Ansel and Clair: Triassic Dinosaurs

Common Sense Media says

Third in super, interactive dino trilogy is big, big fun.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

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
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
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
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

No privacy or safety issues, although this app includes a feature by 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: 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.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • following directions
  • vocabulary
  • writing

Science

  • animals
  • geology

Social Studies

  • geography
  • history
  • timelines

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • memorization
  • part-whole relationships
  • solving puzzles

Creativity

  • making new creations

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

This super-engaging app brings dinosaur digs, time travel, and the Triassic Period to life for kids, challenging them to master just-hard-enough facts and vocabulary and offering interactive experiences.

Learning Approach

Kids learn by playing the many activities, listening to clear verbal information, and viewing colorful infographics. Kids also can reinforce what they've learned by taking photos and writing about them in the journal.

Support

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 kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • following directions
  • vocabulary
  • writing

Science

  • animals
  • geology

Social Studies

  • geography
  • history
  • timelines

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • memorization
  • part-whole relationships
  • solving puzzles

Creativity

  • making new creations

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. 

This Learning Rating review was written by Dana Villamagna

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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?

QUALITY
 

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. 

Families can talk 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

Device:iPad
Price:$1.99
Pricing structure:Paid
Release date:February 28, 2013
Category:Education
Topics:Dinosaurs
Size:223.00 MB
Publisher:Cognitive Kid, Inc.
Version:1.1
Minimum software requirements:iOS 5.0 or later

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

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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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.

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