If you’re looking for a subtle, unobtrusive way to introduce a discussion of emotions into your curriculum, the multi-award winning Avokiddo Emotions is the app for your classroom. This bright engaging app will help you teach social skills and awareness through play.
Avokiddo Emotions is simple and fun, featuring three animated characters (a zebra, a giraffe, and a sheep) and numerous random props that players can adorn the characters with. Pull down a lever on the side of the screen and watch props fall from the sky; these props range from hats and mustaches, to food and drink, to musical instruments. All of the props, when placed on or near the characters, elicit some sort of reaction from them. When, for example, a crown is placed on the zebra’s head, the background changes from plain to one with a castle, and three large trumpets enter from the side to play a fanfare. The zebra reacts clearly to these horns, seeming disturbed—and that’s the point of the app. By simply dressing up the characters using the props available, players begin to understand how to manipulate the characters’ emotions.
Avokiddo Emotions is good for almost any elementary aged student. Very young students, as early as preschool, will learn to understand emotions by observing the reactions of the characters. When, for example, the giraffe has a Santa hat placed on his head, he is transported to a snowy setting—and shivers, shakes, and looks uncomfortable. It won’t take long before children as young as 2 or 3 begin to recognize that the giraffe doesn’t like this environment and can begin to identify why. The more subtle emotions (annoyance, discomfort, etc.) may take longer for these younger children, but the app allows caregivers and teachers a venue to begin to discuss why the characters feel the way they do in that particular situation to encourage the identification and observation of different emotions.
Older children will certainly begin to learn more complex lessons as a result of this fun app. The app has no rules, and offers almost limitless opportunities for students to create unique combinations with the props and characters. They can spend time just creating the silliest or most interesting pictures, which they can then capture using the camera feature in the app, or they can begin to investigate how the different props elicit different emotional responses from the characters. Doing this allows students to understand the complex cause and effect of social relationships—or at least to begin to understand the delicate dance everyone participates in to create the emotional or social effect that they want.
Discussions of intention may allow older students to see how their actions can have consequences, and how changing their intention can dramatically change their result. If that seems like a tremendously ambitious lesson to learn from an app, it is—but the brilliance of Avokiddo Emotions is that these lessons are all experiential and based in free play. The app has no rules and doesn’t take the form of a structured game. Instead, it offers students the opportunity to use their imaginations and to engage emotionally without even realizing what they are doing.
Teachers will understand the brilliance of the design as they are able to integrate discussions about social skills and effective behavior into time students think they are merely playing. Avokiddo Emotions is available on iOS and Android devices from iTunes and Amazon.