Animal Band ~ 3D Interactive Music Toy

App review by
Amanda Bindel, Common Sense Media
Animal Band ~ 3D Interactive Music Toy App Poster Image
Silly sing-along great for toddlers, except for in-app buys.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can learn classic kid songs which will develop vocabulary and early literacy skills. Playing alongside adults is not only fun but strengthens bonds and further develops literacy skills as well. Kids will also get comfortable using the device as they tap and swipe and see how the animals respond. They'll also see a variety of instruments -- maracas, xylophones, drums, guitars, and cymbals, for example, and hear the sounds they make. Animal Band ~3D Interactive Music Toy isn't a deep learning experience, but it may help kids develop music appreciation and early literacy skills.

Ease of Play

Very easy for toddlers to tap and explore. A sweet monkey narrator invites kids to wake up the sleeping animals. Kids will be delighted to see the animals spin and play when they touch them.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

Two of the five song pairings featured on the home screen require an in-app purchase. Kids will see those songs every time they open the app and scroll through the song options as they are positioned between two song pairings that are included. An icon at the bottom of the screen opens a pop-up with ads for other apps by the developer.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Animal Band ~ 3D Interactive Music Toy is a sweet sing-along experience for toddlers. It includes Twinkle Twinkle, Itsy Bitsy Spider, Row Your Boat, 1 2 3 4 5, Jingle Bells, and Merry Christmas. The songs are paired and set in three different places -- a jungle, a boat, and a winter scene featuring a Christmas tree. Kids scroll through the images to choose a song, and they'll encounter two other song pairs that are only available as an in-app purchase. Old MacDonald and Baa Baa Black Sheep costs $.99 in app, and The Wheels on the Bus and Coming Round the Mountain is also an additional $.99. The characters respond in fun ways to taps and swipes, making this a great exploration app for little ones.

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What's it about?

Kids scroll through the song choices to choose what they want to hear and tap the title. They'll discover a beautiful 3-D scene and a bunch of sleeping animals. Tapping the animals wakes them up, and they'll start singing. Kids have to keep playing with them or they'll fall asleep again. Each animal has its own instrument, and kids will hear their instrument when they tap that animal. Kids will discover other cute animals and surprises clicking around the scenes.

Is it any good?

The songs are sung in a sweet kid voice with easy to follow range and tempo, so kids will sing along. The animals are cute and silly, spinning when swiped and playing their instrument when tapped. Little kids will get a kick out of seeing what happens when they touch the animals and feeling in control of waking them up and keeping them from falling back asleep. Exploring the screen and singing along make for great parent-kid activities, so this is a good toddler app to play together. It's too bad that all of the songs aren't included in the purchase price. Kids can't help but notice the two in-app purchase choices because they're situated right in the middle of the other songs, and the cute graphics and kid song favorites will make them additions kids will want.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Make your own instruments like the animals have from recycled materials and pantry items -- rice or beans in a capped water bottle makes a great shaker -- and play along with the band.

  • Incorporate a song into your bedtime or morning routine. Melting-down toddlers often respond well to a calm singing voice, too.

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