Technology has changed the way we perceive the world, and for today’s children, it is front and center from day one. Out of Brazil, TimoKids has designed an application to help kids learn some of the most important lessons of early life.
The stories – provided in English, Spanish and Portuguese – are divided among two age groups: children under five, and those ages six through 12. Narrations are accompanied by music and sounds to stimulate engagement and interaction, and children can tap the screen to activate buttons and turn the page.
“In a playful way, we try to talk about themes related to the children’s universe that parents and teachers may have problems discussing,” explained Lima in an interview to PulsoSocial. “Examples of these kinds of themes would be how to deal with money, or how to deal with the arrival of a new sibling.”
When users download the app, the first story – about starting school – is available for free. More stories and language packages are available for purchase. While the first stories have been written by Lima herself, TimoKids has also opened up its platform for writers and illustrators to develop new content. Lima explained the logic behind this facet:
Through the app, we hope to create a chance for authors and illustrators to publish their material digitally and reach a bigger audience. We plan to curate the content with the help from professionals, such as psychologists and language teachers.
Given that TimoKids is available across three languages, localization could be an issue, though Lima said local particularities are minimized. “Our main goal isn’t to create stories about local traditions. We want to tell stories for children that can be read in different languages,” she clarified.
She also addressed the question of how much is too much when it comes to inserting technology into children’s lives:
Using technology is inevitable, and we want to do it in a safe and constructive way. We want to create conversations between kids, parents and teachers.
Moving forward, TimoKids will start to seek out partnerships with larger corporations to sponsor stories and, in turn, offer them for free. “The idea is to create a collective conscience about subjects related to childhood health, like diabetes and allergies,” she concluded.