Hidden Curriculum for Kids

App review by
Kim Alessi, Common Sense Media
Hidden Curriculum for Kids App Poster Image
Practical but wordy app helps kids learn social skills.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn essential social skill to help them succeed in a variety of everyday situations, including interactions at home and school, in public, with friends, peers, and adults. The app also helps kids identify emotions and hone successful coping mechanisms. The app's flash card style scenarios are accessible to kids with developmental and learning differences; however, the cards can't be modified and are text-based only. Hidden Curriculum can help kids learn about emotions, coping strategies, and having positive experiences in many different social settings.

Ease of Play

The app's flash card-style interface and is very easy to use -- kids move through the flash cards by selecting a back or next arrow. Kids can also select whether a flash card is helpful to them, with the option of sharing by email or saving to a favorites folder.

Violence & Scariness

The app itself contains no violence, but some cards contain violent scenarios such as: "If students are fighting or bullying others, tell the teacher."

Sexy Stuff

The app itself contains no sexual images or content, but some cards contain scenarios that deal with body parts, such as: "Do not touch your private body parts in public."

Language

The app itself contains no swear words, but some cards contain scenarios that suggest the use of inappropriate language, such as: "Dirty jokes are usually about body parts … it's best to keep these jokes to yourself."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Hidden Curriculum for Kids is a flash card-style education app designed for people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to help teach social skills. The app contains several dozen flash cards with practical, real-life scenarios and explanations of how to make good choices for many different social situations. The app can also prompt conversations to help kids and teens with ASD learn coping skills and problem-solving techniques. Favorite social tips can be shared by email or stored in-app for future use.

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What's it about?

Hidden Curriculum for Kids offers several dozen flash cards containing ideas or scenarios related to sensory issues, self-regulation, social interaction, and academic skills. Kids open the app, and a flash card with text automatically opens. They can scroll through cards using arrow keys and choose whether the information on each card is useful to them or not. If so, kids can save the information in a favorites folder (designated by the yellow star). Kids can also email the information from a card using the in-app email button.

Is it any good?

HIDDEN CURRICULUM FOR KIDS is a good education app to help people on the autism spectrum learn important social cues. It explains how to maneuver through common social situations by offering kids, their parents, families, peers, teachers, and other professionals tips to spur conversations about successful social interactions. It can also help people from other cultures, or those recuperating from brain traumas, learn social norms and expectations.

The app falls short, however, on two key fronts. First, it's text based and lacks an option to have the text spoken aloud. Instead, it requires kids to either have solid reading skill or an adult to read to them. Second, there's no ability for kids or adults to make custom situation flash cards tailored to their individual needs, which potentially leaves important social skills unaddressed.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Talk about how facial expressions and body language convey what a person might be feeling. What if someone is smiling, or if their arms are folded across his or her chest?

  • Talk about how characters in picture books or TV shows might feel based on their facial expressions and body language.

App details

For kids who love fun apps that can teach

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