Any parent with a child who has a tablet of some description will relate to the “I’m bored” cry, the “why can’t I just play on it for ten minutes” cry. Bring on the Gamar app. This idea combines a potential boring (to some kids of a certain age) day out with technology to bring the past to life, making the visit enjoyable and memorable.
We travelled to The British Museum in London to try out the latest development in technology with Gamar to bring the past ever so much closer to children in a fun interactive way.
For our family day out at The British Museum, it was a fun and full day of exploring, listening and absorbing so much history and knowledge. We are a family with two children, our oldest daughter is almost fifteen and loves everything about history (she has Autism and is all about the facts), so I knew before we got there that she was going to have the best day at the museum. Our youngest is eight and although is interested about history, myths and of course the Horrible History series, she doesn’t have the patience of her sister and so I was keen to try the Gamar app to see if it would pique her interest.
To put this into context we were confident that Siobhan our teenage daughter would be interested and could spend plenty of time exploring the museum without getting bored, however Lara our eight year old would get bored and restless really quickly so the Gamar app needed to be interesting enough to engage them both. I can see why the Museum wanted to trial this app in this exhibit, as in all fairness for a child it is pretty boring, and I would challenge any parent to keep their kids engaged in that exhibit for more than ten to twenty minutes.
Yet to our astonishment they both played on the app for almost an hour, totally engrossed and enjoying the fact that it wasn’t a heads down to the screen game, but a fully interactive game where the player can hold up the tablet to the objects in the museum for the app to interact with the player. To be able to hold the interest of an eight year old for an hour, when it would have been difficult for her to remain in that section of the Museum for more than fifteen minutes without the app, is fantastic.
With the help of Gamar’s app The British Museum is quite literally coming to life, we experienced this when we brought our children in to review the Gamar app. Within room 18 – the Greece :Parthanon and with the help of the Gamar app on a tablet, the girls discovered the history behind Zeus and Athena though a fun challenge with four stages all revolving around “A gift for Athena“, a story of how you the player need to find a gift for Athena’s birthday celebrations which had been stolen.
So what is the Gamar app? It is a downloadable app from Google Play and App Store (Free at the App Store) and is priced at £2.49. The app is targeted at children aged seven upwards. With pioneering technology this app has been developed to be interactive to the player, using augmented reality gaming to create an exciting and fun way for the player to interact and learn from the relevant environment. The Gamar app mixes the world of culture, education and technology but in a fun interactive way which children can follow easily on a tablet or on a smartphone, while learning about the past.
Through this interactive software of the Gamar app the player navigates their way though a series of challenges, each level has fun games to play in order to progress to the next stage. This was a big hit with my girls as they found the games really fun and also recalled afterwards the stories and characters depicted in the app, which is so important. They also both enjoyed the accomplishment of passing each challenge and learning the wonderful stories that were behind each stage.
What a great way to draw children into the wonder and history of the museum, using this technology (the Gamar app) which these days most children can easily use, really does bring history to life in a fun way which catches their interest and is memorable. It really is re-inventing the conventional notion of a family visit to the Museum to be less of a chore for the younger children who may not find it as interesting, using a platform that most young children are already comfortable with, a game via a tablet or a smartphone, to create a fun, interactive learning tool.
If you want to find out more please have a look at this You Tube clip that Gamar have put together , it will give you an idea of what to expect when you visit The British Museum and try out the Gamar app.
Gamar has launched this app for the first time to the general public with the notion that this will change the way we the public will look at the whole process of learning about history within a museum setting.
If you have I would love to know how your children got on with it, and what their opinion of the app was.
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