Tuesday, 4 February 2014

New App Review for Pre-Schoolers: Jonty - The Dinosaur Who Could Not Go to Sleep

My daughter has been testing out a beautiful new App called “Jonty – The DinosaurWho Could Not Go to Sleep”.  When I first saw the title I felt like replacing ‘Jonty’ with her name, to be honest!

This is a very cute story about a lively young dinosaur that has trouble getting to sleep at bedtime.  The story is fully interactive so your child can help to get Jonty to sleep, encouraging ‘invisible learning’ while having fun at the same time. 
My little one, who is 3 ½, loved that she could get involved in the story and make the characters move and interact with other items on the page.  I can’t really count the times that we’ve played it but the fact that she goes back to it over and over again, finding new things to do each time is wonderful.  She loves me to read it her as well as have it read to her by the narrator.  For her, getting to interact with the characters on the page really brings the story to life.
You can interact with the app in these four ways:

  1. Choose to have the story read to you by a narrator.
  2. Read it yourself.  If your child gets stuck on reading a word you can tap on individual words to have them read out by the narrator. 
  3. If you would prefer to not interact with the story at all then you can select the ‘Auto Play’ option.
  4. In the creative ‘Add To Story’ mode, you can drag and drop additional items onto the page, such as a rainbow or a robot.  For each page, you can also record your own audio in this mode.

We used the app on an iPad Mini and my daughter finds it very easy to use and interact with.  I like that even in the ‘read to me’ mode, you can press on the words which are highlighted briefly and then read back to you.  This means my daughter can say the word out aloud and learn to recognise it too.
The animated images are lovely and perfect for both goys and girls.  The interaction throughout the story also helps your child with problem solving skills as they actively help Jonty to get to sleep.
No personal information is collected via the app and it contains no ads or in-app purchases.  This really appeals to me because I don’t like the idea of my personal information being shared with 3rd parties and in-app purchases really ruin game play.  The fear in the back of my mind that she will somehow learn my iTunes password and download apps and ring up a huge bill is also put to rest.

I would highly recommend this App for little ones who are just learning to read.  It is especially good for children who don’t like to read as it encourages them to interact in a very different way whilst still learning new words and holding their attention at the same time.  I really hope that there are a few more of these to come as they are really lovely and are a great way of introducing the skill of being able to read to a pre-schooler.

The App costs £2.99 and is available via the Apple App Store.  An eBook version, for Kindle fire and Apple devices is also available.

Ally x

Find out more here:

Note: We were sent the App free of charge for my little one to put through it’s paces and give her views on.  All opinions are our own.

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