In 2006, psychologist Carol Dweck published a book about how people fall into one of two categories: 1) those with a fixed mindset, who believe their success is based on innate ability, and 2) those with a growth mindset, who believe their success is based on hard work. Her research show that people with a growth mindset are more likely to continue working hard despite setbacks, and become lifelong learners.
How do you develop a growth mindset in children or yourself? First, you must realize that the brain is like a muscle that needs to be trained every day. This is the concept that app maker Kizoom wants to deliver in their latest and most ambitious game, Brainventures.
Available now on the App Store, Brainventures is designed to teach kids about the brain and growth mindset. This engaging app features numerous activities for improving basic skills, as well as valuable insight about the learning process.
Improve Your Brain Power
In Brainventures, you play as a rookie neuron inside a child’s brain. Your goal is to complete narrative quests so you can go up the ranks and reach the Hall of Brain. You’ll befriend other neuron characters, who will guide you through the many things that the brain does.
For starters, you’ll learn to control the muscles in the body so it can do a cartwheel. You’ll want to press the glowing points on the diagram at the right time, which will create coordinated movements. Other tasks that you’ll be doing include finding objects hidden in a mosaic, sorting objects to store in the memory, identifying and eating healthy foods, and learning to focus by playing a memory game.
As your rank increases, so does the difficulty level of the games. At the end of each game, you’ll earn up to three stars based on your performance. These stars, in turn, are used to fill up your rank meter. Once you’ve collected enough stars, you’ll be promoted and one step closer to the Hall of Brain. Additionally, you can collect achievement badges.
When you befriend other neuron characters, you’ll unlock special buildings where you can play a specific mini game outside the narrative quest. The neuron characters will also be added to your Neuron Network, where you can learn about each neuron’s name, favorite activity, and favorite brain fact.
Parents Need to Know
Brainventures is recommended for kids aged 7-10. It aims to help them learn growth mindset skills by showing them that positive habits, such as exercising and eating healthy foods, can help improve their brain power. The app was designed by a team of neuroscience and education experts.
Talking about the inspiration behind the app, Erica Warp, CEO and co-founder of Kizoom and a neuroscience PhD from University of California, Berkeley, says:
“We are inspired by research showing that kids who understand certain facts about the brain are more eager and empowered learners. We are working to bring this powerful idea out of the lab and directly to kids using gameplay and technology that they love.”
The app is free to download from the App Store. Additional content, including access to additional quests and mini games, can be unlocked via in-app purchases (IAP). All links, including those for unlocking IAPs and for accessing the developer’s website, are kept in a secured section for parents. The app has no third-party ads.
Things I Like
Brainventures is an engaging app with lots of activities for kids to develop their basic skills. Among others, kids will practice their observation skills, concentration, hand-eye coordination, and ability to sort objects based on colors, shapes, and functions.
What makes the app valuable is it presents kids with scenarios they may encounter in their daily lives, such as not wanting to tackle a new task in fear of embarrassing themselves, not wanting to get out of bed, or feeling upset because they can’t win in a video game. It also shows them practical solutions for overcoming these challenges. For example, the app advises that one exercise a bit when he or she is feeling lethargic because it gets the brain pumping with energy.
While ages 7 and up will benefit the most from this app, younger kids can enjoy it with some help from the grown-ups. Mom and Dad can also pick up a tip or two for motivating their kids whenever they are facing setbacks.
As for my wishlist, it would be great if we could reset the progress made in the app. It would be even better if we could set up multiple user profiles on the same device.
Raising a lifelong learner has its challenges but Brainventures at least makes it easier. This engaging activity app offers a series of games and rewards that encourage kids to improve their brain power. All of these are wrapped in a narrative that kids can relate to, making the message easy to swallow. I highly recommend it for ages 7 and up.
App was provided for our honest review.
Kizoom is an award-winning San Francisco Bay Area startup founded in 2012, and is currently funded by the National Institutes of Health through a Small Business and Innovation in Research grant. Kizoom is an alumnus of co.lab, an edtech accelerator program co-founded by Zynga.org and NewSchools Venture Fund, and is currently a member of the University of California, Berkeley’s Skydeck accelerator program.
You should also check out their other app we’ve reviewed: