Parents' Guide to

Happy Snap

By Mieke VanderBorght, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 4+

Mini-missions inspire kids to explore their surroundings.

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A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this app.

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With a small set of super-simple prompts, kids are encouraged to look around their surroundings and interact with their environment. The pictures that kids take do not get saved anywhere, and there's no way to track which adventures kids have completed. The upside to that approach is that Happy Snap is a light, portable app that can be a quick diversion or mini-adventure. The downside is that kids don't get to see what they've "collected" on their scavenger hunts. They also can't compare ideas and photos from one session to the next. Those comparisons could have been particularly interesting because there are a lot of repeat missions, such as finding something green. The missions aren't all that inspired or creative but are easy to fulfill. And the indoor and outdoor options don't seem to be all that different, but it's a nice idea. The photo-recognition software works pretty well but isn't always perfect, so sometimes pictures that do fit the target won't get recognized or photos that don't will fly through. Happy Snap has few bells and whistles, and its missions to closely observe your surroundings can easily be created without the aid of an app. But kids will likely find it delightful to take photos of what they find, and this easily accessible tool creates opportunities for exploration -- so long as parents make sure kids move around safely.with the device.

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