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Sago Mini Snow Day

Sago Mini Snow Day

Sago Mini Snow Day

Sago Mini Snow Day

Sago Mini

Reviewed on 12/14/17

Canadian developer, Sago Mini, really knows how to have fun in the snow!  This app, similar to their previous apps, Road Trip, Planes and Boats, begins by users choosing a vehicle -- in this case a sled, but of course there are lots of silly options in addition to the usual sled designs.  Perhaps you’d like to ride on a unicorn sled or a donut sled? Once you’ve selected your ride, choose which of your favorite Sago Mini characters to take on a ride down the snowy hill.  Once you’ve picked your drivers, it’s whoosh and down the hill you go!  You’ll encounter lots of snowy day fun along the way-- perhaps you’ll stop to decorate a snowman or a tree, or maybe you’ll run into the ice cave or run into some ice sculptures?  When your (surprisingly long) ride is done, you’ll see a photo snapshot of something fun that happened along the way, then it’s back to the starting line to go again (and you don’t even have to drag your sled all the way to the top)!  As always, Sago Mini delivers a delightful, exploratory app that will bring a smile to the face of kids of all ages.

See this app reviewed on the news

Age group: Baby/toddler, Preschool, Grades K-2
Tags: Amazon, Animals, Celebrations, Characters, Google Play, Growing Up, Nature, NBC15, Things that Go

Sago Mini Farm

Sago Mini Farm

Sago Mini Farm

Sago Mini Farm

Sago Mini

Reviewed on 11/14/17
Paid on | iOS | Google Play | Amazon

Spend a day at the farm with your favorite Sago Mini characters.  In addition to the things you might expect to find on a farm (horses, cows, pigs, sheep, chickens, a garden, tractors, a barn, etc.) there are a few other additions that add to the fun -- a giant mud puddle, fruit trees, a llama, a unicorn, a seesaw, a farmer’s market stand, an outhouse and (my favorite) a large juicing machine and a BBQ grill with often hilarious outputs!  Even more than most Sago Mini explorer apps, this one encourages kids to play in this space however they want to.  See how many animals you can stack on top of one another!  What sort of wacky things can you grow in the garden? Can the llama play on the tire swing? If you love Sago Mini apps or if you love the farm, this app will not disappoint.

Age group: Baby/toddler, Preschool
Tags: Amazon, Animals, Characters, Concepts, Google Play, Nature, Science, Things that Go

Sago Mini Hat Maker

Sago Mini Hat Maker

Sago Mini Hat Maker

Sago Mini Hat Maker

Sago Mini

Reviewed on 08/28/17
Paid on | iOS | Google Play | Amazon

Design a fancy hat for your Sago Mini friends -- you can even try the hat on your own head!  In this app, kids become the hat maker.  Each customer arrives (a standard collection of Sago Mini characters plus a new introduction: Larry the Log!) and users are given a few standard hat shapes to choose from (bowler? Top hat? Fedora? A swirl of soft serve ice cream?). Next, the hat maker can cut stencil shapes or cut with a scissors to change the shape of the hat and then change the print (polka dots? Stars? Sprinkles?) of the hat material and paint whatever design onto the hat that they desire.  Last, there are some accessories to add and finally, your character and the new hat are ready for their photo!  Choose a backdrop or choose to try the hat on yourself and snap a picture!  Before they leave the shop, don’t forget to ring up their purchase on the cash register!  As always, great opportunities for creative play by Sago Mini!

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Age group: Baby/toddler, Preschool
Tags: Amazon, Animals, Art, Characters, Concepts, Creativity, Google Play

Sago Mini Town

Sago Mini Town

Sago Mini Town

Sago Mini Town

Sago Mini

Reviewed on 04/30/17
Paid on | iOS | Google Play

Build a world for your favorite Sago Mini characters to explore! There are five types of building blocks to choose from (desert, road, grass, cobblestones and garden dirt) and each block yields a different sort of environment (e.g. the dirt blocks sprout different kinds of produce while the desert blocks often yield cactus or sandboxes).  Players can place the blocks wherever they like over the expanse of water present as the default scenery in the game.  As they place the blocks, things pop up on them (like houses, shops, plants, Sago Mini characters, etc.) and those things have interactions both with tapping and by dragging a Sago Mini character on top of them.  If you drag one of the characters out over the water, they’ll suddenly find themselves in a boat (convenient!).  The app allows for more than one person to play at the same time and there’s tons of opportunity for dialogue and storytelling, so try this one out with a friend or sibling.  Truly open-ended play with super-cute results.

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Age group: Baby/toddler, Preschool
Tags: Animals, Characters, Creativity, Google Play, Growing Up, NBC15, Things that Go

