Mochu Pop introduces the very young to the sounds of four languages: English, French, Spanish and Italian. Scientists and educators know that toddlers’ and preschoolers’ brains are at a critical phase of development for acquiring language skills. In fact, the younger the child is, the easier it is to learn languages. This app introduces the special sounds of each language in a fun way that stimulates memory and prepares youngsters for learning words and sentences.
Enhances language-learning ability
Builds eye-hand coordination
Develops working memory
Introduces sounds of languages
Features blue-light filtering technology
Mochu Pop is a high-quality app that will fascinate most young children. After all, who doesn’t love to pop balloons? The app works exactly as intended, is easy to use and intuitive, and fun. One intriguing feature is the optional blue light filter. Some believe that blue light emitted by electronic screens such as Ipads, phones, and other devices disrupts the body’s production of melatonin, a vital chemical that controls sleep rhythms among other things. Mochu Pop allows parents to filter these light rays to minimize this possible problem.
Mochu Pop is a very simple app for very young children. Researchers know that the period from birth to age three is critical for language development. They also know that children are born with the ability to hear and create the full range of sounds in every language from around the world. As they learn to speak and understand the world around them, their brains naturally focus in on the sounds that are specific to their native languages until finally as children and adults, they literally cannot make, or even notice, many sounds found in other languages. Of course, this is one reason that learning foreign languages as teens or older adults is so challenging for most people. Mochu Pop is an attempt to forestall this selection process and keep the brain open to these sounds so that language learning can continue well past the usual age. The developers’ claim is that if children are exposed to a wider range of sounds, they will remember and be able to access them well past the normal language learning period. Does it work? Perhaps. Studies show that young children who grow up in households where multiple languages are spoken are far more likely to be bilingual and also have an easier time learning the second language even years later.
The app presents a balloon with a specific color and shape. When kids pop that type of balloon, they hear a sound from the chosen language. Pop other balloons and they just pop without the reward of hearing a sound. The balloons are floating around the screen, so users exercise not only memory skills but also eye-hand coordination. Young children also will be developing self-control as they try to restrain themselves from popping everything in sight.
One downside to this app is that the directions are only in printed form. Since it is aimed at the very young, kids working on their own may need guidance to get started since they can’t read yet. The app also ends each round with a written note about how many sounds the kids have heard and a numerical score, which, of course, parents will need to interpret. The app also floats “character balloons” across the screen from time to time, which deliver positive verbal messages of encouragement. These are wonderfully fun, but they seem a bit counterintuitive to the “pop only these balloons” instruction given at the beginning of each round.
The main source of fun for this app is in the popping of balloons. Young children adore repeatable actions where they can quickly see the outcomes of their efforts, and this app delivers that in spades. For most toddlers, this will be as addictive as tossing the cereal bowl on the floor or hearing the favorite book again and again. Preschoolers, however, may tire of the action fairly quickly. The app does distinguish between age groups, however, and make the game more challenging for older users, which will help. When profiles are created, the app asks for a birth date and calculates an age. The game play is differentiated based on the child’s age. For example, a two-year-old’s profile will trigger a single type of balloon to pop and a single sound introduced per round, at least for the first few rounds. A four-year-old’s profile will cause multiple types of balloons to be remembered and targeted, and the sounds are introduced at a faster pace with multiple sounds used in the early rounds.
This is a free app, and an outstanding value. It’s fun, especially for the very young, and it just might truly help kids’ brains stay more flexible to ease language learning tasks later in life. And in addition to its value as a language learning app, it offers valuable practice on foundational skills such as memory development, eye-hand coordination, cause and effect, self-control, and more.
This app is very child-friendly. There is very little chance of a youngster accidentally stumbling into the protected area.
Protected parent area (can contain external links & social media)
Mochu Pop is an interesting app designed to help young children retain and build their ability to learn sounds in other languages. Its fun, balloon-popping format will intrigue toddlers and preschoolers and keep them engaged for quite a while, and they will be building a host of important skills in addition to hearing the sounds of English, French, Spanish or Italian.