Eric Carle’s Brown Bear Animal Parade by StoryToys

Once again, StoryToys Entertainment Limited has created a magical extension of a beloved book in Eric Carle’s Brown Bear Animal Parade. This is not just a recitation of the book, but takes children inside the story, to direct the characters in a beautifully crafted symphony of play. Gameplay involves directing Brown Bear throughout the spaces to the left and right of the screen to find the other animals in this well-known book. Once discovered, kids invest time and effort coloring the animals with a tap of their finger to bring the animals to life, and by doing so slowly become an active part of Brown Bear’s world. They begin to first see, then hear the tales of the animals in distinct musical notation. By bringing in the auditory sphere of experience and its spatial relevancy, the world slowly and gently expands and enlarges and becomes increasingly more real. Playing this with children – who were spellbound by the content was a privilege that one rarely experiences with an app. It reminded me of a visual version of Peter and the Wolf by Sergei Prokofiev. In the end, there is a
special feature where kids can record their own sounds to play back. We initially had trouble getting this to work, so I would recommend practicing it before using this feature with a child.

The graphics are crisp and set in a clean non-cluttered environment. Music has a rich tonal quality without the tinny constant looping of sound that gets hard to bear – (or hard for the bear to listen). Exploration is easily directed by children, and on testing, children as young as 2 could navigate in collecting the animals for the parade, many recognizing the animals from the book. Many of the kids tapped and retapped an animal to hear its sound as they gleefully began to recognize a certain sound that was paired with an animal. Because of the pacing and overall tonal quality of the app, it also served as a self-regulatory strategy for kids who are environmentally sensitive and may need a break from the stressors of their current space and environment. Am I biased? Yes. Why? StoryToys has upped the ante with each app they produce by continuing to make magical experiences for kids. There are no right or wrong choices, just an openness of space to create and enjoy the experience in the moment. And that is a gift to one and all!

Extension Activities:

  • Bring out the rhythm sticks and musical instruments and march to music!
  • Give each child a different instrument and see if they can play it in succession or according to their place in a circle
  • Musical Chairs

 

Adapted from the Original Post”: http://www.teacherswithapps.com/eric-carles-brown-bear-animal-parade-by-storytoys/

 

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