Why we love this app
Did someone say simple? This app has mastered the art of stepping the user through setup options, while still giving plenty of control over the story elements they select. This is especially true for the 'Director's Pass' version selected for this review, which lets you not only select from 15 categories and over 70 pre-made characters, but also lets the user add anything from your own camera roll into the mix. Another advantage is that movies can be saved to the camera roll unlike some apps that only let you share through their website. Most of all, the app instantly give educators insight into the developing abilities of the child-creators.
What it teaches and how it works
Puppet Pals teaches digital storytelling in the simplest of ways: by setting kids up and the letting them play and explore. Start by choosing one or more characters (you can choose up to eight). Next, choose the background that you like. You can choose more than one, great for stories that change settings. Next, you record your story. With each background you can move multiple characters on or off stage. Press record to tell the story of the scene, and your story is created!
Why your kid won't be able to put it down
Because all the app requires once characters and backdrops are selected is for learners to tap the red button and then speak and move characters with their fingers, kids will keep coming back purely for the joy of easily making videos they can then share. At an age when feedback is especially important, the instant playback of recorded puppet shows helps them understand what it means to make meaning. Puppet Pals encourages kids to talk and talk, and gives them the subject matter to inspire them. All the while, it helps them to create great looking videos that can be shared with family.
|appoLearning Report Card||
|Features specific educational objectives|
|Fosters critical thinking|
|Adapts to kids' skill level|
|Intellectually stimulating for children|
|Instructions are clear and simple|
|Well-suited to age group|
|Assesses progress and proficiency|
|Parents and teachers can assess progress|
|Features and Design|
|Unique in its concept, design and approach|
|Engaging design and repeatable content|
|Excellent value for price|
|Doesn't require additional in-app spending|
|Safety and Privacy|
|Doesn't expose kids to external services or advertisers|
|Doesn't ask for personal data|
Report Card Methodology
Our experts evaluate apps based on factors such as educational efficacy, kid appeal and privacy.
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