Tag Archives: Nick Jr

Bubble Guppies – Reviewed

Bubble Guppies TitleI never considered that I would ever write an actual review of a television show, or even post about one (if you ignore my occasional Doctor Who or the rare Smallville posts).  However, Bug’s latest favorite I feel really deserves the attention, because even for me, it’s an entertaining 30 minutes, so much so that we’re wearing out the DVR lately with watching them over and over again!  In the days where cartoons like Dora, Diego and Kai Lan have basically copied the same formula that proved successful for shows like Blue’s Clues, where the characters on the show “interact” with the viewers, occasionally sing some rather forgettable songs, and ask questions with a noticeable, sometimes creepy pause giving the viewer time to “answer”, there is finally a fresh face in the field, that gives a new feel to the educational cartoon aimed at preschoolers and younger.

Nickelodeon (Nick Jr) has managed to catch lightning in a bottle once again with their latest series, Bubble Guppies.  Just like their normal fair, Bubble Guppies come in half-hour episodes, but offers a fun, energetic half-hour that teaches kids about specific real-world topics such as colors, visiting a doctor, and the workings of a restaurant; while incorporating upbeat and catchy songs, humor, and really a sense of energy with the characters upbeat personalities.

Bubble Guppies charactersThe series offers a sharp, fresh look with its CG-animation and character designs.  Each character’s design is simple, but distinct, making it easy for a child to have his or her favorite character.  The wonderful cast of characters includes Bubble Guppies Gil, Molly, Nonny (my favorite), Deema, Oona, and Goby, you have Bubby Puppy, and their teacher Mr. Grouper, along with many additional characters that fill out their underwater world.

Some of the things I really enjoy is that with each episodes specific subject, you get to see some different approaches or views from the different characters, along with upbeat, catchy songs specific for that episode, and that really aren’t a drain to listen too.  Along with that, there are a few reoccurring songs for each episode, but even those are fairly quick and are still upbeat and catchy.  I’ve found myself singing these, or version of these songs to Bug for different reasons, even just to see her dance around.  This show has easily become something the two of us can have fun with; in fact I’m not sure I’ve ever seen Bug fall in love with a show quicker.  Plus I had my son this weekend and introduced him to the show while getting him to sit with his little sister, and after just one episode, he was already going around singing the theme song.

Bubble Guppies is definitely a great new show, and it’s one of those that you can sit and watch with your preschooler (or younger).  There are plenty of topics; real world topics, something I like, and fortunately (extremely fortunate if you ask me) the songs are catchy and upbeat, not even the theme song has started to wear on me yet (I’ll admit I’m humming it while writing this sentence even) and I’ve already lost count of how many times we’ve listened to it already.  And yes, we have to listen to it ever time!  The only downfall I can give the show right now is that there have only been 8 episodes to this point.  Hopefully new ones will be coming sooner rather than later.  Oh, and if you haven’t seen it, and want to check it out, I looked and they’re available on iTunes too!  Trust me, it worth checking out if you have a small one running around.

Oh and by the way; Bubble Guppies airs weekdays at 11am (ET/PT) on Nickelodeon

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Matching for Toddlers – PhotoMatchTots

982043_150727 PhotoMatchTots 

Weily Apps –  $.99

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iPhone Kids AppiPod Touch Kids App

The concept is universal, it might be known as matching, or concentration, memory, regardless of what its call, it’s the same.  Encouraging kids to pay attention and remember images on cards, flipping them, and seeing if they can match them up.  Its gotten to the point that this is even a part of Nick Jr around commercial breaks.  Matching is a game I’ve played with both my older kids, including getting my son Toy Story 3 matching game for Christmas.

What the people at Weily Apps has done, has taken this concept (because it would be pretty hard to play this in a doctor’s office, grocery story, or in the car) and applied a little out of box thinking to take advantage of being on the iPhone.  You have the option to play the typical game using cards predetermined by the app, or you have the option to make cards using photos you have on your phone.  Matching is typically geared towards preschoolers, maybe slightly younger, but PhotoMatchTots is geared towards even younger kids, and allowing the option to select your own photos is something that I think benefits the younger kids, as it can be a photo that they already can associate with and remember.  Look at it as training wheels for your toddler and they work on their cognitive ability.

Features in My PhotoMatchTots 1.1 are
– 2 levels of play: 6 or 12 cards
– Fun sounds
– Continually mix it up by changing your game with your personal photos
– Large card size to accommodate young hands

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“PhotoMatchTots- children’s memory puzzle game” doesn’t win any awards for flashy design, but its not meant to.  Its flashy in its simplicity, not only of style but of execution, of a common game for young kids.  The ability to customize the cards I feel will help broaden the appeal to slightly younger kids then most memory games, as you can add that level of familiarity.  At the price tag it carries (.99) its worth grabbing for that extra little bit of entertainment you might need in those trouble times!

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