GoGo Kabongo is a new, fantastical online learning world of brain games kids love. Previously only available in schools, now tech firm Kabongo releases its first consumer product for children everywhere. Its initial habitat, Laughter Lake, the first to launch, is free with a simple registration process. It features six levels of progressive learning in three skill-building games, Scuba Dude,Going Buggy, and Critter Sizer.
Designed especially for children ages 4-7, GoGo Kabongo was created by cognitive psychologist,father, and avid gamer Dr. Martin Fletcher (Dr.Marty) to help children become better thinkers and readers through the joy of play. The games in GoGo Kabongo help children develop cognitive or problem solving skills, critical to basic reading and reading comprehension. According to Dr. Marty, “It’s a wondrous world that cultivates children’s natural love of learning to develop the reading readiness skills that all 4-7 year olds need to master.”
To be sure that GoGo Kabongo appealed to children, Kabongo assembled a team of seasoned game designers to create this animated world. “We designed everything in GoGo Kabongo with the 4-to 7- year- old in mind, creating an animated world rich in audio and filled with characters, games and learning content appropriate to their developmental stage,” said Teri Rousseau, Chief Marketing Officer of Kabongo.
When kids first log in at www.Kabongo.com, they go to The Treehouse to meet Duffy, the funloving host of GoGo Kabongo. As smooth and sweet as marshmallow peanut butter, Duffy gets the children set up and helps them create their very own virtual character. By giving different options for head, torso and wheels, kids’ avatars can be goofy, cool or downright wacky!
From the Treehouse, kids can travel to one of the three wondrous learning habitats. Here they solve mini-missions, play mind challenging learning games and discover lots of other hidden surprises.
Along the way, children meet a host of silly, friendly characters who are always there to help and share a laugh.
All of the games use a cognitive approach that teaches critical thinking or problem-solving skills that kids need for successful reading. The games have lasting value and adapt to the child’s level,inspiring self confidence. Specifically, children learn:
• focus and attention
• letter and pattern recognition
• listening comprehension
• phonics and phonetic awareness
The games have lasting value and adapt to the child’s level, inspiring self confidence. Interactive rewards keep kids playing and learning.
Throughout GoGo Kabongo kids are rewarded with cool collectables as they play. For instance, kids earn interactive stickers they can use to create their very own comic book scenes, or skatepark ramps to build and ride in a custom skate park. As an incentive to keep having fun (as if any child needs that!) the more learning they do, the more choices kids get for personalizing the Treehouse. Every child’s experience at GoGo Kabongo will be uniquely different. It’s brain-boosting fun that builds critical thinking and reading skills.
New habitats within the GoGo Kabongo world are coming soon and will be sold for a one-time purchase price of $7.95. “After talking with parents of young children, we heard that parents wanted quality online games they could just buy and own so their child could play whenever they wanted.
They expressed that they were tired of long-term monthly subscription fees,” said Rousseau. Looking at the trend in how parents are buying iPhone aps for their young children, Kabongo is sure to be a success.
The first habitat, free to consumers, is Laughter Lake. Bubbling with fun and adventure, Laughter Lake is home to the tea-drinking, dizzy Mz. Teezly, as well as a slew of other jolly creatures, miniquests,and surprises. Here kids can wheel around a giggling waterfall, or dive right into the learning fun with three skill-building activities, each with six levels of progressive learning!
Scuba Dude – Explore the depths of Laughter Lake in a cheery submarine while collecting underwater treasures. Each child collects the items in a sequence shown while avoiding sea life obstacles such as coral, eels and sharks. As the game progresses, the sequences become even more challenging and more underwater obstacles appear, requiring kids to think and react more quickly. Key Skills: Successive Processing, Visual Scanning, Working Memory
Going Buggy – Listen to a story, and then recreate the scene! In this activity, children demonstrate basic comprehension. They begin by listening to interesting passages, and then placing images into the scene to create a picture of what they heard. In higher levels, the “stories” shift from simple phrases to longer paragraphs, challenging children to use more advanced comprehension strategies,in order to create the scene. Text appears on screen as the audio plays, encouraging those who can to read along! Key Skills: Comprehension, Simultaneous Processing,Visualization
Critter Sizer – Size up the animals. As animals skate by, children must react quickly to determine if the animal is big or small depending on their size or the number of syllables in their name. As children advance,the magic lens shimmers, enlarging or shrinking the animals: so the child needs to remember the actual size of the animal. It can be tricky, but it’s always lots of fun! Key Skills: Attention and Focus, Verbal Rehearsal GoGo Kabongo is based on Kabongo’s classroom product which has been used by 30,000 children,in 150 schools over the past 2 years. To validate the effectiveness of their games, Kabongo hired an independent researcher to analyze and determine if the games worked as they’d been planned. The research turned up consistent improvements in reading skills for children. In fact, the more time students spent playing the games, the more their oral reading and word use fluency improved.
To make the transition from school to consumer online gaming its veteran game designers conducted extensive play testing with kids to be sure that it was creating a product that appealed to children in the home as well as met the motor and development skills of 4-7 year olds.
The company has exciting plans for future expansions on GoGo Kabongo. In addition, the company plans a phone app version of its game. Although the launch dates have not been officially announced,here’s a sneak preview of the much anticipated new habitats:
Twister Top Habitat – Ride through the wild and dusty mesas of Twister Top on a train bound for adventure! Go on mini-missions for the glorious Mimi Lookatmi and her little brother Tati. Explore the cactus-clad cliffs and uncover three mind challenging games with multiple levels of challenge:
Design A Door, Desert Dash and Crazy Maze.
Galaxy Gardens Habitat – Rocket into outer space for brain-boosting games that are out of this world! Blast off on missions for Karl — the gloomiest dude in the universe — and explore among the stars for hidden surprises. Each of the three extraordinary planets is home to a challenging learning game; use your smarts to blaze through the levels! The planetary games are: Rocket Racer,Robo Bobo and Photo Safari.
Kids learn best by learning to think. And they learn even better when they are doing something they love. These are the ideas that drive Kabongo, a developer and publisher of digital thinking products for kids. Developed by father and cognitive psychologist Dr. Marty Fletcher, Kabongo’s exciting brain play products cultivate the thinking skills that underlie learning, inspiring self-confidence through the joy of play. Enthusiastically embraced in classrooms across the country, Kabongo’s online learning games are now available to all, empowering kids everywhere to become better thinkers.
For more information or to play, laugh and learn visit www.kabongo.com.