I think as parents one of the most important things we want to do as parents is keep our kids safe. We want them to understand how to be safe and not to be careless especially around things that can hurt them. Teaching them the importance of safety in the kitchen and around trains is very important.
So many needless accidents occur around trains, train stations, platforms and crossings. In 2012 a very popular PSA campaign Dumb Ways to Die effectively communicated the message that it is dumb to take risks that have serious consequences, especially around trains. While the message is very effective in educating people about the risks, the graphics are a bit too graphic and gory for younger children.
I was thrilled to be able to try out two Dumb Ways JR Apps to help younger children learn through play how to be safe. Dumb Ways JR Boffo’s Breakfast and Dumb Ways JR Loopy’s Train Set are available for download for iOS at the App Store and for Android on Google Play.
Dumb Ways Jr. Boffo’s Breakfast
Dumb Ways Jr. Boffo’s Breakfast helps even young children who can’t read have fun while learning. They can create so many combinations and recipes for a very hungry Boffo to eat. There is a cutting board where they can choose whatever ingredients they want. Then they can cut them, dice them or grate them. They can feed him the foods one at a time without cutting or cooking them and they get a kick out of seeing his reaction to certain foods. Sometimes he burps, holds his stomach, passes gas, gets the hiccups and more. He falls asleep if children are not interacting with the app.
There are no limits to the amount of ingredients they can use, they can feed him one thing or a combo of several things. After they have the ingredients they can use the mixer and then cook it up for Boffo. He will then eat what they made and show his reaction to it. When they are using the stove, if they turn it up to 4 or 5 (the highest settings) Boffo gets nervous and it serves as a springboard for discussion as to why. The flames on the stove also increase when the child turns up the stove.
There is a parents guide that comes with the app to explain how parents can assist their child in learning key concepts while having fun. Dumb Ways JR Boffo’s Breakfast app can be downloaded for iOS at the App Store and for Android on Google Play.
Dumb Ways JR Loopy’s Train Set:
In Loopy’s Train Set, players can select from two modes of play: Drive or Build. In Drive mode there are 3 levels and kids use controls on the screen to drive Loopy’s train on the track. They do not have to steer the train but they can choose from forward and reverse and 4 different speeds- stop, 1, 2, or 3.
There are waiting passengers at the train station and kids need to stop the train and pick them up. They assist passengers on and off the train. The app design encourages kids to create their own dialogue when helping passengers board or exit the train. The first level has a basic track but in level 2 the track is larger and has a tunnel, more track direction options and more train stations. Level 3 has all that and more, there are bridges, railroad crossings, more track and options to keep the app fresh and exciting.
In Build mode, the children are the designers. They create their own unique track by arranging and connecting different-shaped pieces of track. They can also add houses, trees and animals to their scene to really customize it. After the track is built they can drive Loopy’s train on it. There are 3 levels starting with the simplest and as the levels go up so do the choices of track and other options that kids can choose to add to their track. The ability to build their own track keeps it fresh and fun because they can build something different each time!
Through this fun app kids can learn about various aspects of train safety. They will come to understand that characters cannot cross the tracks and the boom gates at the level crossings automatically come down when the train approaches. This provides the opportunity for parents and caregivers to expand on these concepts to talk about being safe around trains in a productive way. There is also a parents guide that gives parents tips on how they can get the most out of the app for their child.
You can download Dumb Ways JR Loopy’s Train Set for iOS in the App Store and for Android on Google Play.
My kids really had fun with these apps. Of course being kids they took great pleasure in seeing Boffo have certain reactions to the food they gave him. They really loved the option they had to create their own train route in Dumb Ways JR Loopy’s Train Set. Since my kids have an older sister who works as an analyst for a major transit organization it really opened the dialogue about train safety even more!
The apps appeal to a range of senses so they really work with whatever type of learning kids like. The apps encourage kids to problem solve and role play which gets them really thinking. These are definitely favorite apps for them and I feel good there is that learning intertwined throughout.
Connect with Dumb Ways to Die and Dumb Ways JR online:
This post is sponsored by Dumb Ways JR and The Motherhood. As always my views and words are 100% my own.