KazuTime is an app designed to help young children conceptualize and learn about the passage of time. It functions as a timer, but instead of displaying elapsed time or doing a traditional countdown, KazuTime shows a friendly husky and his playmate on an “adventure” or journey towards a designated ending. When they arrive at their destination, the time has passed.
Multiple cues to help children gauge the passage of time
Users pick their own puppy to be Kazu’s companion
Users can collect reward stars for finishing tasks early
Adults can add personalized tasks with pictures to time
Customizable alerts for timer
KazuTime is a high quality app. Developers have made it intuitive to use and very quick for adults to set. The app includes nine preloaded tasks and events, such as dressing or bedtime, as well as a simple system to add tasks or events that are personalized using pictures from the camera roll. The app includes simple, clear instructions, and everything seems to work smoothly. The only feature that was unclear to me how to access was the capability mentioned to set an alarm to sound at quarter intervals through the period. This would be really handy, but I could not find a way to set this up.
KazuTime is intended to help very young children (toddlers and preschoolers) learn to quantify the passage of time. It can be used as a timer to limit the amount of time spent on a task or to help the child gauge the passage of time before an anticipated event. It’s very nice that users can personalize and individualize the tasks and events using pictures. This makes it possible to, say, take a picture of the child’s bed and pair it with the bedtime task. You can set the timer to “go off” at bedtime, and your young child could quickly and easily learn to see how much time is left before bedtime without asking you and without knowing how to tell time.
Developers included many clues on the timer screen to help young children see how quickly time is passing. Kazu and his friend ride their dog sled to the destination igloo. When time is up, they arrive. There is also a standard time-measuring bar, similar to what some software programs use when loading. Another very nice touch is in the sky. Children (or their adults) can choose the color for the sky and it gradually lightens/brightens as the end of the period approaches.
This app’s entertainment value lies in the screen where Kazu is “on his adventure” during the period being timed. The free version of the app comes with a dogsled riding in a northern theme, with the destination being an igloo. Users can choose one of three friends for Kazu and pit them against one another to earn stars by completing tasks early and tapping the igloo. Two other scenes are available as in-app purchases, and they include other characters and other goals.
The app will likely be appealing to young children, but may not hold their interest using just the provided free material.
KazuTime costs $2.99 in the App Store and does include protected in-app purchase opportunities. The price seems somewhat high for many families who don’t truly “need” instruction of this sort for normally developing children, but it might be a real bargain for families of children with special needs since it could help reduce anxiety and increase compliance. It is of minor concern that there is no indication of the cost of the in-app purchases before you are required to enter your iTunes password, and it’s not clear if entering your password automatically authorizes the purchase. Developers may want to consider making this information a bit more accessible in the protected parent area so people can make informed decisions.
KazuTime has a protected parent area that shields all links to the App Store, social media, and the internet. Children can see the themes available for purchase, but they have lock symbols on them and when tapped, they lead to the effective parent gate.
Protected parent area (contains external links, in-app purchase, & social media)
KazuTime will help young children gain a better understanding of the passage of time, and may assist them with developing the self-control required to wait for anticipated events. It is also useful for timing activities that parents wish to have continued for a specific amount of time, such as brushing teeth or cleaning a room.