iLearnWith Poko: Emotions uses videos with short stories to help kids learn to recognize emotions and begin to understand how different situations can affect a character’s feelings.
This app helps children attach labels to the emotions they are feeling and begin to recognize what type of scenarios evoke those emotions. Children also begin to build empathy skills as they recognize the emotions the characters in the app are feeling. These activities help children develop their social, emotional and critical thinking skills.
While it moves slowly at times, iLearnWith Poko: Emotions is an entertaining app that kids, especially those in preschool and lower elementary school will enjoy. As they play, their progress is tracked and they can earn rewards, enticing them to watch more videos and recognize more emotions to keep advancing along the tracker. As children play, they will also come to be entertained by and connected to the characters Poko, Bibi and Minus as they experience a range of emotions.
The graphics and sound in the app are clear, although when played on an iPhone instead of an iPad, the faces of the characters in the video can be small and a little difficult to see. Some children may also become frustrated with the speed of the app. While using the app, children are read a scenario and then they watch a video acting out that scenario before selecting a face to show how the character feels. The section of video in between the scenario being read and selecting the appropriate emotion moves slowly and does not have any sound. Some children may wonder what is going on or become bored with the process.
iLearnWith Poko: Emotions helps kids build their critical thinking skills as they watch animated videos and make inferences to determine how a character is feeling. After each scenario, children are presented with two or three different faces representing different emotions. They then must choose which emotion best fits the scenario just described in the video. As children choose the emotions to reflect how the characters feel, they also begin to develop a sense of which emotions are appropriate in a situation and learn to recognize and appropriately express their own emotions.
Children in preschool and early elementary school will find iLearnWith Poko:Emotions to be very entertaining. While parents may find that some of the stories are repetitive, children will not mind hearing similar stories because they involve the cute Poko, Bibi and Minus characters and require children to choose different faces.
As children go through the app, their progress is tracked. When a child gets a correct answer, popcorn is thrown and a dog toy is squeaked, adding positive reinforcement and an additional entertainment value. A tracker on the top right side of the screen also motivates children to keep playing and keep filling in bars.
The app actually has two components: emotions and colors. Emotions is free and worth downloading. Learning to recognize emotions is an important skill for children and the various videos and scenarios expose children to a wide range of emotions. However, children may inevitably become frustrated that they cannot click on the colors section of the app, especially when the app instructs them they can click on the table to paint even when that section is locked. Colors is $2.99 via an in-app purchase and offers a decent value for the price.
The app is designed with young learners in mind. All scenarios are read aloud and children respond to visual cues rather than words. The emotions children choose from are represented in faces rather than words and each emotion is named when tapped.
Parents have the ability to create multiple profiles and track each child’s progress while they play the app. A special parent section helps parents manage iLearnWith Accounts and see a child’s progress. A separate app allows parents to further reward a child’s progress within the Emotions app and all iLearnWith apps.