The newest neighbor on PBS is ready to show you how he spends the day in his ‘hood!
Limited content and very basic game play targets the youngest of players.
– Animations are fun and easy for little fingers to control
– Features daily routines that your kiddos will instantly recognize
– No in-app purchases or ads
– There really isn’t much to this app especially when compared to other PBS releases
In our house pretty much everything is a big deal. Between my toddler and my preschooler, simple tasks like brushing teeth, getting dressed, and eating dinner are spectacles that rival the production of even the most fanciful Italian operas. If you ask my kids they will tell you (by way of screaming) that every day routines are cruel and unusual punishment served by parents for the sole purpose of torture.
Thankfully PBS has introduced a new app about a tiny tiger who quickly informed us that everyone brushes their teeth and it’s actually normal to do so. Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: Play at Home with Daniel is a companion app to the new television show that walks through simple steps of staying healthy and happy. While the show addresses different childhood-related topics such as separation anxiety and dealing with disappointment in a positive way, the app targets a narrow window of the youngest viewers and players. Older children may benefit from learning about the basics of going to the doctor or getting ready for bed, but the actual game play is very easy and my 4-year-old was rather unimpressed.
There are three areas that players can choose to visit and one sticker book section. In the bathroom Daniel brushes his teeth, washes his hands, and explains the function of the toilet. At the doctor’s office we learned that there are several tools the doctor uses to make sure we’re growing well, and shots may hurt a little but in the end it’s just part of being strong and healthy. In Daniel’s bedroom we helped Daniel get ready for bed by turning out the lights, reading a story, and playing soothing lullaby music. The sticker book includes several scenes from both inside Daniel’s home and beyond, and stickers feature all of Daniel’s friends and family.
Overall the app is adorable and a great add-on for kids who watch the television programming. However, as with most new animated character series, there is the novelty that quickly wears off without a hook or gimmick to keep little brains engaged. While the app’s concepts are spot-on the content leaves a lot to be desired and will hopefully be upgraded in future versions. There are several more exciting and less expensive apps than this one, and at $1.99 you may want to wait to see if PBS can enhance this one in the future. That is, if you survive the third act of Snacktime: The Opera.