Ansel and Clair: Cretaceous Dinosaurs
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Ansel and Clair: Cretaceous Dinosaurs is part of a trilogy of dinosaur-based learning apps featuring time-traveling characters Ansel and Clair. Here, Ansel and Clair (who also star in a handful of other popular apps) are visiting the Cretaceous Period to learn about dinos from that time, including the Tyrannosaurus rex, the oviraptor, and the sarcosuchus (a giant crocodile!). Kids don't need to be able to read to play the fun games and learn a lot about dinosaurs. This app doesn't currently have the tap animations or the "make-a-dino" game as do the other two Ansel and Clair dino apps, but the developer has indicated that those features will be added in future updates.
What kids can learn
Language & Reading
- following directions
Thinking & Reasoning
- part-whole relationships
- solving puzzles
Engagement, Approach, Support
It's extraordinarily engaging. Playing on this app brings everything from dino digs and time travel to the Cretaceous Period to life, while challenging kids to master just-hard-enough facts and vocabulary and offering interactive experiences.
Kids learn by doing the many activities, listening to clear voice-overs, and viewing colorful infographics. Kids also can reinforce what they've learned by taking photos and writing about them in the in-app journal.
Clear instructions and visual prompts help kids navigate the features. For kids with reading challenges, this app may be especially user-friendly, as it requires no reading and is visually intuitive.
What's it about?
Create a user account and watch the cool intro. Ansel and Clair talk about each dino in detail and often instruct kids to do something interactive after the explanation, such as swiping away sand from the oviraptor or helping out another with his sneezing problem. Tap the backpack or journal to add photos or write a note about your favorite dinosaurs. You also can go on a dusty dig or travel back in time to the flowery Cretaceous Period with the dinosaurs, while a globe shows the continents split into Gondwanaland and Laurasia. Watch a volcano erupt and start a meteor shower, and then learn about why scientists believe meteors, not volcanoes, played a role in dinosaur extinction.
Is it any good?
After playing with this highly interactive, colorful, and fascinating app, don't be surprised if your kid wants the other two apps in this series. Although this one is missing a couple of features, it's still just as good as the others. Kids will be tickled by funny features such as the Kosmoceratops, who "sneezes" all over your kid's mobile device's screen; he or she will have to wipe away the dino snot. It's not all that educational but sure to prompt lots of silly giggles. Even with this goofy fun stuff, ANSEL AND CLAIR: CRETACEOUS DINOSAURS offers lots of learning.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about why we continue to learn about dinosaurs even though they're not around anymore. Why is it important to understand our earth's past?
Help your kids use the pronunciation hints to say the name of each dinosaur correctly. Ask them why they think dinos had such long, funny names.