Jim Henson’s Chatter Zoo [iOS Review]

chatter_zoo_iconJim Henson’s Chatter Zoo is a developmental learning app from Mindshapes Limited. In the app, kids are tasked with taking care of four adorable little baby animals, Franny the baby cheetah, Bailey the baby elephant, Pip the baby wallaby and Lulu the baby panda. The app is meant for children between the ages of 24 months to 42 months and allows for children to teach these baby animals how to do everyday things that they themselves are in the process of learning. There are 4 different types of scenarios your kids can go through, each having to do with activities that your kids probably perform on an every day basis.

Graphically, the app is very good. All elements are rendered in 3D with vibrant colors and full animations. This really brings the characters to life and allows for better interaction with very short load times so kids don’t lose interest while waiting. The main highlight of the app is the audio, despite how great the graphics are. The Audio really takes the spotlight here with full audio sound effects, character sounds, and full narration. There’s even playful music in the menus and activity selection screen.

Chatter Zoo, like I said above, includes 4 scenarios. There are two interactive stories they can participate in featuring both day and night time activities children would perform, and there are two activities they can jump into as well – feeding the animal babies and bathing them. Each activity and interactive story is fully narrated and encourages children to participate by performing specific tasks before they can progress. The interactive stories are neat because they deal with a lot of the things baby do form the time they wake up to the the time they fall asleep. These deal with many of the things children who play this game are already dealing with in real life so it’s cool that it deals with things they can relate too.

I really like Jim Henson’s Chatter Zoo. My daughter loves this game and she’s been playing it ever since I downloaded it to her iPad. She hums along with the songs and even repeats a lot of what the narrator says. She does all the activities and plays the game over and over again. As a rule though, not all kids are going to like the same apps, so even though my daughter thought this app was awesome, your kids may not. With kids, I’ve learned that it’s basically trial and error when it comes to apps they’ll like or dislike. Luckily for me, mine liked this one.

App Store Link: Jim Henson’s Chatter Zoo
Version: 1.0.0
Developer: Mindshapes Limited
Price: $1.99
Compatible Devices: (Universal App) iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation), iPod touch (5th generation) and iPad. Requires iOS 5.0 or later. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.

Description

Welcome to Chatter Zoo! Our babies need you!

Jim Henson’s Chatter Zoo is an app for the littlest kids (24 to 42 months) featuring four adorable animal babies in their all-baby habitat.

FEATURES:

* Four cute baby animals to be nurtured and cared for: Franny the baby cheetah, Bailey the baby elephant, Pip the baby wallaby and Lulu the baby panda

* Feeding time with the babies: help feed the babies their favorite foods

* Bath time fun with the babies after a busy day of playing

* Two exciting interactive stories about a day in the life of the Chatter Zoo babies!

Jim Henson’s Chatter Zoo weaves stories and activities together to take a child through the familiar routine of a baby’s day, playing, learning, and teaching as they go.

Download Jim Henson’s Chatter Zoo now, and discover a world of educational fun!

IT’S EMPOWERING TO BE IN CHARGE

The big idea of Chatter Zoo is simple. The kids at home, who are just a little bit older than the zoo babies, get to “take care of” the zoo babies and “teach” them the very skills that they are in the final stages of mastering. In the same way that toddlers love to play “mom” or “dad” to their dolls and stuffed animals, the viewer gets to be the teacher instead of the learner.

This offers them a sense of pride and accomplishment while simultaneously reinforcing the skills they are modeling. Just like adults, little kids love to be the one in the know. This show gives them that opportunity along with the feeling of competency that comes with it.

IT’S GREAT TO PLAY AND LEARN

Chatter Zoo is an interactive experience from start to finish. Behind all of this interaction is a curriculum that supports vocabulary acquisition and early language building. The zoo babies need your help to learn lots of skills, but in order to do this, they must first master the most important skill of all — how to talk!

Each part of the app focuses on a few key words. In every story, the characters use the key words, and then repeat them in a simple song form at the end. The learn and play activities allow the child to interact with objects and learn their names while playing with the babies.

IT FEELS GOOD TO BE ADORED

The zoo babies have a very joyful relationship with the audience at home. Through Direct Address, they communicate with the viewer in order to play with them and to learn from them. The babies also think the viewer is their best, best friend. The characters in Chatter Zoo are not only adorable, they also have a unique relationship with their young audience – they need YOU!

Download Jim Henson’s Chatter Zoo now, and discover a world of educational fun!

[via App Store]

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