Shiny Circus

Common Sense Media says

Early measurement concepts in a fun theme.

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

All of the tap and drag gestures are preschool friendly. In one mini-game, "Ready, Aim, Fire," it is a bit tricky for little hands to aim the slingshot correctly to knock down the clowns.

Violence & scariness

Just a little silly cartoon-like, circus violence in one activity. Kids aim and shoot a monkey from a slingshot at a pyramid of clowns to knock them down.

Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

Links to other apps are behind a parent-password protected screen.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

The brief, bullet-pointed privacy policy explains that outside of the parent-only section, no personal information or usage data is collected, and there is no integration with social networking or email.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Shiny Circus uses a circus-themed story and interactive activities to teach kids measurement concepts. Kids can choose story mode, where they'll hear and read the story of Charlie, Alice, and Ralph's visit to the circus along with interactive activities throughout the story, or they can go directly to game mode and choose which of the activities to play. Every aspect of the app is designed with young learners in mind, and the parent section includes ideas and resources for parents.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • reading
  • vocabulary

Math

  • measurement

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • applying information
  • logic

Health & Fitness

  • fine motor skills

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

The interactive story and learning games engage kids by involving them. The silly characters and circus setting are fun, and the design is totally kid-friendly.

Learning Approach

The measurement-related vocab will transfer well into kids' vocabulary and their understanding of measurement since they're seeing it used in the context of the story and practicing it in the mini-games. Kids are empowered to get into the story themselves.

Support

The parent section is rich with information, including standards alignment, how and what kids are learning, and ideas to get involved with kids in the app and their learning.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • reading
  • vocabulary

Math

  • measurement

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • applying information
  • logic

Health & Fitness

  • fine motor skills

Kids can learn terms related to measurement concepts like length, height, width, and quantity, using words like biggest, tallest, most, different, etc. They'll work with mass and balance, distance and trajectory, and ordering objects by size in the different mini-games. They'll practice following directions and learn more measurement vocabulary in the dress-the-clown game. The story is read aloud with words highlighted as they read, so kids will develop reading skills, too. They can click on certain words to hear them read again, as well. Shiny Circus is an adorable interactive story that will engage kids as they learn math measurement concepts.

This Learning Rating review was written by Amanda Bindel

What's it about?

Charlie, Alice, and Ralph (the monkey, zebra, and giraffe featured in all the Shiny Things apps) go to the circus in the interactive story that teaches kids measurement concepts like different, biggest, longest, etc. Charlie gets pulled in to the rings, and kids get to play along as Charlie completes circus feats. They'll dress the clowns, choosing the clothing based on the directions given. They'll help Charlie jump along steps as they size and order steps from shortest to tallest or from tallest to shortest. They'll work on the concepts of near and far as well as trajectory when they shoot Charlie from a slingshot, and they'll work on estimation and balance by helping Charlie balance on the unicycle. Each page of the book has some interactive elements. Kids can choose story mode to hear the whole story read and work through the activities in order, or they can choose game mode to go directly to the games they want to play.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Combining the story with the activities is a great concept. Kids are engaged by the story in SHINY CIRCUS, and then get to participate themselves. The interactive details on the story pages are impressive -- like the popcorn machine that pops more popcorn as it empties (and kids can empty it by flinging popcorn all over the screen). The learning fits in seamlessly, gently exposing kids to the vocabulary of measurement. It's all designed with young learners in mind, from the privacy policy and lack of ads to the sticker rewards page and the silly animals who are full of personality.  

Families can talk about...

  • Check out the "ideas" tab in the parent section for suggestions on ways to talk to your kid about measurement and their play.

  • Use informal measurements and talk about what you're doing with your kid. For example, "I need a piece of tape that is three finger-widths long."

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
Price:$2.99
Pricing structure:Paid
Release date:February 7, 2014
Category:Education
Topics:Wild animals
Size:101.00 MB
Publisher:Shiny Things
Version:1.0.2
Minimum software requirements:iOS 7.0 or later

This review of Shiny Circus was written by

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.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

Write a user reviewThere aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Essential Apps Guide