I learn by Bizzibrains in conjunction with Screen Australia is a self-directed social story packed with activities to ease kid’s anxieties concerning transitions into new school situations and the people who will be taking care of them. Their philosophy is “more joy and less stress.” By allowing kids (2 – 8) to put themselves in the story and explore the routines and activities of their school settings, there is a certain dejá vu familiarity from playing that builds trust and confidence in their ability to transition. Bizzibrains designed I learn so that kids control many aspects of the app and its direction, allowing them to initiate everything from getting ready in the morning to wrapping up and discussing the activities of the day with parents. How affirming and significant does that make a child’s life? It wonderfully segues the transition from home to school, class routine, and the transition back to home. I think that this is truly the only app that includes parents as part of the school experience. I learn helps to reinforce that there are many supports out there for kids both at school and at home. It also models how important it is for kids and parents to share at the end of the day, leaving stress or worries at the door for a good night’s sleep. Making this a habit early on makes it easier to communicate, as kids get older.
On opening, kids set up their significant others – a parent and teacher – outfit everyone as well as themselves; and can even choose the color of their hair, skin tone, and clothes. The story includes highlighted and personalized text, and kids can choose to put in a face shot to truly make themselves the star! The storyline proceeds to getting ready by packing up book bags and playing a board game to practice walking to school. It’s nice that friendly reminders of walking safety are included, and the math activities are graded to a child’s level at school making it more pertinent to an older child. As kids finish each activity, a little arrowed hand leads you to the next page. There are eleven pages in all, and each one is weighted and significant to the concerns of kids with appropriate activities to reinforce concepts or talking points.
- Practice tracing your name
- Getting dressed
- Packing up your bookbag
- Walking to daycare or school
- Identifying feelings
- Socializing on the playground
- Recognizing letter sounds in first position with I spy game
- Number sense
- Cleaning up
- Sharing at Night with a parent
- telling time
I love how this app proclaims the importance of sharing and supporting each other. It fosters empathy and gives kids a model for where to go for support. It’s designed to give kids just starting school, be it day care, preschool, or elementary school, to be successful right from the start. Visit Bizzibrains website for more information: and be sure to check out their first app, the award winning I imagine. They have great resources for parents, and it is well worth a look. We love the energy, compassion, and design behind I learn, and that is why it is a TWA Top Pick!
Tip: when searching the App Store, it was easier to do the search under Bizzibrains than by title, or click directly on the link provided.