Thanksgiving is two days away, your mothers-in-law both showed up ahead of schedule to help with Thanksgiving preparations, which means not only will they be getting in your way by telling you the best way to handle your business, they will be giving you conflicting advice, and they will both fail to understand why you didn’t side with one or both of them.
Sooner or later, both you and the person you thought you loved most in the world will be called in to arbitrate between the two of them. You will not be able to understand why the person you thought you loved most in the world is siding with mother and not you and that will lead to more family excitement.
This is usually the moment when your kids demand your attention. Sadly, even though Thanksgiving is more about family than any other holiday, the last thing you need is to pay attention to your children, especially because you know that if you don’t distract them quickly both mothers-in-law will appear simultaneously in the room, as if by magic, and you will realize your children are far more mature by comparison.
If the children are young enough, you can hand them the iPad and tell them to go to another room and connect the dots.
I’ve been out of the ankle-biter babysitting game too long to say exactly what age is appropriate for Dot Connect! Thanksgiving. The developers, App Euphoria, don’t get more specific than “young children.”
In fact they don’t really give many details at all except to say this will help young children learn numbers and celebrate Thanksgiving in a colorful way. And to say that there are other versions, including a Halloween and ABC version.
One of my first responses, on seeing the menu, was to ask why they couldn’t have released one version with Halloween, ABC and Thanksgiving images combined. Ten images isn’t much for the price, even on an iPad.
Since what is age appropriate for any child depends on the child, here is how you can decide if your child is the right age for DotConnect! Thanksgiving: If your child can count to 60 and doesn’t get upset if she colors out of the lines, then your child is the right age.
I add the colors out of the line part because, well, we’ll get to that in a minute. And your child doesn’t have to count to 60 unless he wants to do all of the pictures. She can do some of them if she can count to 30.
The app contains ten connect-the-dot images, including a pilgrim couple, a turkey, a cornucopia, a pumpkin (or an apple) and….To be honest I have no idea what one of them is. I even drew it and I think it’s an apple pie, but I wouldn’t swear to it.
Do you know what this is?
You can select your picture from the menu, along with a brush size (small, medium or large). You can select one of eight colors from the color palette above the picture. Once you’re finished you can save a screen shot to your photo album.
These are the ten images included in the app.
If you can know how to send the image to your PC or Mac, you can even print it and hang it on the refrigerator along with the picture of the four boxes that are supposes to be cows.
Once the dots are connected, you can color in the image much like a coloring book.
The app is so basic even your child can figure it out, which I suppose is the point. It is a kid’s app, which must be why the developer figured they could cut a few design and programming corners.
The brush is not very touch sensitive. In fact, the brush tends to wander off, and since your child’s finger will block some of the numbers, the dots aren’t very easy to connect even for adults. I had a hard time connecting the dots. I would recommend the large brush for everything since it’s the most forgiving.
The brushes have sharp edges which makes it difficult to paint cleanly. Sooner or later the brushes will leave jagged corners that are impossible to avoid. Even the demo picture in the app store shows the jagged edges.
Even high schoolers will create pretty rough images.
This may be the developers’ intention. They may have thought, if the picture looks pretty no one will believe your child did it. Even so, I’ve always considered one of the most important app development guidelines to be: Don’t assume people will understand your intentions. If you intentionally do something that people will think is a mistake, it is a mistake.
I don’t want to be too hard on Dot Connect! Thanksgiving. It is a children’s app. It’s just hard to tell the difference between which elements were intended to be childlike and which were simply lazy programming. In my experience “intentional elements” like these are little more than rationalization for lazy programming.
I’ve been in the development meetings. “It will cost another thirty thousand and 100 programming hours to make that brush more realistic,” the programmer will say.
“Hey, forget that,” the decision maker will say. “This is a kid’s app. We want their art to look childish. Right?” And because he’s the decision maker, every one who wants to keep the gig says, “Great idea.”
I’m not saying that happened in App Euphoria’s development meetings. But it’s definitely happened.
Jenny Manytoes rates Dot Connect! Thanksgiving
Jenny Manytoes would take a nap next to Dot Connect! Thanksgiving. But if your kids are little enough, it might keep them off your back while you deal with your own parents.