Developer: TinyTap Ltd.
Price: free Download on the App Store
If you’re a parent or a teacher looking for a unique learning opportunity for young children, then look no further than Tiny Tap. Tiny Tap has a two-fold ability, but its primary function is to allow users to take photos and turn them into games. With the ability to use photos saved to the camera roll or to pull images directly from the web, Tiny Tap has virtually no limitations in terms of sparking kids’ visual interest. Users can create custom themed books with pages of pictures, record questions for each page and set static boundaries onscreen to serve as the correct answer “area.”
Tiny Tap takes some experimenting to get acquainted with its abilities and functions, but it’s worth the effort. There are two “sample” books to get you started and spark ideas. Essentially, if you can envision multi-sensory games with simple questions that have single answers, you can create a custom Tiny Tap book. Examples of themes that can be created are body parts, shape identification, starting letter sounds, color identification and so on. The best part is you can use photos of familiar people or objects.
There are multiple steps to creating a Tiny Tap book. The books are built one page at a time and involve inserting photos or web images, followed by any text you wish to display on the page or you can draw your own. Next, users must record a question for the page. For example, in a game about finding body parts, you could use someone’s face and for each page, ask “Where is so-and-so’s eyes?” followed by ears, nose and so on. Lastly, the user “traces” the area on the screen where the child should tap to correctly answer the question.
To keep things a bit simpler and user-friendly, Tiny Tap has a built in web search for pictures. Using the search engine, typing in “apple” or “squirrel” will display available relevant images that are directly inserted into the current working page. They can be resized in the traditional pinch and zoom method, as well as rotated with multi-touch gesture. A nice selection of fonts is also available for any inserted text and there is a nice selection of stickers and stamps as well as drawing implements available for use. To round out the arsenal of tools and to create a fully, multi-sensory experience for the kiddos, a selection of several background tunes is also an option.
Tiny Tap is a truly unique app for those with a just a bit of tech savvy and an interest in creativity and fun learning-style games. Due to its flexibility and custom page building, the app can be structured to meet specific needs of specific children. Though Tiny Tap may seem to be of greater interest to educators, parents and even kids can definitely get some mileage out of the app. In fact, kids can use it to create their own games – for their parents or siblings to play. Once you get the hang of it, the possibilities are almost endless. Tiny Tap is free and available for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad, but works best with iPad.