Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Kids * Play

Komaneko, An Edutainment App Perfect for Kids!

Lucas watching Komaneko
When it comes to the Ipad for my boys, their time on it is pretty limited. There are so many apps catered to children that it's hard to find good ones. So when I came across Komaneko, an adorable whimsical education app, I was pretty excited.  

It is centered around the story of a beloved cat named Komaneko, who happens to be quite popular in Japan. Created eleven years ago by the imaginative Tsuneo Goda, Komaneko has since starred in several films and was even nominated as a finalist for the Melbourne International Animation Festival, the London International Animation Festival and the Seoul International Cartoon and Animation Festival.

But what of the app itself? Does it live up to what Komaneko is about? In my book, it sure does.

The Story
As you enter the world of Komaneko, you are greeted with a simple interface that is ideal for young children. There are several languages you can choose from so if your child is learning Mandarin, like mine is, it is an easy switch. Lucas actually pointed out a few words in Mandarin that he knew!

The all in one edutainment app (because why should learning be boring!) has four areas on its interface that you can enter. The first one is read. Here you can either record your child’s voice reading the story or hear it read to you. I love that you can play the recording back as this helps the child hear how he pronounces words which in turn improves their reading.

Aiden giggling to Komaneko
 But the piece de rĂ©sistance is that this app actually contains the original movie, Komaneko: The First Step. The movie tells the story of Komaneko as she creatively shoots a one stop motion movie all by herself. The graphics and heartwarming story is appealing to young children. Aiden was particularly enthralled with the story and for the first time, he actually sat still to watch something. A rare feat indeed. But it’s not just for toddlers, my preschooler enjoyed it as well.
Our movie creation!

That’s not all, this app also allows your child (ok I played a bit too) to use their imagination by making their own movie! Lucas, the director, and I, his assistant director, made a movie titled The Adventures of Komaneko the Spaceman. It’s easy to do as you drag and drop images you want into a scene and we managed to fill up eight scenes to make our story! After that we can play back and there is entertainment for all. 

Colouring fun!
Komaneko offers more than just movies and stories, Lucas had fun colouring and playing with the puzzles and for older children, there is also the Mission button which encourages hand eye coordination. You have to tilt the Ipad to allow Komaneko to grab things or use your finger to guide her. There is also games like spot the difference and matching game, both encouraging memory use.

Overall, I found this app to be a perfect balance between fun and education. It is easy to explore as my four year old demonstrated and the story of Komaneko is so sweet that even I enjoyed it. 

1 comment:

  1. i somehow came across your instagram stream & made my way here!! wonderful that you're malaysian, i am, too!!! :D :D just leavin' love in your space. HIYA! :D