Droplets: Drops for Kids

App review by
Mieke VanderBorght, Common Sense Media
Droplets: Drops for Kids App Poster Image
Easy, versatile vocabulary learning in many languages.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn new words and short phrases in a language of their choice. There are currently 37 languages available.

Ease of Play

Interface is clean and straightforward. Tutorials and clear visuals also help.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

Free version offers limited access to content and usage time. Pop-up ads encourage users to subscribe to unlock additional content.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Droplets: Drops for Kids is the kids' version of Drops: Language Learning -- both of which offer bite-sized, interactive vocabulary drills in 37 languages. The games use text, audio, and pictures to help promote learning. The app provides a brief tutorial and visual prompts to support the directions, which are meant to be intuitive and merely require kids to tap, swipe, or trace. Droplets: Drops for Kids is essentially the same app as Drops: Language Learning with a few key differences. First, the kid version focuses on vocabulary that's more of interest to kids. Second, there's an additional topic section for learning letters in foreign alphabets. Finally, there's a parent section where, after entering their year of birth, parents can access a parent section where they create multiple profiles so that more than one kid can play. Parents also purchase or manage subscriptions from the parent section. The free version has some limitations, including a max of five minutes playtime per day and some locked content. A subscription unlocks all content and eliminates time limits. In the free version, there are also pop-up ads that clearly encourage kids to buy a subscription, though kids need to enter a qualifying year of birth to access the page where they can make a purchase. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.

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What's it about?

Start by choosing what language you want to learn with DROPLETS: DROPS FOR KIDS (there are more than 30 to choose from). Once you're set up, a word or short phrase appears in text and audio, with an icon to match. Choose to learn the word/phrase and a few interactive activities follow; reject, and you see the next choice. Interactive activities ask you to match words to pictures, spell words, determine if a word-picture pair matches or not, or trace new letters. A timer keeps track of how long you play; the free version has a five-minute-a-day limit, the paid version allows you to choose your own playtime. Adjust settings at any time, including language you're learning, native language, topic, and how you want to see or hear new words.

Is it any good?

This collection of digital, image-based flash cards has lots of options for customization and is clean, simple, and easy to use. Droplets: Drops for Kids is also extremely versatile, with over 30 languages to learn or set as a native language. Though the premium subscription adds more flexibility and time for interacting with the app, those who don't want to pay for a subscription can get enough out of the free version to get by. The program encourages regular use in bite-sized lessons, with lots of repetition, which makes tackling a new language feel manageable and increases the chances for success. Interactive games allow kids to interact with words in a variety of ways. However, be aware that this is not a full language learning app. Though there are some useful phrases included, the focus here is on vocabulary, not forming sentences, conjugating verbs, or speaking in context. How helpful Droplets: Drops for Kids is for learning a language depends largely on how often and how consistently you review the words and how much you're able to supplement with other resources to learn how to put words together to make sentences. If straightforward, image-based vocabulary flash cards are what you want, though, Droplets: Drops for Kids does them quite well.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the words kids learn with Droplets: Drops for Kids. Help kids review what they've learned and find ways to use their new vocabulary in context.

  • Learn a new language with your kids so that the whole family can practice together. Work together to learn how the new words come together to form sentences and phrases.

  • Find lots of ways to immerse yourselves in the new language through movies, books, cultural events, and, if you can, trips to the areas where people speak the language you're learning.

  • Talk about how using digital flash cards is different from making your own flash cards on paper. Does one method work better for your kids than the other? Why or why not?

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
  • Subjects: Language & Reading: letter or word recognition, naming, vocabulary
    Social Studies: global awareness
  • Skills: Communication: multiple forms of expression
  • Price: Free to try
  • Pricing structure: Free to try (free to use five minute/day or subscribe for full access $9/99/mo.)
  • Release date: February 6, 2020
  • Category: Education
  • Size: 108.10 MB
  • Publisher: PLANB LABS OU
  • Version: 2.0
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 9.3 or later; Android 4.4 and up
  • Last updated: February 27, 2020

For kids who love learning new languages

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