App review by Amanda Bindel, Common Sense Education | Updated September 2012
ITouchiLearn Feelings For Preschool Kids
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iTouchiLearn Feelings for Preschool Kids

Real images, cartoons, and smiley faces help kids learn to identify emotions

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Learning rating
Editorial review by Common Sense Education
Community rating
Based on 1 review
Privacy rating
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Grades
Pre-K–2 This grade range is based on learning appropriateness and doesn't take into account privacy. It's determined by Common Sense Education, not the product's publisher.
Subjects & Skills
English Language Arts, Character & SEL
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6 images

Pros: Scenes of kids at play help kids identify situations and what contributed to the emotions the cartoon kids feel.

Cons: Emotions can be ambiguous and hard for kids to identify; characters don't represent diversity.

Bottom Line: Simple-to-use interactive situations can be explored alone but have the most impact if explored with an adult.

Use iTouchiLearn Feelings for Preschool Kids with preschoolers learning to recognize and respect emotions, both their own and others', and with kids who have social-communication disorders like autism. Sit with kids while they explore the emotions, and talk with them about the pictures. Explain empathy, for example, by asking how the child in a picture might be feeling.

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iTouchiLearn Feelings for Preschool Kids teaches kids, especially those with special needs, to identify, interpret, and talk about their feelings. A variety of activities include matching a feeling word to a situation or picture, spelling emotion words, and even just-for-fun memory and jigsaw puzzle games. Kids can learn to identify and label different emotions. Although the main activity addresses basic emotions like happy and sad, mini-activities tap into more complicated emotions, like cool, proud, and kooky; some are conveyed more successfully than others. A couple activities involve spelling and reading, which can help kids build literacy skills. The app includes six mini-games as well as a sing-along activity to "If You're Happy and You Know It." Games include a face creation activity that allows kids to make their own faces and save them to share with others, a spelling game, a jigsaw puzzle, matching an emotion to an emoticon smiley face, a memory game, and another matching game that involves choosing the emotion that goes with a realistic image.

Although activities don't provide much feedback or explanation about the emotions, they do provide a good starting point for therapists or teachers to talk about feelings with students. Games that focus on recognizing or labeling emotions are great, but some games, like the jigsaw puzzle and memory game, aren't very relevant to understanding emotions. Students could play the games on their own, but to get the most benefit from the app, they'll need the presence and support of a teacher or therapist. There's also not much diversity in the images of kids. iTouchiLearn Feelings for Preschool Kids provides a nice variety of activities and the vocabulary to talk about emotions, but it could use more built-in support and feedback.

Overall Rating

Engagement Would it motivate students and hold their interest? Is it visually appealing? Would it inspire teachers to try something new or change their instruction?

Games and design are pretty simple. The variety of activities can engage kids for a while, but this is most likely an app kids will use alongside a parent, a teacher, or a therapist.

Pedagogy Does the tool help teachers promote a more student-centered experience? Will students gain conceptual understanding or think critically? Does it deepen teachers’ pedagogical thinking?

Kids will like seeing emotions in a variety of formats: real images, cartoon scenes, emoticon smiley faces. Kids not only to learn the vocabulary of emotions but also to understand them. Ideally kids learn with the support of an adult. 

Support Can students and teachers get assistance when they need it? Is it created with people of different abilities and backgrounds in mind? Is learning reinforced and extended beyond the digital experience?

Activities are designed especially for kids with social-communication disorders. No resources or explanations are provided for teachers or parents.


Common Sense reviewer
Amanda Bindel Classroom teacher

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Featured review by
Susan W. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
My preschool and kindergarten students loved this app.
I think this app works well with the preschool students. I like how it made the students have an additional discussions about feelings. The students were enthusiastic and even asked to play the game the following week. My only suggestion would be to use it with 1:1 iPads or a very small group with one iPad.
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