What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Da Vinci - History is a must-have for kids who're interested in art and have not yet been introduced to Leonardo da Vinci. Even for kids who already know a bit about da Vinci, this app goes into much more detail about his life and the Renaissance than one would expect on a kids' app (but not too much). Although kids who know how to read will get more out of this experience, even younger kids who can't yet read but who like art probably will find it highly engaging, especially if a grown-up reads the text-heavy parts to them.
What kids can learn
- historical figures
Thinking & Reasoning
Engagement, Approach, Support
Especially for kids who like art or invention, this app should be highly engaging. Design is delightful! Plus, the well-produced audio story about da Vinci's life and vibrant images of paintings and sketches will draw kids in.
Learning is incorporated into the fun, responsive games, which include encouraging sounds and feedback including stars for correct rounds answered on the quiz.
All the app's options are clearly displayed on the main menu (Story, Portraits, Sketches, Games, Paintings, Languages, and About Us).
What's it about?
Tap one of seven options on the main menu (Story, Portraits, Sketches, Games, Paintings, Languages, and About Us). The app doesn't indicate which option to choose first, but kids should choose Story and Portraits before playing the games or some likely won't make sense. Once kids tap an option, most are self-explanatory. For example, tap Story and the story about da Vinci's life begins to play; tap Sketches and the first sketch appears, along with an arrow on the side of the page to tap to view more. A menu icon guides kids back to the main menu. Kids can listen to da Vinci's life story presented in a (partially) animated format. Then they can play a matching game or a find-the-difference game; take a quiz; spot 10 Mona Lisas in a scene; learn about other famous historical figures of the Renaissance; and view da Vinci's art and sketches.
Is it any good?
DA VINCI -- HISTORY is part of a series of apps for kids by Quelle Histoire about historical figures. With a level of quality fitting for the man it depicts, this app skillfully encourages kids to learn about da Vinci and his art in a beautiful, interactive format. It includes a well-produced audio story, fun games, and beautiful art. With its focus on one of the greatest artists of the Renaissance, it's no surprise that this app is particularly visually compelling. It also includes some interesting details that touch on topics like religion and art history, science, and geography. For example, a map located in the corner of the Story feature tracks da Vinci around Italy and France through his life's journey and portrait biographies include those of popes, kings, and other Renaissance artists.
It would have been a smart addition to provide kids with the option to draw their own sketches of inventions alongside da Vinci's or to provide an in-app art tablet on which kids could paint to keep them coming back. Currently, once the story is listened to, the content is read, and the games are played, this app loses its stickiness. Still, Da Vinci - History is highly recommended to introduce kids to da Vinci, his works, and the Renaissance.
Families can talk about...
Encourage your kid to choose the Story and Portraits options first before playing the games, or some games likely won't make sense.
If one painting or sketch captures your kid's imagination, find a website or book that explores it in more detail.