The Xhosa version of Slimkop‘s Vorms en Kleure is, at first glance, identical to its Afrikaans sister app. Sure, the features and games are the same, but the language of learning, in this case Xhosa, takes it to a whole new level. For South African kids, this app is a true gem. Playing the games in Xhosa (if it’s not your mother tongue) creates a foundation for multi-lingual communication. Because I’d downloaded the Afrikaans version first, my four-year-old delighted in recalling the Afrikaans words she’d learned and then matching them to Xhosa (and vice versa, when we played the Afrikaans app). Which means that besides the obvious learning that takes place in the form of recognising shapes and colours, children get an opportunity to name them in different languages: Afrikaans, Xhosa – and in our home, English. Also, the Xhosa voice used in the app is super cute.
As an English-speaking mother though, my grasp of Xhosa is minimal, and outside of the games I would have loved a translation of the crocodile mascot’s instructions (not that they aren’t obvious enough for toddlers to understand what is expected of them). Despite this one little niggle, Xhosa Shapes and Colours is a great app, and completely safe for little ones to use.
Slimkop apps are only available on Apple devices at present, but there’s talk of Android versions being launched soon.