Telling Time with the Smurfs

App review by
Mieke VanderBorght, Common Sense Media
Telling Time with the Smurfs App Poster Image
Clock reading with Smurfs through tutorial, book, and game.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn to tell time with an analog clock and to match the same time with a digital clock. A step-by-step tutorial introduces the clock, its numbers, the big hand and the little hand, and how to put it all together. Then, there's lots of practice through a game, a drill set, and an interactive book. Kids also can get a sense of what different times mean and how time passes throughout the day as they read about the Smurfs' daily schedule. Kids could learn more problem-solving skills if the help button provided clues to the solution rather than jumping immediately to showing the right answer. Overall,Telling Time with the Smurfs teaches kids the basics of telling time, and the duller elements won't bother a true Smurfs fan.

Ease of Play

Mostly easy and intuitive. Kids must tap arrows to advance through a story. One game requires kids to tap and drag but doesn't respond well.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

Icon (sometimes more than one) links to information about other apps by the same developer. Actual purchase is protected behind a birth-year parent lock. Connects to a wider branding effort of the Smurfs.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Telling Time with the Smurfs is pretty much exactly what the title suggests it is: Kids play with clocks and with the Smurfs through an interactive tutorial, a book, and a game as they learn about the little hand, the big hand, and how time passes during the day. 

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What's it about?

Explore clocks and tell time with four activities in TELLING TIME WITH THE SMURFS. "Learn" is a step-by-step tutorial that introduces the numbers, the big hand, the little hand, and how it all comes together. At certain points, kids practice setting the clock to a particular time. "Read" is a journey through the Smurfs' day, with kids setting the clock to time each activity (waking up, eating breakfast, and so on). In "Practice," kids set the clock to a particular time, and in "Play" kids choose which of two analog clocks shows the same time as the digital clock. 

Is it any good?

In Telling Time with the Smurfs, the Smurfs explain how to tell time using kid-friendly language and lots of visual aids, though some sections fall a bit flat. The tutorial is clear and well-paced but a little dry, and the game and practice sections feel a bit like learning drills. It's the "Read" activity that really stands out; kids learn about how the Smurfs schedule their days, set the clock to show the right time for eating lunch or working in the garden, and then play with the Smurfs to make them eat, cut bushes, and more. Kids not only practice setting an analog clock but also get a sense of how to interpret the meaning of different times of day. As a bonus, the Smurfs' meals are full of yummy, healthy foods.

At the end of the story are some great suggestions for discussion to extend learning. Overall, the concept of telling time is clearly -- if sometimes dully -- explained, which is all super, so long as parents don't mind the overt branding.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how their schedules compare with those of the Smurfs. The Smurfs get up at 7 a.m., eat breakfast at 8 a.m., and so on. What time do you do those things? Make a schedule of your day.

  • Talk about anything time-related, such as the time zones of faraway relatives, the cycle of the sun rising and setting, and how long a second, a minute, and an hour are.

App details

For kids who love telling time

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