Monkey Preschool Explorers

App review by
Amanda Bindel, Common Sense Media
Monkey Preschool Explorers App Poster Image
Good customization options boost early-learning app.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn to recognize shapes, colors, numbers, and capital and lowercase letters. They'll also think critically to find associations between objects, which can help develop critical-reading skills. Each activity is short and focused, just right for preschool attention spans. Parents can set up a device for up to three kids and set specific skills for each. Monkey Preschool Explorers covers a wide range of early-learning skills in a fun environment.

Ease of Play

Very clear verbal and visual instructions guide kids through play. Difficulty adjusts based on performance (but parents can override this to focus on specific skills).

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

A logo link for other apps appears on the start screen but is protected by a kid-lock screen that requires adults to follow written instructions to swipe fingers in a certain direction.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Monkey Preschool Explorers allows parents to customize concepts for kids to focus on -- colors, shapes, letters, numbers, or associations. All are "on" as the default. Parents also can choose to use "Knack," which automatically adjusts the level of challenge based on kids' performance or manually set the level of challenge at 1, 2, or 3. Up to three kids can have accounts on a device.

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What's it about?

The monkeys explore the jungle via boat, plane, and jeep. Kids choose a character and then receive a verbal assignment, such as "Find the letter v" or "Touch the animals you'd find in the zoo" with three choices. As kids tap the correct tile, the vehicle moves forward, offering more tile choices, until they reach the finish line. After completing a couple of rounds, kids race another vehicle to the finish line or move their car around the screen to collect coins, and they can earn additional fun hats for their monkeys to wear.

Is it any good?

Though the games are pretty repetitive, it's easy for preschoolers to keep up since it's the same format over and over again, and the content adjusts to keep them challenged. The broad range of curriculum covers colors, numbers, and letters but goes into deeper critical thinking, asking kids to identify objects that go together -- such as things that are furry or things that go with rain.

Kids are empowered to choose which character they want to play with and to choose a hat as they unlock new ones; the fun race or coin-collecting games break up the drills. Very clear visual instructions show kids how to play, and kids can get help whenever they need it by tapping the question mark. The best feature for parents, though, is being able to choose which concepts kids focus on by adjusting them in the parent section.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about shapes, letters, and numbers they encounter every day as well as the relationships among things to support early literacy.

  • Read aloud to kids and encourage creative play; both of these activities build literacy skills.

App details

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