K.I.W.i. Storybooks are like nothing you’ve ever experienced before in a children’s literature adventure. This is a total immersion package in worlds we may rarely see and interact with on such a detailed level. Its part art installation, part adventure, and a total integrative skill building learning experience that will stay with kids long into adulthood. Each set includes the enlarged panels, which are printed on a vinyl-like material to keep the panels protected, interactive apps with scanable markers, and performing arts activities that are curriculum based for kids Pre-K through 5th grade. The frames, which were designed and invented for the panels, are sold separately. Read the Teachers with Apps review for more background on this innovative series, or visit the K.I.W.i. website. Now that you’ve read all about K.I.W.i. Storybooks, let’s go play with the dinosaurs and get a firsthand look at what it is to enter into the worlds brought to us from K.I.W.i.!
Dinosaurs is a two sided 5-panel book with gorgeously detailed illustrations. The setup is over 5 feet tall and 14 feet long, big enough to fully feel like you’ve entered into another world. The best part of having a display this big is that kids are moving and interacting. Movement facilitates speech and the ability to problem solve and think. Ever need to go for a walk to clarify how you feel about something? I also love the fact that special needs kids in wheelchairs can be brought right up to screens.
The rocking app that accompanies the display promotes plenty of movement and enhances gross motor, visual motor, and visual discrimination skills. These skills are critical for all academics as well as life skills for safely navigating the environment. How may you ask? Well, let’s look at the app’s features.
On opening the dinosaur app (both sides are included in one app), you are greeted by a guide and a list of choices of activities to pursue. Search and Find has you scanning high and low for specific parts of the display and then once found, taking a picture with your iPad. And with a 5 x 14-foot display, there are endless possibilities for searching. Varying different head positions and moving in and out of different physical positions – helps coordinate movement with vision. This helps kids read off the board better, take notes, and to scan their environments for safe navigation by looking at one point and then another. Many of the kids I see in practice have a hard time with grading their head and neck movements and it makes it near impossible to copy assignments or take notes, let alone simply walking down the hall and not tripping over something or someone.
It’s not easy, I needed a little help to find the specific spine on the stegosaurus. Now, what is that next picture in the illustration… part of a leg? Believe it or not, the last picture is part of a dinosaur’s nose! After finding each of these pictures in order… a peer can check your findings. Once finished, you are able to go back and “retake” photos to correctly complete the assignment. This is a great pairing activity for classmates and teaches teamwork. Also, on each opening, pictures are randomly ordered with numerous “sets” available so no two Seek and Find tasks will be alike. This ensures repeat play and app longevity.
The Make a Noise feature was loads of fun. Either choosing from the preloaded sound effects or making up your own, will surely add the finishing touches to the making of your own movie or play. Finding your voice is not much of a problem here with the fantastic graphics and prompts.
Explore and Learn gives kids ample opportunities to learn and pursue activities by scanning markers. Here you can explore videos, puzzles, and games, or answer questions. The app reinforces learning by making it a multi-sensory experience. And as we know, the more enriched an experience is, the more it sticks.
Movie making rounds out this app’s features, with the choice of using a professional script or making your own. Teachers can extend learning modules into language – both from learning the script but also learning how to interact and negotiate with peers; science – learning to find and check your facts, math – timing and sequencing scenes. Really, there is no end to the possibilities to actively engage kids and have them begin to take responsibility in pursuing their own educational pursuits. K.I.W.i. helps provide the materials to jump start the process in this groundbreaking adventure, and helps turn early learners into lifelong learners.
About the Author
Jo Booth has been an Occupational Therapist for over 30 years and currently works in Pediatrics with early intervention. She sees kids newly diagnosed on the spectrum as well as medically fragile kids. She loves to move, explore and play every day; so that “her kids” grow up to be healthy independent learners.