Disney Buddies: 123s

App review by
Mieke VanderBorght, Common Sense Media
Disney Buddies: 123s App Poster Image
Simple games get young kids counting with the Disney crowd.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn about numbers and counting by seeing the matching written numeral and counting up to that target number. By comparing where numbers are on the number line or noticing that 20 marbles is more than 13 balloons, kids can also begin to get a sense of bigger and smaller. 

Ease of Play

For some activities, it may not be immediately obvious what to do, but it won't take much experimenting to figure it out.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

A small icon asks users to complete a simple addition equation before taking them to advertisements for other apps from the same developer. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Disney Buddies: 123s exposes kids to numbers and counting through mini interactive games and with the help of a whole host of popular Disney characters. The app was developed in collaboration with Spinlight Studio, the makers of the very popular TallyTots Counting -- and it shows. The two apps are nearly identical except that Disney Buddies: 123s has Disney characters and is slightly simplified. Parents can turn off the background music and/or sound effects in the settings menu, which is protected behind a parent gate. There's extensive coverage of how your information might be collected and shared in the developer's privacy center.

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What's it about?

Explore the numbers 1 through 20 with Disney characters in DISNEY BUDDIES: 123S. Go in numerical order, choose to skip around at any time, or tap an arrow to spin a wheel and be taken to a randomly chosen number. For each target number, the narrator says its name and then counts up to that number as they all roll by on a train, though kids can fast-forward through this part. Then kids complete a mini activity that requires them to manipulate the target number of objects as the narrator counts. For example, kids pop 18 bubbles or hand out 13 balloons. There's also a video with a short counting song.

Is it any good?

Kids will be delighted by a super-kid-friendly user experience and clever counting games. This Disney-fied version of TallyTots Counting is best suited for kids and families who love everything Disney, as kids will see characters as varied as Beauty and Beast to Big Hero, though really little kids might not recognize them yet. There's lots of repetition to drive home the connection between written numeral, number name, and the quantity both represent. One significant downside is that the app is somewhat of a one-trick pony in that activities are short, and once kids complete the number set up to 20, they simply repeat the same things over and over, but the preschool set is often happy to see the same thing over and over, so this won't deter the youngest players.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about and explore numbers and quantity. Count stairs as you walk up or down them, berries to eat, forks to put on the table, blocks on the floor, and more.

  • The target age for this app is young, but you can still talk to them about branding: Do you think this game is more or less fun because it has characters you know?

  • Point out and name numerals in your everyday environment such as numbers on a digital clock, addresses, price tags, seating rows on an airplane, and so on.

App details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love numbers and preschool apps

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