rather than lugging around 10 books in the back seat of the mom-mobile. We survived our 300 mile trek to Chicago, in great part because of Ruckus Media. If Ruckus Media comes out with more apps geared towards Amara's age group, we'd definitely try them out again.

Disclosure: The products were provided. No compensation was received. The honest opinions are my own.


  1. oh man, really, you were in chicago last weekend? dang it, I so would have come to see you. Let me know next time and I'll even give you a place to stay for a night or two if you'd like. Amara would love my kids, I'm sure of it. I am road trip queen too so I am full of great suggestions. (we tripped at least 5000 miles this summer and I'm planning one the week before Christmas I think).

  2. Colette, I'm in town this weekend but it's a jammed packed weekend. The next time I bring Amara though, you are on! I think Amara would love the kids too!


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