ABC ZooBorns is the delightful new app from Peapod Labs, part of a series of apps dedicated to teaching children about the alphabet as well as themes such as food, vehicles, sports, music, household objects, or wild animals.
I really appreciate how for ABC ZooBorns, developers at PeaPod Labs have partnered with ZooBorns.com, a site dedicated to documenting births at zoos around the world to bring photos and video clips of these charming creatures.
My son loves animals, and to him the only thing better than animals are baby animals. Together we have spend time looking at baby animal videos on YouTube, so it is nice to have all this information within an application, making searching for this information a lot less time-consuming and simple to use for my boy.
My son, a fan of these other apps, was excited to hear about ABC ZooBorns, asking me about a list of his favorite animals, all of which are included - much to my son’s excitement. I too enjoy the list of animals included - be it more traditional zoo animals, such as tigers or zebras, but also including some unique choices such as Ural owl, wombat or quokka. We do love to look at these animals as babies, especially those are simply precious to look at such as baby Gorillas or Elephants.
It is wonderful that this app contains a great deal of content even without being online, as each animal included has a series of images as well as very nice narrated animal facts that sometimes correlate with the photo in question, also including more information involving such details as species, as well as a fun interaction for each animal.
ABC ZooBorns as well as the other apps in this series includes a menu page of available baby animals to explore - alphabetically arranged. Tap to select a baby animal to explore further. Do note that each animal type is spelled out at the bottom of the page, allowing one to tap any of these letters to see a series of animals starting with this letter as well, introducing some letter awareness. Make no mistake, though; these apps can be enjoyed by curious children well past the age of learning their ABC’s.
As more and more animal images are explored, the menu page will become filled in from blank areas to small icons created of each animal image showing what users have and have not looked at and saving this information for later - a nice touch.
When taken to a page dedicated to one’s animal choice, note the “Little Explorer” holding a window left of the screen. A tap here will deliver players to the interactive screen where children will drag their finger around the screen to uncover new related photo elements, allowing children to brush a monkey, bathe a hippo, weigh an otter, or help hatch a penguin.
I have enjoyed these as well as other interactive moments, but I find that too often one is asked simply to find the animal not seen until the wiping of the fingers, leaving more room for additional variation. It would also be lovely to hear animal noises during wiping of the screen or after to include another animal elements to this application.
To hear fun animal facts, tap the icon of the “Little Explorer” wearing a safari outfit right of the screen - a terrific inclusion for children, especially those who may be pre-readers, and I really enjoy how each photo of each animal contains its own narrated fact.
To watch an animal video, swipe the page to progress to the next image where one will find a link to a video clip for each sequential photo as well.
We have been a fan of these apps universally, and it is exciting to say that these apps keep getting better and better, now updated to be interactive, as well as include video clips and universally well-shot photographs.
I also find it impressive how much this series of apps has changed, making these apps more interactive and user-friendly for children who need help with reading. I admire PeaPod Labs' commitment to further developing their apps with free updates of added content and not just bug fixes. I would love to see more varied interactions in the future as well animal sounds.
My son and I also enjoy their other all new ABC House - everyday objects that I will also be reviewing in the future. If interested, please look for it in iTunes.
My boy has come to know these apps a great deal and gets excited when another of this series appears on our devices, utterly recognizable as these apps share the same stylized icon including a “Little Explorer” character dressed in a way which demonstrates each of these app’s themes. I do wonder what could be next for this series. Only time will tell.