PAW Patrol, Rescue Run is an adorable runner type app for preschoolers. Based on the popular television series on Nickelodeon, kids can learn basic iPad skills and the ability to anticipate and react accordingly to build on emerging control and coordination with visual motor play. The whole gang from Paw Patrol is present and ready for action. Ryder, the leader, and trainer of the pups coordinates kids on three separate missions to help others in need. He provides the background story and instructions on how to play. Kids are able to choose a lead pup for their rescue mission, and it is refreshing to see that the goal of the game is to assist and help others. Each pup is dressed as a community helper – for example, there is a fire dog named Marshall and Chase the police dog, are just a few of the ready and able canine service dogs at your disposal. I like that the main part of the games is an appropriate length for a preschooler, and you can add subsequent missions to extend attention. Another nice feature is that your chosen rescue pup does not wipe out or die. If you should miss your cues, the pup bumps into the obstacle with a huff and then backs up so that you can try again. This kind of programming fosters persistence without the heaviness of being unsuccessful. At different points in the game are also opportunities to request and ask for help. This is a major milestone in the development and in the school experience to ask for assistance. It builds the foundations for teamwork. At the end of each run is a quick sorting or visual discrimination game to complete the intended mission. It does not variate however with your chosen lead dog for a particular mission, and after a while seems just like something to get through to move on.
There are bones to target and badges to earn in each setting ensuring replay value. As a child gains competency, there are tricks to discover and the ability to scan and find other characters may get you that last badge on a page.
The graphics are just incredible, and there is not a lot of extraneous visuals to deter you from the goal. Having familiar characters is a sure way to engage kids, and I would certainly use this game as a reinforcer, a warm up for visual motor work, or an app for home use to carry over needed skills as it is very entertaining. My only request is that this would be a fun game for special needs kids learning to use a switch. It would be a nice touch if Nickelodeon could program switch use as an educators option for use. The cost versus educational content may send out red flags for some families, but it is much less than a video or toy.
About the Author
Jo Booth has been an Occupational Therapist for over 30 years and currently works in Pediatrics with early intervention. She sees kids newly diagnosed on the spectrum as well as medically fragile kids. She loves to move, explore and play every day; so that "her kids" grow up to be healthy independent learners.