Animal Band - Music Time

Category: English / Literacy

Ages: 0-3 3-5
Price: iPhone/iPad - Free

Animal Band is an application that encourages young children to explore music while listening to their favourite nursery rhymes and popular early years songs. All the animals that make up the band are asleep and the user has to wake them up and they then begin to sing or play instruments. The animals have a limited time before they start falling asleep again so the child will have to remain observant to keep them awake.

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User Reviews

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Teacher Review

Downloading the application is simple and straightforward taking up a reasonably modest amount of room on the iPad at 202MB. The child is drawn immediately into the theme of the game with a bright, colourful a cheerful menu screen. The screen background is essentially a view looking in from a tropical sea across the beach with high mountain volcano in the far distance and the customary palm trees.
 
Each song in the application is pictured within a rough driftwood frame. There are ten frames when you purchase the full version all of which can be accessed by the child swiping across the screen and then clicking on the frame of choice. The picture of each song or nursery rhyme is a summary illustration of the particular rhyme, each of which has a particular theme, but not necessarily representative of the rhyme. The background music is suitably upbeat and innocuous and the characters within the programme spring up individually playing their specific instrument, from time to time, just to encourage the child to explore more.
 
The first menu choice is the ever popular “wheels on the bus” pre-school song. The child is confronted with a bright yellow bus in a typical Mexican desert scene, as denoted by the cactus and the three friends on the top of the bus wearing sombreros but they are obviously having a siesta with them snoring away. The whole scene is well put together, all the characters move and there is a clever three dimensional appearance to them. When a character is touched they immediately wake up and either sing or play and instrument that they are carrying. The bus moves off jauntily and cleverly bumps up and down vigorously as would be the case on a dusty road in the Mexican plains. Touching the curtains on the bus reveals more characters which delightfully gesticulate playing an instrument or singing. The driver is the main singer and looks at the user in an animated singing sequence. Just to add to the curiosity of the whole scene there is a small green lizard cycling past the bus which when touched fires out a very long tongue to try and catch a fly. The bus eventually catches the lizard up on the road so that the child can re enact the fly catching scenario.
 
The driver speaks through the scene at the beginning to help the child through the process and wake the animals up. Each scenario has a discreet but intuitive navigation system that will return you to the home menu page or refresh and replay the current scene or move the user onto the next scene.
 
The two free scenes are set in the Mexican desert, the second scene using the same characters but with a different popular song, “the wheels on the bus”. When you purchase the other scenes that vary in content. “I’m a little teapot” is curiously based at the seaside at night as is “Happy and you know it”. The all time favourite ‘Old Macdonald” is aptly based on a farm as is “Baa Baa Black Sheep”. Other titles include “Row, row row your boat”, “Once I caught a fish alive”, “Twinkle, twinkle” and “Itsy Bitsy Spider”.
 
A very good application, generally, my grandchildren were amused and when encouraged by their parents got quickly into the scenarios and had fun playing with the interactive nature of some of the animals. The context for each scene did not always completely relate to the song content for example I was left waiting for the spider to arrive on the scene in what we in England call “Incy Wincy Spider”, but perhaps that is just showing my age! The children enjoyed it and they certainly had fun interacting with the excellently illustrated animals.

From the Developer

Animal Band is a fun and easy music toy that encourages young children to explore music while listening to their favourite tunes. It's been a long day, and all the animals are feeling sleepy. As each loveable little character is woken up, it plays and sings along. But if you don't keep playing, the band nods back to sleep!

From the very first note, little ones will discover charming surprises in each 3D scene. They'll love creating their own musical arrangements: tapping and swiping on characters to make them play instruments, spin around, or go to sleep. And the more they play, the more fun they'll discover: having fun with mad mice, cheeky chicks and funny fish, playing with a bus, making a swing loop-the-loop, and racing a crazy chameleon on a bicycle!

The Animal Band app is designed to support and develop a range of key early learning goals:

  • Supports preschool music learning goals, such as singing simple songs and making musical and rhythmic sounds and beats.
  • Helps develop language skills and vocabulary, by exposing children to nursery rhymes and songs.
  • Fosters a child's concept of self-confidence, by giving them an active role in keeping the action going.
  • Helps foster children's persistence and attentiveness, by keeping them engaged and focused.
  • Supports the development of children's fine motor skills by getting them to tap and swipe the screen to elicit purposeful responses.
  • Animal Band helps children develop a lifelong love of playing and listening to music.

FEATURES

Animal Band is part of the StoryToys Junior line. Designed for preschoolers and music lovers of all ages, it includes the following features:

  • Amazing animations: help 15 different animal characters dance and sing
  • Beautifully illustrated 3D scenes packed with interactive musical elements
  • Play along with the songs using each animal as a separate instrument
  • Ideal for parents and children to play together
  • Features charming musical soundtracks and playful sound effects
  • Much-loved tunes including: The Wheels on the Bus, Old MacDonald, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Itsy Bitsy Spider and more
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