Like me, my daughter Vanessa is fascinated by maps, atlases and geography in general. And like most first-graders, she’s addicted to the iPad and it’s endless apps. So I was intrigued when I was approached by Barefoot Books — one of my favorite multicultural children’s book publishers — regarding a new app they recently launched together with Touch Press – the creators of some of the best apps out there.
I knew the Barefoot World Atlas app would be well done, but I honestly didn’t expect it to be so amazing. I mean, I have so many good things to say about it that I don’t even know where to begin. For starters, it’s available in Spanish, English and Catalan, which is a HUGE plus in my book.
As soon as the app finished downloading*, Vanessa took the iPad from me and started exploring it. There was no need to explain how to work it because, like most kids her age, she’s growing up in a world surrounded by tablets and smartphones. Even so, the Barefoot World Atlas is extremely easy to figure out. The first thing Vanessa did was spin the 3D globe with a swish of her little finger. She then zoomed in and started pressing icons here and there.
I decided to sit back and watch her play with the app and all I could hear was “Ooooh” and “Aaah” and “Cool!” as she explored the world.
The app is loaded with endless information regarding each country, including sound effects, animated icons and multimedia features, which allow kids to learn more about many particular features of each country. The written and spoken Spanish is flawless and the possibilities for learning are never ending.
It has quickly become both Vanessa and Santiago’s (he’s only 3, but he copies everything his big sister does) favorite app and it’s the first one they’ll go to when allowed to use the iPad.
This is the perfect app for parents with kids in dual language programs to reinforce what they’re learning in social studies. But it’s even better for parents who, like me, are raising bilingual children by teaching them Spanish at home. The Barefoot World Atlas app is available for the iPad, the iPhone and iPod touch for $4.99 at Apple’s iTunes store.
(*A word of caution: the Barefoot World Atlas takes a while to download because it’s a pretty large file, but it’s totally worth all the space it takes)
Two winners will each receive a code to download the Barefoot World Atlas app for free (you need to have an iPad, iPod touch or iPhone) and a copy of the Barefoot World Atlas book.