Pass The Drop

App review by
Ashley Kemper, Common Sense Media
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Concentrate and cooperate using fab focusing tool.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn how to focus their attention by using Pass The Drop. It's designed to be used by two or more kids, which encourages them not only to zero in on the task at hand but also to pay attention to how their teammates are handling the iPad as they pass it back and forth. As kids learn to quietly focus their attention to keep the drop in the center, they're training their brains to attend to only one task. By using Pass The Drop, kids may transfer this process of paying careful attention to other activities -- doing homework, following directions, or having reciprocal conversations -- but they'll need an adult to help them connect the dots.

Ease of Play

User-friendly prompts on each screen make Pass The Drop easy to use.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Pass The Drop is a concentration tool designed to help kids focus on keeping a virtual water droplet within a circle as they pass the device to others. Developed as a group activity, it requires kids not only to keep the iPad still and level but also to maintain their attention as others are holding the device. This tool seems especially useful for kids who have attention deficits but might be difficult for those with sensory or gross motor issues.

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What's it about?

Kids open PASS THE DROP to a purple screen that prompts them to reflect on their current concentration level: five degrees between Not at All Focused and Extremely Focused. Then kids choose the easy, medium, or hard level. Once they make their selections, users work with their partner or group to get the virtual water droplet to the middle of the red-lined circle. As they move the iPad, the app adjusts and moves the bubble at a different rate based on the selections kids made at the beginning. Kids have to focus on how they're receiving the iPad from their teammates, how they center the iPad on their own, and how they pass the device to the next teammate. If the droplet rolls outside the line, the circle turns red. When completed, a prompt asks, "How focused is your class right now?"

Is it any good?

Pass The Drop is an easy-to-use, visually pleasing, challenging activity that does exactly what it claims to do. Kids gain concentration skills and practice focusing their attention on the immediate task at hand: centering the drop and making sure their teammates can keep the momentum going. Pass The Drop brings awareness to kids' attention, provides an opportunity to include others in identifying focus, and helps kids directly reflect on their concentration levels. It's only shortcomings are that the directions and rationale are only accessible to kids who can read, as there's no sound, and the final prompt is directed toward a teacher instead of the kids themselves. Also, extension activities to help kids apply focus to other activities would help transfer what they learn.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how difficult it is on each level of Pass The Drop. Ask kids how they felt as they worked through the easy, medium, or difficult levels and how they dealt with the higher levels of stress.

  • Ask kids to think about times when they need to put more attention toward an activity. For instance, when completing a difficult or multistep homework assignment, discuss ways they focus their attention on the task at hand. What are some techniques that might help them keep their focus?

App details

For kids who love learning about feelings and focus

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