Do you use story books to teach emotions? Do you teach your children the vocabulary that they need to identify and understand their own emotions so that they can learn to express and handle these emotions appropriately?
In Jack and the Beanstalk – Navigate Kids, your children will learn the meaning of 10 different emotions (sad, angry, scared, happy, surprised, curious, nervous, jealous, confident, excited) in the context of a familiar story. They will also learn to have empathy skills from 20 scenes in the story where they will use the clues in the text to understand how Jack is feeling and then choose an appropriate emotion for Jack from 10 choices at the bottom of the screen. Once chosen, they will see Jack’s facial expression in that scene change according to the emotion that has been selected and they will also get feedback if the selected emotion is appropriate or not.
In most of these scenes, there are more than one appropriate response and these present wonderful opportunities for us to ask our kids what made them think that’s how Jack feels. We can also ask how would they feel and what would they do if they encountered the same situations as Jack. Getting kids to identify and understand another person’s feelings and situations teaches them empathy and by observing Jack’s facial expressions, kids learn to read facial clues which will in turn help them better relate to people.
The story itself is nicely illustrated and filled with rhyming text. Animations and interactivity are kept to a minimum and this works well as you don’t want to have too many frills to distract your child from thinking deeply about what’s happening in the story. Though there are more than 50 pages in this app, navigation within it is easy with a contents page that brings you directly to one of the 4 chapters and a menu page that is easily accessible. It would be great if optional audio narration is added to the story, so that younger children can ‘read’ by themselves.
This idea of using stories to support social emotional development is not new but a storybook app that is specifically designed for this purpose is new (as far as I know). The app, Jack and the Beanstalk – Navigate Kids is well-made and presents many opportunities for discussions about feelings, besides teaching the meaning of 10 emotions and how they look like. I highly recommend this new reading experience.
Requirements: Compatible with
Size: 0 MB
NOTE: A fee was received to expedite this review to the top of our waiting list but this payment has not influenced the objectivity of the review and all opinions have been offered honestly.
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Grace was working in the fields of early childhood education and staff training before quitting to attend to her 4 children full time. She and her family live in Singapore, which is well known for her highly competitive education system.