My boys love the Daniel Tiger TV series. Maybe it’s the fact that Daniel is a four-year-old tiger that makes the stories easy for my kids to relate to. They also enjoy playing the Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood apps. The first app, called Play at Home, lets kids get familiar with Daniel and his home. The second app, Day & Night, focuses more on his morning and night routines.
Just recently, PBS Kids released a brand new Daniel Tiger’s app called Grr-ific Feelings. It is designed to help kids learn more about their feelings through various examples in Daniel’s life.
Explore 18 Different Feelings
The main activity in Daniel Tiger’s Grr-ific Feelings is its Sing-Along section, which includes 18 fully animated songs from the TV series. Each song features different emotions that Daniel and his friends feel, from being afraid and disappointed to being helpful and thankful.
There’s a good amount of happy and positive feelings in the list, but there are also plenty of unhappy and negative feelings for kids to explore. For example, they will find music videos where Daniel and his friends are frustrated, jealous, or worried.
These feelings will be explored further in the other sections of the app. In the Trolley Game, kids will spin a wheel to drive a trolley from one station to the next. They will play a mini-game at each station to explore these feelings.
For example, kids may help Daniel clean up the mess he’s made after he says sorry for spilling the water. In another game, kids may help Daniel be brave and investigate the weird sound he hears in the dark bathroom.
The other two sections in this app are Drawing Easel and Feelings Photo Booth. In Drawing Easel, kids can use paints, crayons, toy stickers, and emoticons to express their feelings. They can also include places and characters from Daniel’s neighborhood in their paintings.
In the Feelings Photo Booth, kids can take a selfie using the iPad’s front camera. They can see how Daniel feels in a side-by-side frame, then try mimic that expression. Their selfies will be used in the Trolley Game as replacements for emoticon signs.
Parents Need to Know
Daniel Tiger’s Grr-ific Feelings is a great app for kids ages 2+ who need to come to terms with their own feelings, especially the unhappy ones. They need to be able to name their feelings, and communicate them with their parents and peers. They also need to learn how to control their behaviors when they’re unhappy.
I’d suggest accompanying your kids as they play. That way, you can help them understand their feelings better and show them how to deal with negative emotions. For example, the app suggests them to take a deep breath and count to four when they’re mad. I’d argue that this solution works best if you show them how it works.
Note: Daniel Tiger's Grr-ific Feelings requires 1.7 GB of storage space even though its compressed download size is only listed as 450 MB.
Things I Like
I really like the music videos in this app as they illustrate a wide range of emotions that may be difficult for kids to describe. Based on my experience, I’d suggest pairing a negative feeling with a positive one if possible. Showing the “Brave” video after the “Afraid” video, for example, can help show kids how to overcome their fears and what it means to be brave.
My kids and I also enjoyed taking selfies with the Feelings Photo Booth. The feature teaches them to relate the emoticons with Daniel’s expression, and how to mimic his facial expressions. It will be a useful skill in social interactions.
Daniel Tiger’s Grr-ific Feelings is a great app for kids ages 2+ to learn about their feelings. Through illustrative music videos, kids learn to recognize their feelings and name them. The app also includes mini games and selfie photo booth to explore these feelings further. I’d recommend trying this app if you have problems explaining about feelings to your kids.
Get it on the App Store: iPad
App was provided for our honest review.