GRRRrr. ARRgh. RAWR!
In the app, kids create all kinds of creepy, horrible, wretched monsters. In the process, they can conquer their fears about shadows and the dark. Raul explains:
We talked to kids around the world about monsters and discovered the concept of a monster varies wildly. In some cultures, monsters are spirits of the dead, in others they are imagined as mythological creatures or animals that come in the night. But, in the center of the venn diagram of worldwide childhood fears, is the experience of being alone in bed at night and seeing scary things moving in the shadows. A kid awake in bed, spooked by shadows that turn into creatures is universal.
With my own kids, I helped combat this fear with shadow puppets to show them that we create these monsters ourselves and we can make them go away. This app does the same thing. The Monsters gives kids agency over their fears, allowing them to make monsters of their own. And to cast them away, if they wish.
In The Monsters kids can give their monsters scales, sparkles, feathers, or fur, multiples eyes and dozens of mouths, giant spiked tails or tiny little arms. A creepy assortment of parts lets them make all the monsters of their dreams. The monsters kids create come alive with voices, emotions, and animation. Kids can record their own monster voices or play with sounds included in the app. Kids can keep and play with their monsters in a haunted room, feed them snacks, give them a microphone, and make them dance. Artist Tianhua Mao’s fluid and inky drawings create an immersive world for play (we'll have more about her here, soon!).
The Monsters will be the third app in Digital Toys, a series of open-ended building apps that let kids ages 4+ create, play with, and collect whatever they can imagine. The second is The Everything Machine, an App Store Editors’ Choice and Children’s Technology Review Editor’s Choice. In the first, The Robot Factory, a Parents’ Choice Gold Award winner, kids have built millions of robots.
Watch the video above for a sneak peek of the app.