Creature Garden by Tinybop

App review by
Dana Anderson, Common Sense Media
Creature Garden by Tinybop App Poster Image
Create cool, fantastical animals and test their abilities.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn how the various parts of animals affect the appearance and abilities of the whole animal. As kids use their creativity to build creatures and design the landscape in the garden, they are making new creations and exploring part-whole relationships. Then as kids explore their creatures' abilities in flight, swimming, walking, and racing, they can develop free play and storytelling skills.

Ease of Play

Very easy to play. Descriptive icons show kids where to tap. Placement of parts on the dot may be difficult for some younger users for the first few play sessions. Visual tutorial or some limited verbal instruction related to the app's racing features (what the racing options do and why) as well as naming the animal parts would be helpful.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

There's a "Play more and save 20 percent" promo on the Dashboard screen.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Creature Garden by Tinybop is an imaginative play app where kids can create their own animal menagerie by combining more than 100 animal parts to make new creatures. Among Tinybop's suite of apps, it's most like The Robot Factory. Once kids create a creature, they can name it, feed it, groom it, and test its abilities -- can it walk, swim, or fly? Then kids can watch it eat, sleep, and poop; design the garden in which the animals roam; and race the animals against each other. Read the app's privacy policy to find out about the types of information collected and shared.

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What's it about?

To play CREATURE GARDEN BY TINYBOP, first choose an icon for your account and enter your name. Next, choose an egg. Whatever hatches is your animal's body. Next choose from legs, wings, tails, heads, eyes, mouths, and accessories. Line up the body parts with the red dots to fit in the correct spots; the dots will turn blue when they're placed correctly. After you decorate your land with trees, flowers, rocks, and more, you can move your animals around or make more. Tap on the golden bunny to enter the racecourse. Choose up to four animals to race, set obstacles, or make animals faster or slower. See who wins! 

Is it any good?

This visually beautiful app taps into two things that most kids love: animals and making new creations. Creature Garden by Tinybop includes more than 100 animal parts for kids to combine in thousands of ways to make their own animals. Kids can build virtually any animal they can imagine and learn about animal characteristics in the process. How about a hippo-flamingo-shark? Can a lizard-parrot-turtle fly? In addition to playing with the creative features on this app, racing animals and throwing in some obstacles is just plain fun and lets kids test different features. The breeding station is less creative than the app's other options -- it essentially just sticks two animals together -- but there are plenty of opportunities for kids to design, develop a narrative, and test their creations.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the mechanics and biology behind your child's animals' abilities in Creature Garden by Tinybop. What is it about wings that allow animals to fly? Why don't all animals with wings fly? How do fins help animals swim? Does it matter where the fins are placed on the animal's body?

  • Talk about your child's creative choices and help them engage in a discussion about explaining their choices. Ask them lots of questions about why they chose what they chose for each animal and for the garden. This can help develop their critical-thinking skills, understanding of part-whole relationships, and self-reflection.

  • Just for fun, participate in one of the animal races with your kid. Each of you choose an animal and see who's faster!

App details

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