What’s App-ening Wednesday: Grandpa’s Workshop

by Courtney Sirotin on June 5, 2013

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Sometimes Dylan demonstrates a new skill and I think, “Where the heck did he learn how to do that?!” I mean, I’m with him most of the time so I usually know all of his tricks, because I showed them to him. I was surprised recently when he came across a tool box and proceeded to remove each tool, say its name and demonstrate how to use it correctly. We aren’t a handy family, and he’s not around his grandfathers, who are handy, very often, so it took me a minute to figure out where he developed his skills. I finally realized he learned about tools while playing one of his favorite apps, Grandpa’s Workshop.

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Developed for kids ages 2-6, Grandpa’s Workshop is a simple educational app that teaches the often overlooked life skills of building, fixing and creating things in a work space. Skills like math, problem solving, creative expression and, of course, tool use and recognition are taught by a grandfather character who is jolly, warm and encouraging. The voice of the grandpa is masculine and reassuring, just like a real grandfather.

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There are seven games, or tasks, that cycle through the app and your child has to complete each one before moving onto another. Once they get through a round of all the games they are rewarded by building and customizing their own clubhouse.

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One of the features that I like on this app, that I don’t see on a lot of them, is the ability to choose exactly which of the games/skills are presented to your child. This feature is found in the app’s settings, which can be accessed from the home screen. I didn’t quite understand why this was an option until Dylan started to get frustrated by the puzzle game in particular.

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When he first started using Grandpa’s Workshop he had a hard time assembling the puzzles and couldn’t move onto the next game, which would upset him. Once I removed the puzzle game from the rotation, he was able to master the other games and his confidence rose. I recently turned the puzzle feature back on and, now that he’s a little bit older, he can do them. Its amazing the difference a month makes in a toddler’s development!

The following games are found in Grandpa’s Workshop.

Select the tool:

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Number groups:

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Board fractions:

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Puzzle fix-up:

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Paint the project:

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Spot the difference:

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Another very cool feature of the app is the inclusion of short, live action videos that show you how to use specific tools. I think these are where Dylan really picked up on how to use certain tools.

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The last thing I want to note about this app is the sincerity of the grandfather figure. Like all Fairlady Media apps, Grandpa’s Workshop uses positive reinforcement and gentle encouragement to guide your child through the challenges. The grandpa is also a little silly. Sometimes, when you master a skill, he tells you, “That makes me want to dance!” and then he does a little jig. Or, when you exit the app and then returns to it sometime later, he says, “Welcome back, kiddo.” Its all very wholesome, and I like that.

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The nitty gritty: Grandpa’s Workshop is compatible with iPhones and iPads. It is $1.99 and can be download here. Grandpa’s Workshop was developed by Fairlady Media and they have a number of other educational apps, including their most famous, Grandma’s Garden, and their newest release, Grandma’s Kitchen, which I just discovered as I assembled this post. It looks like a winner! I just downloaded it and can’t wait to show Dylan.


Previous Reviews:

What’s App-ening Wednesday: Mr. & Mrs. Potato Head Create & Play

What’s App-ening Wednesday: Endless Alphabet

What’s App-ening Wednesday: Itsy Bitsy Spider

What’s App-ening Wednesday: Nick Jr Draw & Play

What’s App-ening Wednesday: Starfall ABCs

What’s App-ening Wednesday: Toca Kitchen

The BEST Preschool App For Learning Letters And Numbers

Top 10 Educational Apps For Toddlers

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

JAMES June 5, 2013 at 4:24 pm

Fantastic review!! We’re very happy that Dylan enjoys our Grandma and Grandpa apps! 🙂 Stay safe with those tools Dylan! 🙂


CAROL June 6, 2013 at 1:43 pm

Thanks, Courtney, for this great review! I will have to definitely download this one for the nephews since we have all boys living here in western Mass.and one in Arizona!


ALIX June 8, 2013 at 1:47 am

Just downloaded it. Ben loves it! Thanks for the tip.


COURTNEY June 8, 2013 at 3:00 am

Cool! I’m glad he likes it!


DONNA CUSHING June 8, 2013 at 7:44 pm

Looks like a lot of fun. I will have to get it for the grandchildren!


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