Tickety Toc Bubble Time by Cupcake Digital – Review
Tickety Toc Bubble Time is a universal app based on Nick Jr’s new preschool hit TV series Tickety Toc. Inside an old clock shop is a wall full of clocks, in the middle is one very special clock-the Tickety Toc Clock. Every hour it springs to life, as regular as clockwork but behind the clock is a whole world where things don’t always run smoothly. A whole cast of characters keep the clock running on time and the stars of the show are twins Tommy and Tallulah who pop out of the clock on the hour at “chime time”, much like cuckoos in a cuckoo clock. The app contains no adverts or in-app purchases, it does contain external links – including app store and Social Media links- these protected by a parent lock- to access you must enter your birth year (any answer in the 1900-1999 range will unlock it).
Tickety Toc Bubble Time features a story, coloring pages and four educational mini-games with activities aligned to Common Core Standards. In the story we meet Tommy, Tallulah, Pufferty (the dog train), Hopparoo the rabbit, Battersby the Bat, McCoggins the town handyman and more. The twins are blowing bubbles when Hopparoo spoils their fun by popping them all. They go on a search for more bubble mixture and end up in a sticky situation with McCoggins Unstoppable, Unpoppable Bubbles; but who will save the day ? You’ll need to read the story to find out. The story has 3 different options – read & play, read to me and quiet reading. In read to me mode there is word highlighting as it is read, and the child can touch individual words to hear them spoken; there are also interactive elements the child can play with. Read & play has no narration, but the child can still touch words to hear them spoken and the interactive elements are active; quiet reading has no interactive elements and the words are not spoken if touched. I like having all these options, the one additional thing I would like is for the interactive elements to not be active until after the narration is finished – to avoid the child touching all over the page and missing the story. At the end of the story “grown-up’s corner” gives ideas on talking to your child about the story and getting them to link ideas in the story to their own life experiences.
The additional activities do add a lot to the app and increase its educational value as they practice telling time to the quarter hour, work on spelling, memory and problem solving.
Tommy and Tallulah are blowing bubbles – each has a letter inside, the child hears a word and sees it written with a missing letter, they have to pick the bubble containing the correct letter to fill in the gap. The letter names are spoken when the letter is picked and then the word is spelled out; I would like an option to have the letter sounds instead of names.
The child practices telling time to the quarter hour (a Kindergarten Common Core skill), it is spoken, shown on a digital clock and written out, they move the hands on a clock to the correct position. If they need help there is a “show me” option which highlights where the hands should go.
Pufferty’s track is broken and the child needs to place pieces of wooden track to complete it, once the track is complete Pufferty chugs along it. The challenge starts simply with just a few squares to cover, but more squares are added each level. One thing I really like about this section is it is open-ended- there is no one right answer as long as the two ends of the track connect the child can create any track layout they like – making the shortest route possible or adding lots of twists and turns if they wish.
This is the classic matching game with bubbles containing characters from the show. It starts with only 6 bubbles and more are added each level.
There are 5 pages to color with characters from the show, plus a blank page to create their own artwork. There is a nice selection of coloring tools to choose from: paintbrush, pencils, chalk, spray paint and fill-in paint as well as a selection of stickers. The brush/ tip sizes are adjustable and the child can zoom in for more detailed work, the app also stops them from accidentally coloring outside the lines.
Overall, this is a very nicely done educational app for preschool and Kindergarten-aged children, and it includes activities that align with Common Core Standards for Kindergarten. Fans of Tickety Toc will especially enjoy it, but my children have never seen the show and still enjoyed the app. I appreciate the optional word highlighting as it is read and tapping to hear the word spoken – these are great for encouraging budding readers, although I would like to be able to delay the interactive elements to avoid distraction. The additional activities add a lot of extra value and I especially like the Train Time, Chime Time and coloring pages which are very well-done. A recommended app for ages 3-5 years.
If you’d like to download Tickety Toc Bubble Time, ($2.99, iPad/iPhone; ) please use this link so they’ll know who sent you:
NOTE: A fee was received to expedite this review to the top of our waiting list but this payment has not influenced the objectivity of the review and all opinions have been offered honestly.
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