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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.
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.
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.