With two parents who research the cognitive benefits and concerns for children’s reading of eBooks on tablet devices, my boys have had their fair share of exposure to mobile technology in our household. At 9 months, Little Guy could swipe to unlock an iPad and navigate the touchscreen to find the app he wanted. Buddy, at 4 years old, can, in some ways, use a tablet device much more deftly than me.
I am often, as a researcher, looking for apps that transform the traditional early learning experience for young children into something that would be deemed impossible without the touchscreen interaction. In my opinion, the Disney Appisodes do just that. Instead of children passively “watching” the episodes of their favorite programming, the Disney Appisodes prompt the children to actively respond, which, I’d argue, serves as comprehension checks throughout the experience.
We’ve been a fan of the free Mickey’s Road Rally appisode since its release, so we were thrilled to have the opportunity to review two appisodes featuring Jake and the Neverland Pirates and Doc McStuffins.
The Jake appisode features two shows, “Hide the Hideout” and “Captain Hook’s Hooks”. Children can respond to voice-activated responses, use a spyglass to spy Hook’s ship, use touch technology to help the characters solve their pirate problems, and collect gold doubloons.
The Doc McStuffins appisode features two shows as well, “Rescue Rhonda, Ready for Takeoff” and “A Bad Case of the Pricklethorns”. Children can shoot baskets using touch technology, fly Rhonda by tilting the screen, and help Doc use her medical supplies to fix her stuffed animals’ medical ailments among many other interactions.
Available for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch, these Disney appisodes (and more!) are available for $0-4.99, depending on the appisode. Download the Disney Junior Appisode App to access these interactive programs!