Two thumbs up to the new Catholic App for kids from Fuzati! At a time when many parents are trying to figure out ways to limit their kids’ screen time, Little Saint Adventures comes along with a good excuse to let them use that tablet or smartphone for just a little while longer.
Geared for kids ages three to eight years old, Little Saint Adventures takes a child through a variety of “worlds,” each of which has a focused teaching of the faith. For example, on the free trial you get access to Francis’ Forest, where St. Francis of Assisi walks the child through the creation story. There are fun games for each world, like using a slingshot with apples to get the snakes and match the baby animals with their parents. Also, each level has quizzes that reinforce what the child learned in that level.
What’s really amazing about this app, though, is the Parent’s Portal. Not only can a parent be notified as your child progresses through the app, but the parent portal also gives suggestions for conversation starters so you can talk with your kids about what they learned and what it all means.
The other great feature of the Parent Portal is the family activities. These are suggestions for ways to get beyond the screen and into the real world. For Francis’ Forest, one of the activities is to make a creation hopscotch with sidewalk chalk. Another is to take your child outside on a clear night to look at the stars. These activities not only give you even more chances to talk to your child about how God shows his love to us through his creation, but balances screen time with real-world experiences.
With a subscription (go to littlesaintadventures.com for the plan options) you get access to five worlds and all their activities and accompanying parent portal content. Fuzati has four more worlds in development right now and they look exciting. Although I found some of the information in the first world to be a bit above the level of a three or four-year-old (for example, explaining free will), as kids get older their understanding will grow as well. The games seemed very appropriate to three, four, or five-year-olds but might seem too easy for seven or eight-year-olds. The family activities are fantastic and can be easily adapted to be age-appropriate for your kids.
When I was little, I learned the faith from a question-and-answer catechism. My parents asked the questions and I recited the answers as written in the book. That’s good for knowing the tenants of the faith and I learned them well. However, lacking in that method was my understanding that faith is ultimately a relationship with a loving God. I learned that in other ways. Little Saint Adventures provides a good balance between the two: information and experience, and is much more suited to how children learn today. Their screen devices are good for some things but ultimately, they need to put them down and get on with the relationships. This app can help you and your little saint to do just that.