Developed by:Studio Pango
This app has the option of allowing the user to conduct certain actions in order to advance each page (note: there are also arrows to turn the pages). For instance, you may have to “SPIN Pango in order to reveal him” or “FLY Pango toward Squirrel.” I love that the user has to become an active participant in the storyline in order to move through each adventure. In fact, research shows that meaningful interactivity within eBooks may booster comprehension.
Prepare to use the app by introducing one of these activities:
DIY Cardboard Pirate Ship
In one of the adventures, Pirate Pango sails along on a ship. Why not make your own pirate ship using simple materials? MollyMoo has instructions for a cardboard pirate ship that can be made within one hour. After the ship is completed, let your child act out his/her own pirate story using stuffed animals, dolls, or action figures.
A Superhero Invasion
Superheroes are all the rage. Have your child list as many superheroes as s/he can, along with each superhero’s superpower. Explore the superhero idea even further with one of these activities:
- Ask your child, “What superpowers would you love to have?” Talk about what s/he would do with those superpowers and draw a picture of him/herself as that superhero.
- Create your own superhero cape following this tutorial from How Does She.
- Read some action-packed superhero picture books like Superhero by Marc Tauss and Ladybug Girl by David Soman and Jacky Davis.
- Check out the kid-friendly DC Super-Pets, based on popular DC Superheroes.
- Invite all of your friends over for a Superhero party using these games, snacks, decorations and party favors.
Help your child get the most out of an app experience by trying the following activities:
Verbs are words that show action, and this app is full of them! As your child goes through each page, ask him/her to identify the verb in the sentence at the bottom of the screen. At the same time, jot the verbs down on separate index cards. (To start, the verbs from “Halloween Pango” are: look; lift; move; throw; knock; pour) Later, read each verb and have your child draw a picture of its definition on the back. For example, given the word knock, I may draw a picture of a person standing at a door with his hand ready to knock. After all the words have been drawn, pull a card at random and let your child act out the verb. To add a math twist, call out a number before each card and combine it to the movement (i.e. three lifts; five knocks). Your child will have so much fun that s/he won’t realize that this activity is reinforcing his/her grammar, vocabulary, and creative skills!
Drawing and Coloring
Encourage your child to tap the star on the home screen to take him/her to a bonus page. Using a finger, s/he could draw some of the key characters or details from each adventure to complete a scene. There’s also a page for children to create their own costume for Pango.
Extend the app experience with these real life activities:
If your child falls in love with the world of Pango (and who wouldn’t?), head on over to the developer’s website for free printable goodies. You’ll find coloring pages, puzzles, drawings, and cards full of scenes from this app as well as other Pango adventures. There’s even a cool Pango mask to print, color, and wear so your child could reenact scenes from the stories.
As your child well knows, a Pangosaurus isn’t real - but that shouldn’t stop you from exploring the fascinating world of dinosaurs. Be sure to head on check out pbskids.org’s dinosaur field guide. I love this resource because it has tons of kid-friendly facts about dinosaurs including their size, bone structures, eating habits, and much more. Everything is narrated so children of all ages could easily access the information. You may decide to let your child choose his/her favorite dinosaur and create an adventure story involving that dinosaur. Need inspiration? Why not reread Pango’s own dinosaur story for ideas?