Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Keep Kids Entertained This Holiday Season with a Fun and Unique App - Captain McFinn and Friends (App Review) #SwimAndPlay #ad

Disclosure: This post is part of a sponsored campaign for Captain McFinn’s Swim & Play App. I received compensation for my participation, but my review and opinions are my own.

Captain McFinn and Friends

My girls love when I load new apps on our iPad.  Recently, I downloaded the Captain McFinn’s Swim & Play App for them to try out, and it was an instant hit.  Have you heard about this fun and unique app for kids?  If not, here is some background, followed by thoughts from my girls about the app and what I loved most about it, after sitting down and playing with the past few days.

So, let's start by sharing just how unique this kid's app is.  

iPhone Screenshot 4

Unlike other apps your kids may use and love, Captain McFinn's Swim & Play app features LIVE interactive guided play.  What does this mean?  While your children are playing and navigating through the worlds, real live people, also known as Explorers, appear in the upper hand corner in a little submarine and respond in real-time to how your child is engaging with Captain McFinn and the interactive undersea world.  I didn't tell this to my girls and the first time they saw someone come on and congratulate them for a job well done and to talk about the particular world and calling them out by name, they were shocked.  They quickly pointed out the Explorer and asked me if they could see them playing. The kids can see the Explorers, the Explorers can’t see them. 

iPhone Screenshot 1

"The Explorers encourage a child while he or she is enjoying fun games and learning activities– even addressing individual game play and learning via the child’s animated avatar name."

Other key features of the Captain McFinn's Swim & Play app worth mentioning...
  • The Captain McFinn's Swim & Play app allows children and their parents to touch content in a way never before done – and all in a secure setting alongside their friends. 
  • The real-time Explorer helps parents and child navigate through an interactive experience, learning important pro-social life lessons, such as kindness and sharing, in a fun and engaging way.
  • Captain McFinn's Swim & Play app is the first-ever children's app, aimed at kids ages 3-5, that allows the users to truly interact and communicate back with a live host, who can praise the child’s accomplishments in the game and even call players out by name.
Game Features:

- Live video stream that lets kids interact with a real McFinn Explorer
- Daily learning activities guided by the Explorer
- 200 plus animated hot spots with silly McFinn characters
- Badges for completing activities
- Drawing tool
- Sand Castle building game
- Dress Up game 
- Music game
- Ability to share creations with the Explorer
- Chat box for asking the Explorer questions
- Clap button for cheering on other users
- Full length McFinn episodes and music videos

The unique live interactive guided play was a real hit with the girls and they kept wanting to play to see what the explorers would say next. :-)  

"All activities take place in a unique and magical animated, underwater world with a live, interactive experience to engage children"

So, what is the goal of this app?  Is it educational in addition to being a fun app for kids to keep busy with?  

This app and others from the Captain McFinn brand, are created to help preschoolers ages 3-5 learn social and emotional skills that will help them get along and interactive well with others, be successful in school and life, and more.  As a parent I love coming across apps like this that help teach useful and necessary skills for day to day interactions with family and friends, like sharing, being polite and using your manners, playing well with others and in a group setting, as well as being thankful and respectful of others. 

"Captain McFinn’s Swim & Play app offers teachable moments that share important life skills that promote kindergarten readiness and can be put into practice at home, at school and at play."

My girls are ages 4 and 5, so this app is perfect for them.  The app is set up in such a way that even the youngest of users can figure out the app and its many features.  I thought I would have to sit down and go over the different features and keys with the girls, but they both said they didn't need my help and were off and running from the start. 

While this app may seem like it is simply a fun, underwater adventure, parents will be happy to see that kids will also be learning important life lessons through the different activities.  Captain McFinn and the shows will teach kids about things like kindness, taking turns and sharing, preventing bullying and even expressing your emotions.  The live component and switching up of hosts makes this app a one of kind experience.  Each of the hosts have their own personalities and bring the stories to life in a fun and different way, and share the daily topic or theme in their own.

iPad Screenshot 5
Kids will go crazy when they see their creations shared with the other underwater explorers in their live session.  My girls especially love this feature, and hearing all the kids clap for them. :-)

In addition to exploring the different worlds, kids can earn badges for completing certain activities. There is also a chat box that parents can type their questions or concerns in and have an Explorer respond in real-time.  The chat box, however, is not used for chatting with other participants in the live session -- only the hosts. 

iPhone Screenshot 3

As a parent, I like this feature as I don't have to worry about my girls chatting or interacting with someone they don't know.  The folks behind the Captain McFinn Swim & Play app also monitor the chat logs and will boot users who are being inappropriate, which is also great in offering parents/caregivers peace of mind.

