Download This: The Human Body
An app that teaches anatomy to kids and adults alike
Developer Tinybop has set out to create a library of educational apps for children that will knock the socks off your old-school encyclopedia. Their first app, The Human Body, allows kids to learn explore the nervous, skeletal, respiratory, circulatory, digestive and muscular systems of the human body in self-guided exploration.
Setting up a profile is simple; users choose a girl or boy silhouette, a background color, and then put in their name. The body is displayed with a scrolling menu to the left that holds icons of each body system. Systems can be shown on the body one at a time or layered on so kids can see how they fit together.
The smooth animations in this app are accompanied by some imaginative sounds as well—the heart beats, the intestines gurgle and the lungs breathe. Watching the human body come alive is where this app will truly get your kids’ attention. As the user guides the experience, she can observe what happens when the body eats a cookie or how the brain feels a mosquito bite. The good news is that like the best of education aimed at kids ages four and up, this app is fun even for adults. There’s a lot here to explore, which will no doubt encourage you to play along with your kids and watch them be dazzled.
Each system also has zoom options that give more information on specific parts and functions. Under the circulatory system, for example, you can look closely at a pumping heart and at a blood vessel. A sliding tab allows you to see the outer layer of the body parts, or “dissect” them to see the inner workings. Text labels are optional and can be used to test the user’s knowledge. By holding a finger down in one location, children can record a question for their parents, and the parents can in turn record an answer in the same place. Oddly, it is unclear how one gets rid of the recording once it’s been heard.
The only downside to this app is that it is a bit stifled in the small screen size of the iPhone. Small icons on a narrow screen may be difficult to maneuver, especially for four-year-old dexterity. That being said, the app looks fantastic on the iPad where users can easily zoom in and out and manipulate the bodies.
Freeform exploration and interactive play guide learning in this app in that it is nonlinear and you won’t find games or reward systems. The developers used this approach to create an exploratory learning experience that won’t feel like a chore to kids—thus succeeding in bringing anatomy lessons to life in the process.
Developer: Tinybop, Inc.
Download now: iTunes