Luca & Friends: An interactive learning app that can get kids moving

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In 2016, the Indian Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth had noted that most children spend most of their day in sedentary pursuits. Six years hence, the sedentary lifestyle is expected to have become even more routine, especially with more affordable mobile phones and unlimited internet.

The health and fitness company GOFA aims to use that same mobile phone to get kids moving through fun, immersive educational games.

It has launched in India an app called Luca & Friends. “Designed for kids ages 4-8, the app provides an interactive learning experience in which players play games by ‘moving’ to select the right answers,” Wayne Chung, CEO of GOFA, told FE. “Using basic movements and following simple directions, players might stretch or jump in order to ‘touch’ or ‘catch’ the right answers helping them build strength, endurance, coordination and flexibility while practicing English and Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) skills.”

He claimed that through the use of artificial intelligence technology, these games encourage movement and learning, “giving kids the perfect platform on which to improve their knowledge and increase their daily exercise.”

The Luca & Friends story centres on a ‘galaxy far, far away’ where Prince Luca and his alien friends (Pumkey, Digby and Mighty Coca) embark on a mission to save the Earth from hate, fighting and hurt. The characters then appear in the app to connect kids to the world of learning and movement.

Key features of Luca & Friends include:

—Social interaction: All games are socially interactive, encouraging players to invite friends and family to join the fun.—Educational content: It offers over 100 lessons and activities covering English and STEM topics. All content has been created by accredited teachers and trainers and is linked to curriculum standards.—Rewards: It offers loyalty and reward programmes to motivate kids to stay active.—Parent dashboard: It shows parents the play history for their child, and allows them to input health data so they can track their child’s growth status.—Playback mode: The app collects a short video of the player so they can see themselves move during gameplay.It is available for download on iPhone and Android devices via Apple App Store and Google Play, respectively.