Review: Old MacDonald app for iPhone/iPod Touch

“Old MacDonald had a farm…” Oh yes, that’s one of the best-loved kids sing-along songs ever. Not only is it fun to sing, but it’s educational since it’s one of the best ways I’ve ever found to teach kids what different animals ‘say’. Plus, since nobody ever sings it the same way twice (or in the same order), it’s a blast to guess which animal your child will choose to focus on next, or have him or her guess which one you will.

Now this fun song has gone high-tech as the newest iPhone app from ‘Duck Duck Moose’, the company which has also brought the ‘Wheels on the Bus’ song to life (see my earlier review). And we were thrilled to have the opportunity, courtesy of Duck Duck Moose and the Family Review Network, to try it out.  :)

What it is:

Similar to the Wheels on the Bus, the Old MacDonald app for the iPhone or iPod Touch is an interactive storybook where kids can participate in the story themselves by touching, swiping or sliding fingers along the various graphics to have them move, make sounds or both. Each of the dozen ‘pages’ takes on a verse from the song, from the traditional (cow, pig, sheep, etc.) to the more unique (tractor, bulldozer, frog, bear and more).

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Each page has multiple items to poke or slide (including a few surprises, like the cow being abducted by aliens), as well as sound effects. You can turn the music off or on as you wish, and there are several options for language (French, German, Spanish or Italian) or instrumental versions (with different instruments). Or you can even record your own version if you prefer, starring yourself or your child.

Here’s my our take on it:

Well, knowing that Wheels on the Bus is a huge hit with my kids even still, I had the feeling that they would like Old MacDonald as well. And I wasn’t disappointed – my preschooler has been begging incessantly asking to play it every time she sees my phone. The app works very similarly to the way that Wheels on the Bus does, but there are a few differences too. One of the first new things that I noticed is that many of the effects are ones that continue on after the initial poke or swipe. This is both fun and slightly annoying. It took my 3-year-old a little while to realize that she had to wait and watch the effect complete before she could get another effect to work – which doesn’t always sit well with my short-attention-span child. But the effects are so darn cute that I think it’s a lot of fun to watch a cow be carried off by an alien spaceship and such.

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Not only does my little one love to sit down and play with Old MacDonald, but her big sisters immediately head right over as soon as they hear the music and can’t help but watch (and participate) as well. In fact they are often asking to play it themselves, so it’s definitely an app that appeals to kids of all ages. Not to mention adults – I’ve been known to play with it from time to time myself.  :)

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When I ask my kids what their favorite part of this app is, they resoundingly agree that the ‘driving’ page is the best, where you get to drive the tractor similar to the bus in the other Duck Duck Moose app. My preschooler also loves to ‘drive’ the bulldozer too.

The bottom line:

The Old MacDonald app from Duck Duck Moose is a fun and interactive way for kids to learn and being able to turn your phone or iPod into a storybook to occupy your kids when you need to can be a huge help. The interactive nature of this app makes it something unique, where kids can actively participate in the song themselves. And it’s just plain cute.  :)

Where can you find it?:

You can find out more information about Old MacDonald at their website, http://duckduckmoosedesign.com, and you can purchase it directly from the iTunes app store if you have either an iPhone or iPod Touch for $1.99.

This post was written as part of a program for Family Review Network and Duck Duck Moose, who provided the application for review.

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