Review by Mieke VanderBorght, Common Sense Education | Updated September 2012
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Peekaboo Barn

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Cute animal peekaboo exploration offers limited learning

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Teachers say (1 Review)
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Pre-K This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
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Pros: A super fun, safe, and innocuous activity for kids; the multilingual feature is a nice touch.

Cons: Too simple with limited learning potential; kids can finish the entire experience very quickly, perhaps within minutes.

Bottom Line: Very simple and undeniably fun, the app has limited learning potential.

Peekaboo Barn, with its limited content and learning potential, may not be entirely appropriate for every classroom. Yet, it could be a fun way to explore animals or introduce the sound and feel of multiple languages. Teachers can use it in small groups, inviting kids to guess each animal and pointing out how the animal name is spelled. Teachers may also want to talk about each animal: What does it do? What does it eat? How does it contribute to life on farm? Is it a bird, mammal, or something else? 

Kids may also enjoy talking about their experiences with farm animals. Teachers could use the multiple-language features to introduce new languages, talk about different cultures, or explore language differences among the students in the class.

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Peekaboo Barn couldn't be any simpler. A barn shakes, inviting kids to tap it. The longer kids wait, the more muffled animal noises they hear. Once kids tap the barn, the doors open to reveal an animal inside. The name of the animal appears written on the screen, and a voice says the name. Kids tap again to close the door and move on to the next animal. This process cycles through 13 animals, day then turns to night, and kids see the animals sleeping in the barn, at which point the cycle starts all over again.

Adults can choose the English version (with either a child's or an adult's voice) or choose from 10 other languages: Spanish, Japanese, Mandarin, Cantonese, Italian, Dutch, French, German, Hindi, and Swedish. Adults can also choose to record their own voice, or a child's voice, into the app.

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Peekaboo Barn capitalizes on what might be the most universally loved game for little kids. And kids will certainly love tapping to reveal who is hiding behind the barn doors. Preschoolers can practice prediction skills by guessing the animals based on the noises they hear. There's also some opportunity for letter exploration, as each animal's name appears on the screen. The multiple-language translations offer a great chance for kids to learn some new words in another language.

However, because of its limited content, the exercise will get old fast. Adults should play alongside kids to make the most of the limited learning potential. Peekaboo Barn could incorporate more intrinsic learning content by adding information about the animals (what do they like to eat, what is their "job" in the barn, etc.) or by allowing some form of interaction with the animals, offering opportunities for kids at differing developmental levels.

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Overall Rating
2

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?
4

Kids love to play peekaboo and this app takes advantage of this naturally fun game for youngsters. However, with limited variety it can get old quickly.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?
2

With such a simple game the learning potential is limited. Most learning will be about matching animals to the noises they make, or exploring the letters that spell the animal's name. Kids might also learn some vocabulary in a new language.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?
2

Instructions aren't needed for this extremely simple game. Kids can't see their progress towards discovering all the barn animals (though there aren't many). There are some suggestions for extensions in the adult's section.


Teacher Reviews

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Featured review by
Sherri C. , Other
Other
2
Take a peek at some animals from the farm!

This app is very simple, with no extensions available other than identifying animals in other languages. It progressing in a linear way, not allowing students to choose the animals that they want to find. It could be used for short amounts of times for individual or small groups of students to identify animals. Adult interaction for the app would help extend the learning from conversation about the animals that they are seeing. A nice feature is the ability to choose the language that is used for the animal names. Options available are US English, UK English, Spanish, French, Dutch, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Swedish, Cantonese, Mandarin, German, or you can record a new language if yours is not listed. You hear the animal sound before you tap on the barn door, so this provides a good opportunity to predict what animal is coming up next. Students also hear the animal name as well as see it in text to help reinforce what they are hearing. One frustration I see with this app is that I could not find a way to get back to the home screen until you go through all of the animals. Overall, it's a cute app, but doesn't extend learning beyond seeing and hearing animals and their hearing and reading their names.

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