The amazingly talented team at ‘Made in Me’ understand the lesson that Disney demonstrated in Snow White 50 years ago – attention to detail and watercolour beautiful animations are a winning combination.
They have designed a computerised book, which is issued in themed chapters. Chapter one is shape, size and colour; Chapter 2 the Outside World; Chapter 3 is Making Things and the newly released Chapter 4 is Rhythm and Dance. The story is based around 3 animated friends – Buddy Boo the bear, Eric the raccoon and Willow the Owl. They can imagine being different things, but the three properties of the imagined objects are chosen by the child using the programme.
Once chosen, a picture of the imagined object appears. Clicking on the picture animates it. By changing the words in the descriptive speech bubble, the picture changes.
The stated aim of this delightful software is to promote discussion between the computer users, whether that is parent and child or children working together – the ‘sustained shared thinking’ of the EPPE research. I was initially concerned that the temptation would be to just leave the child to their own devices but when I left my youngest son alone with the first chapter, all he wanted to do was show me the pictures he had created!
The educational consultant on the project, Professor John Siraj-Blatchford has been able to optimise the learning opportunities such as symbols representing objects and the connections between words and actions. It is a great idea to be able to print the pictures and related activities. In my experience this is exactly what children will want to do.
I thoroughly enjoyed using this programme. It was very refreshing to hear English accents and the instructions are clear. There are only 3 options to choose from, but this is probably enough for very young children.
Personally I think, just as Disney 50 years ago, Made in Me have created a classic against which others will be measured in years to come.
The Land of Me can be downloaded very easily at www.madeinme.com Enjoy!