Dora and Friends
By Amanda Bindel,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Put yourself in Dora's world, tell stories with fun app.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this app.
Kids can learn to speak clearly and tell stories as they experiment with the basic story elements. They'll use their imaginations to create characters and tell stories, being totally original or getting inspiration from the ideas section. There's no place in-app for story planning, but kids can make up the stories as they go, developing speaking skills, or they can plan stories out ahead of time, practicing planning and storytelling skills. Being able to create their own characters personalizes the experience, making it more fun and more meaningful. Dora and Friends is a fun tool to inspire creativity and foster storytelling, which can help create confident future writers.
Ease of Play
Verbal instructions guide kids through each step of story creation.
Products & Purchases
The app ties in with the Nick Jr. program that includes cross-marketed products. A logo link on the start page connects to other Nickelodeon apps but requires entering a numeric code from spelled-out numbers to keep young ones from cracking it.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Dora and Friends is a story-making tool featuring the newer, more grown-up-looking Dora and her friends as well as up to four characters that kids can customize. There's a nice range of skin colors, hair styles and colors, and eye colors as well as clothing options for kids to customize boy and girl friends. Kids then move their characters and props around a scene while they narrate a story, which the app records. You can save finished story videos in the app or to your device's camera roll.
Where to Download
Videos and Photos
Dora and Friends
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What’s It About?
With background scenes with lots of potential for adventure (and a little magic!), kids can create and narrate stories starring Dora and her friends or their own custom-designed cast of characters. To begin, kids can customize up to four characters, choosing hair, skin, and eye color, hairstyle, and clothing. They then choose a setting, populate it with characters and props, and move the characters around while they narrate and record a story. Stories are saved in-app but can be exported to the camera roll and shared from there.
Is It Any Good?
Kids can be as creative as they want with their stories, incorporating different characters and props, or they can tap the lightbulb for a story idea. The verbal instructions delivered each step of the way make it possible for preschool-age Dora fans to easily create and tell their stories. Each scene includes a bit of magic that leads to another scene, giving kids another layer to add to their stories if they want. The most unique part -- and probably what will be most thrilling for kids -- is the ability to create their own characters from the diverse range of skin, hair, and eye colors. Kids can put themselves or their friends into their stories, and they'll get to make lots of choices, making this app a great opportunity for open-ended play.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the stories they'd like to create, planning them out before they start recording. What are the elements of a story that make it fun to tell and share?
Create a two-character story with your kid, each of you controlling and speaking for one character. You can plan your story ahead of time so you both know what to say and when, or improvise, which can help build listening skills.
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
- Subjects: Language & Reading: speaking, storytelling
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: thinking critically, Creativity: imagination, producing new content, Communication: conveying messages effectively, multiple forms of expression, presenting, speaking, Tech Skills: digital creation
- Pricing structure: Paid (A HD version is available for $8.99.)
- Release date: September 4, 2014
- Category: Education
- Topics: Adventures, Book Characters, Great Girl Role Models
- Publisher: Nickelodeon
- Version: 1.0
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 6.0 or later
- Last updated: August 15, 2016
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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