Monday, August 4, 2014
A group of passionate historians researched the impact of images on early age of infancy (mainly, 18 months to 3 years*) and put together this innovative app.
It presents iconic historic moments through interactions with the images that are deeply associated with them. These images had a role in the making of American culture, beliefs and society.
The historical accuracy on all images presented and the way they were put together to make it pleasurable and yet educational makes it worth checking the extremely high quality of this app.
*Although in the test conducted 4-5 year olds also were amused and very interested using the interactions in more complex ways
All episodes are based on the concept of presenting to children/kids 3 very defined moments:
1. The departure (always based on the real scenery of where it actually took place);
2. The journey (Transition, change of landscapes and action);
3. The arrival (Different environment, destination, accomplishment).
Conveying these notions in 3 screens is an important educational tool. Another educational tool was created to 'guide' the children through the historic journey: A cute and fun character called Peekaboo Peet. He is a friendly and curious hedgehog that kids love.
Peet pops up in unexpected places. He guides and he surprises. He is everywhere and he participates but, as the child, he is an observer. The developers also have a very interesting concept they named peek and seek, which is a series of strategies that will stimulate the children to look for. It entices curiosity, discovery and ‘search’.
What it presents: Iconic historical moments and objects, clothing, landmarks, landscapes, perils, characters, animals etc linked to that particular moment and that will be recognized when addressed later in school.
1. Columbus' departure from the Port of Pallos in Spain into the unknown Atlantic ocean
2. The journey and encounter with the real and imaginary sea monsters and sceneries that were part of the popular imaginary in those days.
3. The arrival in a Central American/Caribbean tropical beach, meeting native population, alongside exotic birds and fruits.
It shows the March to the West. The child will be introduced to notions through a rich array of images associated with the days on the trail
1. The pioneers' departure from Independence, Missouri, in wagon trains.
2. The journey thought inhospitable terrain.
3. The pioneers' arrival and settlement in log houses in a new land
Christopher Columbus, Queen Isabella, King Ferdinand, the sailors, the caravels, the kraken, a whale, a shark, seagulls and others.
The guiding concept in the art direction department is to illustrate with great detail, historical accuracy and introduce fun elements to keep all images extremely attractive to the target age group.
To exemplify this, Queen Isabella of Aragon was created based on an original oil painting, but she does a fun interaction that kids love. She pokes at the snoring King Ferdinand as they watch Columbus depart from Pallos.
The most iconic objects in each episode were anthropomorphized, which is an educational tool as well.
For example: The three caravels, Nina, Santa Maria and Pinta each were given a certain personality. This draws their attention to objects that should be remembered for they were important in that historical process. They will not pass unnoticed
The crayon color palette was not chosen arbitrarily. It is rich, it evokes childhood textures and memories and associations.
Music is a very important part of Hitstory Kids! The musical director is an accomplished musician that conducted a serious research before choosing the arrangements, instruments and sounds in each screen. All the song nursery rhymes with modified lyrics presented in a very rich musical arrangement. In each screen there is a difference in the arrangement that convey the different emotions of each moment:
The excitement of departure, the adventure of the journey and the joy of arriving.
Children are very sensitive to music. The high quality of the classic guitar and other instruments make the HiTstory Kids project really stands out
In the second screen of Columbus Sails the musical arrangement was based on sea shanties. The guitar used is a parlor guitar l'arrivée model specially chosen for its children friendly sound.
The subtle but well research elements in HiTstory kids makes a difference. It has an amazingly high quality contents that is both playful and instructive.
It helps create memories that will later be accessed when this topic in school.
Finally this has always been the developers' dream.
To stimulate the love and interest in a subject that is so important to ultimately understand our world, our identities and our beliefs.