Dino Tales app has completely taken me by surprise as I wasn’t expecting my twin girls to like it but since we downloaded it they haven’t stopped playing this game.
“Mum! she won’t let me have a go.”
I have had to intervene on plenty of occasions to call time out on one twin’s turn as we only have the 1 iPad and we’re constantly improving our sharing skills. The twins have been engrossed in this app for long periods of time, until I called them off in fact. I should set a playing time but as we share the game I’m not sure how to work out times for both of them.
My little princesses have never shown any interest in dinosaurs, they know about them and have read a couple of books when they came home from school for reading practise but their interest starts to wane pretty immediately with most Dinosaur related games.
Dino Tales is downloadable from the Apple App store for £2.99 and it is a learning game where kids explore a dinosaur island. As they explore they learn amazing facts and turn their own adventures into a storybook. It works on iPhone, iPad and iTouch.
Who is Dino Tales for?
Dino Tales is for children aged 4 – 10. It has a Parent’s Corner which is a pin secure area where adults can set the reading age, length of play sessions and receive emails of their child’s latest tale.
What’s it about?
The game has been created with education specialists and has been tested with pupils and teachers across 25 primary schools in the UK. Children can customise and control a baby dinosaur and they go on to explore a 3D island full of dinosaurs, plants and fossils. There are 6 characters to try out and lots of games including lava slides, rock bowling and a scary cave.
The twins love the lava slides! I think this has been their favourite part of the island, that and the river.
How to play
First of all you must name your baby Cerasinops and give it a gender then you enter into the land of Dino Tales by turning the pages of a picture book. The island has rivers, lakes, mountains and caves to explore and more imaginative areas like Musical Boneyard and Boulder Alley. You are free to go wherever you like you can take a ride on the River Rapids or visit Scary Cave.
I struggled to move the dinosaur but the twins cottoned on immediately and have swept the island over and over in search of fossils and other treasures.
On your explorations you will discover and hatch 5 other dinosaurs and you can choose which one to play with from the main menu.
Every time you play a new story begins, on entering you find a story title and an activity prompt, Darwin also joins in the start by suggesting a game to start the story.
The Story Book
This is an excellent way to encourage a child’s reading, writing, listening and speaking skills.
What I particularly liked about the Story book is it encourages children to be creative with language by providing various alternatives for the verbs, adjectives and adverbs as you go along. They are highlighted in orange and easily scrolled through to choose your own word by tapping on it. It’s a fabulous way of increasing a child’s vocabulary for example, ‘Timmy T-Rex was feeling tired and tried to eat the wrong kind of food!” Tapping tired shows alternatives to choose from: confused, drowsy, sluggish or greedy.
Darwin is a wise and very knowledgeable dinosaur who guides the game , stimulates curiosity and answers all of their questions about dinosaurs, fossils and other prehistoric topics.
There’s a fun counter kind of game where you choose a word at a time to make up your question to ask Darwin.
We asked Darwin, ‘How fast can you run?’ and he replied that running wasn’t one of his best skills.’
Verdict: I am pleasantly surprised Dino Tales has been an enormous hit with the girls and after a couple of weeks it is still going strong.
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