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Apr 06 2015 - 12:00am
ChillOutz
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The ChillOutz app teaches relaxation and mindfulness techniques to young children using animated stories as teaching guides. Each character in the ChillOutz videos demonstrates a calming tool children can use to regulate breathing, lower anxiety, and adapt to unfamiliar environments. ChillOutz creator and child psychologist Dr. Jacqueline Vorpahl encourages use of the app as a reinforcement tool to establish healthy self-regulatory skills in children.

Pros:

ChillOutz has kid-friendly design and interface features that make using the app easy for young children. Each video is only approximately four minutes long, includes engaging animation, and provides repetition of each relaxation technique to reinforce the lesson. The Bee Story video is a good example of these positive aspects because the character flies around a beautifully designed environment, repeats the humming technique throughout the whole video, and does not introduce excess stimuli to distract from the lesson.

Cons:

The videos generate a good deal of excess stimulation through music, multiple character voices, and background noise. It is important to try out the videos and gauge their effect on children because audiences of varying ages will have different reactions. Parents and educators may find the lessons more useful in preparation for stressful environments and for practicing each technique rather than relying on the videos in a moment of child anxiety.

Our Takeaway:

Bringing the mindfulness movement to younger users requires ideas and projects like ChillOutz to help children adapt to different situations and hone relaxation methods. The fact that parents, educators, and kids can all use the app allows everyone to participate in a child's development process. One concern to consider, however, is the incongruity of creating more digital apps and tools to address technology-induced stimulation in young children.

Image: Screenshot via ChillOutz

Posted in: New Learning TimesEdLab Review|By: Rachel Smiley|51 Reads