Sticker Play: Knights, Dragons and Castles is Jump App’s most recent addition to their collection of educational apps. Like their other apps, Knights, Dragons and Castles is a creative play app where children take charge and direct the action in a simple and fun virtual environment. If you would like to win a copy of this app, please see the link at the end of this post.
- 5 different scenes – Scenes include castle interiors and exteriors, and landscapes. Scroll left or right to move about each scene.
- Characters – There are knights and soldiers in all sorts of poses and equipped with all manner of medieval armor and weaponry, a king and queen and assorted other castle folk. Each character has an identical twin in a different colourway so that you end up with two sides; The green knights and the red/yellow knights. Most have associated sound effects and small animations.
- Animals – Dragons in two poses (again in green or red colour ways), a griffin and a few dogs are available. There are a few horses with mounted knights, and one pulling a wagon.
- Props – A number of props help set the scene, including medieval war engines (battering ram and catapult), assorted tents, flags, and supplies for troops. There is even a sword ready to be pulled out of the stone by a future king.
- Sound – most of the scenes are outdoors (or partially outdoors) and feature sounds from nature. The castle interior scene features background sounds that such as footsteps, clanking and creaking, low murmurs, and other sounds that add to the atmosphere. Sound effects can be toggled on or off using the simple controls on the screen. For a quiet experience, adults can turn all sound effects and background sounds off using the parent controls (accessible from the main screen.
- Parent controls – Parents can control sound, screenshots (handy if you have limited space on your device) and the Jump App more apps banner. I love that the link to the AppStore (for ratings and reviews) is hidden from children. Jump App has a presence on all major forms of social media, but they don’t have direct links that children can access. Instead, all addresses are hidden in the parent section. Personally, I believe this should be a standard practice in educational apps and I’m sorry more developers don’t follow their lead.
Using the App
The app is easy and intuitive to use, with a simple control bar that can appear and disappear at your command. Select one of the five scenes on the map. At the top of the screen you will see a variety of character stickers, and you can swipe back and forth to find more stickers. The sticker menu can be hidden at any time. After you place your stickers on the scene, you can move them around, resize them, and reorient them. All of the characters and some of the props have associated sound effects and animations: dragons breathe fire, knights brandish their weapons, and archers let their arrows fly. When you leave a scene, all stickers are saved in position so that you can return later and pick up from where you left off. Simple controls allow you to clear a scene quickly to start again, and to take screenshots of your efforts.
See the app in action in this YouTube trailer from Jump App:
At face value, Sticker Play: Knights, Dragons and Castles is a nice creativity app where children can play as they move characters around the scene. I believe the real value of the app is in its opportunities for language and literacy development. A lot of discussion can take place while children are “playing” in the scenes, and the variety of medieval props and characters means there is a lot of opportunity for vocabulary development. Children who have difficulty with writing activities may find it easier to create a story as a series of scenes first. You can take screenshots of each scene at any time and then import them into a storybook writing app or a word processing document. This certainly beats looking at a blank piece of paper and struggling to find ideas.
Although this app is aimed at children aged 5-9, I can see it being of use to older children with special needs. The subject matter is historical (with a bit of fantasy tossed in) and interesting, and the stickers and scenes are not too childish for older students. It might even be supportive of students with learning difficulties or special needs in the Year 8 History curriculum where they look at medieval Europe (Australian National Curriculum).
- Sticker categories – There are a lot of stickers in this app, which is great, but my younger children had trouble finding the ones they wanted. It would be easier to have categories of stickers, such as vehicles, war engines, animals, camp, etc, although the downside of this would be that it may take up more space on the screen.
- More female characters – There is only one female character (although in two colourways) and her only action is to sigh. It is a bit depressing. I know women had a tough time of it in an era where their lives were pretty much dictated by their status from birth, but surely there were a few more working around the castles. As we have fantasy elements such as the dragons and griffin, it would be good to see some of the wizards and witches from the Camelot tales.
Sticker Play: Knights, Dragons and Castles is a great creative play app aimed at children aged 5-9, and with lots of scope for language and literacy activities. The subject matter might be appealing to older children too. I hope they bring out similar sticker book apps with different themes. My thanks to Jump App for the opportunity to review this app.
The Appy Ladies Giveaway
If you’d like to win this app, please enter the giveaway this Rafflecopter giveaway on The Appy Ladies website.
Link to iTunes – Sticker Play: Knights, Dragons and Castles – Premium