Prepare to be impressed! DNA Play is an app for building a monster that is decorated with a variety of features attached to its body. It shows children (ages 4-10) a simplified version of how different genes can change the appearance of their one-of-a-kind monster. Not only is DNA Play a TOP PICK for us at Fun Educational Apps, it is also one of my favorite apps of the year.
Available for download via the iTunes App Store- iOS Universal; Amazon Store and Goole Play
How the App Works-
DNA Play by Avokiddo is available in the App Store, on Google Play, and on Amazon Apps. The first thing you will notice as you open the app is a double helix that runs across the top of the screen like a conveyor belt.
Have a Look:
At each stop on the monster assembly line, your child connects puzzle pieces in sets of two; each connection affects the look of the monster in some way. The first stop determines its body shape and color; the next one creates the head. After that comes the facial features and then the hands and feet. If your child switches the order of even one of the pairs, the monster changes shape or color. There is no time pressure and no right way or wrong way to put the monster together. With all the available pieces, the possibilities are endless.
When the monster is complete, it's time to have some fun. The monster might jump on a skateboard, or it might eat a snack. It could even start dancing to Bollywood music, or get chased by a charging elephant. After all these shenanigans, DNA Play lets your child take a picture of his monster and store it in his collection.
What Fun Educational Apps Liked-
DNA Play is so unusual that I find it hard to even categorize it. On one hand, it's an entertainment app that demonstrates a scientific principle. On the other hand, it's a creative expression app that is language neutral (meaning there are no words throughout the app, except in the information section for grownups). Some parents may find the lack of words distracting, but I see it as a way of experiencing the process using a different form of intelligence.
Avokiddo has found a way to illustrate an incredibly difficult concept (genetics) using interlocking puzzle pairs. Just like the four building blocks of DNA (adenine, thymine, guanine, and cyotocine), these blocks fit together to create something special- in this case a cute, googly-eyed monster with flailing arms and awkward feet.
In a Nutshell-
Using a unique puzzle activity, DNA Play lets children change the features of the monsters they create. No words are necessary; children can explore different features until they find just the right combination.
RRP - $/€ 2.99 / £2.29
At the time of this review, DNA Play contains no ads, nor does it offer in-app purchases. There are links to social media, but they can only be accessed from a protected parent portal.
Review by Julie Peterson, a speech/language pathologist (SLP) currently working in a school setting, serving children with special needs ages 6-14
“Our philosophy is that education should be more than teaching math and literacy. It should provide a challenging and stimulating environment where children obtain knowledge through active exploration and interaction. An environment where they can use their imagination to reveal their true inner self; a world infused with purity and creativity! We design our games with love and affection, truly believing in these principles.”
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Disclosure: This review was move up the waiting list priority-services. All opinions expressed are purely that of the author.