by Jessika Hepburn, O Happy Day Handmade
Shortly after taking over as editor for ohmyhandmade I received an email from Bea Bowdon, Community Manager for Made In Me, a new UK based company that aims “to inspire young children to explore their creativity and imagination by making software and books that are enchanting, wonderful and altogether different”, about their new early learning software: The Land of Me.
I am highly suspicious of all programming and advertising that targets children. I am actually quite extreme, I have a television free house, my nearly six year old has no idea what a Barbie is and I have a very selective lists of websites I allow her to use. So I checked out their website prepared to be disappointed and was instead delighted and really excited to share The Land of Me with my daughter and the OMHG community.
First off, The Land of Me is simply beautiful. The illustrations are whimsical, endearing and full of sweetness. Created in collaboration with Cambridge Professor John Siraj-Blatchford from the The University of Swansea, The Land of Me is like an interactive picture book designed to engage children’s imaginations, rather then simply keeping them entertained.
The game is divided into chapters that can be purchased and downloaded individually so that they can be used without being connected to the internet. I spent a long time exploring The Land of Me before letting my daughter have a chance. As a designer I was completely captivated by the aesthetic of the software and images, and as a parent I fell in love with the gentle and imaginative content. My daughter Ila was totally enchanted and played with the free chapter that was offered to us by Made in Me (scroll down for details on how to try the software for free) for over an hour-far longer then she usually spends on a game and far longer then I typically let her play on the computer.
Afterwards we printed off the masks and finger puppets and spent some time play acting and pretending to be the different characters and imagine ourselves into their world. Even though the website says for “ages 2+” I felt that the game was excellent for my older child and the printable masks and other activities filled up two rainy summer days.
Made in Me has generously offered OMHG readers a free 10 day trial of the Land of Me software. Just head over to their website and add Chapter 1 – Size, Shape and Colour to your basket, then add the unique discount voucher (ohmy!handmade). Follow the next steps and you will arrive at a page with a big green button at the top which you click to install. The download will only take a couple of minutes and you are ready for an adventure in The Land of Me.
The offer is good for 10 days from the date of this post so go check it out! The pricing on the software is great (about $12-13 USD per chapter) and is well worth it. So much computer programming for children is terribly designed and The Land of Me is a beautiful alternative.
Please share your thoughts on the software as comments-I would love to hear your reviews and ideas on this new program. As for our family, I can’t wait to get my hands on a picture book of this!