Disney Magic Timer

Common Sense Media says

Unpredictable, brands-driven timer guides kids' brushing.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Ease of play

Scanning the products is tricky, requiring a steady hand and patience as it doesn't always work.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

To unlock the characters, you have to scan an Oral B product featuring a Disney or Marvel character before every brushing.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

Brushers enter their first name (or a made-up nickname, if preferred). Disney collects anonymous technical data and user location data.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Disney Magic Timer is produced in partnership between Disney and Oral-B to encourage kids to brush twice daily for two minutes. While you don't have to have a Disney or Marvel character toothbrush to use the timer, you have to scan one of these toothbrushes to unlock different characters. Otherwise, kids brush with Winnie the Pooh. Scanning is tricky and unpredictable and may add a couple of minutes to the brushing routine, though every update seems to improve the functionality a bit. Compitable products include Oral-B and Crest Pro Health Stages toothpaste and toothbrushes for Winnie the Pooh, Mickey Mouse Club, Jake and the Neverland Pirates, Monsters U, Cars, Planes, Tinkerbell and the Fairies, Belle, Ariel, Cinderella, Rapunzel, and Marvel characters Thor, Iron Man, Hulk, and Captain America.

What kids can learn

Skills

Health & Fitness

  • body awareness
  • fine motor skills
  • preventing sickness

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Brushing with their favorite characters will appeal to kids, making them more likely to want to brush their teeth for a full two minutes twice a day.

Learning Approach

The brushing skills kids pick up -- brushing all over their mouth for a full two minutes -- will transfer to their future hygiene habits.

Support

A short tutorial video shows how to use the app to scan the toothbrush, and a help section gives tips for scanning.

What kids can learn

Skills

Health & Fitness

  • body awareness
  • fine motor skills
  • preventing sickness

Kids can learn to brush their teeth effectively: two minutes twice a day. They'll be motivated to brush to see the characters come to life on the device, and getting them to focus on a full two minutes is easier as they watch the picture revealed. Due to the unpredictability of the scanning (and even then, only being able to scan a purchased product), kids aren't very empowered, and the character diversity is lacking (as of this review, only the white princesses are included). Still, Disney Magic Timer brings some excitement to an important daily habit that can sometimes get resistance from kids.

This Learning Rating review was written by Amanda Bindel

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

Each device can accommodate several brushers, each with a brusher account to track daily brushings and collect sticker books. Start by selecting the brusher (or creating a new brusher the first time; kids can choose which character they want for their profile picture) and then selecting the toothbrush tool. Scan the Crest or Oral-B Pro Health character product by holding the device to the product as if taking a picture of it. This works best if the product is lying flat on a surface and you hold the device about six inches from the product and slowly move closer. If the scan won't take (which seems to happen occasionally) or you don't have a character product, just hit the arrow button to skip scanning. Then kids start brushing. As they brush, an animated toothbrush moves through the quadrants of the screen (just as they should be moving through the quadrants of their mouth while they brush) revealing a new picture each brushing. The timer counts down from two minutes, showing both a digital and analog timer, and a little music plays in the background. When kids finish brushing, they earn a half a star -- half for the morning and half for the evening -- getting a full star for brushing twice in a day. They'll also earn a sticker to go in their character's sticker book. Kids can check the calendar by selecting the calendar icon to see their brushing history, or they can look through the stickers they've earned by selecting the book icon.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

DISNEY MAGIC TIMER does what it sets out to do: get kids excited about brushing their teeth. And it may very likely add to the sales of Crest or Pro Health character products. The timer gives kids something to focus on to make sure they're brushing according to dentists' guidelines, and the quadrants help them be sure to hit all four parts of their teeth. It's all just a bit unpredictable. Some days, the toothbrush just won't scan. When it does, it may not correctly identify the character on the brush. Three scans in a row of a Cinderella toothbrush unlocked Ariel, Rapunzel, and finally, Cinderella. Another scan unlocked Lightning McQueen from Cars. Really, that bug just adds to the excitement of "which character will I get today?" and saves parents the requests to buy additional character toothbrushes.

Families can talk about...

  • Make tooth brushing a part of the morning and bedtime routine so that it becomes habit.

  • In the settings, you can turn the music off or choose training mode, which sets the timer at one minute rather than two. Use the training mode with younger preschoolers, letting them brush for one minute with the timer before you go over their teeth again.

  • Play non-screen games while brushing teeth, too. Sing a song or recount the day's activities as your brush different parts of your kids' teeth.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
Price:Free
Pricing structure:Free
Release date:March 8, 2014
Category:Health & Fitness
Topics:Princesses and fairies, Superheroes, Book characters
Size:218.00 MB
Publisher:Disney
Version:3.0.7
Minimum software requirements:iOS 6.0 or later; Android 4.0.3 and up

This review of Disney Magic Timer was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

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What parents and kids say

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Parent Written byeo206 July 12, 2014
AGE
3
QUALITY
 
LEARNING

Good when it works

The app is good when it works, but it takes sooooo long to load. The idea and concept is great and it gets my Preschooler to brush for longer. However he is often done brushing by the time it fully loads. Maybe once they work the bugs out it will be worth using.
Parent of a 3 and 6 year old Written byBrittanycaro April 5, 2015
AGE
3
QUALITY
 
