Augmented reality apps

AR apps for children’s language and literacy learning at home

Can’t go out into the world right now? Bring the world to you with an augmented reality app! Need some inspiration? Let augmented reality spark your child’s imagination and transport them somewhere fantastical. Augmented reality apps not only provide exciting opportunities for experiencing the world, they can provide meaningful learning experiences for children’s language and literacy. These range from entering into and interacting with stories in fictional worlds, such as the app Wonderscope; exploring, reading and writing reports about museum artefacts, such as the app Expeditions; and finding ways to create AR-inspired stories and films, such as Thyng or StoryFab.

Below are a selection of the top eight AR apps for children as recommended by our experts, Lynde Tan, Angela Thomas and Alice Chik — recipients of the PETAA Research Grant in 2019, for the project Language and Literacy Learning and Teaching with Augmented Reality.

Creature on Wonderscip icon on the app store, links to appstore

Wonderscope

Available on the App Store only, for iPhone and iPad.

The Wonderscope app is free and stories are free until 1 June 2020!

Teleport children to different imaginative places where they can interact verbally with the characters and be part of the stories. The app is highly interactive, ideal for reading and provides children with opportunities to learn about other general capabilities like teamwork. Watch a video preview of the Wonderscope app.

Quiover maks icon linked to developwer store

Quiver Masks

Available for iPad and iPhone on the App store or from Google Play

With Quiver Masks, a free app from Quiver Vision, children put on a mask and pretend to be a character, like a pirate for instance. Let them verbally recite a poem, (re)tell a short story or create an oral presentation based on the character’s perspective (note that it is used in conjunction with a printer to print out PDFs and set up masks).

Farm AR application icon linked to developer website

Farm AR

Available on the App store for iPhone and IPad and Google Play

FarmAR is a free app that allows you to create your farm experience.

Miss the Royal Easter Show? You can make your own petting zoo! Children can bring in various animals and birds into your own living room or backyard. A simple way for the elder siblings to create an authentic petting zoo for their little brothers and sisters. Your child can be the next David Attenborough. It is very easy to operate, and you can also take a photo or video for your memorable trip.

Little Blue Dragon incon linked to app store

Little Blue Dragon

Available in the app story only for iPhone and iPad (with in App purchases).

Little Blue Dragon is an interactive AR book for children to interact with the main character. The free version does not release the full story but what is available can be used for home language and literacy activities e.g. get the children to summon the dragon and provide a topic for the children to verbally interact with the dragon or visit the dragon and describe its imaginative habitat. Watch a video preview of the Little Blue Dragon AR book.

Thyng app icon linked to developers website

Thyng

Available on the App store for iPhone and IPad and on Google Play (with in App purchases).

The Thyng app, which is free and offers in-app purchases, lets you create your own AR worlds. Visit Thyng store and there is a long list of virtual objects that can be used for educational purposes such as those from ‘Tall Tales’. Let each child create a story or an oral presentation by augmenting their home with virtual objects— for example, create an AR experience based on the prompt ‘What would I do if Jack’s magic beans grew in my house?’Alternatively, get each child to take a picture of the AR scene they create and as a class, put these scenes together on Google Docs and create a story together using children’s AR experiences.

Icon for Figment AR App linked to developer website

Figment AR

Available on the App store and Google Play.

Figment AR has some emojis and virtual objects in their library which children can use for creative oral presentations. However, we recommend the portals which include 360-degree videos. Use these portals as writing prompts as children immerse themselves in another environment without leaving their home.

Expeditins app linked to Google education website page

Expeditions

Available on the App store for iPhone and iPad and Google Play.

The free app by Google, Expeditions, provides hundreds of 3D artefacts and tours for children to read about explore and engage in. They can examine the figures in Greek mythology, or explore the ways animals use camouflage, or even do a tour of Paris. Children can write an information report on insects or they may explore the brushstrokes of Vincent Van Gogh’s paintings and use their visual literacy to use his techniques in their own masterpieces!

 StoryFab icone linked to App store

StoryFab — Movie Studio

Available on the App store only for iPhone and IPad (cost $0.99 US).

The StoryFab app offers animation in AR. Do you have a budding filmmaker in the house, who may have a career in animation ahead of them? Not for the faint-hearted, Storyfab allows children to create their own short animated 3D films. It comes with video tutorials and would need some patience, but with libraries of characters and settings to choose from, the sky is the limit! Watch a video preview of the StoryFab — Movie Studio app.