Freckleface Strawberry Monster Maker

Common Sense Media says

Fun, silly monster-making; be careful with sharing options.

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

Easy to play. Kids get step-by-step visual, written, and verbal instructions for monster making. Recording monster sounds is easy. When kids take a photo with their monster, they have to fit their face into a box on the screen to place it properly in the photo to appear next to the monster, which can be tricky and may require a parent's help. Also, some of the interaction in the story segment may move a bit too quickly for younger users.

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

The Freckleface Strawberry books, musical, and website are promoted lightly on the app.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

Some privacy concerns. The photo feature -- in which kids can take a photo of themselves with a monster they created -- moves kids to a picture-viewing page that also has icons that allow the photo to be shared via email, Twitter, Facebook, printout, and more. They may also see the option to post a location when sharing on Twitter and Facebook. None of this is behind a parental gate. The privacy policy is not accessible in the app but is available on iTunes. It explains which non-personal data is automatically collected. You're not required to submit any personal information to use this app, but you may optionally provide personal data.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Freckleface Strawberry Monster Maker is a sweet make-your-own-monster activity app wherein the monsters are more friendly than they are fearsome. Kids can play Strawberry Freckleface's favorite game, Monster, by choosing from a manageable number of monster parts, as well as from colors, scales, and more (such as the ability to add their own voice-created versions of monster noises). Some monsters are ticklish when kids tickle their tummies. Then kids can take a photo of themselves that's superimposed on the image of their monsters, and a framed version appears. Parents should note that the options for sharing photos on Twitter, Facebook, and more are not behind a parental gate.

What kids can learn

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • decision-making
  • part-whole relationships

Creativity

  • imagination
  • making new creations

Tech Skills

  • digital creation
  • using and applying technology

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Freckleface Strawberry's enthusiasm for creative play is infectious. The colorful, simple-to-see-and-select monster-part choices and the ability to add your own audio for monster sounds create an engaging experience.

Learning Approach

Kids learn through making choices and through digital creative play. The nonscary versions of monsters used here help kids envision a different version of the often fear-inducing term. 

Support

The app offers clear verbal instructions. The easy-to-use interface involves swiping or tapping or moving things into place.

What kids can learn

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • decision-making
  • part-whole relationships

Creativity

  • imagination
  • making new creations

Tech Skills

  • digital creation
  • using and applying technology

Kids can learn how images and sounds combine to create a digital character with personality. As kids make decisions about what their monsters will look like, they are using creative expression (although limited by the choices provided) to show how they envision monster friends. Although there are some built-in limitations to the creativity kids can express with Freckleface Strawberry Monster Maker, they'll have fun doing it.

This Learning Rating review was written by Dana Villamagna

What's it about?

Tap "Start" on the main page. Enter your name, then watch, listen to, and interact with the intro story (or tap "Skip Intro" icon). Choose one of three monster shapes by dragging it to the center of the screen, then tap the next arrow. Swipe to choose a color, furry or scaly, and then start adding eyes, feet, freckles, and more. Tap the "Record" icon to add sound. Take an image of yourself to be added to one of your monsters.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Kids who are fans of Freckleface Strawberry will recognize the character and style of this app and will enjoy the introduction story before the monster-making activity. Some parts of the intro story include interactive elements, asking kids to answer questions or tap certain things on the screen (some of that interactivity may move along too quickly for younger kids, which could be frustrating if they want adequate time to think about their answers). After watching and listening to the story for the first play session, kids can skip it and move right into the monster-making activity, which is the centerpiece of this app and quite fun, even if it is limited to this one activity. Freckleface Strawberry says encouraging things to kids as they choose their monster characteristics ("That's the best monster I've ever seen!"). Once they take the photo of themselves and their monster, kids can save their monsters under the My Monster Collection icon. It can be challenging for younger kids to position themselves properly to take the correct image for the frame, so parents many need to assist with that part.

FRECKLEFACE STRAWBERRY MONSTER MAKER GAME is a generally easy way for kids to create silly (not very scary) monsters that can be fun for at least a few play sessions. The social-sharing options, however, are not age-appropriate and should be hidden behind a parental gate (or simply removed from the app).

Families can talk about...

  • Look for real-life items that you and your child can piece together to make a monster. Lay out fruit and veggies in monster shapes on a plate, make a block monster, or make monsters out of sand and shells at the beach or sticks and rocks in the backyard.

  • Remind little monster makers that monsters aren't real so there are no scary thoughts about them at bedtime.

  • Describe the characteristics of the monsters your kid makes. Talk about the colors, shapes, and sizes of the parts you see, and encourage them to do the same.

App details

Device:iPad
Price:Free
Release date:April 30, 2013
Category:Kids Games
Topics:Book characters, Monsters, ghosts, and vampires
Size:237.00 MB
Publisher:Nymbly
Version:1.1
Minimum software requirements:iOS 6.0 or later

This review of Freckleface Strawberry Monster Maker 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.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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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.

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