Ansel and Clair: Triassic Dinosaurs

App review by
Dana Anderson, Common Sense Media
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Third in super, interactive dino trilogy is big, big fun.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn about the dinosaurs of the Triassic Period with Ansel and Clair: Triassic Dinosaurs. This app goes far beyond the typical lesson that includes a dinosaur's name and size and whether it's an herbivore or a carnivore to include everything from how dinosaurs protect themselves and the life cycle of a fern to how kids should pronounce complicated dinosaur names and how paleontologists safely dig for dinosaur bones. Ansel and Clair: Triassic Dinosaurs is an excellent way for kids to dig into dinosaurs. 

Ease of Play

There's an excellent parent section under the "?" tab that reviews the main features page by page. Tap the "i" icons to view information or art, and the "x" icon and arrows show kids how to move from one scene to another. A tracker icon indicates all objects on the screens that offer interactivity. Younger kids might get frustrated by having to push the red "x" every time they want to move onto the next feature, so parents may want to remind them about that. Most visually based directions (such as giant dinosaur "fingers" showing kids how to tap with one or two fingers) require no reading.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

There's an Ansel and Clair tab on the main page, but you need to solve a math problem before it will move you to the App Store for purchase.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Ansel and Clair: Triassic Dinosaurs is the third in a trilogy of dinosaur apps featuring time-traveling characters Ansel and Clair. In this app, Ansel and Clair (who also are the main characters in other apps about different subjects) are visiting the Triassic Period to learn about dinosaurs from that time, including the plateosaurus, ichthyosaur, and the eodromaeus (the earliest ancestor of the Tyrannosaurus rex!). Kids don't need to be able to read to play the fun games and learn a lot about dinosaurs with this interactive app. Ansel and Clair: Triassic Dinosaurs is a very well designed learning experience for dinosaur-loving kids that will both delight them and inspire them to learn even more.

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What's it about?

Kids can go on a dusty dinosaur dig with a friendly cartoon paleontologist, Dr. Bones, or travel back in time to the Triassic Period with the unique dinosaurs that lived during this time and see Pangea, the supercontinent. After creating an account, kids begin on the main page and decide what they'd like to do: listen to fun facts, feed a dinosaur, take pictures, use stickers, or write in a journal. They can even build their own dinosaurs and complete a puzzle to learn about the life cycle of ferns.

Is it any good?

ANSEL AND CLAIR: TRIASSIC DINOSAURS engages kids in a way that allows them to absorb complex information about life in the times of the dinosaurs without overwhelming them with heavy vocabulary or too many details. 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 the other Ansel and Clair dinosaur apps, reflecting the unique conditions of this period. If there's one bone to pick, it may be with the over-the-top background music and the song that plays during the introduction and at various points in the game. This can be turned off, which makes for a much more calm, focused experience. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why it's important to study creatures that aren't around anymore. What can dinos tell us about today's animals?

  • Lots of kids have a favorite dinosaur; use the app to see if a particular dino appeals to your kid.

App details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love dinos

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