There are many benefits of teaching kids to code. With technology becoming central parts of our lives, learning to code from a young age helps kids become content creators instead of consumers. Even if they don’t code for a living, they can develop important life skills such as problem solving skills and critical thinking.
Nowadays, learning to code doesn’t have to be complicated. There are apps like The Foos and Robot School, which allow kids (and adults) control friendly characters with simplified coding methods. These apps are similar to puzzle games, and are suitable for elementary-aged kids.
If you have younger kids, you might want to start with simpler tasks and concepts. I recommend checking out LOOPIMAL, a new release from developer YATATOY. It’s an app where kids can create animations by arranging picture blocks into a sequence.
Arrange the Blocks to Choreograph the Dance
The idea of LOOPIMAL is simple: make the animal dance by dragging colorful picture blocks onto the timeline. Because each block corresponds to a specific movement, you can choreograph various dances by rearranging the blocks into different sequences.
The app includes six animals that you can animate: a bear, a pig, an octopus, a sloth, a bird, and a yeti. Each animal is cutely illustrated, and accompanied by a unique soundtrack. For example, the bird comes with a mellow piano track, and the bear has an upbeat percussion track. You can change animals by swiping on the screen.
By default, the app will show one animal. But, you can add more by tapping on the plus button on the upper right-hand side. You can play with two or four animals in a split-view, and configure each split-view with its own animal and sequence.
Parents Need to Know
There are endless combinations of sequences that you can try in LOOPIMAL. You can use the same picture blocks in a sequence, add intervals, or create repeating patterns. What’s great is the music always sounds harmonious regardless your sequence or the number of animals you are working with. It’s catchy without being an ear worm; I have yet to have the song stuck in my head after several hours of play.
Consistent with past YATATOY apps, LOOPIMAL features an intuitive and non-lingual interface. It has no objectives or rules to follow, so kids are free to experiment to their hearts’ content. It is simple enough that kids as young as three should be able to play on their own.
The app has no ads and no in-app purchases. All external links are secured in a section for parents. No Internet connection is required to use the app. It is strongly recommended to play LOOPIMAL on iPhone 4s and newer, iPod touch 5th gen, or iPad 2 and newer.
Things I Like
LOOPIMAL teaches kids a necessary skill for learning to program, which is being able to connect symbols to actions. To make animals move a certain way, they need to learn what action corresponds to each picture block. Then, they must use that knowledge to arrange the blocks in a specific sequence.
What makes this app special is it lets kids explore sequences without them ever feeling like they are, in fact, learning about sequences. Instead, they’ll have the best time making music and making the cute animals dance. This is because the app is put together really well: the animation is smooth, the soundtrack is top notch, and the interface is easy to use.
In addition, I like how you can never make a wrong sequence. Whatever you place on the timeline will result in a pleasant-sounding track, thanks to the clever sound design. I also like how the app introduces kids to various musical instruments.
LOOPIMAL is a seriously fun app that allows kids (and adults alike) to explore sequences, loops, and music as they try to animate a bunch of cute animals. It’s really well-made: the animations are cute, the soundtracks catchy, and the interface easy to use. What’s more, there are no rights or wrongs in the app, so kids can experiment and play to their hearts’ content.
App was provided for our honest review.
You should also check out their previous app, MIXIMAL, that we’ve reviewed:
MIXIMAL is an entertaining, tactile toy that gets kids matching animal parts to create unique creatures. The humorous animations and sound effects engage kids as they play, and the ability to listen to the made-up name syllable by syllable helps introduce kids to different sounds. Overall, it’s a lovely little app that I would recommend to kids ages 5 or below.