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CTR Weekly 5/27/2020
Have a million dollar idea? Check out Design Nest; plus Pepi Doctor; Lingokids and Coaster Cubes

"We want to teach designers how to bring a product to market." Arthur Limpens, Co-Founder, Design Nest

We all have million dollar ideas, but few become reality. When I was at CES last January I stumbled upon a Dutch company designed to solve this problem.

Design Nest is like KickStarter, with a lot more hand holding. Coaster Blocks (reviewed this week) is one of their products. After you upload your idea, they'll help with all aspects of your product -- from manufacturing to marketing. The more help they provide, the more profit they keep.

Here's a chat with the founders. https://youtu.be/oiofdmtivMw

Coaster Cubes
Design Nest, http://www.designnest.com, ($40), for ages 6-up.

A modular, magnetic building block system that can be used to used to make marble runs. Because there are magnets in each corner of the cube, the building process is fast and easy. The tracks run inside the cubes; and the steel marbles are also magnetic. One set contains 48 cubes and tracks although there are different configurations.

Video Link: https://youtu.be/2EvgLsL4U-U

CTREX Link: https://reviews.childrenstech.com/ctr/fullreview.php?id=20248

Lingokids - English for Kids
Munkimun, http://www.lingokids.com, ($15/month or $180/year https://app.appsflyer.com/id1002043426?id=id1002043426&pid=organic https://app.appsflyer.com/es.monkimun.lingokids?id=id1002043426&pid=organic), for ages 2-8.

A large collection of leveled videos and interactive activities based on Little Friends (Oxford University Press) reading and writing curriculum. Then objective is to teach and reinforce 3,000 everyday words. Given what it does for how much it costs (up to $180/year) we suggest being careful when downloading this curriculum, especially considering that the program collection your email address and information about your child (age and name) before forcing you to subscribe.

The activities vary in quality, following the tried and true matching/coloring/tracing formats found in hundreds of apps. While they succeed in offering playful exposure to common letter and word themed play patterns, there's nothing all that unique.

Weaknesses include a menu that is poorly designed (the icons don't help you get to the content), some pushy design, with cluttered graphics and constant background music, and a general lack of original content. Some games take a long time to download; making us suspect that this app requires a solid Internet connection. Because this is a language program marketed in the US, it's also worth nothing that the narrator has an English accent.

We reviewed this app because Apple has been featuring it without stating the price. You can try the app free for one week. After that ithe cost is $15/month using an auto-renewal system.

Video Link: https://youtu.be/u_xk-R1oNNU

CTREX Link: https://reviews.childrenstech.com/ctr/fullreview.php?id=20249

Pepi Doctor 2.0
Pepiplay, http://www.pepiplay.com, ($1.99 https://apps.apple.com/us/app/pepi-doctor/id733788136?app=itunes&ign-mpt=uo%3D4 https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=air.com.pepiplay.pepidoctor), for ages 3-6.

Like the first version of this app, released in 2003, this "weird but effective" experience is "designed to help children overcome their fear of doctors" as well as to gently remind them about things like washing hands and brushing teeth. There's no shortage of rotten teeth, infected ears and other comically gory illustrations, which keeps a child's interest.

You play the doctor, and you have three patients (Amber, Eva and Milo). You pluck out splinters, give shots, clean infections and pull teeth; to earn smiles and other emotional rewards

Content is limited; with the same five ailments per patient (a cold, scrapes from falling off a bike, a broken bone, an ear infection and an aching tooth). Content also includes 20 doctor's tools and no win or lose situations.

Video Link: https://youtu.be/VuKXV9bNOho

CTREX Link: https://reviews.childrenstech.com/ctr/fullreview.php?id=20246

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