Charlie Jumped Out of the Clock - Learning Story

App review by
Christy Matte, Common Sense Media
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Quirky clock story helps kids practice telling time.

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn about the parts of a clock and how to tell time.

Ease of Play

Simple to use, but moving clock hands can be overly sensitive, and there's no prompting or help if kids get stuck or choose incorrect answers.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Charlie Jumped Out of the Clock - Learning Story is an interactive tale that helps kids learn to tell time on an analog clock. The story is cute, but some of the language might be advanced for kids in the target range. They may not understand what a "quarter" is without being taught, for example, as the app talks about telling time when it's a quarter past the hour, or what a "cog" does in a clock. Kids may also find it difficult to line the hour and minute hands to the correct place; they tend to snap to a location, and the minutes are in five-minute increments. The app pauses before telling you if your answer is right (and it doesn't tell you if the answer is wrong), so kids might be confused and frustrated if they can't find the correct answer. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.

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What's it about?

CHARLIE JUMPS OUT OF THE CLOCK - LEARNING STORY tells the story of Charlie, a cog in Grandfather's clock. Charlie, along with his friends, helps the clock keep time, but he gets bored of always turning himself around. One day, he decides to jump out of the clock and find something else to do. The clock keeps going, but it's a lot more work for the other cogs. In the meantime, kids learn the parts of the clock, and the difference between the minute hand and the hour hand. They help Grandfather stay on track by correctly setting the time throughout the day. In the end, Charlie is ready to return to his friends and help keep time moving forward. There's also a practice mode where  kids can set a time on the clock and see what time it is in a digital-style readout.

Is it any good?

This cutesy tale will likely engage kids in learning to tell time, but it's not without some flaws. Charlie Jumps Out of the Clock - Learning Story is a clever way to draw kids in to learning about the parts of the clock and how to tell time, but it's better suited for kids who have a solid foundation and just need some practice. The clock hands can be tricky to position exactly, and there's no feedback, prompting, or help when kids set the time incorrectly. As it is, the delay that occurs before telling kids their answer is correct may cause them to change the time to something else. It does a great job of walking kids slowly through the parts of the clock, to setting the hour, setting the minute, and finally adding "AM" or "PM." It's a natural progression. But the story itself is quirky. For example, you might expect that if a cog were to leave your clock, the clock would no longer function. Somehow this clock struggles, but keeps moving. There's no consequence for Charlie leaving, which is unfortunate, as it's a perfect opportunity to teach kids about teamwork and what happens when someone doesn't do their part. It's an odd tale with an odd ending. This suits kids who need some practice but want a more unique way to engage than some other apps provide. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about telling time in general and while using Charlie Jumped Out of the Clock - Learning Story. Where are the clocks in your house? How do you tell time on the different types of clocks you see? How does your family use your clocks to stay on track?

  • How do you like this app in comparison with other apps you could play? As you balance your time on- and off-screen, would this be an app you'd choose to use? Why or why not?

App details

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