Dinosaur Train Eggspress

App review by
Jenny Bristol, Common Sense Media
Dinosaur Train Eggspress App Poster Image
Preschool fun in Jurassic, Triassic, and Cretaceous eras.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn facts about dinosaurs while building pre-reading skills. Each task of the game develops a skill important in developing reading skills, like matching and listening comprehension. Completion of those tasks is rewarded with information about dinosaurs. Kids will learn dinosaur names and characteristics as well as the period in which the dinosaur lived. Dinosaur Train Eggspress uses topics of high interest to preschoolers –- dinosaurs and trains -- to help build pre-reading skills.

Ease of Play

Very intuitive to play. The game starts out with a video explaining what will happen in the game, but even young kids should be able to play on their own.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

From the main menu, tapping on "More PBS Kids Apps" asks if you want to close the app and go to the iTunes store, where other PBS Kids apps are available.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Dinosaur Train Eggspress is an educational game based on the PBS Kids TV show Dinosaur Train. In this app, preschool-age kids find lost dinosaur eggs, match egg colors and patterns to baskets, and match spoken clues to one of two dinosaurs. Kids then get to color in pictures of the three highlighted end-of-round dinosaurs. The game does not include any reading or numbers.

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What's it about?

Like the Dinosaur Train PBS show, this app takes kids on a ride on the Dinosaur Train to learn about dinosaurs. Kids will find eggs hidden behind bushes by rubbing their finger around on the screen to earn a mystery egg that introduces them to a dinosaur and gives facts about that dinosaur and adds the picture to the dinosaur baby book. Then kids match colors and patterns to earn another mystery egg and baby for their book. Finally, they'll match a mama dinosaur to her egg based on a description of the dinosaur.

Is it any good?

DINOSAUR TRAIN EGGSPRESS is a quality preschool learning activity. The game, like the television show, teaches dinosaur-related facts with excellent animation. Kids learn about dinosaurs in three different eras, including the dinosaurs' long names, some of their important features, and other details. They also can collect pictures of the dinosaurs from the Dinosaur Baby Book at the end of the game. For any young kid who loves dinosaurs, this game is a definite winner.

There are a few drawbacks. There are two parts of the game that make it slightly more difficult to play. First, there is no way to pause the game. And while it is a fairly short game, you still might want to pause it. Second, for each round you play, it tells you to hurry and finish before the train leaves the station, but with no timer or progress bar, you don't know when that will be. It adds unnecessary time pressure to an otherwise preschool-friendly game.

 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Visit a natural history museum or check out a dinosaur book at the library to see dinosaur fossils and read together about the types of dinosaurs and prehistoric time periods.

  • Identify other animals that hatch from eggs.

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