Fun and Educational Apps for Children – review of Fuze4 and DiaryZapp
This is an ideal time for children to learn new skills, or keep exisiting talents alive, by using apps that are both fun AND educational while we are stuck at home. Not being able to get out to extra curricular activities means that we have loads of free time we didn’t used to have, I’m sure I am not alone in having kids that love spending time on their screens. However, screens are not all bad! Using digital applications is a handy way to keep our kids’ abilities and interests thriving until life returns to ‘normal’. They are also a means of learning new skills such as coding or basic graphic design. Fuze4 for Nintendo Switch and DiaryZapp are both apps that are educational while also being great fun to use, here is my review of them.
We were gifted these apps for review purposes, all opinions are my own.
Coding – Fuze4 for Nintendo Switch
Fuze4 is a coding application which enables you to code your own games that are specificaly designed for the Nintendo Switch. Nate (he’s 15) enjoys all things coding and computer related and was delighted to be given this app to review. I needed all his unput on this review as I haven’t tried the app myself (I’m not so much into gaming) – he only has good things to say about it!
The amazing thing about a Switch is it is so versatile, it can be played as a device on its own and be taken away on holidays, or it can be connected to your home TV so that you have a bigger screen to play off.
Here are the benefits of this app that Nate has described to me: Fuze 4 is easy to understand for beginners, the tutorials in the user guide are very good as they are laid out in an easy to understand way. They are very informative while at the same time not overwhelming you with too much information at once. You can read the tutorials on an iPad while you code on the Switch which is connected to the TV screen for good visibility.
Apart from the user guide tutorials, there is also a free coding projects book which can be downloaded in pdf format as well as support on YouTube so you ever need to feel stuck trying to figure out how to use Fuze4.
The app comes with a huge supply of assets which include music, sound effects, 3D models and sprites. You don’t need to be able to design your own features to be used in games as there are so many ready made ones already supplied.
You can share your games with other players on the online forum, a community of other Fuzers, so that your games can be enjoyed by other people too. Fuze4 also comes with a selection of games already so that you can experience what possibilities there are to give you ideas.
You don’t need a keyboard to code as you can use the on screen keyboard with the hand controller so he has managed without one, but we feel it would be better to connect one to the Switch console to make coding a bit faster.
Fuze4 for Nintendo Switch Costs £12.99 or €15.99
Scrapbooking – DiaryZapp
DiaryZapp is a fun app that enables you to create your own digital scrapbook diary on your phone or tablet. Rebecca (she’s 13) likes the creativity of this app and all the different features that allow you to capture bright and colourful digital memories. I like that she can record this time of her life in a positive and fun way.
When you open DiaryZapp for the first time you are prompted to fill in your name and then you can create a cute little personalised character called a Zappicon. This animated character guides you through the app and helps you figure out how to use all the features.
When you create a new page, an automatic date stamp is added to the top corner of your page. You then have the option to choose a customisable patterned background. Next you can take photos or insert exisiting photos and then add your own captions with editable text boxes. There is a a built in drawing tool so you can create your own doodles on each page.
There is also a library of bright and colourful stickers to decorate your scrapbook pages. The library contains lots of secret stickers too that will gradually become unlocked as you use the app, which adds a fun element of anticipation.
Being 13 Rebecca is probably on the older end of the recommended age spectrum for this app. I feel it would be fun as well as educational for younger children as it encourages writing and spelling ability. It helps introduce diary writing and scrapbooking on a pltform that any children are already familiar with. It is also a great way for kids to get to grips with basic graphic design such as digital layout skills.
Another lovely feature is kids can share (zapp) their daily entries with their friends and families who also have DiaryZapp, or you can save daily entries to your device and share via WhatsApp on your phone or email.
I struggled to download this onto Rebecca’s Amazon tablet which isn’t a criticism of the app but rather a recommendation that it is easier to use this app on a phone, android tablet or iPad than an Amazon tablet. (DiaryZapp is not available on laptops).
For the price I think this app is great value for what it offers and it is ideal for kids to keep their long distance families updated with daily events.
Have you found any other apps for children that are both educational and fun to use, apart from Fuze4 and DiaryZapp in my review? I’d love to hear all about them in the comments below!
*Affiliate link, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.