Since the introduction of the iPad three years ago, there has been many types of apps for kids. Looking back on our posts, we know that there are plenty of great math apps, creativity apps and even storybook apps on the App Store today. Even though we have also reviewed many toy-like apps, I believe the market is still in need of more apps like these.
Our app pick for today comes from Duckie Deck, the development team behind Sharing with Duckie Deck, a lovely app that helps juniors to understand why sharing is fun. This new app is called DuckieDeck Collection, and it offers six digital toys suitable for juniors ages two to five. These toys explore various topics, including exploring healthy diets and facing the fear of darkness.
The Mini Games
As you start the app, you will see six images that fill the entire screen width laid out from top to bottom. The images are tappable, and they act as teasers for the kinds of mini games that you can play.
The first mini game is a game about fruits and vegetables. You will see where they grow, and be asked to harvest them. For example the game may show you onions and carrots buried in the ground or apples and bananas hanging on a tree. You harvest them one at a time with a tap. Once all the fruits or vegetables have been harvested, you can tap to eat them. The game will show you a different set of fruits and vegetables once you are done eating.
The second game shows a magician hat. You can tap anywhere on the screen to see magical things appear from inside the hat. You will find magical cups, a purple cat playing a guitar, a frog king, a white rabbit, and even a blue dragon. The game is all about having fun, and I’m sure most juniors would love to see a magic show.
In the third game you will be asked to feed the animals in the zoo by choose the correct food from three available options. For example, you may be asked to choose among milk, hay, or carrot to feed a zebra. Once you have selected the correct food for an animal, the game will show you the next animal in line.
Things get a bit quirky in the fourth game. All of a sudden, you see scary shadows in a dark room. When you turn on the lights, you will see that the shadows actually belong to cute and friendly monsters. The main goal of this game is for juniors to get used to darkness, and to face their fears.
The fifth game is a simple game that teaches juniors to be aware of their surroundings by cleaning up with a broom or a vacuum cleaner.
The last game is a fun slider game. Here you will see three animal parts: head, body, and feet. For example, you may see the head of a raccoon, the body of a cat, and the feet of a panda. You can then slide each part to the left or right. The idea is to find the correct match for any animal. It’s a great game for juniors to recognize many animals.
Parents Need to Know
Once you have selected a game to play, you will play that game endlessly until you hit the back button on the top left corner of the screen. Each game has more than six different items to be shown randomly each time so most juniors wouldn’t get bored too quickly.
You can use the games to introduce your juniors to good daily habits, such as maintaining a healthy diet or taking care of their pets. For example, in the first game you can introduce them to healthy foods such as broccoli and tomato. Hopefully by showing how these fruits and vegetables are grown and harvested, your juniors will be interested to include these healthy foods in their diets.
The animal feeding activity can also influence juniors to take care of their pets or just animals in general. They can also learn that different animals eat different things.
Things I Like
Because the games are very simple in nature, they do not require any tutorial or narrative explanation. There is no learning curve to play the games as all of them only use simple taps. This fits nicely with the target audience of this app.
To accompany juniors as they play, the developers added a fun musical background. Again, the games do not include any narrative when you select objects. For example, when you tap on a strawberry you won’t hear its name. This allows you to play the games regardless of your native tongue. For example, when I play with my sons I can name the fruits, vegetables, and animals in Indonesian or Mandarin instead of English.
DuckieDeck Collection is a great collection of mini games for juniors. I like that the app allows kids to explore their habits, surroundings, and even their own fears. The decision to exclude any narrative helps make this game playable by juniors around the world.
Get DuckieDeck Collection on the App Store.
Note: Thank you to the wonderful folks at Duckie Deck for sharing the app with us.