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App or Crapp? Kiddie Foreign Language App

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pimm.jpg
App: 'Little Pim'

Cost: $1.99

Category: Preschool eduction

What it does: It's essentially a coloring book starring a panda bear named Little Pim. Each picture shows him engaging in some sort of task (baking a cake, taking a bath, waking up). You get to choose the language (French, Spanish, Chinese, Italian, Hebrew, Japanese or English) of the word appearing in each picture. Kids then get to "color in" the picture. The names of each of the colors are also said in the selected language when tapped. Then kids can e-mail their creations to themselves.

Here's what's good: I love the idea that you can choose from a bunch of different languages. The interface was easy for my 4-year-old to understand, but I thought it was more useful as a coloring book than as a way to teach language.

Here's what's bad: There are only about seven or so screens -- I expected much more. Even so, my daughter got bored with it fast and asked if she could play Monkey Preschool Lunchbox instead. Also, only one word ("bath," "cake," "bed") is taught in each picture. I was hoping it would go through much more vocabulary.

Why it's better to go old-school: The one thing the program did was make me realize that the time to teach my child a foreign language is now. The makers of "Little Pim" offer full DVD programs to teach young children foreign languages. If anything, the app got me interested enough to visit the Little Pim website and learn more.

Worth it? I say no way. The app costs $1.99 -- which is a lot in app-land  -- and the exact same coloring book is available on the Little Pim website.


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