In the spirit of the pirate-y presence felt in the Keys, I decided to post about two AWESOME new FREE apps that I heard about when a Disney representative contacted me last week. You know I can be a harsh critic on apps for the preschool set, but Disney outdid themselves on their two newest apps for Disney Junior viewers – Jake’s Neverland Pirate School and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Road Rally.
First up is Jake’s Neverland Pirate School for fans of Disney Junior’s Jake and the Neverland Pirate television program. (Note: For those of you who have yet to see this show, it has all the familiarity of Peter Pan, but with a nicer Captain Hook and more responsible Neverland kids. I can honestly say it is my favorite kid’s program on TV, and I have a deep affection for the rocking music by Sharkey and Bones that accompanies each episode.)
Jake’s Neverland Pirate School has four training areas: Sailing, Maps, Music, and Pixie Dust. Each of these trainings were easy enough for Buddy, my three-year-old, to maneuver, and when he had trouble, the app had assistance/prompting built in to help him. As a parent, this is a major plus for me because it means I can distract him for a few minutes while I do some chores or tend to his brother. Buddy seems to like the Maps training the best, which is a virtual seek and find. I enjoy making music in the music section, and we all enjoyed sailing the ship, shooting cannons, and working our way through mazes with some pixie dust. There are 12 activities in all on this app – certainly not a lite version!
Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Road Rally has also been a major hit with both boys. One of the features I have always enjoyed about the Mickey Mouse programming is how interactive it is (Yes, I’ve enjoyed versions of this show ever since I was a kid. I would get up crazy early and Mousercize. Didn’t you?). If you watch Mickey Mouse with a child, chances are they will answer Mickey’s questions by screaming at your TV. This app changes the whole viewing experience… It features a full-length episode, but instead of the interactions being limited to children talking to a screen, they actually have control over helping Mickey with various tasks on his mission. I’ve always thought that Mickey Mouse Clubhouse had a clear education element, but this app makes the real difference in assessing children’s comprehension of Mickey’s requests.
I want to thank Disney for offering some high-quality free apps that my whole family can enjoy. The email I received said more apps are to come – I’m thrilled if they maintain this quality!
I did not receive any compensation for writing this post. All views expressed in this post are my own. I really do think these apps are AWESOME for the 2-6 year old set.