Come play with letters in order to build and spell words that look like animals or imaginary creations. Use your fine motor skills to rotate, enlarge, move and flip objects to manipulate your ABC’s as you explore in three modes: plAy, Beasts, and Create. Launched in early February, developers from Happi created Happipets, an usual approach to spelling words for your iPad device running iOS 4.3 or later. It is designed with a younger generation in mind, however, even the oldest of children and adults will enjoy exploring. What pets will your child create? With 12 real animals, 12 imaginary ones and over 140 letters to build just about anything, your child will feel like they are watching an episode of Word World on PBS Kids. Drag, drop and recognize animal names or individual letters to your workable canvas as letters turn into a picture or scene.
As you initially explore Happipets, Applicable2U would suggest that you collaboratively work with your child(ren). As developers state in their iTunes description, this educational app is not the usual spelling app. Regardless, with a kid friendly appearance and support systems in place, children and parents will have fun building a happipet. Get the hang of Happipets by starting in the “plAy” mode. At the top of your canvas will be a scrolling feature which alphabetically lists your 12 real world animals. Come play and learn about such animals as a dog, flamingo, lion or rabbit. Amazingly letters are artistically designed in their color and detail. With a single tap of the animals name your scroll bar will disappear and exploration can begin. The objective is to manipulate each letter around the page by enlarging, shrinking, moving, or rotating it to transform from a word to an actual animal picture. Whether you are an adult or a child, this concept visually may be challenging, but not to worry. At the bottom of the screen, users might find it helpful to click the “help” button. This help feature is the giveaway to your end result, however, you will find yourself using it multiple times.
While building your animal, learn a few interesting facts about it by clicking the “information” button in the lower right hand corner of your screen. Need to start fresh and put your letters back to default in the scroll bar, click the trash can and it will clear your canvas. To access your scroll bar, simply click the pull down tab at the top of your screen. Users will know that a letter has been manipulated and dropped into its correct place when they hear a locking sound. After the animal has been correctly draw, an appropriate background or environment will suddenly appear. A note to the developers – might it be possible to offer in the scroll feature a single and double tap. The single tap could say that animals name and the double tap option could drop it on the users canvas. Without adult supervision as it is set now, users will not know what animal they are learning to spell or create. In addition, we would love to see an audio feature added in two areas. First, as a user manipulates letters, it would great to hear that letter announced for letter recognition reinforcement. In addition, we would love to see that interesting facts could be shared aloud by simply tapping a microphone icon.
As you move from playing with real animals, it is now time to play with mythological ones. Ever heard of a delipolk or a dufou?? With those same features found in the plAy mode, come explore the Beast mode. As we navigated our way through this round, we immediately made a connection to a science project that was done in a 5th grade class. Students had to create an animal of their choice, but were required to explain what it was, what were its predators or prey, what adaptations were necessary for it to survive and where could it be found. With the implementation of a drawing and word processing program, this project came to life. As technology has changed over the years, this Beast mode would be a great update to our animal studies project. As the animal comes to life and is locked into place, take a screen shot on your iPad device by simply clicking at the same time the home and sleep button. This screen shot can then be found in your camera roll and inserted into any document.
The last area for exploration is the Create mode. Here users will be able to select random letters as a way to create their own pets. Since this design is by users choice, the help button is no longer present. However, a saving, scene and sharing feature has been added. Choose from a laundry list of letters and designs, 24 different scenes to add your animal too and the option to share your creation via Facebook and/or email. A note to the developers – might it be possible to put a parental lock on the sharing option for the safety of those using the application. In addition, it might be interesting to add a feature to your website that would allow Happipet application users to upload and share their creations with your followers.
Overall, Applicable2U enjoyed our exploration with Happipets. It is an application that fits at home and at school. It endorses creativity and the possibilities to collaborate with others in a fun way. If you would like to contact the developers, Happi, please visit their website here. We were encouraged to see that new letters and animals will be added for free in the next round of updates. To add Happipets to your iPad device, please click here to begin your $1.99 download today!