Facebook groups and forums for parents of bilingual children are full of questions about child-friendly websites, apps and other language learning resources. And while I’m not a big fan of screen time for children, I can definitely recommend you a great multilingual app I’ve got to review from Mini Poliglotini; The Fairytale of Luna.
The Fairytale of Luna is a heart-warming story of the smallest pony in a horse riding club, who dreams of becoming big. This app is designed for children aged 2-10 years old and is narrated in 7 languages: English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Russian and Slovene.
The app is both Android and iOS compatible and does not include any advertising.
Download from Google Play HERE:
Download from App Store HERE:
The app author and the creator of Mini Poliglotini, Mojca Stubelj Ars, has a PhD in Environmental Sciences.She writes, sings and creates in many other ways and she’s a mum to a little boy bilingual in Slovene and English. Mini Poliglotini aims to promote multilingualism and early language learning through books, applications, didactic games and educational workshops for children.
What I liked best about The Fairytale of Luna is that unlike many apps available in the market, this one enables children to learn and use new words in context; children listen to the story of the little pony and they need to find or count certain animals. Simple commands like “pat Luna on her back” or “count three butterflies” teach children the whole language structures. I think it’s much better for language learning than isolated words like in most apps.
My boys, Andrés (6) and Michał (4) were a bit sceptical about an app that featured a pony as a main character (it’s girly stuff, mummy !), but as soon they started to listen to the story, they loved it. They listened to the story of Luna in their both minority languages, English and Spanish. Michał learned new animal words in Spanish (a dragonfly and a hedgedog) and he was happy to show off his vocabulary arguing with his brother afterwards (Andrés is a stinky hedgedog!). The only thing Andres said could be improved in the app is ” more tasks and things to find”.
Andrés and his fluffy friends listening to the Fairytale of Luna
Another feature of the app I love is that you can flip the pages at your own pace, which enables parents to explain new words to the children and ask follow-up questions. In this way, children can interact with their parents and use their new words. I asked the boys where certain characters are, how they think Luna is feeling or if they would like to ride horses like the children in the app.
Parents and children can follow the story at their own pace and when they get back to the main menu, they can choose any slide they like to watch again.
Fairytale of Luna is also a good choice for toddlers or children with sensory processing issues because it doesn’t overwhelm children with flashing lights, loud sounds or rapidly alternating images. On the contrary, animated illustrations are beautiful and the images of nature as well as a calm voice of the narrator may help children to calm down.
The story of the little pony also teaches children self-esteem and confidence. When Luna meets a beautiful big Arabian horse, she dreams of growing bigger. However, she realizes that being the small pony, loved by young children who can learn their first riding steps with her, makes her really happy. On that day she becomes a magical pony.
Michał felt identified with the character since he suffers from growth hormone deficiency, which means that since nursery he has always been the smallest child in the classroom and many people think he’s a year or two younger. In a way, like Luna, he’s loved by all people around him, also his older brothers’ friends, who treat him like a cute baby and like to take care of him. Michał is a very cheerful and easy-going child, he loves to tell stories and make jokes, which makes him very popular among other children.
However, sometimes Michał gets upset that he’s not as tall, fast and strong as his peers. Moreover, he has an archanoid cyst, which causes headaches and often makes him feel tired; sometimes Michał may fall asleep right in the middle of a birthday party. His condition also implies frequent visits at the doctors’, injections and medicines.
I have always worked on self-esteem building with both boys and I was happy to come across the Luna character that was small, yet had a big heart and was able to do great things. Michał smiled when he listened to the story and he said that he would like to ride “a small pony, like Luna, for a small boy, like him”.
Do you have your favourite language learning apps? Let me know! Like many parents of multilingual children, I’m always on quest for new learning resources and I’m very glad that Mini Poliglotini sent us their app. Thank you very much!