Feelings Can Be Fun
Daniel Tiger's Grr-ific Feelings is all about identifying, expressing, and managing different feelings. The heart (beat!) of the app is a collection of 18 music videos with a group of characters experiencing a range of emotions. Kids are invited to sing along as they learn that "when you feel so mad that you want to roar, take a deep breath and count to four: 1-2-3-4!" In a separate trolley activity, kids play interactive mini-games with characters using these songs in realistic scenarios. Kids can also express feelings with their faces in the photo booth or try expressing their emotions through digital art.
Sing, then Solve
Following Daniel Tiger's clear verbal instructions, kids can choose which feelings activity to do first -- create art, take pictures, watch videos, or play the trolley game. In the music video library, kids can choose which of the 18 music videos to watch. The videos introduce kids to the characters and to different feelings that come up real-world situations, such as frustration. Then, in the trolley game, kids encounter mini-games where they help characters resolve situations by remembering the refrains from the songs and applying what they learned to help the character manage his feelings. The photo booth lets kids practice identifying and creating facial expressions; and the art studio provides a free-play space with a wide range of stickers, paints, markers, and other art tools.
Why You'll be Grr-ateful for Daniel Tiger's Grr-ific Feelings
Daniel Tiger's Grr-ific Feelings
strikes just the right chord with kids. The music videos show realistic, relatable stories about feelings, and then turn the stories into catchy songs kids can remember. While other apps like Touch and Learn - Emotions
teach kids to identify other people's emotions, Daniel Tiger's Grr-ific Feelings
teaches kids to identify and respond to
their own emotions, including positive ones! (It is impossible not to smile when you're picking dance moves for Daniel to express his happiness!)
The thoughtful trolley mini-games give kids practice applying the lessons from the feelings songs, which makes kids more likely to apply these lessons in real life, too. Plus kids can personalize the trolley game by taking photos of themselves expressing emotions in the photo activity and then those individualized photos show up in the trolley game. This intertwining of activities within the app is brilliant!
Daniel and the other diverse characters present positive role models of kids. It's great to see a boy and the other diverse characters talking so openly about feelings. Daniel is an inviting guide who's always asking kids to help out and interact. He gives clear instructions; but kids also get a lot of choice (and thus ownership) over what to play. The instructions for parents are helpful too, and are also available in Spanish. The parents section also lets parents select from all of the mini-games so kids can work on specific emotions.
This App is a Memory Hog
Parents should note that in addition to the 400MB initial size of the app, downloading all of its components will bring the size to more than double that amount!
Daniel Tiger's Grr-ific Feelings is great for all preschoolers. Learning about and how to express emotions is a key developmental activity during this age. This app may have special appeal to boys who have trouble understanding emotions. It will also work well for children with autism spectrum disorder. The boy role model and the trolley game that cleverly mimics a train set make this a stand-out app for kids with special needs.
To maximize the benefit of Daniel Tiger's Grr-ific Feelings, parents can learn Daniel's songs and catch phrases in order to remind their children of them in relevant situations. Well, to be honest, parents will have a hard time not learning these exceedingly-catchy jingles. Rather than going bonkers with Daniel's voice stuck in their heads, parents can use the jingles to manage their own emotions and show their kids that emotional education is a lifelong effort, and Daniel has lessons for all of us ("Feeling frustrated? Take a step back and ask for help!").
This Daniel Tiger's Grr-ific Feelings app review was written by Liz K. McKinney.
All tech products are judged on a five star scale by looking at the following factors: fun, education, ease of use, value, and technical.