Developed by a certified Speech-Language Pathologist, House of Learning bills itself as a tool for learning and playing. Using a series of activities within the app, you are able to work directly with your child to develop and improve their language skills.
Let’s face it, we all know what various words mean but it isn’t always easy to communicate those to your children when you are trying to help them learn. What seems obvious to us may not be to them. This app works to bridge that gap while keeping children entertained so they don’t know they are hard at work!
Start by allowing your child to choose a cast of characters for their story and then a scene to work with. From here you can choose a variety of items to customize your scene, including furniture as well as your characters. Each scene is viewed as a series of layers, with the newest items being placed on top of the previous items. In this manner you can add a bed to your bedroom, place bedding on the bed and then have the dog lay at the foot of the bed on top of the blankets.
When adding people to your scene, tapping them will alter their pose (sitting, standing, etc.) and cycle through a few clothing options allowing a good fit with the other objects. Cleverly, the pinch gesture works to change the size of the people to make them fit more appropriately based on the other items.
When your scene is perfect, click the camera button to take a screenshot and either save it to your library or share it by e-mail.
The developer encourages you to work directly with your child, asking them to perform specific tasks using complete phrases like “place the sheets on the bed.” They also suggest doing things like setting up the scene yourself ahead of time and doing something unusual like putting the desk on top of the lamp and then having your child identify what’s wrong.
This app is very much a blank slate, giving you the tools to educate, but leaving the plan and path up to you.
What I liked: Children like crafting and creating and this app lets them do that. There really is no wrong way to play with this app, which makes it quite versatile.
What I didn’t like: Some parents may prefer more guidance and assistance with teaching these skills to their child so they may prefer an app with a more structured approach.
To buy or not to buy: If your child would benefit from having a tool that gives visual cues to match your guidance, this is a nicely done app with a lot of potential.
- App Name: House of Learning
- Version Reviewed: 1.1
- Category: Education
- Developer: Smarty Ears
- Price: $6.99