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Highlights Monster Day: Play at Home Game for my Preschooler

June 3, 2016

By: Carisa Kluver

The Digital Media Diet

Spend the day with a baby monster doing daily activities until bedtime.

Welcome to Highlights Monster Day: Play at Home Game for my Preschooler. It's a new app in the Highlights education series, featuring games on every page that take young pre-readers on a journey from day to night. Fans of the magazine (packed with games, puzzles and articles for children) will not be disappointed in this digital offering. Monster Day is pure fun for pre-readers, while also being an exceptional wordless picture book in app form.

Monster Day is a hybrid between a game and a book. I could imagine it in print as a pop-up book without text. On the opening screen youngsters get to choose a monster "child" from five options. They will then find this cute creature asleep in bed. Tap the clock to set off the alarm and tap the shades to open them up to a bright sun. This wakes up the little monster for a day of adventure. Ten pages follow, with turn arrows at the top of each screen. Photos can also be taken of any scene. The baby monster then continues on a variety of daily activities, including brushing teeth, getting dressed, going to school and eating meals. In the final scene pre-readers can tap the monster to send him back to sleep (after brushing teeth again, of course).

This cycle of daily activities is well designed and educational for young children who are just beginning to understand the routines of the day. These learning activities are fun, especially things like getting dressed and brushing teeth. The school scenes are a bit random and repetitive with tapping but overall, this is a deeply engaging app with real educational value. Wordless and textless, this app is also ideal for eliciting expressive language in young children when co-viewing with an adult or older child. It's also likely to elicit surprise and giggles for all ages, with cute monster noises and a wealth of activities to occupy youngsters. Most children will want to replay this app often, giving it lasting value.

Ultimately, this is a charming app for the under five set, featuring the solid educational sensibility of Highlights Magazine. The digital design is seamless, including engaging features like cute monster noises and intuitive interactive elements. Many of the activities develop fine motor skills, too. But the true storytime value in this app can be found in the smiles and laughter it elicits within a rich learning environment.

Preschool children in particular will enjoy the chance to go through the daily routine of a school-aged monster, learning the structure of a day they may have in the future. Common activities, like waking up & brushing teeth, anchor the storyline in familiar territory for young readers with tantalizing scenes added like riding the school bus. This normalizes the routines and helps young children prepare for developmental milestones. It could also be helpful for special needs children, reinforcing the regular cycle of the day. Bedtime "reading" is also recommended because the app ends perfectly with a scene in bed when the monster is ready for sleep. Ending the day this way could be a great night-time routine for your little monster!

Highly Recommended!

Available for Google-Play, Amazon & Apple devices.

This app has been thoroughly evaluated by our staff. Please click on the 'star ratings' tab above, to see how it fared in all nine of our rating categories. See synopsis tab for more details about the storyline.

Note to readers: This review was expedited by the developer for a fee. The content of the rating/review is the same, but timing of publication has been prioritized.

All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.

 







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Highlights Monster Day: Play at Home Game for my Preschooler

June 3, 2016

By: Carisa Kluver

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Author/Illustrator:
Highlights

Developer:
Highlights for Children, Inc.

Length (time):
8 - 12 Minutes

Based on non-digital book: No

Allows Own Narration:
No

Uses Motion: No

Age: 2 - 5 +

Languages:
English • French • Spanish •German •Italian •Japanese •Dutch •

Length (pages):
10 Pages

 

Story Synopsis - Highlights Monster Day: Play at Home Game for my Preschooler

From iTunes:

Welcome to a day in the life of a lovable monster! Choose your favorite friend and care for him from morning till night: brush his big yellow teeth, feed him bagels, help with his science experiment and play basketball. Then, wash and feed your monster and gently put him to sleep.

Help your preschooler learn about friendship, explore the world around them, and develop compassion, kindness and independence with Highlights Monster Day. From Highlights for Children, the brand parents trust!

Highlights Monster Day is designed and developed by Italian creative studio Colto.

Kids will benefit from: 

* Meaningful lessons about everyday life
* Confidence in making decisions as they care for their monster
* Creativity and curiosity as they explore everyday activities
* Development of fine motor skills
* Emotional growth in compassion and kindness
* Security of an ad-free environment with no in-app purchases 

Features: 

* Five friendly monsters to choose from
* Up to thirteen morning, school and after-school activities
* Breakfast, lunch and dinner activities 
* Photo feature in every scene

Highlights Monster Day is the ideal first app for kids 2+, and easy for kids to play on their own.

More on Highlights Monster Day:

PROMOTES CARING VALUES
This game is based on the positive values of kindness, compassion and friendship, and inspires kids to think about others. In the game, the player makes friends with a monster and cares for him. This builds character and confidence in young children by making them feel good about themselves.

PROVIDES MEANINGFUL LEARNING

The game portrays monsters in the context of a child's everyday routine, so lessons such as regularly brushing teeth and going to school are relevant.

DEVELOPS FINE MOTOR SKILLS

In the game, children tap, swipe, complete circle rotations, drag and drop, and pump levers. Some activities require quick reflexes on these actions. These activities and finger motions improve fine motor skills for preschoolers.

ENCOURAGES EXPLORATION

Young children can have fun discovering 16 different scenes in the daily life of 5 different monsters, including ringing an alarm clock to wake him up, feeding him exotic fruit for breakfast and investigating semi-precious stones in geology at school.

INCLUDES PHOTO FEATURE

Take photos of favorite activities in your monster’s day and save them in your device's photo gallery.

 

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Orientation: Landscape

Format: Universal

Options:

Choose Monster, Play, Links: None

App Release Date:
2016-05-24

 






Size: 26.82 MB

Version: 1.0.1

Lite Version Available: No

 

 

Highlights Monster Day: Play at Home Game for my Preschooler

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