Feel Electric! is an interesting free, universal educational app aimed at helping children learn about and express emotions in a healthy way.
This app features the cast and content of The New Electric Company, teaching children the meaning of 50 emotional words and further exploring these different feelings with a variety of fun activities.
One area of this app is called My Life and consists of three sections, Mood Dude, Mood Tales and Moodosphere.
Mood Dude allows players to change the eyes, brows, mouth, arms, and color of an avatar reminiscent of an M&M character, allowing one to express how he is feeling. It is nice that both happy and sad choices are included as well as many other emotions.
Mood Tales includes ten story makers that also demonstrate emotions, here used as the tone to these short stories that get filled in with the choice of random words - Mad-Libs style - and include images from this hit PBS T.V. show.
Moodosphere allows children to choose three emotions that best describe their current mood do tap to hear and see proper usage of these words.
I really enjoy the vast selection of eclectic emotions included within this app, such as calm, confused, bored, regretful, jealous or proud, as well as how these words are explained as a tap of a finger opens up a glossary of terms, both written, narrated, and with a photo. I think it is great that the narration also expresses the emotion word in use, really bringing home the meaning of these important words.
The My Games section includes three fun arcade-style mini-games that also focus on children learning to express their emotions through words.
Pets Vs. Monsters is a fun game taking place on a baseball field where the player moves a batter back and forth with a finger trying to hit photo images that correspond with the emotion in question. I enjoy this mini-game, but I found this game a little hard as I tried to match up expressions that did not match 100 % with the emotion at hand but were good choices until the correct, most obvious choice was offered.
Prankster Madness is a tilt game where players tilt their devices to move a skateboarder back and forth matching expressive photos to word balls dropping from the sky, missing incorrect words and other objects in the fast-paced, timed mini-game.
Hey, Catch This is another emotion centric arcade-style game, here allowing players to shoot word balls at moving targets with matching expressions.
My Stuff is a section full of photos, music, and video clips from The New Electric Company. This section allows one to decorate the photos from the My Photos with stickers that also express different emotions. It is nice that a large selection of images, music and video clips from The New Electric Company are included, and I appreciate how this media can be accessed without an internet connection.
Fans of this show will love all of this included content, but I think children not familiar with this series may feel that there is a lot of context missing to fully understand what one is looking at or listening to.
Although this may be the case for this section of this app, it is nice that the other areas of this app are accessible to children who may not watch this show on TV, even if the concepts and characters past the basic gameplay may also be over the heads of those not fans of The New Electric Company.
My personal favorite area of this app is the What’s the Word section, a glossary of emotional words used throughout this app. Here, one can study the faces that make up each expression close up, also listening to the explanation of each word expressed in a way that demonstrates each word really well. This is a great area to compare similar yet different words as it pertains to how these expressions are demonstrated on the faces of those who possess these emotions. It would be nice to be able to see these photos blow up to even larger images, and it would be nice to choose words that are similar and be able to compare these images side by side.
Feel Electric! is also part of the website, Military Families Near and Far which aids children in expressing their emotions and keeping in contact with family. This is a wonderful application for allowing children to express their feelings especially while being faced with the challenges of deployed family members.
I would also like to recommend this app to families with special needs children who will gain a lot by the images of expressive faces and verbal cues offered about a variety of emotions. Jessica Ruiz and Danny Rebus, the teen cast members who star in this app as well as The New Electric Company do an outstanding job expressing these emotions in a way that is exaggerated enough for these feelings to register clearly, while still being grounded in reality.
Parents and teachers may also appreciate how this app keeps a log of the various emotions chosen on different days, allowing adults and children to look back and discuss the feelings that were previously felt.
It is impressive that an app of this caliber is free, as it is bright, colorful and a lot of fun, also including some fun, up-beat music used throughout.
Because of this fact, I would think many families would enjoy downloading this app and seeing what it is all about, as I can imagine young children not associated with military families, or those who have special needs, can gain a great deal of new vocabulary words, making this a good app for toddlers who can peruse the emotional faces and new words found throughout the What’s the Word section, making it a great first app where kids will grow into the other sections.