We're honored and excited that Common Sense Media, the nation's leading nonprofit organization for kids and media, gave Wee Alphas its top (5-star) rating for overall quality:
Reviewer (and media-savvy mom) Dana Villamagna says: "The coolest thing about WEE ALPHAS is that it takes the approach that just because kids need to learn the basics like ABCs, doesn't mean they have to be bored. In fact, this app is quirky enough to entertain the parents playing the app with the kids. From the beautiful illustrations and the interesting selections of animals and their activities ("Ingrid the Impala is deep sea diving") to the quirky animations (tap Violet the Vulture's hair and she changes from ponytail to braids to beehive and more), kids and parents are surprised and engaged. Wee Alphas is a standout example of a fun, quality preschool education app."
If you want, you can read more here.
Today Wee Society released art prints featuring the somewhat silly and surprising Wee Alphas.
As older kids head back to school, parents with younger ones at home are looking for new learning experiences to support their kids' development. And many are pulling out their iPads.
Thirty-nine percent of children age 2- to 4-years-old have used an iPad, iPhone or similar touch-screen device to play games, watch videos or use other apps, according to a survey last year by Common Sense Media, a San Francisco-based nonprofit group.
"We know from our own experience that an iPad can be a really meaningful teaching tool for kids, if used the right way," said Wee Society co-founder Jill Robertson. "We designed the book app Wee Alphas for parents and preschoolers to use together. It's about creating an experience that's fun for both kids and adults. Fun first, and learning follows."
With Wee Alphas, each letter of the alphabet is hidden in clever, colorful illustrations of animals that feature silly rhymes. A sketchpad encourages kids to practice drawing their own "special letter." Wee Society collaborated with indie rock band Rabbit! on the sound effects and music that kids love and adults won't mind listening to again and again. The app also includes a guide to help parents create teaching moments while using Wee Alphas with their kids.
Apple named Wee Alphas on its list of New & Notable apps in the education category; and KinderTown, the respected "educational app store for busy parents," selected Wee Alphas as "an outstanding app for home and school." In their review, KinderTown added that the app "combines incredible design with a solid understanding of how kids learn."
When developing the Wee Alphas app, it was important to us to incorporate kid-friendly music that we loved (and didn't mind hearing again and again).
So we jumped at the chance to collaborate with one of our favorite bands. Rabbit! provided the music and narration, and helped us with sound design. We talked about stuff like the tone of a Lion's meow.
Check out this video of Rabbit! performing the catchy song featured in Wee Alphas. It's called Pea (from their Connect the Dots album), and it's adorable. You can hear more of Rabbit!'s music on iTunes.
We were honored to be featured recently on TechCrunch. In the article, Sarah Perez gives a little bit of Wee Society history (and a bit of our future, too), and says that Wee Alphas is "an adorable interactive book that uses animals, sounds, and letter drawing practice to teach preschoolers the ABC’s."
Read the article on TechCrunch.
KinderTown aims to help busy parents use their iPhones and iPads as learning tools for their kids. They select the best educational apps by testing them with teachers, parents and children. Here's their review of Wee Alphas:
"[Wee Alphas] incorporates delightful early literacy experiences within a dynamic ABC app. Letters are presented in a witty and creative sentence. Vocabulary is dynamic with a nice infusion of alliteration and word play. Seek and find letters hidden in the illusions (you can tell the developers are designers) and watch as each letter is highlighted in both the picture and the text. Interactivity reinforces the letter stories in a way that we hope becomes the standard for all kids apps. Many more features to highlight, but we will leave you with the recommendation to start at the indepth parent pages that include tips for parents and kids playing together."
Quinn, age 3, reviews the Wee Alphas app:
"I love it! My favorite is Charlie the Chipmunk because he has a cheese flag and I like cheese. Also I tap tap tap and change Violet's hair to a ponytail or something." (giggle) "My special letter is Q. I use my finger to draw a Q. Not my toe. Because sometimes toes are dirty."
[Thanks, Quinn. Big hug, WS]
Yippee! Apple selected and featured the Wee Alphas app as "New and Noteworthy" in the App Store's education category.
And (yay!) these folks had some really nice things to say:
"Is there room for another animal-themed ABC app for iPad? There is if it looks as fun as [Wee Alphas]. Great fun, as well as being a well-crafted app."
- Stuart Dredge, Apps Playground
"This one is spectacular. The design is AMAZING (something you know I care a lot about, even in kids apps). This app was a hit for both of us!"
- Emily Stephenson, Second Story Window
"Brilliant! It's fun for kids, and not at all boring for adults. So smart, simple, intriguing, thoughtful and well-designed. [Wee Alphas] is quite possibly a cosmic sign signifying the end of kids' books printed on paper."
- Charles S. Anderson, world renowned designer and founder, CSA Design Company and CSA Images