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App Review: A Day in the Zoo

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Compatibility: iOS (iPhone 4+, iPad 1+) and Android (4.0.3+)

Release date: Oct 15, 2013

Languages: English, German, French, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese

Price: $2.99

A Day in the Zoo is an interactive mobile app designed for toddlers (12-24 months old) – right around that time when they’re beginning to explore different sounds and imitate the world around them. An educational app at its core, A Day in the Zoo aims to teach your toddler how to associate animals with their sounds, colors and actions by allowing them to interact with different animals throughout the zoo.

When you first launch the app, your child is immediately dropped right into the experience. There isn’t a sign-up process, no need for a profile, there aren’t any annoying ads, and best of all: no in-app purchases to worry about. The folks at Miracle Box Games have created a beautifully hand-drawn environment, free of distractions, and filled with sounds and color that are sure to keep your child’s attention as they tap around and explore the zoo.

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The creators behind A Day in the Zoo were inspired by their own children when designing the app. Rene Lange, one of the co-founders said, “As we are parents ourselves, we wanted to build an experience that even our youngest could enjoy. Without having to worry about in-app purchases. Without the pressure to collect in-game collectibles that go on forever. But with lots of fun goofing around imitating animals.”  A worry-free experience is what Miracle Box was going for, and we think they nailed it. That said, however, a purely entertaining and educational experience like this, and like most distraction-free apps, comes a price tag ($2.99).

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We tested A Day in the Zoo with a group of boys and girls between 2-3 years old. Each child dove right in and began tapping around, and shortly thereafter our office was filled with laughs and animal sounds that the kids were imitating. A few of them even started rolling around on the floor, which we weren’t anticipating, but we soon realized that they were actually participating in the mini games that you’ll find throughout the zoo, like learning how to do a somersault from a monkey. It was a great experience, actually, and reminded us all just how much entertainment a child can get from something so simple.

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Someone on our editorial team brought up the point that A Day in the Zoo reminded them of the See ‘n Say toys that were introduced in the 60s and continue to sell to this day. That being said, A Day in the Zoo allows you to do something that you can’t do with the See ‘n Say toys—they allow you to change the language on-the-fly, which ultimately adds a whole other educational element to the app, making it a great way to introduce your toddler to a second or third language. All in all, we think A Day in the Zoo is a fantastic app if you have young children that are starting to show an interest in reading, sound books or hands-on learning apps.

You can download A Day in the Zoo for the family iPad or Android tablet by visiting the App Store, Google Play Store or Amazon Appstore.

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