...teaching your kids spatial recognition while having fun!
All Aboard the Dinosaur Train! by PBS Kids is an iPad app that kids enjoy regardless if they watch the television show it is patterned after. Dinosaur Train is a very popular children’s show and the app will be every bit as popular.
This video pretty much shows you how the Dinosaur Train game is played. Your child looks at the car that opens, it’s configuration, shape and size and decides which of the dinosaurs roaming the train platform will best fit. What the video does not show you is that if they choose wrong they are gently prompted into selecting the correct dinosaur. The narrator might say something like, “Oh so close!” Look for a dinosaur that is longer!” While a small dinosaur can certainly fit into a large car it is not an efficient use of space and that choice will be judged incorrect and the player will be prompted to try again.
The illustrations, colors and musical score are all reminiscent of the TV show by the same name. It is bright, colorful and fun and your child will not have to be prompted to play. The play is very intuitive while teaching at the same time. With younger children you might need to guide them at first but they will grasp the hang of it in no time.
The number of dinosaurs increases as your child progresses through the levels. Completion of each level is rewarded with one of the items of a conductor’s uniform. Get them all right and you are given a special code to enter into a box on their website for a special prize.
This is something we had mixed feeling about in the app. We commend PBS on not permitting immediate access from the app to the Internet. Although they could have handled how to redeem the code better. First they gave us a very long, hard to remember URL. This URL is not copyable in the app so we had to write the 57-character long URL down to be able to type it into a browser. We went to the Safari browser on our iPad with the kids…. typed in all 57 characters… and discover that the PBS site is totally FLASH-enabled so it won’t work! You sent us from an iPad app to a Flash-enabled site? Okay, so we had to go find a free PC to be able to find out just what the tiny testers had won. Well when we finally typed the URL in again (hopefully they’ll shorten it) we discovered that it allowed us to print a coloring page. It is a cute conductor’s hat for the kids to color, cut out and hold on their heads with a string. I am sure the kids will love them when they’re all done, but they weren’t ready to stop playing on the iPads to make them and by now they were oh so over it. Perhaps next time.
This app, regardless of the Flash faux pas, is a fun way for children to learn spatial relationships while having fun. It allows them to play either alone or with a friend, which is a bonus. Social interaction coupled with learning fun is a great combination and one big reason I encourage families to invest in an iPad to begin with. The All Aboard the Dinosaur Train app is a good combination of both. I am sure that the kids will grab that app to play many times, a mark of a good app that is well worth its price. So go ahead, if you have a young child trying to grasp spacial relationships this app is perfect for them, so download All Aboard the Dinosaur Train iPad app now. The kids will enjoy it and learn without even realizing it.
http://to.pbs.org/dinoallaboard // The Dinosaur Train is getting ready to leave and needs passengers! The problem is that dinosaurs come in different sizes, so your child needs to match the passengers with the right train cars. Two-player mode lets kids play with a friend, sibling or caregiver.
“All Aboard the Dinosaur Train!” challenges your child to problem-solve by estimating dinosaur sizes and comparing them with the train cars’ capacity. Each passenger only fits in certain train cars. Players will see dinosaurs walking on and off the platform and can move them to the right train car. As the game progresses, there are more dinosaurs to match, and the matches get more challenging.
Players who complete all of the rounds successfully win a code for a special prize they can unlock on http://www.pbskids.org!