What is it
Say hello to Happy Studio from McDonald’s! It’s full of fun games and creative activities to help kids develop useful skills while they play at being an artist, inventor, entertainer, hero or musician. Create a masterpiece, move to the music, or launch a rocket – anything is possible in Happy Studio.
“We’ve loved watching children enjoy playing Happy Studio and having the opportunity to develop across so many areas while they play.” Lucy Gill, Apps, Technology and UX Expert
The app is constantly updated with characters that are visiting the Happy Meal, so there’s always something new to make and do. The games are always changing too – so not all of the games below are available all of the time.
- Be an Inventor: This game encourages kids to experiment and watch their creations go off with a surprise. Children can build all sorts of machines, then test their inventions to find out if they work!
- Be an Artist: Kids learn the techniques they need to feel like a real artist – with some surprising results. Explore tools and resources to create drawings, or follow the instructions to learn how to draw a character.
- Be an Entertainer: Kids take centre stage to learn the art of performance. Playing as a team or solo, they’ll create and star in their own music video or film trailer.
- Be a Musician: Challenging kids to match musical patterns helps them learn different sounds and rhythms. Kids can get moving to the music and compose their own songs.
- Be a Hero: Solve three multi-level motion-controlled puzzles. Challenge yourself or play with up to three friends – who is the real Hero?
Note: Some features are only available in selected countries and restaurants.
- Play with Happy: Choose outfits and backgrounds for Happy, and unlock new ones with each visiting character. Children can see how many keepy-uppies he can do, or get him to copy them with the camera feature.
- Scan with Happy Studio: Kids can scan their Happy Meal toy or promotional Happy Meal food items with scannable icons for new surprising ways to play with their favourite characters visiting the Happy Meal.
- Digital masks: The new magical mask experience allows children to transform themselves into visiting characters or play with masks inspired by fruits and veggies.
- Digital books: In this new digital reading experience, sounds and animations bring the story to life. As children follow the words with their finger the text is highlighted, helping children keep track of their reading.
About Happy Studio
Happy Studio is built to encourage children to think creatively, make things they can be proud of, and grow their skills. That’s why the Happy Studio philosophy is: Think. Make. Grow.
(App updated – May 2019)
What our team of testers said
"Do you think this would work? I think I need more rocket boosters." (playing Be an Inventor) - Boy aged 5
"This is so cool mum." - Boy aged 6
"I'm slurping the milk." (using Digital Masks) - Girl aged 6
"Hold it right there!" (playing Be a Hero) - Girl aged 10
- Develops problem solving and creativity
- Provides opportunities for children to play together
- Supports reading
What our experts think
We love the huge range of games available in Happy Studio because this gives children the freedom to explore and choose what they’d like to play within a safe app. It also means lots of different skills are promoted; from creativity (in Be a Musician and Be an Artist), to logic and problem solving skills (in Be an Inventor and Be a Hero). Although all of the games can be played alone, the multi-player options in Hero and Entertainer are a great way to encourage siblings and friends to play together.
As well as the games children have many more fun features to choose from. The Digital Masks were particularly popular, leading to a lot of giggling! The Digital Books feature finger tracking, helping children remember where they have read up to. Just as many parents will point to text as they read it, this feature can help children link the text to the sound of the word, supporting reading skills. Our testers found the stories were quite long for younger children, so it may be a good idea to read just a few pages at a time to keep children engaged.
We found it a little tricky to play the Hero game in multi-player mode, but our testers commented that it was nice to see an app that could be used to encourage children to play as a team. They also found it easier to play when standing up – which encourages a bit more movement during screen time!
Note: Fundamentally Children were involved in the development of this app, but it was tested for the Good App Guide by a separate team of children and experts.
- Brands: McDonalds, Preloaded
- Key Features:
- No 3rd party adverts
- No in-app purchasing
- No internet access required for core features
- Child Restrictions: Yes- appropriate features restricted
- Languages available:
- Apple version: iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
iOS 9.0 or later
- App Types: Educational Apps
- Types of skills developed: Art & design
Design & technology
Fine motor skills
Learning to read
Listening and attention
Logic, strategy & problem solving
Managing feelings & behaviour
Memory, concentration & attention
Personal, social & emotional development
Physical & motor skills
Speech, language and communication skills
Teamwork, turn taking & sharing
Timing and reactions
Trial and error learning
Understanding the world