I was never a My Little Pony fan when I was a little girl, but I had plenty of friends who were, and when My Little Pony came back strong in the past few years as a cult classic, I was curious. What is it about My Little Pony that captivates kids and grownups alike?
The My Little Pony Party Of One app from Hasbro gave me a glimpse of the glamour. It’s is a living story book app that teaches children vocabulary, sight words, and lessons about friendship and problem solving. Using, of course, the sparkly My Little Pony characters to draw them in.
The easy to use app was developed by Graphite Lab and Play Date Digital, the creative masterminds behind the Play-Doh Creates ABCs that The Learning Treehouse reviewed and loved.
I wasn’t sure what my die-hard truck-loving Kid Tester would think when we sat down to check out the app, but he really enjoyed it. The voices are great, and the actress who voices Pinkie Pie on the My Little Pony TV show also lends her talents to the same character in the app.
Without giving any spoilers, the story finds Pinkie Pie planning a party for all of her friends. But with each invitation she delivers, she discovers that every one of the other Ponies are busy that day. Pinkie Pie sets out to figure out why nobody can come to her celebration. Problem solving challenges and social aspects are explored as the story unfolds.
It has several different modes in which you and your child can discover this information. Firstly, the story can be read with or without narration. This feature allows some flexibility for the app to be used with beginning readers and not-quite-readers.
Your reader can the story to practice reading and sight word recognition, while younger children can follow along with the story while it is read to them. Sight words are highlighted in purple on the screen, so you’ll know which words are being focused on.
On-Page Pony Play
On each page of the story there are objects are highlighted in white that animate when touched. They add action to the story, or in the case of the ponies, even add additional dialog. As your child uses one of the highlighted objects, the outline turns grey to help him remember he already used it. Kid Tester #1 found favorite object that did something he found hilarious and nearly fell out of his chair laughing as he went back over and over again.
After the story ends, your child can review the sight words learned in the Sight Word Roundup. The words and associated pictures are shown in a carousel-type gallery, and touching the word or picture will speak the word out loud.
But How Does it Run?
The My Little Pony Party Of One app is very easy to navigate. A pull-out tab in the upper left corner of the screen allows the child to jump to any page in the book by clicking on a thumbnail image of the page. A link to the main menu is also on this tab. Pages in the book are “turned” by clicking arrows on the bottom left and right corners. Our 3 year old kid tester was able to navigate to his favorite pages without help.
There are several other options in the main menu. The background music can be turned on or off here, and there is a page describing how to play and a message for parents. A nice feature of the parent message page is that it prompts the user for the parent birth year, keeping younger children from accessing the parent information.