If you asked my girls' what their favorite thing about the app is next to the real-time Explorer interactive and learning important life skills, they will say they love the clap button, which cheers on other users.  I don't know about you, but it is always nice to have someone recognize a job well done, and with the clap button you can make other users smile knowing they are doing a great job. My girls love hearing the cheers for them, and this makes them want to continue on.

Have you previously downloaded and used Captain McFinn's Swim & Play app for your kids?  If so and you haven't checked it out recently, you will want to do as they just released updates to this popular app.  Here are some of the new features worth checking out...

  • This latest version features three alternating worlds – Sand Dusty Reef, the home of Captain McFinn, Riff Raff Reef, focusing on preventing bullying behaviors, and The Unsmashable Cross Section, a sunken ship that focuses on using proper manners in everyday life.
  • These worlds offer 250 animated hot spots – up from 100 in the original version -- with interactive McFinn characters, original McFinn cartoons, preschool music videos and songs and eight different activities focusing on drawing, creating music and reading. 
Since downloading this app a few days ago, both of my girls can't stop talking about it with their friends.  And, when family was offer for Thanksgiving, they made a point to pull everyone aside to show them the Captain McFinn's Swim & Play app, and point out the real-time Explorer, who journeys under the sea with them.  Their cousins and friends couldn't stop saying things like "how cool," "wow" or "neat."  As Savannah showed the different features of the app and maneuvered through the underwater scene to the kids, they slowly inched forward, until they were right up under her nose.  Everyone wanted a turn, and couldn't wait to tell their parents about the app, so that they could download and continue the underwater adventure at home.

Over the years, I have shared reviews of children's apps, and have tried out apps to find ones appropriate for my girls.  Like I shared above, I have never seen an app like this.  The "live" person feature really makes this a fun app for kids of all ages, even though it is geared towards kids ages 3-5 years old.  I try out each app for a little while before introducing it to my girls, and found myself having a hard time putting the iPad down. I couldn't wait to see what underwater adventure I would go on, what mini movie/short story would be shared, or task would be assigned.  The app is really engaging and having that "live" McFinn Explorers makes you want to continue on, as you learn. 

Having been using this app for a few days now, my girls like that when they log in to the app, they are greeted by the same McFinn Explorers hosts.  They like seeing familiar friends (as they call the "live hosts ).  And, when they hear the McFinn Explorers say "Hi" to them or congratulate them on finding "X" number of items for a task given, they love this praise and can't help but light up with excitement and accomplishment.

You can learn more about the Captain McFinn Swim & Play app by visiting I can't wait to hear what you and your children think of this one of a kind app, that will quickly make a name for itself and find themselves at the top of app charts for kids.   

So, if you have preschoolers and are looking for a fun and unique app to add your growing collection, that will not only keep your kids entertained and engaged but also teach important life skills, then you will definitely want to check out Captain McFinn's Swim & Play app.  Both of my girls give this app two thumbs up, and I have to agree with them.  It really is neat and like nothing your child has experienced with an app before.


Previously available by subscription only, Captain McFinn’s Swim & Play now sells for just $2.99 in the Apple Store and through Google Play.


Stay up-to-date on all things related to Captain McFinn and Friends by following these social media channels....

"Captain McFinn’s Swim & Play app is also featured in the nabi Elev-8, Fuhu’s most advanced and powerful kid-focused tablet to date, which launched in October. Fuhu, Inc., is the creator of the award-winning nabi® tablet and the foremost innovator in high technology solutions for families. Captain McFinn joins a select group of other premier children’s entertainment brands in nabi Elev-8’s content lineup."

Disclosure: This post is part of a sponsored campaign for Captain McFinn’s Swim & Play App. I received compensation for my participation, but my review and opinions are my own.

1 comment :

  1. This looks like such a super cute app and I love the bright colors.