Inspiring your Child’s Imaginations through Storytelling
If you’re looking for an app to entertain and inspire your budding artist, Petting Zoo (from Fox & Sheep) would be a fabulous choice. This is still such a novel app despite first launching 2 years ago; simple enough for children under 5 years old, with a sense of humour that adults can enjoy too. It’s no surprise that the app has been downloaded over 1 million times! The particular genius for us is how the illustrator, Christoph Neimann, has produced something so open-ended and playful with a simplicity that inspires children to believe that drawing is achievable and opens their minds to what’s possible through animation.
Petting Zoo, perhaps best described as an interactive picture book, features a collection of 21 animated, quirky, doodle-style animal drawings. Unlike traditional picture books, the pictures come to life in surprising and hilarious ways when tapped or swiped. Stretch the rabbit like elastic, get the ladybird to race faster and faster around the apple, or give the elephant a bath – there are so many brilliantly clever animations to discover! Even the transitions between the scenes are entertaining.
Designed to be both unthreatening and unpredictable, while offering interactivity that feels immediate and real, Petting Zoo offers children a simple and open-ended gaming experience. Apps that challenge children are great for encouraging them to keep trying even if they struggle or fail, however it’s lovely to find an app where children can just play. Children often enjoy imaginative small world or role play activities (such as pretending to cook in a plastic kitchen) that have no specific purpose. The absence of pressure allows children to explore and experiment freely, without time pressure, or the risk of making mistakes or losing.
Neimann’s wonderfully imaginative yet simple animations also inspire children to try drawing for themselves. Although we are often led to believe that drawing is an innate skill, and whilst we’re not all going to be Christoph Neimann, the ability to draw is absolutely teachable. Additionally, Petting Zoo introduces children to the creative opportunities of animation; this can motivate them to try out techniques like flip books or stop motion, and may even prompt a generation of animators!
Petting Zoo is a fantastic spring-board for creativity and curiosity, encouraging children to think outside of the box. These are important transferrable skills for children in learning as well as for future life; particularly in problem solving, where being able to visualise and try different approaches comes in handy.
With such engaging interactivity and imaginative animations, this beautifully whimsical app offers so much more than a traditional picture book. If you want an app that will inspire your child’s imagination, and have them cracking up with laughter, look no further than Petting Zoo.
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Tags: imaginative play
This post was written by Amanda Gummer