By Amanda Bindel,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Easy world-building fun for young kids; expect in-app buys.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this app.
Kids can learn how people interact with the world around them, with everything being linked. They'll use their imaginations to create a world and watch how food grows, people eat the food, and then people have energy to work and play. Kids can play an active role in manipulating the Doozers, or they can observe. The open-ended play is a great way to get kids talking and thinking, which is important for early literacy. Doozer Creek is creative fun that gives kids an outlet for using their imagination.
Ease of Play
Kids drag and drop play pieces onto the mat and watch what happens. They can drag the players around if they want, or they can just watch.
Products & Purchases
Only seven play pieces are included with the free app. Others require an in-app purchase; kids will see grayed-out play pieces behind a lock icon. Links to purchase additional play sets or other apps and games are protected behind a kid-lock code where parents have to scroll to the numbers in their birth year.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Doozer Creek is a free-play, city-building style app designed for kids 5 and under. Using characters and settings from the Hulu show Doozers, kids design their own little community to feed and take care of the Doozers who live there. The free app includes seven play pieces that kids drag onto the empty play mat to build the village. They start with two Doozers, a farm, a house, a garden, and some landscaping. Other play sets are $.99 each or $4.99 for the whole lot, and each includes a different Doozer character and settings to add to the play mat.
Where to Download
Videos and Photos
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What’s It About?
Starting with a blank play mat, kids add play sets -- people, vehicles, and elements like playgrounds, homes, and gardens. Verbal instructions with visual cues walk kids through adding the first few items when they are starting (or restarting) with a blank mat. The Doozers wander through the little world, communicating their need for food, fun, or work with symbols over their heads. Kids then drag the Doozers to an activity to keep them happy. They can delete and add different elements to Doozer Creek or wipe it clean and start over.
Is It Any Good?
Doozer Creek is a fascinating idea that may intrigue adults and older kids but is really targeted to the Doozer audience of five and under. Those kids will be dazzled and amused creating their world and just watching what the Doozers "do." Older kids may enjoy creating the world but then be disappointed that not much happens. There's no real goal or objective, and nothing can go wrong. A Doozer may indicate that he is hungry so kids would move him to food. If they don't though, he'll get to it on his own eventually. No harm. The Doozers' interactions with the elements are delightful -- snoring in the house, kicking the soccer ball, and playing on the playground equipment, Doozers continue to wander through Doozer Creek until kids stop playing or clear the mat (with parent's help as that feature is in the parent section) to start over. Play is really limited without the in-app purchases, and the more sets kids have, the longer they'll play.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Talk to kids about what the Doozers do in the different places in Doozer Creek. Have them show you their favorites.
Take the creative play off screen by setting up a play mat using a blanket or piece of fabric. Encourage kids to choose items to create different parts of their world, like block structures for houses or play-dough creations for a playground. Let the imaginations run wild!
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
- Subjects: Science: ecosystems and the environment
- Skills: Creativity: imagination
- Pricing structure: Free to try, Free (Free download comes with seven play pieces. Additional sets are $.99 each or $4.99 for all.)
- Release date: April 24, 2014
- Category: Education
- Topics: Science and Nature
- Publisher: The Jim Henson Company
- Version: 1.0
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 4.3 or later
- Last updated: August 16, 2016
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