Disney has been pushing recently the idea of using its characters and IPs to help promote good causes. They have their Healthy Living initiative which offers up to 80k for someone building a prototype using their characters to promote a more active and healthy life style. However, that isn't enough for Disney as Disney Imagicacademy has continued to work on technologically driven learning initiatives aimed at children.
With Frozen being their most popular franchise in ages, its no surprise to see Disney leveraging it here and in other programs. Using it, Disney has released the first of four different apps that will help teach kids ages 3 to 5 about science in several different interactive games. The first one, available via the ITunes store, is available now for $6.99 and features the first two games in Cooking Care and Reindeer Care.
The Cooking Creations game is aimed at teaching kids basic principles around substance change and reaction to heat, as well as ideas such as steam, and evaporation. In the game there are over 35 different ingredients that they can use to help Oaken and Olaf make wonderful dishes for Queen Elsa.
Reindeer Care is perhaps a bit less sciency but a useful one, as it helps show kids what to do to help animals and pets - as well as their own self care. They will work alongside Kristoff, Anna and Sven, as they clean, observe, and care for baby reindeer. Taking on the role of a reindeer care giver kids can see what the different needs are - water, rest, hygiene, and more to keep the reindeer happy and healthy.
The rest of the apps will be rolled out through July and will have different games in them.
One will be a botany game known as Growing Garden which will focus on helping Anna and Olaf grow a garden and understanding the basic needs of plants. They will be able to grow a custom garden, and even make hybrid plants, but most also care for them taking care of light, nutrients, and water for the plants.
Engineering to probably no one's surprise is called Ice Structures, and the kids will team up with Elsa here to build ice bridges and ramps. The goal is to help a poor little raindeer calf get a great tasting basket of carrots (bonus nutritional lesson!) and through over 100 levels work out different ways to lead the raindeer there. Each level they will have to take into account balance and structural integrity to make sensibly designed puzzle solving paths. For a bit more creative experience, they can design ice lodges for the Arendelle National Park.
Last but not least, in Forest Wilderness, kids will learn about ecosystems and zoology. Exploring the Arendelle forest with Olaf and Kristoff, they will find various animals, and other wildlife in their natural habitat. This will help build respect for that, and also let them see how seasons affect the forest life and animal behaviors.
The programs are being designed in collaboration with Dr. Stacy Sinclair, adjunct professor at USC's Rossier School of Education who had this to say "All children have the capacity and propensity to explore, observe and discover the world around them. These are the basic aspects of understanding early science skills, and as an educator who develops science curriculum for children in kindergarten through twelfth grade, I believe that tools like Frozen: Early Science can help children in their early years develop a lifelong love of science.”
All of these will connect to the free Disney Imagicademy Parents app which allows parents to see what their children are seeing, and creating in the apps. It lets the parents keep an eye on it and provide support for the children when needed.
What do you think of Disney leveraging its IPs to help teach kids? Do you think these games will help provide some basis in science? Sound off in the comments below!