Get Going Abroad with Gus
- What: Gus on the Go language learning app
- When: Three years and up
- Why: Free, educational, easy to use
- Where: Amazon or app store
We’re off to see family abroad and I wanted the kids to brush up on their foreign languages. They know a smattering of words, but for the first time, all three kids will be speaking in sentences. (Last time we ventured this far, my kids were 6 months, 2 years, and 4 years old.) I needed an easy way to expose them to more of the local language even though I don’t speak much myself.
Gus on the Go: List of Gus on the Go languages on Amazon
Enter Gus. Gus offers kid-oriented language learning apps. They include 30 languages, a broad selection well beyond the typical Spanish, French, and German. The app features a map of the chosen country with four cities highlighted. Each city offers a different set of vocabulary, like food or animals, in a map format. Kids can practice learning colors with a pinwheel that both says and shows the word in the foreign language. Then they can test their skills and memory with games, including balloon popping, horse races, and more.
The app uses the foreign language exclusively, but it requires zero literacy skills. It works just as well for my almost eight year old as it does for my three and a year old – if he can pry it out of his older sibling’s hands.
The only downside? It needs more content. Kids can earn trophies, up to 16, in either bronze, silver, or gold. It offers four units, with four trophies each for various games that reinforce the vocabulary. That seems like a lot, until your kids get gold trophies in every possible category in an effort to unlock more cities. Sadly for both them and me, more cities don’t exist, at least not yet.