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Dave and Ava Learn and Play

App review by
Mieke VanderBorght, Common Sense Media
Dave and Ava Learn and Play App Poster Image
Quality early learning from YouTube; try before you buy.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn classic nursery rhymes and songs by watching the videos -- and maybe even singing along! Lyrics on the bottom of the screen that are highlighted as they're sung help readers follow along. Simple letter and number activities give kids practice identifying their ABCs and numbers up to 20. They also introduce the concepts of counting, quantity, and simple phonics. Animal activities show what a variety of mostly farm animals eat and what sound they make.

Ease of Play

Tapping through the games and videos is easy. But the main menu's spinning circle method of accessing different content is not intuitive for young kids.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

Content is available only through a subscription.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Dave and Ava Learn and Play is a subscription-based collection of nursery rhyme videos, and letter, number, and farm animal games. The app is mostly content from the developer's YouTube channel, where it's available for free. With the app, parents can download nursery rhyme videos for offline viewing, though the files quickly take up a lot of your device's memory. At the time of this review, a technical error didn't allow for downloading videos. The home screen uses a spinning wheel to access the different content areas, which can be difficult for young kids to use. Also, though most content requires a horizontal orientation, the animal activity uses a vertical orientation so kids will have to rotate the device mid-play. For players using an iOS device, the app works best with iPhone 5s, iPad mini 4, iPad Pro, iPad Air devices or later; kids using older models may run into technical problems. Each screen includes an icon that offers links to multiple social media sites, though a parent gate blocks access. The free download includes limited access to the app's content; unlock everything by signing up for a subscription. 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.

User Reviews

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What's it about?

Spin the wheel on DAVE AND AVA'S LEARN AND PLAY's home screen to cycle through the four available activities. Tap on the play button to go to a menu of nursery rhyme videos. Download videos to watch offline or create a play list. Tap on the animals to complete puzzles and watch mini-animations featuring a variety of farm animals. Tap the 123 icon to choose from numbers 1 through 20 or the ABC icon for a menu of the alphabet. Each number or letter has a outlined figure to color in, and a mini-animation that shows e.g., Dave playing with seven bubbles for the number seven or Eva dancing for the letter D. Then count the items or trace the letter.

Is it any good?

This collection of early learning content features bright, dynamic graphics and quality song recordings. The videos offer a good start to the classic songs and nursery rhymes that characterize many kids' early years. Letter mini-games nicely emphasize the beginning sound of each target word and number games clearly demonstrate the concept of quantity. That said, most, if not all, of this content is available for free from the developer's YouTube channel. And it isn't a slam-dunk that the interactive features of the app format warrant paying the subscription price. Also, there are few user experience features that were not well thought out for young kids, including the main menu's spinning wheel, the automatic replay on the videos, and the use of different device orientations for the activities. Another thing to note is the developer's marketing strategy that some parents may find off-putting. For example, Dave and Ava Learn and Play is marketed in various instances as appropriate for babies, as a babysitting tool, and as a way to prevent tantrums. Parents may want to check out screen time recommendations and advice on using digital media in early childhood before deciding if Dave and Ava Learn and Play is right for their family.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the early learning content in Dave and Ava Learn and Play. Sing the songs with your kids throughout the day. Point out words that begin with different letters of the alphabet and emphasize the different sounds in the words. Count steps as you walk up the stairs, or dogs that you see as you're out for a walk.

  • Encourage your kids' language development by reading books, singing songs, and reciting rhymes with your kids as frequently as you can.

  • Set clear guidelines around when and for how long your family can use screen media -- and enforce them!

App details

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