Sago Mini Puppy Preschool

Sago Mini Puppy Preschool

Sago Mini Puppy Preschool

Sago Mini Puppy Preschool

Sago Mini

Reviewed on 04/18/17
Paid on | iOS | Google Play | Amazon

I am a huge fan of Sago Mini’s play-based app collection, so when I heard that they were putting out this app with “light educational content” I was skeptical.  So skeptical that I actually refused to purchase it or look at it for months.  Silly me.  I should have trusted that if Sago Mini was going to do “educational” content, they wouldn’t get didactic.  It shouldn’t come as a surprise that this app is just as entertaining and pleasurable to play with as the rest of the apps they make.  The app store description says that it includes “numbers, shape recognition, matching and music fun” but… they don’t mention that the shapes are not just your average square/circle/triangle set, but are instead the shapes of different objects that puppies like to chew on (like socks, shoes, bones and remote controls!) and you toss the objects to the puppies who then chew them to bits or shake them back and forth in a playful manner.  They don’t mention that the “matching” is part of a game involving feeding the dogs different colored foods and that sometimes special guests show up alongside the puppies (I will admit to laughing aloud at a few of the guest antics!).  They neglect to mention that the “music fun” is in the guise of a dog piano where each key is paired up with a different dog who barks (or howls if you press and hold the key) each pitch.  The activity that is the most overtly “educational” is probably the numbers activity in which you pile up to ten dogs into a wading pool for a big bubble bath.  This section of the app includes the first linguistic voiceover I remember ever seeing in a Sago Mini app as a child’s voice speaks aloud the number of dogs as you place them into the pool. My favorite part about this is that you can remove multiple puppies at a time if you use multiple fingers, so if you want to count down by twos or threes instead of one at a time, you can do that!  As with all Sago Mini apps, there are some subtle little details that add to the quality of the app without distracting (try bouncing the objects in the matching & shape games and listen to the changing pitches!) and there’s plenty of kid-friendly humor throughout to keep kids engaged.  Plus, those puppies are all so CUTE!

Age group: Baby/toddler, Preschool
Tags: Amazon, Animals, Concepts, Google Play, Math, Music, STEM

Sago Mini Planes

Sago Mini Planes

Sago Mini Planes

Sago Mini Planes

Sago Mini

Reviewed on 11/08/16
Paid on | iOS | Google Play | Amazon

It’s time to take a trip and you’re the pilot!  Choose your plane (standard or silly like a corn-on-the-cob plane?), choose your travel companions, then take off and explore the skies!  You’ll encounter all sorts of giggle-inducing surprises and you can fly for as long as you like.  Do you want to fly really high among the stars or closer to earth under friendly blue skies?  When you’re done (or want to try out another plane), simply fly down close to the earth and a runway will magically appear wherever you are.  After your flight, be sure to check out the souvenir photos of your trip which will include the surprises that you actually encountered on this particular flight and the traveling companions that were with you--a subtle but really nice touch by the app makers. As with all Sago Mini apps, this one is easy and fun for young toddlers but older kids will also gravitate towards it to discover all of the fun details. Try this one the next time you travel or for kiddos who love vehicles!

Age group: Baby/toddler, Preschool
Tags: Amazon, Animals, Google Play, Things that Go

Trucks and Diggers

Trucks and Diggers

Trucks and Diggers

Trucks and Diggers

Sago Mini

Reviewed on 02/15/16
Paid on | iOS

Perfect for the construction site fanatic at your house! This app invites players to first choose one of 6 building plans for whimsical houses.  Then, choose which type of digger (everything from a bulldozer to a wood chipper) to use to fill a dumptruck with dirt.  When they’re done filling it (whether or not it’s actually full), they can drive the dumptruck to the building site where it dumps the dirt and the house grows! Once the house is finished, choose the paint scheme, add some details (windows, doors, chimney, flamingo for the front yard….) then take a picture of the new owner enjoying their new home. Filled with clever humor, empowering choices and, of course, diggers, this app is sure to be a hit.

Age group: Baby/toddler, Preschool
Tags: Animals, Engineering, Things that Go

Sago Mini Music Box

Sago Mini Music Box

Sago Mini Music Box

Sago Mini Music Box

Sago Mini

Reviewed on 12/21/15
Paid on | iOS | Amazon | Windows

A music box that allows users to choose the pace and rhythm of songs. Tap with one finger and hear one note at a time (played in a higher register if you tap the upper part of the screen, in a lower register if you tap lower on the screen), tap with multiple fingers to hear more complex orchestration.  You can tap in the song's traditional rhythm, or syncopated for a jazzy version or just tap along and enjoy making musical sounds with your fingers.  Each tap on the screen pops up a new image (clouds in the sky, flowers on the ground, etc.) and sometimes you get surprises! To slow down the movement across the screen, try holding your fingertip down on the screen or draw slow circles. Because there are no sung lyrics and these are well-known traditional children's tunes, this app provides an excellent opportunity for you to sing together with your child.  Singing slows down language and helps kids to hear the smaller parts in words--an excellent early literacy skill to build!

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Age group: Baby/toddler, Preschool
Tags: Animals, Early Literacy, Family Play, NBC15, Rhymes and Songs, Things that Go

Sago Mini Superhero

Sago Mini Superhero

Sago Mini Superhero

Sago Mini Superhero

Sago Mini

Reviewed on 11/30/15
Paid on | iOS

Jack the rabbit becomes a superhero in this Sago Mini exploration app.  In the same discovery style as Forest Flyer and Ocean Swimmer, Superheroes takes place in a looped world (if you just keep going left, you’ll end up back where you started), but has 30 different animations to discover along the way. Superhero Jack rescues a stuck ice cream truck, comforts a distraught octopus on top of a tall tower (how did it get up there?) and might accidentally also be responsible for a city-wide power outage (don’t worry--he can fix that too!). There are no rules, no time limits and no right or wrong way to play this app, just free exploration and lots of opportunities for giggles!

Age group: Baby/toddler, Preschool
Tags: Animals, Characters, Things that Go