Gaming Apps Young Children Will Love and Learn From: The PooYoos
Anywhere you look on social media and in news outlets, you will see that there are plenty of complaints about young children being given access to mobile games and that they shouldn't be playing video games. People say that they should be outside all the time or be developing practical skills.
While in some respects I agree with this, sometimes these kinds of statements couldn't be further from the truth. Some people have made it their mission to develop child-friendly and educational gaming apps which further a child's development and gives them the means to start developing vital ICT skills, which are needed in today's technological driven society.
Each week, I would like to introduce you to one of these apps in the hopes that it helps remove the stigma that all video games are bad for young children. In this week's article, I would like to introduce you to some fun friends of mine called The PooYoos.
The PooYoos are a creation from defunct French studio Lexis Numérique. These lovable Baby animals are here to help your child with numbers, letters, shape recognition, and colors. There are also dance activities which allow your child to get up and move as they interact with these cute characters.
The gameplay is totally freeform, and your child can choose which activity they would like to do in any order they choose. There are no leaderboard or high scores and, although the game does have scores, these are only as part of the gameplay and have no real function afterward.
There are six adorable characters for your child to play with. Each character has their own theme and mini-game.
- Rabbit loves being in the clouds. Its mini-game is all about shape recognition. The clouds have a big PooYoo shaped hole cut out of the middle, and your child needs to guess which one made it. To make it easy, there are only 2 PooYoos to choose from and each is in a particular stance to make it easy to differentiate between them.
- The Elephant just loves blowing bubbles! When playing with Elephant, your child is learning about colors and reactions. The mini-game consists of bubbles of different colors, and Elephant needs to use its water spout to burst them. The bubbles are different colors but at the beginning of the game, the narrator tells you to be careful with the red bubbles and not to pop them.
- The Panda PooYoo is a magician and loves its disappearing trick. It claps its hands and disappears in a cloud of smoke, and the lights go off. Using a pseudo-flashlight, your child must use their powers of observation and search in the darkness to find out where Panda is hiding.
- Turtle loves nothing more than playing music -- and loves it even more when its friends come and join him. The only problem is that Turtle and friends have trouble staying awake when they are playing their instruments. Your child needs to keep an eye on PooYoos as they play and wake them up with a tap when they start falling asleep.
- As with most cats, this PooYoo loves playing outside in nature. Out of all the mini-games The PooYoos have to offer, I would say that this is the hardest one out of all of them, because it relies heavily on knowing animal characteristics and an understanding of language. Cat and its friends enjoy playing Hide and Seek behind the trees in the forest, and your child must find the PooYoo the narrator is looking for. She will say things like "Which PooYoo likes eating bamboo?" or "Which PooYoo moves very, very slowly?".
- Pig loves colors and hiding in holes. For Pig's mini-game, your child will have to remember the colors of the PooYoos on the screen. They all jump into holes, and the narrator asks you "which hole did the purple PooYoo hide in?", for example.
Every character has a spelling mini-game attached to them. Again, these are themed to the PooYoo's interest, e.g., Cat likes nature, and Panda likes magic, etc. They have guided spelling exercises, but they get your child used to letters and what each on looks like. Each character also has a dance game which gets your child to follow the actions on the screen and helps develop motor skills and understanding rhythm.
There are no ads at all in the game, so you don't have to worry about your child coming across anything you don't want them to. The PooYoos is available free on Android mobile devices, as well as PlayStation 3 and Wii.