My kids love the iPad and like so many kids out there they love to earn screen time. I am always on the lookout for educational apps that will reinforce things that I try to teach my kids myself. A new app has hit the app store and it’s worth mentioning. Captain McFinn Swim & Play is the first-ever children’s app, aimed at kids ages 3-5, that allows the users to truly interact and communicate back with a live host, who can praise the child’s accomplishments in the game and even call players out by name. The concept aims to change the way our kids interact and learn and I was excited to give it a try.
First we got to choose a fish. Each of my kids chose their own fish, each choosing a different color. We started out with this one who we named Pinky.
There is an area for the kids to go play and there is also a grownups area where you can get a rundown on how the app works and read up on any questions you might have. I found it very informative in my quest for answers to my questions.
Next we swapped our Pinky fish and went with the blue and orange fish you see in this photo. We named him Speedy. In order to protect your child’s identity they encourage you to not use your child’s real name so we picked the nickname speedy.
Next my kids got to experience the interactive chat with a host. What makes this app unique is that the host responds to your child through a secure setting. Swim & Play allows children and their parents to touch content in a way never before done – and all in a secure setting alongside their friends.
The host helps the parent and child navigate through an interactive experience, learning important pro-social life lessons, such as kindness and sharing, in a fun and engaging way.
We met our host in the music area and we got to hear another child’s musical creation and hit the clap button to cheer him on! We also were able to chat with the host and she called us out by name, Speedy, twice during our session. We asked her if she plays any instruments herself and she told us that she does not but she loves to dance! The kids thought it was so much fun to be spoken to directly and instead of having pseudo interaction like many cartoons offer, this was real time interaction.
We learned how to praise our friends work and how to take turns. We also learned about differences and how they make us unique. It was a great lesson and it was presented in an engaging way that held my child’s interest.
The Captain McFinn Swim & Play app is available using a subscription model. The freemium subscription model offers 10 minutes of free play at the start of the game, with subscription tiers of 1-month, 3-month and 6-month periods. The pricing is $4.59, $3.59 and $2.59 per month, respectively.
Would your child like to play an interactive app that specifically responds to their accomplishments and questions?
*The app complies with all COPPA (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act) safety standards, so although parents/children can see the host, the host cannot see them. Through proprietary technology, the host reacts to prompts, responses and creations by the child and texts from the parent (through a secure chat box) to make the interactive experience truly customized.