Little Bunny - Hide and Seek is just the kind of app I love for early learners. Both visual and auditory input is functional and pertinent; gameplay is based on routine activities familiar to early preschoolers, and duration of play is kept short for limited attention spans which encourage independent play once the sequence or rules are mastered. So with that said, let’s go play!
On opening, Little Bunny is ready for play in a game of hiding and seek. Tap him and off he hops. Is he here… or there? Clues are given as to where to look. But alas no; on first look there is a little squirrel hiding in a log; then a mouse and hedgehog on subsequent pages. The animations and hotspots are kept to a minimum and don’t detract from the story. The ability to follow the directive is rewarded with being able to move on to the next clue. Other hotspots on a page are sounded out musically and let you know to go searching elsewhere for the little bunny. The musical notations have all the inflections of speech, without overshadowing the directives of the page. The insistent message is to continue with the verbal direction. As an alternative, you are able to make a nice musical piece while you try to figure out where to go next.
Although the app in itself consists of 6 pages, it is rich in learning to promote following directives or suggestions and independent play. The opportunity to explore and find the right path is open-ended and inviting. This is an app to be played with early learners and those going onward from simple cause and effect play, but have difficulty organizing or retaining information.
Graphics and narration are simple and straight forward, and I love the thoughtfulness of the developers to have the option to turn off the verbal directives and allow the teacher to read it out loud while still retaining the sound effects. This, in itself, helps kids to learn to listen and follow the teacher’s command, rather than an arbitrary voice. The preschoolers I have played this with have enjoyed this app, feeling proud of their efforts to find the little bunny.
Some natural extensions for play would be: hide and seek, following a pirate's map to discover lost swag, and for the very young - object permanence games of hiding and discovering objects.
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.