App Review: Daniel Tiger’s Day & Night

Daniel Tiger's Day & Night © PBS Kids
Daniel Tiger’s Day & Night © PBS Kids

During the summer both my three-year-old son and GeekMom Sarah’s four-year-old and 18-month old sons fell in love with PBS’ Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. Then we got to try out the first app for the brand. Here’s what we thought:

Sophie:
My son has just gone back to school for his second year at preschool. With time ticking slowly toward his starting “proper” school next September, we’re working on building his independence. A big part of that is being able to help get himself ready in the mornings and at bedtime. Daniel Tiger’s Day and Night is a great fit for our family right now. The app is made up of a series of linked activities and mini games in which your child helps Daniel get ready for school or bed. These include setting the table for breakfast, brushing teeth, tying shoelaces, and choosing pajamas. Once tasks are completed, a number of Make Believe games—such as decorating Daniel’s pancakes with different toppings or coloring in a blank set of pajamas—become available.

Riding to School on Trolley © PBS Kids
Riding to School on Trolley © PBS Kids

My son is naturally very independent, so most of the activities on the app are ones he already completes with varying amounts of help. For me, the draw of the app was helping to establish the concept of routines, especially in these weeks of back-to-school when we’re all shaking off the summer break crazies and trying to get back to normality (here in the U.K. school just started last week). Seeing Daniel Tiger following an ordered set of activities gives me something to refer to during these busy, activity-filled times of day; much the same way we often use Daniel’s catchphrases from the TV show to help my son with a new or difficult situation. Just one week into the new school year we were already settled into a routine with my son knowing what’s expected of him each morning; we’re even managing to arrive at school a little earlier than we did last year. For our family the app has been a huge help and I hope it will continue to spur on my son’s independence as he begins taking on more and more tasks for himself.

Sarah:
Over the past few months both of my sons, aged 18 months and four years, have become very enamored of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood on PBS Kids. While we like to limit their screen time, Daniel Tiger is a bit of an exception. The messages it brings to kids through song—such as taking turns—have been independently employed by my preschooler with both his brother and his friends. His relationship with his best friend, whom he loves dearly but also fights with regularly, has been greatly improved by Daniel’s words about sharing and controlling your temper. So a Daniel Tiger app, oh yeah, we’re in.

Decorating Pancakes © PBS Kids
Decorating Pancakes © PBS Kids

It has fast become the go–to app in our house and is not merely confined to it’s self–titled nighttime and daytime portions. Frequently my son will wake Daniel up, just as he himself is about to go to bed. He sits and plays through the game, gets family members to sit with him so he can walk them through it, and is always disappointed when it is actually bedtime for him! He especially enjoys the Make Believe sections of the game, where he is given free reign with color, style, and pancake topping.

Honestly, I had hoped the app would help with his behavior patterns as the show did, but this has not been the case thus far. My son has always been very resistant to brushing his teeth and, as this is part of Daniel’s morning and evening routine in the game, I had hoped he would get less angry about it himself. Alas no. While he is happy to brush Daniel’s teeth and sing about brushing teeth, he would still prefer not to actually do it.

The graphics on this game perfectly match the show, which is great because I like the look of the show. In the adult section, I especially like the Daniel Tiger Timer that parents can use to set limits. This app is a great addition to the Daniel Tiger experience.

GeekMom received this item for review purposes.