Review: Curious World

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I’m not a very creative mom and I’m truly lacking when it comes to entertaining and educating my kids. It isn’t instinctual for me to take everyday moments and create learning opportunities that are fun and engaging (e.g. while having a treat, sort M&Ms by color and count how many of each color).

I keep them safe, fed, clean, happy (most of the time) and totally loved up; but ask me to find games and activities that are fun and educational for their age? I’m not that kind of mom and that’s totally OK.

Luckily, for this full-time working mama there’s an app for that (and a site too)!  Curious World™, an online activity center providing fun and engaging activities for youngsters – and their parents! – helps prepare kids for kindergarten. It’s educational and fun, plus, it’s FREE!

Curious World™ Website
Curious World™ Website

Curious World, developed by early learning professionals at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, uses online flashcards to deliver activities and games that stimulate learning. The flashcards are organized, by age, into eight learning categories: Creative Expression, Language & Literacy, Mathematics, Science, Family & Community, Executive Function, Social & Emotional, and Health & Well-Being.

The site is incredibly easy to use, as well. You simply create an account and then click on the “Flashcards” menu to begin the fun.  On the Flashcards page, you select your child’s age and then select one of the eight learning categories.

My daughter showing us how to read.
My daughter showing us how to read.

For “Language & Literacy” my daughter loved showing us how to hold a book and read to us while turning the pages; so much so she continued to do so until we said we were ready to move on. If you want, you can even track your child’s progress by documenting the activity with a photo (optional) and marking the activity complete.

While the website provides the flashcards, the Curious World app provides much more interactivity for little brains and hands. Izzy and Mac, the lovable Curious World characters, act as guides as you use the app, which my kids easily navigated. They quickly figured out how to access and use the drawing application, the selfie decorating tool, crazy voice playback program, and puzzles.

Curious World App
Curious World App

In addition, the app offers theme-based activity packs with additional games. The Light & Shadows pack, featuring Izzy and Mac, is free and offers videos, puzzles, an eBook, photo fun, and a printable activity for kids to do with their parents or older siblings. Each activity features Izzy and Mac and is focused on the theme of light and shadows.  In addition, you have the option to purchase other activity packs, such as Curious George, for $0.99.

Curious World has definitely come in handy. Many of the activities are now a stock part of our day: looking at clouds and sharing what each looks like (creative expression); piling similar objects and counting how many we have of each (mathematics); dancing each morning to music (health & well-being); looking at photos of people in magazines and talk about how we think they are feeling (social & emotional); and so many more.

The kids sorting and counting M&Ms.
The kids sorting and counting M&Ms.

While some of these activities might seem like common sense, when you have two kids under the age of four and you’re a working mom who’s more creative with PowerPoint than toddlers, it’s easy for common sense – and your mind – to be lost!

I highly recommend checking out the Curious World site and downloading the app if you’re looking for fun, educational activities to stimulate interaction and learning with your toddlers.

Have you used Curious World? What did you think? What other tools keep help you engage with your kids in age appropriate activities?

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