Caillou Let's Pretend

(i)

 

Learning(i)

Repetitive pretend games don't leave much to imagination.

What parents need to know

Ease of play

All instructions are delivered verbally and can get pretty lengthy, which preschoolers may have a hard time paying attention to. The games get more challenging as kids pass the beginning levels.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Caillou Let's Pretend is a preschool-friendly game with three activities: helping grandma in the kitchen, exploring under the sea, and digging for dinosaur bones. Parents can find written instructions explaining the skills being developed in the information section. All instructions for kids are verbal and tend to run a bit long for a preschooler's attention span, especially in the sea game where kids have to identify the fish based on Caillou's verbal description. Once kids master each activity a few times, it gets a bit more challenging. Play continues automatically with the same activity until kids or parents stop and choose another.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • following directions
  • vocabulary

Math

  • shapes

Science

  • animals

Hobbies

  • cooking

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • decision-making
  • thinking critically

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

The characters and voices are all on par with the Caillou characters kids know, and the themes -- dinosaurs, ocean creatures, and cooking -- are high interest for preschoolers.

Learning Approach

Kids are empowered to choose which of the three activities to play. The challenge adapts based on kids' performance, getting more challenging once they've completed a couple of activities. The activities don't offer much depth.

Support

All instructions are delivered verbally, and no hints or examples are offered. Parents can read descriptions of each game and the educational benefit in the informational section.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • following directions
  • vocabulary

Math

  • shapes

Science

  • animals

Hobbies

  • cooking

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • decision-making
  • thinking critically

Kids can learn to follow directions and think critically completing puzzles, matching shapes, and identifying objects. They'll also learn a bit about dinosaurs, undersea animals, and cooking, though not with much depth beyond the names of the animals or foods. The skills focus is on visual discrimination -- matching the shapes of objects, be it shapes of foods or dinosaur bones, or matching verbal descriptions to the sea animals. Though the title stresses pretend play, Caillou Let's Pretend is more about following directions and visual discrimination than imaginative play.

This Learning Rating review was written by Amanda Bindel

Parents say

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What's it about?

Kids choose from three pretend play activities to do with Caillou. In the kitchen, they can find the ingredients Grandma needs to create different recipes. Once kids master that challenge, they'll only be given the shapes of items to find in the kitchen. Under the sea, kids listen carefully for Caillou's description of an animal and then tap the sea creature he's describing. At the museum, kids dig for dinosaur bones and match them to the correct box and then, once all bones are collected, put the dinosaur back together.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

The three activity options give kids a range of choices to explore, but each game becomes repetitive pretty quickly. Grandma's kitchen is good for a few laughs as kids experiment with adding the wrong ingredients, whether intentionally or by accident, to create something that doesn't look so good. Grandma has a disturbing habit of touching her hair frequently while she cooks, which doesn't set a very good example for hygiene, and every dish is prepared the same way: in a mixing bowl, stirred together from a yellow liquid batter, no matter if it's spaghetti and meatballs or a fruit salad. In the sea activity, kids have to listen to Caillou's verbal cues, almost like in a quiz.

The activities don't offer much depth, though they do get a bit more challenging. Although it's a great choice for Caillou fans, kids may prefer apps that offer more depth in any of the activities -- cooking, dinosaurs, or ocean creatures -- or an app that opens up more options for creativity.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about pretend play. Caillou pretends he's a paleontologist and a deep sea diver. Ask kids what they'd like to pretend to be and create your own imaginary world to explore -- playing doctor with dolls and stuffed animals, playing school with a whiteboard and books, or playing restaurant with real or pretend food, for example.

  • Let kids help in the kitchen the way Caillou helps his grandma. Kids can gather ingredients, just as Caillou does, or they can help measure and count, too, practicing early math skills.

App details

Devices:iPad, Android, Kindle Fire
Price:$1.99
Pricing structure:Paid
Release date:December 12, 2013
Category:Education
Topics:Dinosaurs, Book characters, Ocean creatures
Size:107.00 MB
Publisher:PBS KIDS
Version:1.0
Minimum software requirements:iOS 6.0 or later; Android 2.3 and up

This review of Caillou Let's Pretend 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.

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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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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.

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Teen, 14 years old Written bygabemtz14 January 6, 2016
LEARNING

Don't let kids play it due to the show having inappropriate language

What other families should know
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