LEARNING

This is a very good app

This is a very good app! very helpful to keep my girls brushing there teeth. My only complaint is I went out and bought 2 oral b toothbrushes, and I can not get there toothbrush changed on the app. Can anyone help me with this issue????
Parent Written byFracWife May 27, 2015
AGE
8
QUALITY
 
LEARNING

Overall it's okay, but huge cons

To read this review in a better spaced, and easier to read format, please.visit my blog at http://fracwife.blogspot.com My twins love this app, I'm sure most of that is because it's shamelessly promoted on Disney Junior. They like to be speedy brushers, and this definitely helps. My almost two-year-old really gets into it too. The overall concept and purpose of this app, are top-notch, but there are some definite pros and cons to this app. In the Google Play store I gave it a 2-star rating, because the cons out number the pros. I would gladly change my rating if some of the cons are addressed and changed. Pros: 1. Excellent, crystal clear graphics with characters that almost every child recognizes and loves. I do like that Doc McStuffins and Jake are included. 2. Easy to use and figure out the first time around, don't have to work very hard to figure out the app. 3. There is a "reward" for brushing, with the stars on the calendar and the sticker albums. Excellent way to give positive affirmation to small children. 4. There is a Training Mode that puts the timer at one minute instead of two. I use this with my youngest. 5. We have 3 profiles, and it is a huge plus that each child can have their own unique character and rewards. 6. You do have the option to brush with Mickey if you don't have any of the eligible products to scan. Cons: 1. Because it is a commercially based app, all the characters are not enabled without the matching product. This is a huge boo to Disney, Crest and Oral-B. Our grocery store doesn't carry any of the boy character products, and for some reason, they only have Ariel for girls. Severely limits what kids can work for. 2. Because it is character and product based, you can only have albums that they make products for. This is a bummer, since my daughter's favorite princess and Sofia are missing, my oldest son likes Miles From Tomorrowland, and my youngest loves Octonauts and Donald Duck. Again, commercially based, and very much gives the impression that it's all about lining the pockets of these giant corporate conglomerates rather than children's oral health. 3. Scanning the product only unlocks the character for that brushing session, not permanently. Another huge boo to all 3 companies. Since good oral health means changing your toothbrush every 3 months, and that you will need new toothpaste, you would need to keep all your old toothbrushes and toothpaste tubes to keep access to the characters rewards. 4. This is ONLY a brushing timer. Most of the other children's apps include a one-minute timer for flossing, and a 30-second timer for rinsing. Both of these activities are required for good oral health, and I personally think it's more difficult to get a child to floss and rinse, then brush. I would expect a little better from two dental manufacturing companies such as Oral-B and Crest. 5. If you do scan a character, it requires that you stay connected to Wi-Fi. So, if you are doing any brushing away from home, you may not be able to access the character even with the product. Not so awesome when you're camping or at grandma's house. 6. Although there is a video (not multiple videos as advertised) about proper brushing technique, the graphic with the mouth and arrows is not very clear for small children. I had to personally explain and demonstrate how to brush. Which is fine, but if my kids took my word about brushing, I wouldn't need this app in the first place. And again, the video makes NO mention of flossing and rinsing. A video actually showing someone (a character or maybe even Helen Cavallo!) brushing properly would be more useful. Inside, outside, and tops of teeth, do quadrants using small circles with the brush angled toward the gum (and flossing and rinsing). 7. There is the video, and you get a vague idea that since the picture is getting brushed in quadrants this is when you change sides, but a little guidance during actual brushing would be nice. There is music, but maybe some added dialogue would help. I don't want to have to have my kids watch the video every time they brush. Kids have short attention spans, and not always the best memory, so yes, active guidance while brushing would be a plus. 8. The training timer changes the time for all profiles, not just one. This means between children I have to get back into settings to change it. 9. You're only allowed to brush twice a day and record it. For my school-age children on weekdays this is great, but they brush after every meal on weekends, and will sometimes brush 3 times a day if they have had candy or a sugary treat (hello birthday cakes and Halloween). My youngest doesn't attend school and brushes 3 times a day everyday. It is completely ridiculous that there is a limit on teeth brushing sessions. 10. The "parental code" is just three numbers randomly presented, not a custom pin. Since any preschooler and up can read the numbers and enter them, this is not even any kind of attempt at actual security. A pin should also be required for deleting the profile, since kids are notorious for just clicking buttons without understanding what they actually do. 11. This app is HUGE!!!! It take up more space than most of my ebooks, and way more than even the most complicated game. I don't know if there is a way for the developer to fix this, but be prepared for a major hit to your storage space. Suggestions: 1. Since many users are complaining about the timer only going for one minute instead of two, clearly explain either in the app description or the app itself how the training timer works and where to access it. 2. Instead of having the app being entirely product based, make it part of the reward. If you bought the product, you have instant (and permanent) access to a characters rewards, but allow a new character to be unlocked after earning it, maybe after 30 days of brushing twice a day, or a cavity-free visit to the dentist. And let the child choose which character, so they may do it based on their sex (my son would NEVER choose a princess), and their personal preference for different characters. 3. Add a full brushing routine to the app, that includes flossing and rinsing, with accompanying timers and rewards. 4. Make the parental code a unique pin that is required for any changes to a profile, or deleting it.
What other families should know
Easy to play/use
Too much consumerism

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