The Very Hungry Caterpillar AR brings to life Eric Carle’s beloved book, in a way that only StoryToys Ltd can. In this enchanting app, kids explore, play and feed that VERY HUNGRY Caterpillar whilst immersed in the caterpillar’s world. So real and lifelike is this app that I’ve had many kids turn the iPad upside down or look under the table for the caterpillar himself. The AR component brings a lot to the table in terms of giving the ability to imagine flight. Open creative play settles the mind and builds competencies through experimentation. And it is that component that is missing in many schools by having so much emphasis placed on concrete tangible accomplishments or feats.
Inside The Very Hungry Caterpillar AR
On opening, the app gives a short tutorial, and then the fun begins with setting the scene. We used an outdoor theme as it seemed befitting to where a caterpillar may take up residence. Holding the iPad over a flat surface, the orchard emerges on the screen. In the center, the caterpillar hatches and begins to search out his surroundings. “Oh look, there is the toy box and some yummy fruit to nibble on when he’s hungry.” And we all know that this caterpillar gets HUNGRY! Some of his favorite toys are tucked in the toy box – his ball, a bubbler, and a wind-up ladybug friend. I love how thoughtful the developer was in initially keeping the view uncluttered and simple as for many children encountering their initial experience with AR can be overwhelming. There are plans to add more over time, which will make the changes easier to assimilate. Gameplay is intuitive however, it may be hard for a young child to manipulate the iPad without an introduction in how to capture the caterpillar in action. And because of that initial dependency, children will benefit from the shared attention and experience with an adult or older sibling while playing. This is a great opportunity to facilitate language. Whilst trying to interact with the caterpillar, we made plenty of mistakes in lighting, positioning the iPad, and keeping the little guy in view, however, it is important to model the need to make adjustments or alter a game plan for kids. Demonstrating perseverance in the midst of having made mistakes is a priceless opportunity and one that doesn’t always present itself.
At the end of the day, being quite full, the caterpillar snuggles down in his cocoon, only to rise again as a beautiful butterfly! This is amazing to see for both young and old, and will surely instill fond memories for years to come.
This app is highly recommended and I would pair it with the book to give the overall experience relevancy. The artwork, of course, is gorgeous – the scenes rendered in clear and vibrant hues as if it were lifting itself off the pages of the book. The accompanied soundtrack is soothing but inviting to keep kids regulated and engaged. Engagement is a hallmark of StoryToys as they speak to a child’s developmental level and play schemes. They have always given children a safe harbor in which to explore and discover. At Developmental Play and Learning, we say “BRAVO!”