Developed by: Ink Robin
When Leonard moves from the city to the country, he has a hard time finding other children to play with, but his relentless search and big imagination come to his rescue! We love the ability to see what Leonard is imagining at the slide of a button in this app, as well as his creative solution to making a friend.
Prepare to use the app by introducing one of these activities.
- Storytime. Comparisons of life in the city and country are common in children’s literature. Read a story such as Linda Bleck’s The City Kid & The Suburb Kid, or Alice Schertle’s Little Blue Truck Leads The Way for some recent takes on this theme.
- Think Ahead. Tell your child that Leonard is about a boy who moves and his creative problem solving. What do they think the “problem” might be that he faces when he moves? Do they have any guesses as to how he might solve it?
Help your child get the most out of an app experience by trying the following activities.
- Anticipate and Imagine. When you have the option of sliding the button to see what Leonard is imagining, ask your child what they think Leonard is imagining before you slide the button. In the first scene where this is an option, Leonard is riding a bicycle with his cat. What might he be imagining while riding his bicycle? This activity helps build your child’s reading skills and creativity.
- Setting. Leonard moves from the city to the country. Why is it hard for him to find other kids? Where does your family live? What are some places that would be very different? Do you live some place warm? What if you were to move somewhere with very cold winters? Ask your child to think about the challenges they might face if you were to move somewhere new.
- Fears. When Leonard searches in the forest for a friend and finds a bug, he becomes fearful of what else might live in the forest. Ask your child, “Has your imagination ever gotten the better of you?” Ask them to describe the situation. Is there anything they could do in the future if something similar happens again? Are there ways to use their imagination that are helpful in such a scenario? Other techniques?
Extend the app experience with these real life activities.
- Get Crafty. Leonard takes a literal approach to “making” a friend. Help your child make their own robot! Provide them with materials such as cardboard boxes, paper towel and toilet paper rolls, pipe cleaners, buttons, packaging peanuts, and any other supplies that you might have around the house along with some paint, scissors, and glue. They can follow the “template” of sorts within the app or start from scratch! When they finish creating their robot, encourage them to write a story about an adventure they have with their new friend.
- Empathy. As we know from Leonard, making new friends is hard to do, whether due to a move, switching schools, or perhaps being shy by nature. Urge your child to reach out to a peer in their neighborhood or school that is new or seems like could use a friend. Help them come up with an activity they could do together or a time that they could invite this new friend over to play.
- Explore and Observe. Leonard is quite the explorer. Offer your child binoculars or a magnifying glass and go on your own adventure together. What can they find? Are there things they pass every day or quite frequently that they have never noticed before or now notice in a new way? Why do they think this is? Give them a small notepad to take some notes on as they go.