What It Is
The Create & Learn App is designed to be used with the Create & Learn Apptivity Case for iPad, sold separately. You can download it free for iOS when you buy the case. Otherwise, the app costs $1.99. The case also includes a key card to unlock the free app, and these cards are required. So we wouldn't recommend buying this app as a stand-alone.
When you use the key card, make sure your iPad's volume is turned up because you will be prompted to press the different colors on the key in sequence to unlock the app. Also make sure that you've disabled multi-tasking gestures in your settings.
You'll have three options once you're in the app: create, learn, and explore. In explore mode, you'll place the cards behind the unit, sit it on its stand, and when you get the cards lined up correctly, you'll see an animation of the character on the card. Touch the screen to have it come to life and do different things. Younger kids may need help positioning the cards correctly, but they'll enjoy interacting with the characters.
In the create mode, you can either put together a jigsaw puzzle, paint by number, or do a rub-off picture. You can also press the button in the lower left-hand corner for a free-play drawing app. Whether doing the pre-planned activities or the free-drawing, you can save your creations to your photo album on the iPad.
In learn mode, kids practice writing upper- and lowercase letters. There's also a free writing area as well, which will allow kids to save their work when they close out of the mode.
Why It’s Fun
While all of this is fairly basic, it is engaging for kids and gives them room to grow with the app. Younger kids, for instance, may not be as engaged with the writing practice as with the coloring and card exploration. However, there's plenty to keep kids busy, and the case keeps your iPad safe. (You can see our separate review of the case on TimetoPlayMag.com.)
Who It’s For
The Create & Learn App is for ages 3 and up.
What To Be Aware Of
Given that you need the cards to make the app work completely, this app doesn't make much sense to purchase independently from the case. There are many other apps that provide comparable activities.
The app is compatible with 1st, 2nd, and 3rd generation iPad and the new iPad with retina display. The app is also compatible with the iPad mini.