Ansel and Clair: Jurassic Dinosaurs

 
(i)

 

Learning(i)

Dig into the stellar second app in time-travel trilogy.

What parents need to know

Ease of play

There's an excellent parent section under the "?" tab that reviews the main features of the game page by page. Tap the "i" icons to view information and art, and an "x" icon and arrows show kids how to move from one scene to another. A tracker icon indicates all objects on the screens that have interactions. It can be frustrating for younger kids that they must click on the red "x" before they're allowed to move on to the next feature, so parents may need to make sure they understand that. Kids can take photos and insert them in an in-app Travel Log, located in a backpack on the screen kids can tap. Other visual directions (such as giant dinosaur "fingers" showing kids to tap with one or two fingers) require no reading.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

There's an Ansel and Clair "more apps" tab on the main page, but you need to solve a math problem (known as a parental gate) before it will move you to the App Store for purchase.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

Minor privacy or safety issues. This app includes a feature in which kids can email their created dinosaurs, so parents need to be aware that unsupervised kids could be sending dinosaurs to people in your address book via the email account on your mobile device. 

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Ansel and Clair: Jurassic Dinosaurs is the second in a trilogy of dinosaur apps featuring time-traveling characters Ansel and Clair. Here, Ansel and Clair (who are also the main characters in other apps about different subjects) are visiting the Jurassic Period to learn about seven dinosaurs from that time, including the allosaurus, brachiosaurus, and stegosaurus. Kids don't need to be able to read to play the fun games and learn a lot about the good ol' dino days. Note: The app does allow kids access to email on the iPad for sending dino pics.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • following directions
  • vocabulary
  • writing

Science

  • geology
  • animals

Social Studies

  • geography
  • history
  • timelines

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • memorization
  • part-whole relationships
  • solving puzzles

Creativity

  • making new creations

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

It's extraordinarily engaging. Kids actually dig for dinosaur bones and then time-travel to the Jurassic Period to interact with live dinos -- they'll be captivated.

Learning Approach

Kids learn by playing the many activities, listening to clear verbal information, interacting with fossils and real dinos, taking photos, keeping a journal, and viewing colorful and handy infographics.

Support

Clear instructions and visual prompts help kids navigate this app's features. For kids with reading challenges, this app may be especially user-friendly, as it requires no reading and is visually intuitive. 

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • following directions
  • vocabulary
  • writing

Science

  • geology
  • animals

Social Studies

  • geography
  • history
  • timelines

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • memorization
  • part-whole relationships
  • solving puzzles

Creativity

  • making new creations

Kids can learn about paleontology, geography, geology, and the dinosaurs of the Jurassic Period. This app goes far beyond the typical lessons about a dinosaur's name, size, and herbivore/carnivore status -- it includes everything from how dinosaurs hunt, protect themselves, and find a mate to how kids should pronounce complicated dinosaur names and how paleontologists safely dig for bones. Ansel and Clair: Jurassic Dinosaurs involves kids in the process of digging up dino bones and then lets them time-travel to interact with live dinosaurs -- it's awesome.

This Learning Rating review was written by Dana Villamagna

User reviews

Parents say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

Kids say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

What's it about?

Kids join alien Ansel and his computer sidekick Clair as they visit a dusty dinosaur dig with a friendly cartoon paleontologist, Dr. Bones. By helping Dr. Bones dig up bones, they're able to travel back in time to the leafy, larger-than-life Jurassic Period to see seven dinosaur species. As they explore, kids listen to fun facts, feed a dinosaur, take pictures, use stickers, and write in a journal. They can even build their own dinosaur. The app offers plenty of dino-pointers and trackers to tap and learn information. By tapping the on-screen backpack, kids access their journals to add their photos or write a note about your favorite dinosaurs. ANSEL AND CLAIR: JURASSIC DINOSAURS is an interactive, fun way to learn about dinosaurs of the Jurassic Period.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Ansel and Clair: Jurassic Dinosaurs allows kids to absorb complex information about life in the time of the dinosaurs without overwhelming them with too many details or complex vocab. There's even a pronunciation hint that appears above dinosaurs so kids can learn how to say those giant-size names correctly, syllable by syllable. The continents on the globe, the landscape, and the depth of the dinosaur dig all are different from those in the other Ansel and Clair dinosaur apps, reflecting the unique conditions of this period. The app has background music that can be turned off. Ansel and Clair: Jurassic Dinosaurs is a very well designed, interactive learning experience for dinosaur-loving kids that will both delight and inspire them to learn more.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why it's important to study creatures that lived so long ago. What can you learn about today's animals by looking at dinosaurs? 

  • Help your kid use the pronunciation hints to say the name of each dinosaur correctly.

  • Hide plastic dinosaurs in sand so your kids can dig them up.

App details

Devices:iPad, Apps for Windows
Price:$1.99
Pricing structure:Paid
Release date:January 24, 2013
Category:Education
Topics:Dinosaurs
Size:220.00 MB
Publisher:Cognitive Kid, Inc.
Version:1.0
Minimum software requirements:iOS 5.0 or later

This review of Ansel and Clair: Jurassic Dinosaurs was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Write a user reviewThere aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?
Thanks – we appreciate your feedback!

Digital Compass