Cockeysville, MD -- Introducing Curiosityville (www.curiosityville.com), a powerful on and offline personalized play and learning world to be explored by children 3-8 and their parents. The new village incorporates fun, playful learning activities, lovable and engaging characters and their stories, and innovative technology that enables parents to guide and track their child’s progress in real-time. It is designed to help mom, dad and caregivers become a child’s first teacher and kids become great learners. Created in collaboration with educators, parents, researchers and child development experts, Curiosityville offers young children and their families a first of its kind playful learning world and resource. The announcement was made today by Curiosityville Founder and CEO Susan Magsamen.
Simultaneous to the launch of curiosityville.com, the company has joined with several prestigious strategic partners, including National Geographic Kids (www.nationalgeographic.com/kids, as well as The Goddard School for Early Childhood Development (www.goddardschool.com) and The Association of Children’s Museums (www.childrensmuseums.org). Curiosityville compliments the strengths of its partners, all of whom align with its mission and vision, to help meet children in different areas of their lives and reinforce early learning.
In Curiosityville, children engage with an international cast of six lovable animated characters, including Pablo the painter, Ruby the teacher, Joe the gadget guy (and Curiosityville’s mayor), Rosie the scientist, Jack the policeman and Olive the dancing chef. Together, they guide children through an ever-expanding mix of interactive, playful learning experiences that encourage kids to explore, think creatively and problem-solve. In addition to reading, math, science, social studies and other core skills, Curiosityville incorporates evidence-based standards linked to effective learning and life-long achievement – executive-function, social and emotional development and 21st century skills.
Curiosityville combines a range of evidence-based approaches into a comprehensive and thoughtful child-focused learning laboratory. Incorporating the latest research on how children learn, the activities within Curiosityville have been designed in consultation with parents, children and an interdisciplinary team of world-class childhood development experts. Curiosityville’s proprietary digital learning platform aligns with, and goes beyond, the Common Core State Standards, the Framework for 21st-Century Learning developed by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills and the developmentally appropriate practices established by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).
“Curiosityville is a compelling response to one of the most important issues of our time – how to successfully help young children reach their fullest potential. Research has demonstrated conclusively that starting at an early age is fundamental to improving a child’s educational readiness, optimizing success in school and enhancing lifelong learning outcomes,” says Magsamen. “So, every aspect of Curiosityville—from the activity and game development to the sounds, visual design, animation, and engaging archetypal characters—is built for optimal early child development. We know that when you invite and excite young children to learn through playful exploration and discovery, they build a strong cognitive foundation to think, create, imagine and communicate that lasts a lifetime.“
Curiosityville will provide National Geographic Kids with engaging content for kids and parents to support the already robust National Geographic Little Kids offerings. Curiosityville will also bring the quality resources from National Geographic Kids within Curiosityville’s website.
“We’re excited to be partnering with Curiosityville,” says Nancy Feresten, Senior Vice President for Kids Publishing and Media at National Geographic. “Their focus on offering children fun ways to learn about the world around them perfectly dovetails with our own. And I can’t wait to see what happens when parents see how easy it is to track and support their kids’ learning.“
The Learning Tree – Curiosityville’s Data-Driven Collection and Reporting Program
At the heart of Curiosityville is the Learning Tree, the site’s real-time and interactive data-driven collection and reporting program. As the child plays in Curiosityville, the Learning Tree empowers parents with continuous insight into what and how their child learns. Scaffolding the world, the Learning Tree automatically adjusts to a child’s learning level and interests. Every activity adapts to a child’s learning skill level within the 10 Learning Areas.
The Learning Tree makes personalized recommendations for learning at home, online and in the community. The Learning Tree also allows parents to explore their child’s progress across the 10 core learning areas as it tracks and analyzes their interests, skills and strengths. Parents also receive personalized information and ideas for supporting learning at home. They expand their knowledge about how learning happens through a range of interactive tools including Little Things, Modern Parenting, Family Resources and more.
"As an advocate for 21st century readiness for every student, I am pleased to see that Curiosityville is incorporating essential 21st century skills into their early learning activities both on and offline,” commented Lillian Kellogg, Chair Executive Board, Partnership for 21st Century Skills. “Using fun, playful activities that focus on creativity, communication, collaboration and critical thinking skills that fully engage children is an important part of early learning as well as the continued involvement of parents."
Other Notable Features
Curiosityville includes character-driven, fun learning clubs, offering children both online and offline opportunities to dive deeper into targeted areas of interest. The clubs focus on art, reading, nature, science, cooking and community service. Children can also participate in contests, earn rewards and prizes. Other notable features include a child’s personal Scrapbook. The Scrapbook enables children to save and share art created in Pablo’s Masterpiece Maker, the songs he or she composes in Joe’s Music Maker, and the stories he or she writes in Ruby’s Story Master—all in a few simple clicks. For parents, there is the Show and Tell Book to jot down ideas and observations, as well as to save articles and at home activities, webinar videos or other materials they find relevant and interesting. Parents can also use their Show and Tell Book to archive art and other materials created in Curiosityville or outside. Learning Tree reports or other personal documentation can be held safely and securely here, giving parents the ability to create and house all of a child’s learning history. This archive can be easily shared with grandparents, teachers and child service providers.
Every month Curiosityville brings in experts and guests to talk about pressing parenting issues in Town Hall Meetings. The monthly e-newsletter, Curiosityville Times, shares stories about early learning and the latest happenings in Curiosityville – all for families.
Offline play is an important part of the Curiosityville experience—and an essential part of learning. To support this, Curiosityville provides a screen time reminder suggesting to kids that it is time go offline and play. The Learning Tree makes personalized recommendations to parents for offline play that connect to what their children learn online. Curiosityville’s extensive range of offline activities are intended to be done at home together and in the community. In some cases, children will engage in these activities independently or with a little help from a caregiver; in other cases, families play and learn together. For the most part, these activities are done with materials on hand at home. The goal is to make playful learning part of everyday family life—and to do so in a way that enhances the time families spend together.