Toy Story Showtime!

App review by
Dana Anderson, Common Sense Media
Toy Story Showtime! App Poster Image
Kids can learn word definitions via an entertaining tale.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn new words and definitions by listening to or reading the Toy Story Showtime! interactive book. They hear the words as part of the cute story in which Buzz Lightyear sets out to find a way to perform and impress Jessie the Cowgirl at a talent show. Many of the words are about performing and body movements kids can relate to. Kids boost their vocab and do related fun activities, but definitions can run long.

Ease of Play

Good visual and verbal prompts help kids know what to do next. Words are highlighted as they're read. Kids are taught how to use the device through voice instructions.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

Toy Story is a brand unto itself. There's an ad for other Disney Storybook apps on the information page, and parents can sign up with their email address for Disney Books alerts on the same page.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Toy Story Showtime! tells a cute story and teaches kids the definitions of new vocabulary words through the story and also provides guided activities at the end of the story. The storyline surrounds Buzz Lightyear as he sets out to find a way to perform and impress Jessie the Cowgirl at a talent show. A lot of the vocabulary and story text relates to performing or body movements ("leap, bow, march"), and one of the activities at the end of the story encourages kids to choose the right words on the screen to make Buzz do a dance they create for him. A game to fill in the blank with a letter for some of the words that are learned during the story also helps reinforce the lesson. The app also gives ideas here for parents to continue the lessons away from the app. 

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What's it about?

Toy Story Showtime! features a main storybook to listen to or read, plus other "special features taps" that allow kids to interact with the characters on the pages. Kids can make the Toy Story cast of characters clap, dance, and more, then play games with them that reinforce the words they learned during the story. The app also prompts young kids who may not know all of their mobile device's features to "try tilting" or "try shaking" it to learn new ways to interact with the device.

Is it any good?

The characters and story on TOY STORY SHOWTIME! are adorable, and the narrator's voice is engaging, although some of the word definitions seem a bit long and detailed to hold the attention of kids in the suggested 4 to 6 age range throughout the entire story. So it's a good thing that there are other "special features taps" that allow kids to interact with the characters on the pages. Kids can make the Toy Story cast of characters clap, dance, and more, then play games with them that reinforce the words they learned during the story after the story is completed. A lot of thought about educational content was clearly put into the creation of this app, and this storybook app is very worthy of your child's time and attention.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Try one of the many excellent "do together" learning lessons and activities on the info page of the book.

  • Encourage kids to use the vocabulary words they've learned in the Toy Story app. Use the words yourself and point out that they're from the app.

App details

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