Tame Your Thought Monster
Tame your thought monster app is an application that is designed to supply children or adults with the tools to deal with fear, anxiety, or other concerns by using mindfulness tools and positive self-talk. The app is also designed to promote better behaviour, how to be more kind and to feel better. The application is free from in-app purchases and adverts and suitable for 4 years and over.
Upon opening the application, the user is greeted with the applications splash screen by the author and a play button to move further into the app. This application supports the book ‘How to Tame Your Thought Monster’ by the author Katie McClain. It is noted that whilst the app is available for both tablet and mobile devices the application does not translate well on a mobile device as the graphics look rather pinched and the applications buttons and features are difficult to press.
The display on a tablet is pleasant and laid out well. We like the fact that the instructions appear straight away to assist the user. These are clear and precise and easy to follow.
The first colouring page is a good way to get the user engaged although adults would probably skip this section. The colouring page provides links to the contents page where each page can be chosen, a selection of colouring pencils with a range of sizes, an eraser, a page save feature and access to the instructions again. Our users found the colouring page great fun but became frustrated when trying to keep inside the lines. The developers may consider a fill paint option to fill the picture rather than colouring manually, although even images that are coloured outside the lines are quite endearing. These pictures can be saved to the camera roll for printing later.
The second page again is a colouring option which then leads into the Welcome page. This gives a very good introduction into the app and delivers it in a kind and reassuring manner. The characters KT and Om are introduced in the next page which allows the children to spread kindness and feel good about themselves. Linking these to superheroes is a good way of engaging the child. The application continues to work through several layers of content which include:
Meet the team of five. This team can make your story feel better.
Circumstances: Things that happen in our life that are facts without the feel good or feel bad thoughts mixed in with them.
Thoughts: The Thought Monster allows you to recognise your inner thoughts. Your child can draw their feelings here.
Feelings: This introduces the ‘find your feeling ladder’, a scale to show how you are felling.
Actions: Meeting Action Annie tells your child's about self-awareness and noticing what your child is good at. Your child can draw their superpower here.
Results: ‘You are a magician’ – reinforces the steps learnt previously and gives you ways in which these can be processed.
We felt that the app was an excellent way for children to express themselves and deal with their inner thoughts. This was done in a calm and playful way with cute characters which are appealing to children. However, our concerns are that the application is a digital book rather than an interactive app. Our younger users became disinterested quite quickly and wanted to colour rather than listen to the narration. We did also note that when on the mobile version we could type in the boxes but couldn’t return to the app as there is no hide keyboard option. We believe that the app is more suited towards parents and teacher as a tool for guiding children through rather than an independent tool. Some aspects of the app are fairly grown up with some higher level vocabulary which is then followed by a colouring page.
We really enjoyed how the app was able to get the child to communicate their thoughts and the apps value here is priceless. This app teaches all of us how to turn our negative thoughts and emotions into ones that can work for us rather than against us in our life.
However, the app lacks any real interactive features and the child’s attention was lost fairly quickly. We certainly support the apps content and concept but feel it might be able to be delivered in a better way. The layout and graphics are good and the characters and fun and engaging. Some of the graphics do not translate well over different devices.
Overall we can see some real value in this application. To enable children to talk, understand and recognise their feeling in a calm and friendly manner is excellent and the developers can be commended for this. Our feeling was that the app was not quite engaging enough as an app to keep a child independently engrossed.
From the Developer
Fun characters and silly monsters help kids learn positive self talk, better behavior, how to be more kind and to feel better in this app/interactive activity book with animated surprises for kids ages 8 and up.
• Color in monster and your own art
• Read on your own or with the read aloud
• Click around the screen for fun animations!
• Ditch drama, meet your Thought Monster
• Use the concepts and character to realize that you're magic when you set your mind to it!
Fun for all ages!
Parents and teachers: create learning fun for your family or your classroom.