Kapu Toys’, Kapu Bloom Tunes is fantastic app bursting with possibilities for early learners. This app not only introduces simple cause and effect play, but it also extends play into multistep exploration and teaching. By pairing sound with color, Kapu Bloom Tunes is definitely a go to app when trying to get even the most reluctant kids to engage.
On opening, you are greeted by a huge seed. How one decorates that seed is intuitive for most kids - touch a color, and you are ready to make your mark. Depending on the quality of touch, color is laid out. Tap for a small dot, but linger with your finger and that dot gets big! The opportunity to learn about graded control and color sense is learned through visual and tactile feedback. Each color also corresponds to a rich tone
that can be either sounded by tapping on a specific color or within the structure of the seed itself. Starting out slowly with the seed and sound activity promotes attention and learning about the beginning structures of sound and music through open ended play. There is no inherent right or wrong way to play, and that in itself is reinforcing. The choice of toggling between the tonal sounds and melodies is an option by choosing the notes or the treble clef sign in the upper right hand corner. The scale is a simple C sharp with one octave so playing melodies such as Twinkle, Twinkle or 3 blind mice is a snap. Rhythm, timing and melody are gently introduced here. It would be fun to see if older preschoolers could replicate a pattern of tones as the color and sound would serve as cues. There is something soothing about the tones, and encouraging independent play may be a way for kids to also learn about calming strategies and self-regulation in general.
When a child is ready to extend play and follow 2 or more steps, touching the magic watering can will cause the seed to break ground and bloom. A quick tap on the can won’t do it. You must touch the can until the seed is completely covered in water, and this calls for attention and timing – something to build upon when going to the next level of play. I love the subtle lesson in teaching how living things need nurturance to grow, and grow they do! Suddenly the seed cracks open, and a cheerful flower grows with the multi-colorings of your seed design on each petal. It’s fun to “tickle” the flowers, watch them spin, and listen to the sounds. They vary from flower to flower in instrumentation when played. Tap on the flower head, and the “Boom Boom” of the drums fills the room. Ambient music in the background continues to reinforce that sense of ease and space to maintain a calm overall sense of wellbeing. I would certainly give this app to a child having a bad day, and allow them to sit snug in a reading corner or mini space like a kid’s tent.
This app has a quiet elegance about it that can be adapted to all sorts of possibilities for teaching. From repeating sounds in a sequence, calling out for specific colors or drawn shapes, or using it simply as a sensory strategy for learning to self-calm, Kapu Bloom Tunes, will be one app you’ll use again and again.