Smart Apps For Android: REVIEW: Why? Kids Poo - teach your toddler the nitty gritties (best Android kids apps)

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

REVIEW: Why? Kids Poo - teach your toddler the nitty gritties (best Android kids apps)

Bottom Line: Especially useful for toddlers and also kids with special needs, Why? Kids Poo explains in developmentally appropriate language all about poo. Satisfy your child's curiosity with this app, while learning a few new facts yourself! Lots of visual and audio support and minimal text means children can use this app independently.

Price: $2.77               Size: 376kB               Number of activities: 15

External links to other apps by the same developer

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Get it on Google Play

App explained: Why? Kids Poo is divided into three parts. The first section has 15 cards, a bit like chapters in a book, that explain everything about poo from its purpose, how often and how much we should poo, to why we get constipated etc. These cards have multiple pages of illustrations, explanations and interactions. Each card is initially locked until the previous card has been read by the player, ensuring a kind of progression of learning.

The next section is a quiz to test the player's comprehension of what s/he learned from the cards. Each question is asked verbally, with the option to view the text of the question, and the player chooses from three possible picture answers. After five questions, a badge is awarded - bronze for zero to three correct answers, silver for four and gold for five. After three rounds of five questions, a sticker is awarded with a total of nine stickers to collect.

The third section is a bookshelf of sorts, where other books in the Why? Kids series would appear. From what I can tell, there are only two other books by the same developer that are in English, which I have not purchased, but I imagine they would appear on this bookshelf for easy access. The information button takes the player to other apps by the same developer on the app store. Other than that, this section has no function.

Pros/Cons: Why? Kids Poo is a really useful tool for teaching very young children or children with special needs about various aspects of poo from its purpose in our bodies to its benefits for the environment. It has a high quality presentation with lots of visual and audio support for every new concept. The interactive games engage children and help them to remember the concepts and the quiz gives an indication of the child's understanding.

Unfortunately, this app took a few goes before I could actually use it. Downloaded on my phone it could not fully open and simply had a blank white page. The initial download on my tablet required a further download of data, but the glitches in the screen made it difficult to navigate through that. Once it was fully downloaded, however, there weren't really any difficulties, just the glitch upon exit (as shown in this image).

Once the app was completed (all the cards were unlocked and all the stickers were collected) there did not appear to be any way to reset the app so I uninstalled and reinstalled. All of the achievements were still there and the cards unlocked. Apart from these two technical difficulties, the app was excellent and very comprehensive. In fact, even I learned some new information about poo that I did not previously know.

Why? Kids Poo has made great use of mini-games to teach/reinforce concepts and I could see this as being a great addition to an Early Childhood Classroom to supplement lessons on health education and there is plenty in this app to make it good value for money. Children will learn enough about their own bodies to be able to make informed decisions about their eating and toileting habits, and there would no doubt be discussion amongst students about various aspects of the app.

When my daughter used the app, it was a case of not wanting to look (being disgusted by the sheer amount of farts in the app) to not being able to look away because she was truly interested in finding out about why it is difficult to do a poo sometimes, or how poo can actually be a good thing for our environment. She scored highly in the quiz so she obviously took it all in, and I am sure that we will be hearing about it again in the coming days.

Suggestions for updates: It would be great to have multiple profiles for different children and the option to customize the quiz with number of questions and level of comprehension. My older children could also benefit from the information provided, and the quiz could certainly benefit from having a greater range of questions as well as a range of difficulty (employing higher order thinking).

Summary: A must-have app for preschoolers, particularly toddlers who are toilet training. June is a great time to get it (National Potty Training Month) and it is a great resource to help you talk to your child/students about nutrition and the environment. I give Why? Kids Poo a strong 4 stars.

Device/s used:
Phone - Samsung Galaxy S4 (Android 4.3) - did not work
Tablet - Samsung Galaxy Tab3 10.1" (Android 4.2.2) - a glitch upon entry and exit, otherwise fine
Tablet - Thomson QM734 - not compatible

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Cas now knows why her flowers are not so pretty. They need more poo.

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