Saturday, March 7, 2015

Dino Tales App Review

Dino Tales is a new educational app aimed at children aged 4-10 years old. It works on iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.

We were asked to put Dino Tales to the test and review our experience - having three children aged 6, 8 and 10 we reckoned we could give it a good going over!

Here's what Dino Tales themselves have to say about the app:

Kids can customise and control a baby dinosaur to explore a rich 3D island filled with dinosaurs, plants and fossils. The game has been created with educational specialists and tested with pupils and teachers across 25 primary schools in UK. There are 6 characters to try, as well as plenty of games and activities (lava slides, rock bowling, scary cave and more).

Dino Tales unique features:

  • Children can create a digital Storybook from their adventure, which can then be shared and read with an adult.
  • Parents can set playing time limits, reading age and receive the Storybook via email every time the kids play.
  • Kuato’s (KAGE) technology powers the game - adjusts the language evolves according to the user age group as they progress.
  • Includes an interactive dino guide (named Darwin) to whom kids can ask questions such as “how fast can a T-Rex run?” via special Word Wheels.

I set the game up at the lowest end of my children's ages so that they could all play on it. I'm not sure how this effects the KAGE technology - but they all seemed very happy with the options available to them. 

Baxter (6) has had a bumpy start to his reading education so anything that encourages reading, vocabulary and story-telling is a hit with me. The problem is most of the apps in this area are ones that he bores of within seconds, and no matter how I present them there is just no tricking him into playing them. 

That was the first difference I noticed about Dino Tales - the balance of 'play' and reading meant that he didn't even realise that there was an educational side to it. (*Insert evil laugh here).

Marley and Kaya both really enjoyed the customising their own dinosaurs, Kaya loved creating her own storybook and Marley was interesting in all the fossil facts he picked up.

There are often fights between the boys about who gets to play on our family iPad first, but they seemed quite happy to explore this one together, with Marley helping Baxter out on some of the words he couldn't make out.

Setting the time limit option is also a great way to ensure they both get their fair share of time on it - and also that Mum doesn't let five minutes turn into fifty just because she's having a sneaky coffee in the kitchen...

The cost of the Dino Tales app is £2.99 which is more than I would normally spend on an app, but given it's educational function and the ability to 'grow' as your child does it's actually money well spent. The graphics are also really amazing. 

If you'd like a good look around before you buy here is Kaya's run down on some of the functions...

Disclosure: I have been paid expenses and supplied with a product sample for this review but retain all editorial control. 
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