Minnie Bow Maker

App review by
Erin Wilkey Oh, Common Sense Media
Minnie Bow Maker App Poster Image
Girl-centric app will please dress-up fans but is limited.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can learn a little about fashion as they express their creativity with Minnie Bow Maker. Kids choose the texture, color, and pattern of the ribbon for each of the bows they design. Minnie guides kids step-by-step through the activities, requiring them to listen and follow directions. As a bonus, the app gives kids a chance for a little reading practice in the stories section. Minnie Bow Maker is a fun option for kids to express their creativity, but in a limited and somewhat shallow way.

Ease of Play

The app is extremely easy to use. Minnie gives kids step-by-step instructions. Buttons are large, and player interactions are simple to figure out.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

The info screen has links to the App Store plus a banner ad for other Disney apps. Minnie Bow Maker is based on the Disney Junior TV show Minnie's Bow-Toons.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this just-for-fun app is based on Minnie's Bow-Toons, a Disney Junior spin-off of the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse TV show. In the TV show targeted at young girls, Minnie Mouse owns a boutique, where she sells bows and bow ties. In the Minnie Bow Maker app, kids join Minnie in her boutique to help her design bows for Daisy Duck, her nieces Millie and Melody, and Cuckoo-Loca. Minnie Bow Maker will be popular among Minnie Mouse fans and young kids who like dress-up and fashion.

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What's it about?

In Minnie Bow Maker, kids have three options: Story, Bow Maker, or Big Bow Show. The main activity is making bows, which kids do in the Bow Maker and in each of the three stories. To design a bow, kids choose the fabric, color, design, and shape, then drag and drop the ribbon into the bow-making machine. Kids can also upload a picture from their device's photo album, adorn it with a bow, and save or email the photo. The Big Bow Show is an animated fashion show, where kids can see their designs modeled on the runway by Disney characters.

Is it any good?

MINNIE BOW MAKER offers kids a chance to express creativity and show off their creations to friends and family. Though the bow-making options are limited, kids will have fun seeing their bows on the runway. Besides making bows, however, the app doesn't offer much else. The stories aren't really stories at all, but just a few lines of dialogue before each bow-making activity. The app is extremely easy to use, so it's a good fit for the target audience.

The app seems to present the characters in stereotypical gender roles: The characters are all females and are mainly concerned with what to wear and making things look pretty. Take a look at our article Tips for Battling Stereotypes for ideas about balancing messages.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Encourage kids to read along with the story audio, or turn down the volume and read the stories with your kids.

  • Practice making real bows with your kids. Try using a variety of materials for your bows such as fabric, ribbons, even paper. Talk about textures, patterns, and colors during your activity to help kids develop new vocabulary.

App details

For kids who love apps for girls and creative apps

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