Global phenomenon Dora has gone on many adventures, and she’s not stopping any time soon. Just last month, Nickelodeon launched a new TV series called Dora and Friends: Into the City, which follows ten-year-old Dora at the center of her peer group in the magical city of Playa Verde.
Naturally, an app also followed: Dora and Friends. It’s a digital story maker that features the cast and scenes from Into the City, as well as up to four characters that kids can customize on their own.
To begin, kids create up to four custom characters to join Dora’s group. There’s a nice selection of hairstyle and colors, skin colors, eye colors, and clothes that they can use to create boy and girl friends. They can also name their new characters.
Next, kids can choose from ten locations from the series, including the Arco Iris Cafe, the beach, and the magical cave. They can place up to six characters in a scene, as well as various props such as cameras, blankets, and food. To spice things up, they can also select from several Latin-influenced musical tracks from the series.
To record, they simply tap on the record button. The app lets them record for up to a minute, during which they can move the characters around while narrating the story. The recording can then be saved to the app and to the device’s camera roll.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the app only saves up to ten recordings. If you want to keep your child’s older recordings, you have to export them to your device’s camera roll. One thing to note is due to the app having to deal with video processing, it may not run as fast on older devices.
The app doesn’t have ads or in-app purchases. There are links to Nickelodeon’s other apps, but they are protected.
Things I Like
Dora and Friends is easy to use. It includes an audio guide by Dora herself, making the app accessible by non-readers. If your child is running low on story ideas, they can tap on the lightbulb to listen to helpful tips.
As your child plays, you’ll notice the little details that make the app fun to use. Characters can interact with props; for example, you can have them sit down on blankets or eat ice cream. They can also dance to the music while carrying other props.
The backgrounds are also dynamic. When you pan left or right, you’ll find that some objects can move in or out of the scene. There are also objects that you can tap for the background to magically change, which is useful for adding layers to your child’s story.
Speaking of storytelling, you can use the app to empower your child to create their own stories. Plan a story together with them, and have each of you control your own characters. This way, you can help build listening skills atop quality family time.
Dora and Friends is a digital story maker that features school-aged Dora and her friends. Kids can also create their own characters, and record stories about them in various scenes taken from the series. There are many little details that make the app fun to use, even for kids who are not familiar with Dora. Recommended for ages three and up.
App was provided for our honest review.