The Cat in the Hat Invents

App review by
Mieke VanderBorght, Common Sense Media
The Cat in the Hat Invents App Poster Image
Try out basic STEM skills with notoriously wacky cat.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn about engineering concepts like pulleys, weights, drills, and wind power. The game settings also touch on other STEM related topics like the properties of water and ice. And, kids will test their problem solve skills to come up with the best solution to clearing an obstacle in their robot's path.

Ease of Play

Clear visual and audio instructions help guide kids throughout the game.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

The characters featured here also appear in other apps, products, and a TV series, though none of that is promoted in the app. A small icon on the main screen advertises other apps from the same developer. Users must pass through a parent gate to get to the iTunes page for download.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Cat in the Hat Invents is a STEM based game for preschoolers featuring characters from the PBS Kids series The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That. In four settings, kids experiment with different tools that can help a robot clear obstacles in its path. The tools introduce concepts such as pulleys and levers, material properties, and wind power. Kids can tap commands or use voice commands to make the robot go. To use the voice command capability, parents must allow access to their device's microphone. The Cat in the Hat Invents is a large app to download; parents should make sure they have enough room on their device. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.

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What's it about?

The first time kids start THE CAT IN THE HAT INVENTS, they are invited to choose a color, pattern, and emotional expression for their robot. They then choose from one of four settings with 10 levels each to start playing. In the levels, a robot rolls along and finds obstacles in its way, such as a block of ice, or a high step. At each obstacle, kids learn about a tool they can add to their robot. They must decide where to install it to help clear the way. For instance, there's a magnifying glass that can reflect sunlight and melt a pile of snow. In successive levels, kids may choose between multiple tool possibilities. Kids can choose to tap buttons on the screen or tap and hold a button to give their robot voice commands. Along the way, kids collect additional patterns and stickers to decorate their robot.

Is it any good?

Kids experiment using fun tools with characteristically zany names in an easily accessible set of games, even if things do get a bit repetitive. The Cat in the Hat and his friends are wonderful and patient guides for preschools as they explain concepts clearly and use just the right amount of silliness. For that, The Cat in the Hat Invents is a great way for preschoolers to explore engineering and experiment with problem solving. Though some repetition is great for solidifying learning, it may be a bit too much here as kids find the same obstacles -- mostly in the same places with respect to the robot's path -- over and over again. And, there's not much room for deep learning as at each obstacle kids make a simple choice of which tool to use, and where, and move on. That said, The Cat in the Hat Invents is a fun way to let fans of the companion series interact with the material in a different way. It also gives young fans and non-fans alike a basic introduction to sometimes complicated engineering concepts.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can experiment with the concepts behind the robot's tools in The Cat in the Hat invents. For example, help your kids construct a simple pulley, or observe how ice changes as it melts and turns into water.

  • Point out the different places in your community where people or structures may use some similar STEM concepts. What about a crane at a construction site or the see saw at a playground? Look around carefully to find as many as you can.

  • Talk to your kids about branding. Are they more interested in these games because of The Cat in the Hat? Why or why not?

App details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love problem solving and STEM

Themes & Topics

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