Mac, Izzy & Friends

Engaging stories, prompts, tools encourage exploration and creation

Learning rating

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Expert evaluation by Common Sense

Grades

Pre-K–1

Subjects & Skills

Arts, Creativity

Great for

Creating Media, SEL

Price: Free to try
Platforms: iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch

Pros: Fun exploration lets kids express themselves and stretch their imaginations.

Cons: Activities can feel repetitive, and in-app purchases are conspicuously displayed.

Bottom Line: An engaging assortment of activities encourages creative exploration and expression.

Use Curious World to prompt kids for guided creative expression. Read the digital books as a class and do offline activities together. Then encourage kids to explore on their own, make drawings and recordings, and share with their peers. Or have kids work in pairs or small groups to create and explore. Older kids can write about their creations: Write a story about a creature they've designed, describe the creation process, or reflect on the different audio or visual effects. Use the activity-pack themes to inspire a more in-depth look at, for example, how light and shadows interact or when dinosaurs lived. 

Collection of creative activities is designed to get kids experimenting and exploring. Izzy and Mac, two blob-like characters, guide kids through stories, videos, audio recordings, puzzles, a variety of drawing tools, and more. The app includes a few creativity tools -- e.g., take a picture and explore different visual distortions from fish-eye to sepia coloring. More activities are available in packs organized around such themes as shadows and light and dinosaurs, and offer additional activities, including a prompt for an offline craft. One pack is included free; others are available as in-app purchases. Many art activities require kids to use their device's camera to manipulate a photo with stickers, visual-distortion effects, and more. Photos are saved in the app's gallery but not in the device's album, and they can't be shared. 

Kids will have a blast using this engaging tool for exploration and creative expression as they distort pictures of their faces or make their voices sound as though they're talking in a tiny tin box. The experience is rounded out with a variety of activities in which kids need to watch, listen, do, and create. Many activities feel as though they're repeating throughout the game: The puzzle in the shadows pack isn't that much different from the puzzle in the exploration tools. Drawing activities are actually similar enough to be familiar to kids, but each also offers something new. All kids, especially younger ones, will benefit from some teacher help and guidance, especially at first. Offline activity extensions are a perfect way to get kids and adults exploring together.

Learning Rating

Overall Rating
Engagement

Activities get kids fully involved and engaged. Cute hosts encourage and model playful exploration.

Pedagogy

Kids learn mostly through free creative expression and by taking ownership of their experiences. Adults can enhance learning by participating with kids online and offline.

Support

Kids save and review creations in the in-app gallery. Navigation might take getting used to, especially for the littlest ones, but is basically easy. Play is accessible to a wide range of kids. 

Common Sense reviewer

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Privacy Rating

Data Safety How safe is this product?

  • Users can interact with trusted users.
  • Users can interact with untrusted users, including strangers and/or adults.
  • Profile information must be shared for social interactions.

Data Rights What rights do I have to the data?

  • Users can create or upload content.
  • Unclear whether users retain ownership of their data.
  • Processes to access or review user data are available.

Ads & Tracking Are there advertisements or tracking?

  • Personal information is shared for third-party marketing.
  • Traditional or contextual advertisements are not displayed.
  • Personalised advertising is displayed.

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

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