What is it
Children find themselves in a circus setting with 8 circus animals, which they can put to bed by switching off the lights or blowing out candles. Each circus animal performs several tricks and wants to show them off to the child before going to sleep.
This app is beautifully illustrated, and features some wonderful animations and sound effects. The story is described as it progresses with clear and interesting speech (and a British English accent). The app has a lovely element of humour in it too, such as a bear bursting his balloon animal.
There is also an autoplay mode that allows children to watch the story without interacting with it.
What our team of testers said
"I want to do it again...it's really funny, you get the animals to sleep." - Boy aged 4
"Oh oh!" (when the seal lost it's ball) - Boy aged 21 months
- Promotes a bedtime routine
- Encourages observation and exploration
- Familiarises children with animals
What our experts think
Children loved interacting with the animals in Nighty Night Circus, and enjoyed the funny elements (such as the elephant trying to balance on a stand, the mice blowing bubbles etc). The app can help familiarise children with animals and the noises they make – we found children saying the names of the animals too – and really encourages them to explore. We were pleased to see how much their discoveries delighted them.
The interactivity of the story also helps keep children engaged and encourages development of listening and attention skills. Whilst some of the light switches were harder to find than others, once children understood how the app worked the challenge of finding the switch was great for their observational skills and promotes trial and error. Nighty Night Circus also promotes a bedtime routine, with calming music and a suggestion at the end once the animals are asleep for the child to go to bed too!
It would be even better if...
Some of the light switches were a bit difficult to find, but there is a faint glow to highlight where they are – it would be good for younger users if this was slightly more obvious.
We realise that some people are uncomfortable with the concept of performing animals. However, this app could form part of a discussion about the ethics of using animals for entertainment purposes. Parents who do not like the circus animals theme may wish to try Nighty night instead.
- Brands: Fox & sheep
- British English
- No 3rd party adverts
- No in-app purchasing
- No internet access required for core features
- Child Restrictions: Yes- appropriate features restricted
- Languages available: English, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Turkish
- Apple version: iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
Requires iOS 7.0 or later
- Android version: Version 4.0.3 and up
- App Types: Entertainment
Interactive Books & eBooks
- Types of skills developed: Animals & Sealife
Listening and attention
Speech, language and communication skills
Understanding the world