Review by Dana Villamagna, Common Sense Education | Updated August 2014
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Daniel Tiger's Grr-ific Feelings

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Songs and activities help kids express, recognize, understand emotions

Subjects & skills
  • Arts

  • Communication & Collaboration
  • Character & SEL
Grades This grade range is based on learning appropriateness and doesn't take into account privacy. It's determined by Common Sense Education, not the product's publisher.
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Pros: Simple and varied songs and activities introduce kids to many emotion-specific words, facial expressions, and body language.

Cons: More data and extension ideas would be helpful.

Bottom Line: Daniel Tiger and his friends present excellent examples for kids who are just learning healthy emotional expression.

The animated songs on Daniel Tiger's Grr-ific Feelings may support teacher-led, general social and emotional skills lessons, or serve as a supplement to specific discussions about conflict resolution, anger management, or expressing and controlling emotions. Add in such kid-specific, solo activities as inserting specific images of kids to personalize the experience for individualized lessons, and this app can be a multiple session, group, and individual SEL learning tool. If students are having a difficult time in class with a particular emotion, use one of Daniel's related songs and suggest that they use the easel activity on the app to draw what they're feeling.

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Daniel Tiger's Grr-ific Feelings is an early-education social and emotional learning app for preschoolers and kindergarten-age kids. Kids who are familiar with Daniel Tiger's PBS series will recognize him as well as other characters and the songs. From the app's main page, kids can tap one of four areas. In the trolley area, kids move the trolley by swiping a finger over it, then spinning the wheel to see which mini-game they land on. In the sing-alongs, they choose from 18 of Daniel's songs by tapping a picture. In the photo booth, kids center their faces using the device's camera, tap a "feeling face" icon, and then match their facial expression to Daniel's. Kids can tap the drawing easel and use the art tools to draw, paint, and save creations. A calm-promoting activity is also provided.

This app can help kids gain important social skills, such as empathy and identifying emotions, as well as broaden their emotions-based vocabulary. It presents fun, memorable lessons imbued with the same spunky sweetness that began with Daniel Tiger's character on Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. Learning about emotions and how to handle them, as well as how to read others' emotions, can help kids feel more comfortable in the world and with themselves. The games, photo activity, songs, and art demonstrate to kids that it's OK to express their feelings as long as they're respectful of others. The counting activity introduces a calming strategy kids can use in times of anger or stress.

Kids see their own photos along the trolley route and in the emotions pictures with Daniel, which may help them grow in self-reflection about how their facial expressions show people what they're feeling inside. Daniel Tiger's Grr-ific Feelings is a feel-good way to ease kids into conversations about emotional expression, empathy, and emotional regulation.

Overall Rating

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

Engaging characters, catchy songs, and simple activities welcome kids into an exploration of emotions in a friendly, feel-good way. The well-designed user interface is easy to navigate.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?

Age-appropriate, easy-to-remember songs and activities help kids expand emotional vocabulary and discover strategies for handling a wide range of feelings in healthy ways. Also includes a digital easel for using art to express emotions.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?

Daniel Tiger provides kids with clear audio instructions. Teachers can use the For Parents section to read details about the hows and whys of each activity. More data and accessibility options could boost support.

Common Sense Reviewer
Dana Villamagna Classroom teacher

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