App Reviewed on: iPad 3
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Recently, I had the chance to check out three Duckie Deck apps that can be purchased alone or as a bundle app - Hygiene Essentials. These mini games will aid in getting young children to become comfortable in daily routines such as teeth brushing, nail clipping, and using the toilet.
Duckie Deck with Teeth makes tooth brushing fun as this quirky app allows you to design your idea of a perfect smile. Tapping a mouth will trigger the growth of teeth that are then used to eat different foods such as healthy fruits and vegetables as well as treats such as a cookie or a full sandwich. All of these can be dragged into the waiting, open mouth to be gobbled up, leaving noticeable stains on teeth that need to be cleaned off with the use of the tooth brush in the next stage of this application. I enjoy how you can use the toothbrush to demonstrate the proper small circles that dentists prefer when brushing. The use of different, sometimes fantasy-shaped teeth when designing the toothy grin is cute and fun, and I like how you can add just a few teeth at a time for demonstration purposes. It would be nice, though, if players could choose a specific tooth shape from the options in order to truly create the grin of their desire, but I enjoy the ability to hold this app up to your mouth while using the iPhone to create your own digital smile. Young children can then practice feeding and brushing.
Duckie Deck Hungry Clipper is a surprisingly addictive app with a simple idea - to clip the finger nails of the hands seen within this section. I love the whimsical diversity as animal claws are included - be it gorilla or a green-scaled creature - possibly an iguana or crocodile - as well as men and women complete with interesting details. These include hairy hands, tattoos, nail art and cuts and scratches that lead into some fun interactions such as the cleaning up of dirty digits with soap, removing nail polish and bandaging minor wounds. The diversity of these hands is quite rich, and it is fun to imagine the person behind these fingers as one feeds these phalanges into a anthropomorphic nail clipper eager to give a helpful nibble. I do wonder if humanizing this clipper with a face and mouth encourages children to bite their nails, however. Furthermore, although I greatly appreciate the additional activities of cleaning or bandaging the hands before clipping, I am at a loss as to why one needs to remove any rings before clipping but not before nail polish removal, odd logic yet a minor note to be sure.
My favorite app in the bundle is Duckie Deck Gotta Go, an area about using the toilet that does not shy away from important details that you will want to share with your young child in the throes of potty training. I love the charming, brightly-colored character - part colorful monster, part human baby - wearing a diaper. Feed this baby the foods seen overhead - be it fruits and vegetables or other foods including cupcakes and other treats, whole fish or a smoothie, and watch as its belly begins to distend.
This is the time to remove the cloth diaper which will in turn bring a toilet on which to sit center screen. Cheeky gas sounds can be heard, and you're is asked to press on the belly of the character to expel more fully noises, expressive facial responses, and a colorful poop, complete with a charming striped pattern to give it more of a round Easter egg look, creating a vivid moment without too much of a gross-out factor. I adore the fact that toilet paper is needed to be pulled down from behind the character - basically running the stream of tissue behind his butt seen between his legs to simulate wiping, and my favorite detail, the matching colorful, patterns-rich smear that matches the deposit seen within the toilet. A pull of the toilet chain will flush the waste as children then guide the poop through a maze of pipes - a charming inclusion that can be used to explain where the poop goes as well as the warning never to flush other things down the toilet. This is the only app I can think of that makes note of needing to wipe, and the fact that the toilet paper will be soiled after use. Although toilet training my boy was relatively smooth-sailing, he hated the idea of handling his own paper, begging us to help him long after he truly needed assistance. I can see Gotta Go as a fun app to truly prepare children for the sometimes dirty business of using the toilet in a way that is cute and fun.
I have always been a fan of Duckie Deck apps, as the use of bright colors, upbeat music and fun sound effects are always present within their applications. The presumably watercolor stains seen on the teeth within With Teeth as well as the textures within the mouth really make this app stand out for its level of polish. I equally appreciate all the different hands that one grooms within Hungry Clipper as both my son and I have spend time clipping in order to see who may be next. Gotta Go includes details that make this a kids' app honest about what may happen when using the toilet to poop. Although some families may not appreciate most vivid sights and sounds included within, parents are doing their children no service to pretend these bodily functions don’t exist as seen within other potty training apps, making Hygiene Essentials an interesting bundle to possibly download, keeping in mind that each of these apps can be downloaded individually as well.