Daisy the Dinosaur

Cute, easy, limited peek at computer programming

Learning rating

Community rating

Based on 6 reviews

Privacy rating

Expert evaluation by Common Sense

Grades

1–2

Subjects & Skills

Critical Thinking, Math, Science

Great for

Coding

Price: Free
Platforms: iPad

Pros: Easy to use, especially for young kids.

Cons: Lacks depth in explaining how to use the commands available and in offering a good range of possibilities.

Bottom Line: Cute (free) introduction to the concept of computer programming, but won't satisfy anyone with an even remotely genuine interest in playing around with coding.

Use this as a simple, free way to introduce the concepts behind computer programming. You can demonstrate in front of a group, asking kids for help in exploring the available commands, or have kids explore on their own. You can also talk about cause and effect as kids see how the commands they choose affect what Daisy does. Kids can use Daisy to create short and simple animations -- though with no save feature, kids will have to share their work immediately. You can also help kids make connections between what they see happening on a computer and the general idea of programming they learn from Daisy.

Daisy the Dinosaur is an introduction into the world of computer programming, simple and accessible to young kids. In two modes of play, challenge and free play, kids experiment with combining commands and watching the related output by dragging the available commands from list to the input field. In challenge mode, a quick tutorial takes kids through the "move," "jump," "spin," "repeat 5," and "when" commands one at a time, asking them to figure out how to make Daisy do things like spin five times. At the end of the tutorial, kids are invited to explore the free play area. In free play, kids can use "when," "repeat 5," "move," "turn," "grow," and "shrink" to make simple animations. There's no way for kids to save a programming chain or share what they've created.

Kids can explore how certain codes lead to specific outcomes. It's fun to make Daisy move around, and kids may feel empowered as they create simple animations. Most codes are very simple (move, turn), but "repeat 5" and "when" introduce a bit of complexity and provide a taste of some of the language of coding. Yet, with a total of seven possible codes and no way to save or share work, kids' experiences are bound to be superficial and limited to simple, individual sessions of moving a dinosaur around a bit. This may make Daisy suitable for very young kids, who may need reading help from a grownup. But any kid who shows delight or interest in creating with programming isn't likely to be satisfied. Even young kids will quickly exhaust what Daisy has to offer. More commands, save features, and more explanation of what codes can do and how to use them would really enhance this app.

Learning Rating

Overall Rating
Engagement

Simple design and a cute dinosaur character draw kids in without intimidating them. It's fun to make Daisy jump and spin around the screen, but with just a few available commands, the possibilities are limited.

Pedagogy

This basic intro to programming doesn't offer much depth. Plain-language commands are easy to understand but don't transfer directly to actual coding.

Support

Instructions are minimal, encouraging kids to figure things out on their own (which sometimes can be a good thing) with steps such as, "Try figuring out how to move Daisy so that she stops in the center of the star."

Community Rating

Coding for the 2nd Grade Classroom

Overall I like this app. The children do as well. I think is it a great 'next step' into introduction to coding. It is always amazing to see their reaction when I say that we are going to learn how to 'talk to a computer'. I think it is great to point out that this is a simplified version of how programmers make their favorite video games.

This app is great for the beginners and an awesome extension to Robot Races. The students are successful in getting the character to move and then there are more challenging levels for students who are ready to try harder coding. This app is also a great launch pad to other more difficult coding apps.

This app has also become a great 'fast finisher' tool. Students can choose to do some 'coding' when they have finished required work. This is great for the students who do not like to 'read when finished' and yet some reading is happening without them even knowing it.

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Privacy Rating

Data Safety How safe is this product?

  • Users can interact with trusted users.
  • Unclear whether personal information can be displayed publicly.
  • Unclear whether user-created content is filtered for personal information before being made publicly visible.

Data Rights What rights do I have to the data?

  • Users can create or upload content.
  • Processes to access or review user data are available.
  • Processes to modify data are available for authorized users.

Ads & Tracking Are there advertisements or tracking?

  • Personal information is not shared for third-party marketing.
  • Unclear whether this product displays traditional or contextual advertisements.
  • Personalised advertising is not displayed.

Continue reading about this tool's privacy practices, including data collection, sharing, and security.

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