Curious Words

App review by
Amanda Bindel, Common Sense Media
Curious Words App Poster Image
Words spark creativity in super short videos.

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The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can learn to look at a word through an artist's eyes. Because they're working with sight words, and the single words are read aloud to them, emerging readers may retain the words in each list. There are no wrong ways to interpret the words, so kids are empowered to be as creative as they want, which encourages abstract and critical thinking. If kids were able to input their own words, even more learning would be possible. As it stands, Curious Words gives kids a simple tool, a bit of inspiration, and the freedom to create something fun and unique.

Ease of Play

Minimal instructions on sleek interface is totally intuitive for digital natives.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Curious Words makes videos up to 12 seconds long, comprising one-second clips inspired by single words. The playback is essentially a slide show of micro-videos about your kid's interpretation of each word. There are no in-app sharing options, but kids can save their videos to the camera roll and share them from there. There are minimal instructions, so it's possible that some kids won't know how to access the options, but it won't take long for them to learn.

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What's it about?

CURIOUS WORDS opens right up, ready for action: There's no login or lengthy tutorial. With the camera in view mode, kids see a word on-screen. They can swipe to choose another word or double-tap to scroll through a full list of word choices. Kids then record a one-second video inspired by the word. After the second is up, another word appears. Each video shot (minimum of three and maximum of 12) is pieced together into one movie, with background music automatically placed. Kids can view their movies, add to them if they want, or save them to the camera roll. Though there are few options, kids can change the voice speaking the words and the filter on the videos.

Is it any good?

Kids' creativity is celebrated in this simple, easy-to-use video creator. The interface is sleek -- which means no instructions -- but digital natives who have grown up with touchscreens and phone cameras will have no problem getting started. The single-word inspirations are read aloud, so even emerging readers will be able to play. Swiping one direction changes the voice that reads the words: Kids can choose from a man, woman, or child's voice. Kids will need to be ready to go, focused on what they want to record before they hit the record button -- one second goes fast! One drawback is that there's no option for kids to input their own words, which would open up lots of possibilities to use this tool for vocabulary and spelling lists. Another is that it only works in portrait mode, which limits framing options.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about rules for photographing or taking video of friends and family members, reminding kids to ask permission beforehand.

  • Watch some of the creative videos on the Curious Hat site for inspiration.

  • As you watch kids' creations, ask them what they were thinking when they chose the subjects for their videos; for example, ask what inspired them to take a video of the clouds for the word "up."

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
  • Subjects: Language & Reading: letter or word recognition, naming
    Arts: film
  • Skills: Creativity: imagination, innovation, making new creations, producing new content
    Communication: multiple forms of expression
    Tech Skills: digital creation
  • Price: $1.99
  • Pricing structure: Paid
  • Release date: December 11, 2014
  • Category: Education
  • Size: 41.70 MB
  • Publisher: Curious Hat
  • Version: 1.0
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 7.0 or later
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

Our editors recommend

For kids who love storytelling and digital creation

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