Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Moose & Zee Alphabet on iPhone Impression

Moose & Zee Alphabet App
The iPhone offers up a ton of applications for kids but are they worth the price or worth handing to kids? As a father of a young child who loves my iPhone as he thinks it’s a kid’s toy only I’m often on the hunt for Apps that are educational. This search can be costly even at $1-5 a pop per App. Recently I came across an App from Nickelodeon that fulfills my desire for not only education but for something I’ve seen on TV for a long time to finally be interactive.

Nick Jr. offers up a ton of educational shows from Dora to Wonder Pets. Each show teaches something different but it’s what happens in between that my kids love and that’s the puzzle time events of Moose & Zee, the colorful mascots for Nick Jr. One particular game has kids looking for shapes in a picture and while fun it’s not interactive, kids cannot actually pick by touch the shapes. No longer an issue with this new App.

Moose & Zee Alphabet is an application that takes these puzzles and makes them interactive. It’s quite simple. The game begins as Moose explains the big and little letter to kids then shows them a puzzle in the wonderful design seen on TV where there are hidden letters that must be touched. Simple premise, one seen on TV but it works.

Does it teach? Yes, it teaches the entire alphabet and offers up bright and colorful puzzles that make kids think and not just stare at the TV. The use of Moose, his voice, and the art style will feel comfortable and familiar to kids as I’ve seen them have no problem jumping into this educational adventure. The price tag of two dollars is well worth it also.

This being said the best activity for a child is still active, physical activities with their parents but when stuck in a doctor’s office, or on the go and looking to distract a child, doing it with a familiar, easy to use application that teaches at the same time is the way to go. Overall this father of two highly recommends this particular application as it’s not mindless. Use it in moderation and if your kids show no interest in puzzle time on TV, well then it may not be what you are looking for.

More to learn? While I’ve only used Moose & Zee Alphabet it’s not the only App by Nick. There are quite a few more that require exploration but know this. Nick does quality content, products and they are keeping the price point low which is very nice. As parents you know if your kids like these characters so there is no blind buying. Check out all the Apps from Nick and let us know your thoughts as parents.

More to watch? On a very related note I do get irritated with the re-running of so many episodes of the kids favorite Nick Jr. shows. The warmer weather helps as we can get out and play but these repeated episodes just get old. The answers, pick up a DVD, but which one? The new Backyardigans: Escape from the Tower if fun and original fun from imaginative group with three new episodes and a very annoying Fresh Beat Band episode (bad show folks). A good DVD, yes, but looking at bang for your buck check out the Earth Day-inspired Nick Jr. Favorites: Go Green! This is a great DVD as it has six episodes, one each for Dora Diego, Yo Gabba Gabba, Blue’s Clues, Wonder Pets! and Ni Hao, Kai-lan. Six episodes, 144 minutes, it’s rock solid.

So that does it for now. Video games and video game related content are the name of the game in this space, but seeing the power of the iPhone and other mobile devices to teach our kids, in a game format, well it just bears talking about and I hope to bring back more info soon from a fathers standpoint.

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