It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood!  As a child who grew up with Mr. Rogers, it’s a bit different for me to see one of the characters from the Neighborhood of Make-Believe become the star of the show and he really shines with preschoolers. In Daniel Tiger’s Day and Night he helps them learn about getting ready in the morning and preparing for bed at night through a series of easy to follow steps presented with songs and games.

Both times of the day are often chaotic. With our older girls we seemed to prod them through each step at bedtime, but with our youngest we set up a routine for bed called the Bedtime 5. One task to remember for each finger.  That made it so we didn’t have to give each to-do and she was responsible for doing all the steps. She could choose what order to do them which gave her some independence. Daniel has five things to remember too and while they appear at the side of the screen you aren’t required to do them in a specific order. When you select Good Morning you’ll help him get ready for school by waking him up and then getting him dressed, preparing breakfast, brushing his teeth, tying his shoes and putting him on Trolley. In the evening Daniel is asked to stop playing and get ready for bed. I liked that children help him clean up his toys before starting the routine by tapping the blocks to put them away.  To get ready he’ll need help taking a bath, brushing his teeth, putting PJ’s on, listening to a story and tucking him in.

The activities in the app are very cute.  Although the app is rated as 4+ I think that very small children will enjoy covering Daniel with bubbles in his bath and helping him brush his teeth. This will help even toddlers become familiar with tasks and routines for when they’re ready.  A couple of my favorite animations are Daniel closes his eyes when you rinse away the shampoo, and decorating Daniel’s breakfast pancake.  The breakfast includes a “make believe” activity where your pancake takes center stage in a song and dance number. A side feature in the parent section is a timer.  Unless its for a test, we found that our children worked very well at beat the clock things. You can set the timer for up to six minutes or use a predetermined toothbrush timer.  With a catchy song and perfect two minute setting it helps little ones establish healthy brushing habits.

The producers at the Fred Rogers Company follow his feeling that routines help children know what to expect and what is expected of them.  When they do they feel secure and comfortable. I think the games and activities in this app will really build independence and confidence changing chaotic times into good times.

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this app for review purposes.

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