“I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Captain McFinn. I received a complimentary subscription to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.”
I have a couple of little iPad app addicts in my house! My five and six year olds could teach me a thing or two about how to use them. I love that they are at this fun age where they can do things themselves and I don’t even have to help them! This is especially true for my six year old since he’s now reading. I used to read them the instructions and they would know what to do from there but now I can literally stay completely removed from it.
Don’t get me wrong; all app’s must be mommy approved first! The Captain McFinn and Friends is the latest we have tried and I have to say, the most unique thing out there I have seen. I like that the very first page you are directed to has a section just for parents.
In this portion, you are given all the information you need about the program as well as frequently asked questions answered. I love knowing everything up front so I don’t have to go looking for the answers myself. I would suggest doing this before you even begin.
To begin in the kids section, your child picks a fish that will be them and ads a nickname. My kids both chose my nicknames for them: Reed was Reedy and Paige was Paigey. Yes, I gave them short names and then lengthen them as a nickname! That’s a whole different story!
Captain McFinn’s Swim and Play is a fun little world they can swim around in. The first time we did it was not between the hours of 7am and 7pm where there’s a host to guide you so we just explored on our own. After seeing the difference with and without the host, I actually suggest doing it this way first. That way they can get used to how it looks and what to do without being on overload. I found that my five year old who has issues multi tasking and focusing on more than one thing at a time was actually distracted and a bit irritated even by the host!
My six year old, however, loved the host. I do think in this case that personality and how a child learns does have a lot to do with how they perceive the hosted portion. This is rated for 3+ so the younger they are, the more you will need to be involved. I found six to be the magic age where I didn’t have to help.
I was fascinated by the fact that this had a live host. The first time we did it I think traffic was low because she said Paigey’s name pretty quickly and she just thought that was the most amazing thing in the world! “How does she know my name mom? Can she see me?” As explained in the section for parents, they are hosting up to 1000 kids at once depending on traffic so it just depends on how many are on whether or not they will say your child’s name or share something they drew. So far they have said their name almost every day. I think it’s really special for the kids. It never gets old!
Captain McFinn Swim & Play is the first -ever children’s app, aimed at kids 3 – 5, that allows the users to truly interact and communicate back and with a live host, who can praise the child’s accomplishments in the game and even call players out by name.
Another feature that’s really cool is that if you have any questions or a comment you can type it in the chat box. The host will answer your question which can also help others that may have the same question.
Swim & Play allows children and their parents to touch content in a way never before done – and all in one secure setting alongside their friends.
I liked that the host touches on things like kindness and sharing. When Paige played catch with one of the sea creatures the host said she noticed she was being kind and playing with someone who might not have anyone else to play with. This is a lesson I’ve really been trying to get in my kids heads lately about not leaving anyone out.
The host helps the parent and child navigate through an interactive experience, learning important pre-social life lessons, such as kindness and sharing, in a fun and engaging way.
Paige loves drawing and creating things so she’s always most entertained by sections like this.
Right now this is just available on the iPad and I think that makes sense because it would be too hard to see and play on a little phone or small device.
The iPad app, available from the Apple iTunes Store, is based on the popular Captain McFinn storybook character who lives in the undersea world of Sand Dusty Reef with his friends.
I also appreciate the flexibility in pricing. It is a subscription model that you can choose the length of time for. That way you can try it out and if the kids love it, the longer you sign up for, the cheaper it is.
The Captain McFinn Swim & Play App is available using a subscription model. The freemium subscription model offers 1o minutes of free play at the start of the game, with subscription tiers of 1 month, 3 month and 6 month periods. The pricing is $4.59, $3.59 and $2.59 per month, respectively.
There were a few small things my kids didn’t love. I don’t think they liked the lack of control. For example, when the hosts says “now we’re going to watch a video” the kids don’t have the option of saying no, I want to do something else right now. They did always end up liking the videos and following along with the host but it took some getting used to. This is where I think the younger age actually is useful because they’re not used to controlling things like older ones are.
The host also seemed to disappear for a while after the videos so my kids would just swim around doing little things waiting for the host to pop up again and direct them to another activity. There are fun things to do on their own but it is kind of a small world right now so once they have done everything, they aren’t as easily entertained. I think it would be helpful if the underwater world was eventually expanded, especially for those that go with the longer subscription plan.
All in all my kids really enjoy Captain McFinn but I think that unless new levels and activities are added, they will get bored of it. As a mom I appreciate the overall attitude, lessons and structure of the world that they can safely swim in.
Connect with Captain McFinn
The app applies with all COPPA (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act) safety standards, so that although parents/children can see the host, the host cannot see them. Through proprietary technology, the host reacts to prompts, responses and creations by the child and texts from the parent (through a secure chat box) to make the interactive experience truly customized.
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