It’s been a whirlwind few months for us at Hopster, what with announcing our funding round, joining Apple’s prestigious line-up of Best Apps of 2014, welcoming lots of new faces to the team, and now, releasing our latest update to Hopster!
One of our first ideas blossomed into a game…
When we started building Hopster years ago (yikes, we’re starting to sound old!), one of the first little experimental games we built was a pretty little flower-growing game, creatively named ‘Grow’. Over time, as we developed the Hopster curriculum, and our wider suite of games, we decided to initially focus on Basic Academics – starting with Letters.
Grow got parked for a little while as we raced through 2014 improving Hopster left right and centre.
That said, we occasionally looked longingly in its direction, because we knew it was a lovely digital toy, and matched quite a number of our curriculum areas – if only we could find the right home for it!
Well, we’re happy to say that we have found a home for it. Where better than a flowerpot at the bottom of the gorgeous Hopster tree?
Expanding on our curriculum
The Hopster curriculum is what powers all our games and interface design. It’s based on a number of international curricula, including the UK’s EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stages), the US’ NAEYC framework, Australia’s Belonging, Being & Becoming, and a handful more including Norway, Korea, and South Africa.
While developing it, we identified that in this age range, the international curricula are not as far apart as you’d imagine. At some point, we will do a comparison post for you – it’s quite interesting to see some countries value basic academics higher, while others skew early childhood learning more towards soft skills, such as learning about the world around us and personal hygiene.
We condensed the common themes into four clear categories, or educational goals. Each goal helps prepare children for school and falls into one of the following categories:
- Basic Academics
Children learn basic foundational literacy and mathematics concepts
- My World
Kids use the scientific process to explore science concepts in the world around them
- All About Me
Children learn to become independent and express themselves in appropriate ways
- My Friends and Family
Kids learn how interact positively and appropriately with others
Our games to date (Letters, Find, and Sort) have been heavily focused on the “Basic Academics” component of the Hopster curriculum. With Grow, we’re now moving into the second of our four categories: “My World”.
Teach kids about the world playfully
“My World” is all about kids using the scientific process to explore scientific concepts in the world around them. Our new Grow learning game does this playfully.
For instance, they can choose from different seeds. Unsurprisingly to us adults, a different seed results in a different plant. Likewise, the plant will need rain and sunshine in alternation to grow to its full beauty.
We could go on, but instead, why not simply give it a go with your kids and see what they think?
Update Hopster now in the App Store to get Grow!