Kids love to learn and explore, but don’t always have the opportunity to experience firsthand different places and things. When it comes to a love of animals, they love to see and hear and learn about what each type is all about. The zoo is a great place to show kids a little about the exotic animals that live on the African savanna; but a better way to introduce those animals in a more interactive and fun way is through Thematica’s Trail the tail app.
Trail the tail runs on iPad and magically transports little ones to a new place, with different games, activities and animations to keep eyes wandering and fingers tapping. A tail swishes and wiggles mysteriously and quickly disappears, inviting kids to explore the savanna that is home to a variety of animals we don’t often see.
The app is an interesting mix of entertainment and education, keeping kids searching for animals, turning over rocks, moving aside branches and seeing firsthand how savanna animals live and behave. Navigation is as a simple as a tap. There are no complicated or rushed actions needed. Kids and adults alike will take simple pleasure in moving around the various venues offered by the app.
To start, the main screen offers up three major areas to explore, denoted by three buttons spread across the bottom. Tap on any one of them; there is no specific order to follow or complete. Each button takes you to a different area of the savanna with different types of activities.
Each area then offers its own set of activities, animals to watch and learn about. In some places, a camera is given, and kiddos must take snapshots of the animal when it makes itself available. This involves careful placement of the camera so that the animal falls within the boundaries of the lens, and then a quick snap! The photo is taken and can be saved in a frame by tapping on it. Kids will see a line of empty frames waiting to be filled. Once completed, kids then move on to the next adventure by tapping on a leaf that quietly waves hello. If kids don’t quite get the clue, have no fear; because the app conveniently offers up an arrow showing you where to go.
Returning to the main screen is always available by tapping on the “return” icon that sits at the top left of the screen. Activities left undone will revert back to the start, so kids will have to start from scratch filling frames or finding things. Another type of activity offered includes feeding different types of animals. In a much understated way, kids will learn the types of foods each animal can and will eat, and which types don’t work. This is done by dragging food items near the animal’s mouth, and seeing if the mouth opens wide open with bright eyes to boot, or if they shut in agony. Through game-play, kids learn about eating habits.
Being such a simple app, there is not much lacking but for an increase in challenge or something to work towards. Each activity or game is fun to play, but there are no points accumulated or treasures to uncover, which may entice kids to try a bit harder. Nonetheless, Trail the tail is a great way to keep little ones a bit busy, in search of mysteries that are hidden, only to uncover a new animal while learning something about it.