Over the next few weeks the Piwi kids and I will be reviewing the Human Body detectives (HBD) series for iPad. There are 3 titles based on the Award winning (printed) books written and illustrated by Naturopathic Doctor, Heather Manley. Young sisters, Merinn and Pearl are Human Body Detectives. After reading a lot about anatomy they both are able to use their imagination to go on adventures inside the body to solve medical mysteries. The HBD series aims to teach 6-12 year olds how their bodies work. The characters also talk about how we can stay healthy with good choices in nutrition and exercise. Many of the illustrations contain moving elements and the stories are narrated by a full cast of characters. The apps are supported with a website and curriculum.
This week I am reviewing the first title “The lucky escape” and sharing a Science project my daughters and I conducted to extend our learning. The story begins with Merinn and Pearl reading about digestion. Their baby brother Robbie has just swallowed something shiny and it is up to them to help. We go with the sisters on a journey through Robbie’s digestive system to retrieve whatever is causing his tummy ache. There is a lot of information on each page but it is explained in a way that kids can understand -even adults may find themselves learning something new! The fun illustrations really give you a good idea about the environment the kids are exploring, but aren’t as gross as you might expect. Here is our favorite picture: Pearl clinging to an Intestinal Villi.
The iPad version features an in depth glossary and a diagram of the digestive system. There are also lots of fun facts and a kid friendly healthy lifestyle section.
I really liked this new approach to teaching kids and adults about health and nutrition. The book was full of information but it was presented so that it could be easily absorbed (pun intended). While this app was aimed more toward school age kids, our three year old sat and listened to the whole story. Initially she was just attracted by the catchy tune. When she realized the characters were talking about poop she wasn’t going anywhere. Both kids seemed intrigued that the book ‘dared’ to talk about gas and pooping. DD7 (my 7 year old) says she was ‘freaking out’ that Merinn and Pearl might end up in their little brother’s diaper.
The few things I don’t like about the app were to do with the design rather than the content. The pages turn very easily and any touch to the page will start the narration from the beginning of that page. DD3 (my 3 year old) kept touching the screen to see if the pictures were interactive so this happened a lot. My other observation was the way the text and illustrations weren’t as well ‘matched up’ as they could have been.
In the story Merinn and Pearl go down Robbie’s throat into his stomach. We conducted an experiment to find out where digestion begins. DD7 hypothesized that digestion begins when the food you eat hits the acid in your stomach. We tested this hypothesis by making a model stomach out of a cup of extra strong vinegar.
3 glasses or plastic cups labeled A, B & C
Extra strength white vinegar (9% is strongest we could buy at our local store)
Three small wheat crackers
Each cup was filled with half a cup of vinegar. To Cup A a cracker that had been chewed for twenty seconds was added. To Cup B a cracker that had been crushed by hand was added. To cup C a whole cracker was added. The cups were left undisturbed for 2 hours and then any changes were recorded.
We concluded that digestion actually begins in the mouth when enzymes in our saliva start to break down the food when our teeth are chewing.
Next up in the series is the ‘Battle with bugs’….
The Lucky Escape works on iPhone, iPod and iPAD. It is $1.99 on App Store.
If you would like to check it out or purchase it, please use the App Store link provided below. The cost is the same to you, but iGameMom gets a small percentage. Thanks for your support! Note: The link works for all countries.
It is also available on Kindle for $2.99. You can check out The Lucky Escape for Kindle
If you prefer a print book, you can check out The Lucky Escape on Amazon for $12.
Today’s app is reviewed by JJ (Piwi mama), a proud wife and mama of two girls. The family travel with her hubby’s work so most of her time is spent teaching her kids. In her spare time, JJ blogs about their portable learning and reviews books. You can read about their travels at Learning and Growing the Piwi way