Developer: PBS KIDS
Price: $2.99
Version: 1.0
App Reviewed on: iPad 3

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
Storytelling/Gameplay Rating: ★★★★☆
Intuitiveness Rating: ★★★★☆
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Daniel Tiger’s Day & Night is a cute and charming interactive app for toddlers and preschool-aged children which allows them to explore both morning and nighttime activities. Some may know Daniel Tiger from his PBS TV show, “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood,” and adults may remember Daniel’s father, Daniel Striped Tiger, as a character from The Land of Make-Believe segment from “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.”

sweaterYoung children will find this app intuitive as they easily select the sun or moon section of this app from the main menu. From here, they can choose from a variety of activities that they may find as part of their rituals as they get ready for school or bedtime. Young children, as well as those with special needs, will be engaged by Daniel Tiger as he stares directly into the eyes of the user as he asks for help – be it zipping up his favorite red sweater – reminiscent of the sweater worn by Fred Rogers – or help putting on shoes to wear for the day.

Other cute morning activities include being able to set the plate for breakfast with a fun variety of dishes, cups, and silverware, as well as decorating pancakes with pieces of fruit. Do help Daniel brush his teeth with the movement of a finger. Although brushing does not last a full two minutes, the time one spends helping Daniel brush is a little longer than one may expect – a nice way to translate the lengthy time one should spend brushing one’s own teeth. Help Daniel get to school as he rides the familiar red trolley, saying “ugga mugga” – an expression of affection to his mother, who wishes him well – a delightful element from both the original “Mister Roger’s Neighborhood” television show, as well as “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.”

bathLike the morning area of this app, the Goodnight section also includes a short Goodnight song that enumerates the different evening activities Daniel Tiger engages in such as bath time where one shampoos and rinses Daniel, as well as pops bubbles seen floating up from the bath to trigger fun sound effects. Sometimes these bubbles include familiar shapes which I enjoy as well as reminders from Daniel for children to close their eyes when being rinsed – a kindly tip for children that will make parents smile. Children also have a chance to help Daniel Tiger, now wearing a robe, choose and put on pajamas as well as other nighttime details. I appreciate the story that is included during the bedtime story section of this app that allows children to help Daniel fly across the sky, allowing Daniel to see his friends already in bed and ready for sleep. To end this section of the app, Daniel gets tucked into bed, turns to the camera, and offers another warm “Umma Gumma” that, again, both adults as well as children will find endearing.

super heroI admire how some areas of both the morning and nighttime sections of this app include moments of fantasy such as helping Daniel zip up his sweater, which leads to daydreams of being a super hero. Tying Daniel’s shoes is fodder for a daydream of jumping high into the sky and performing cute athletic moves, and the pancakes – once decorated with fruit – perform a short vaudeville-like dance. Dressing Daniel in PJs also allows children to pretend to decorate his outfit with a finger paint inspired moment.

Although these morning and evening routines are organized so that children can logically work down the list of activities leading them off to school or bed, they can explore these areas in any order they see fit. Unfortunately, if they help Daniel with the last sections of these segments they will be delivered to the first menu page, asking them to choose Good Morning or Good Night and taking them away from the area they were exploring.

PJ'sI wish that an option to stay in the Morning or Night section of this app were available to aid young toddlers and preschool-aged children; a nice thought but not a critical issue as many children in this age range will be sharing this app with an adult. Parents, do check out the options that are available, as a timer can be set and used to keep children on-track with any of their routines.

Daniel Tiger’s Day & Night is a charming and intuitive app for young children and for those who will benefit from gazing directly into Daniel’s eyes, which is a nice touch. The combination of tasks that focus on morning and evening activities, combined with the open-ended fantasy moments, will keep early app users engaged.

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