Jake's Never Land Pirate School




Colorful games focus on basic skills and pirate-themed fun.

What parents need to know

Ease of play

Very easy to play. The four games are clearly divided and include voice and visual instructions. While some games will be more challenging than others for some kids on the younger end of this app's recommended age, each game has so many tips and instructions that most kids won't get overly frustrated with any of them. The most challenging part of the game may be creating your pirate character with your child's face, which has to be aligned quite specifically with markers in the app to make the photo look like your child's head fits onto the cartoon pirate body. Some reports of sound issues.

Violence & scariness

In the Pixie Dust Class, kids knock over cardboard cutouts of bad guy Captain Hook. A cannon on a boat in the sailing class shoots beach balls to distract sea animals.

Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Not applicable

The Disney Junior logo is displayed prominently on the intro screen. More apps for Disney are promoted for purchase via the Disney Mobile page that kids can get to from the app's main page via a slider button. If you press the slider, a warning appears asking if you want to navigate away from the app.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Jake's Never Land Pirate School includes four games -- Sailing, Pirate Band, Map & Spyglass, and Pixie Dust Class -- that kids who are fans of the Disney show of the same name will likely find festive, fun, and just challenging enough to hold their attention. In Sailing Class, kids tilt the mobile device to navigate their ship around buoys and practice colors. In others, they trace pixie dust to form shapes; tap out raucous pirate drum beats, use a spyglass to discover treasure, and more. Your kid gets to become the most adorable part of the app when you take his or her photo and size it in the app to fit the cartoon pirate body on the app.

What kids can learn


Language & Reading

  • following directions
  • writing


  • counting
  • shapes


  • music
  • rhythm

Engagement, Approach, Support


Cute piratess engage kids with just enough fun and challenge on this well-designed app to keep young kids interested while parents know they're still learning. 

Learning Approach

The games present relevant activities for pre- or early readers with Disney's well-known Jake and friends offering encouragement. It's nice to see the option of a boy or girl pirate characters.


Parents can help kids import their own face onto a pirate character on the app, and print out a pirate certificate.

What kids can learn


Language & Reading

  • following directions
  • writing


  • counting
  • shapes


  • music
  • rhythm

Kids can learn and practice tracing shapes, counting, identifying sounds, following directions, and more in Jake's Never Land Pirate School. The games target pre- or early readers. One game, Pixie Dust Class, combines pre-writing tracing skills with shape identification by asking kids to trace the pixie dust on the screen through a maze that includes a shape made of pixie dust. The number games help kids practice counting into the teens; if the app had some addition or subtraction practice it would offer more challenge for kids who have already mastered basic counting. Jake and friends offer kids a fun way to explore preschool basics.

This Learning Rating review was written by Dana Villamagna

Parents say

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What's it about?

Jake and the Never Land Pirates is an app that includes the popular characters from the Disney show of the same name. There are no scary pirates here, just a lot of pirate-themed fun and colorful games. When kids win one level of any of the four games, they get to go hunting in online sand for gold doubloons and practice counting through the reward. When you capture or import a photo of your child into the app, his or her face will appear on the body of the pirate character who plays the games onscreen.

Is it any good?


JAKE'S NEVER LAND PIRATE SCHOOL is so cute it almost makes pirates seem like sweethearts instead of outlaws. Games include basic preschool and kindergarten skills such as tracing and naming shapes, counting, and following directions. There's just enough challenge on this game to keep young kids interested and let parents know they're learning something. It's also nice to see the option of a boy or girl pirate character for equal opportunity employment in Jake's version of harmless piracy.

Families can talk about...

  • Help your kid create his or her pirate character using their photo.

  • View the "Captain's Log" to check on your kid's progress and see which of the four games he or she may not be choosing to continue to play. It may be a clue into a skill your child needs your help with on- and off-screen.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
Pricing structure:Free
Release date:May 31, 2012
Size:90.20 MB
Minimum software requirements:iOS 4.1 or later

This review of Jake's Never Land Pirate School was written by

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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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Teen, 13 years old Written bybdfghick August 10, 2012
Kid, 11 years old March 8, 2013

the best

this a good app
What other families should know
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