If you have a junior that needs to wake up at 6 every morning to go to school, you probably know how difficult it can be. In my family, this is something that I will start to experience this Fall as both my juniors would start their preschool and kindergarten activities at 8 AM.
Until today, it's quite difficult for me to get Philip, my 3-year-old, to sleep before 10 PM. Thus, asking him to wake up at 6 AM, have breakfast, take a shower, brush his teeth, and get dressed for school every morning would be quite a challenge. Fortunately, I have found a quirky little storybook app that I believe would be able to help him be aware of these morning rituals and the consequences of sleeping late.
The Morning Routines in Monstershire
Monster Morning is a storybook app that highlights the typical morning activities of a friendly monster family living in Monstershire. The story follows two junior monsters, named Peter and Peril, as they perform their morning routines to prepare for school.
The story starts at dawn, when the birds and the sun are already awaken. Soon afterwards, every monsters in Monstershire wake up to start their day. While Peril is ready to wake up bright and early, Peter is still too tired from staying up late the previous night.
As soon as Peter is awaken, he feels really hungry. He eats almost all the monster food he likes, whereas Peril prefers a healthier breakfast with fruits, cheese, cereal and milk. The app includes a mini game where you are asked to guess which meals would fit in Peril's description of a healthy and not-so-sweet breakfast.
The story then continues with both juniors taking their morning bath and brushing their teeth. You use the tooth brush to clean Peril's teeth, and the soap bar to scrub Peter's toes. Then, you dress Peril in her bandana, shirt and shoes before helping both her and Peter pack their backpacks. After filling up the bags with apples, books, pencils, rulers, and even a comb, they're ready to start their trip to school.
Parents Need to Know
Even though the app has the word "monster" in its name, Monster Morning is far from scary. In fact, if you have watched the embedded trailer video above, you would probably notice that these monsters are fun characters. The only thing that might gross you out is the selection of the meals that Peter enjoys for his breakfast, such as cheese on toad with flies and a big bug berry bagel. Yet, even these things can easily be used as a bad example for our juniors, especially when put in contrast with Peril's preference for healthy food.
I believe that the story and the characters are nicely designed and very relatable. Everything that the monsters do in the storyline our juniors do, too. This aligns with what the author, Franca Munoz, tries to accomplish with the story. Here's an excerpt from the author's message for parents that is included in the Credits page inside the app:
"Daily routines and rituals provide wonderful opportunities for children to learn more about themselves and the world."
I tend to agree with Franca's message here, and I believe Monster Morning is a great app which juniors can use to reflect on their own habits. With the existence of both male and female characters in the storyline, the app also caters perfectly to juniors from both genders.
Things I Like
I really like how the storyline and the characters are designed to be playful. The app also features an excellent narration voiced by a young girl. Many subtle animations that can be triggered by flicking various small items on every screen help make the entire reading experience a fun one.
I also like many mini games that are included within the app. From selecting healthy meals, brushing teeth and scrubbing toes, to dressing up and packing for school; every activities fit nicely to the story theme.
Monster Morning is a quirky little app that is perfect to aid parents who are struggling with getting their juniors prepped up for school. The developers have successfully created a storyline and characters that are relatable to many juniors. I believe that the app can be used to trigger discussions with your juniors so that they can be aware of their nightly and morning habits, and hopefully learn how to be better prepared for school.