I am always looking for educational toys for my kids as a way to jump start and enhance the learning process. AppStart Learning is a company that joins toys with apps to make learning fun. My 7 year old son has a great time playing with this too, but I had my 2 year old son in mind when I chose the Adventure Explorer! He loves to pretend he is driving “beep beeps”…also known as cars; so this was an instant hit with him.
The free app was easy to download on my iPhone (this is also compatible with iPod, iPad Mini & iPad) and my phone easily slipped into the case to connect to the base of the toy.
Once the app is downloaded, all you have to do is pair the device with your iPhone, iPod, iPad or iPad Mini by enabling Bluetooth and selecting Adventure Explorer. As long as you have the Bluetooth feature turned to “On” it should automatically pair with the device. It is very easy to get this app and toy up and running! Once they are paired, the toy makes noise and lights up to make the app come to life even more! The goal of the app is for the kids to drive the race car around the track and collect the letter balloons along the way.
Every time my son turns the wheel to move the car on the track, the appropriate blinker light turns on as if he is switching lanes and putting the blinker on. He thinks that is so cool. My little guy likes honking the horn and pushing the other buttons to hear the sounds. Each Adventure Explorer has a working on/off ignition switch, a steering wheel, shifter, accelerator, forward/reverse control that integrates with iLearn ‘N’ Play apps. It amazes me how this is so interactive and connects with the phone the way that it does!
I absolutely love the fact that when my son does drives into a letter balloon it says the letter and what sound the letter makes. My little guy loves saying “a” and “h” after he collects the balloons, and what I do is say the letter sound as well as use a word that begins with that letter so he can relate the two. There are 2 for each letter in case they miss the first one, only one of them can be claimed to fulfill the level. The track and scenery change as you beat each level too.
Here are some pictures of my boys playing with the Adventure Explorer:
My two-year old honking the horn 🙂
Here is an up-close picture of the toy with my iPhone in the holder. The protective case has a lock feature so the phone can not fall out while the kids are playing with the toy. It rests safely into the base, but will fall out if the kids pick it up and tip it, however, the phone will remain secure inside the case.
My son kept saying “Aaaaaaaaaaaa” for the A sound over and over again! Hahaha It has definitely taught him how to sound out the letters which will help him with his speech!
My older son is explaining to my little guy what to do. The toy is recommended for children ages 3+, however, my 2 year-old really does enjoy it with the help of his brother or someone else. Otherwise, he will just drive the car without getting the balloons, which is fine too because he still has fun!
There are also other apps and toys available: (you need an iOS device)