Toddler Train App
In Scribbaloo Train, toddlers and young preschoolers help to create a train, and then take it for a ride through 10 interactive scenes. The train is made from craft materials and the riders of the train are toy animals, with a dog as the train's engineer and a pig and a dinosaur as passengers.
How to Play
The 10 scenes all have blank spots that appear as white graph paper surrounded by a dotted black line. When kids tap a missing shape, it magically fills in as the outlined shape, constructed out of paper, cardboard, or fabric.
The first scene displays the outline for a three-car train. After kids tap the cars into existence, they see an arrow pointing to three toys lounging in the windowsill. When they touch the stuffed dog, he becomes the engineer. The pink pig rides in the middle passenger car, while the dinosaur luxuriates in the open flat car. By tapping a rainbow-colored button in the lower left, kids start the train moving.
Before the train will appear in the nine new scenes, kids need to complete each scene by touching the black-lined shapes. The scenes, all reflected as artwork on the wall with the train tracks shown as popsicle sticks on the carpet, take kids to a flower garden, a city, the ocean, mountains in the snow, a desert, the ocean at sunset, and other locales.
A Great Starter App!
If you have a child who is new to the iPad or iPhone, this is a great starter app. It teaches cause-and-effect by having kids tap on the big white outlined spaces. Scribbaloo Train is careful about adding cute animation to reward kids work, but the app doesn't overdo it. Unlike many toddler apps, this one doesn't feel busy.
Scribbaloo Train cleverly uses repetition to help young children learn how to play this app. Once the objects have arrived in the scene, the same catchy tune starts, accompanied by sound effects of what is in the scene (sheep bleat, a bee buzzes). The rainbow button turns slowly, signaling that kids should tap it to make the train roll through the scene. This routine is repeated in each of the 10 scenes.
Crafty -- Scenes
The use of craft materials throughout this app makes it special. The objects in the scenes are made up of things found in most households, including paper tubes, fabric scraps, cardboard, aluminum foil, child-like drawings, and more. By seeing things like scotch tape holding things together, the reader gets the sense that they too could make these objects. And the developer provides wonderful videos
on their site to show families how to make some of these objects, including the adorable bumblebee shown in the garden scene. We especially appreciate how this app encourages kids to make their own scenes in which to play.
Scribbaloo Train is a wonderful first app for young children. If you have a toddler or young preschooler, add this one to their library. It is a great app to explore before starting craft time together. You might want to have popsicle sticks and cardboard ready to go after you and your child have scoured the illustrations to see how things were built in the app.
This Scribbaloo Train app review was written by Jinny Gudmundsen.
All tech products are judged on a five star scale by looking at the following factors: fun, education, ease of use, value, and technical.