Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Hippo Seasons by Hippotrix - Review

Hippo Seasons is an iPad app developed by Hippotrix that is the perfect learning tool to teach your child the different seasons of the year. It has a very friendly user interface and it ideally suited for children aged 2 to 7 years.  It requires iOS5 or later to run.

If you would like to purchase the app now please do so via this link iTunes Link . It is currently priced at $2.99 in the US iTunes store.

Hippo Seasons helps your child to learn all the elements of the different seasons through calm and gentle play accompanied by tranquil sounds and vivid imagery. The first sight your child sees on opening the app is a windmill. What child is not going to love this feature? Each of the four sails on the windmill represents a different season. Crocus flowers for spring, grass for summer, golden leaves for autumn and snow for winter. By blowing into the microphone section of the iPad your child can make the windmill swirl around and around. Alternatively they can do this by swiping their finger in a circular motion around the windmill.

The first season I tested was spring. This was a huge hit with my son who has a fascination with water. The user is greeted with a spring puddle and must repeatedly tap the puddle until all the water drains away , revealing a lawn. Each tap of the finger on the water makes a little soothing splashing sound . When all the water is drained the user then taps their finger in any pattern format across the screen planting crocus bulbs as they go. Once finished doing this you can either take a picture using the built in camera feature or you can simply touch the reload button and shake the iPad to  cause a spring shower which will clear away everything on the screen. If your child is a lover of music and finger play they will enjoy tapping the tiles around the edge of the screen , which operate as a glockenspiel.

The summer season can be a little more fun,  for boys in particular. Your child simply swipes their finger across the screen , in any pattern. A lawnmower appears on the screen and follows the lines formed by your child's fingers crossing the screen. This feature is good for exercising fine motor skills as you child can try forming letters of the alphabet for example for the lawnmower to follow. This time the tiles around the edge of the lawn can used as a percussion instrument.

My sons favourite season was autumn. He loved the rustling sound of the leaves as he moved them around the screen and formed piles . The appearance of a beetle at random intervals was a huge attraction for my son. he was fascinated watching it move across the screen. The use of the reload button or the shaking of the iPad returns the leaves to their original state so the fun can begin all over again.

I am have to admit that my own personal favourite was winter. The crunching noise that your finger makes as you tap the screen, is extremely realistic . It even leaves foot prints in its wake. You can roll up snowballs using your finger and what really made me fall in love with this one was the formation of a snow storm by shaking your iPad or using the reload button . It is incredible to watch your screen fill up with a snow shower.

The complete absence of  in-app purchases and on screen text and voices makes this app suitable for children of all ages. The app also places no time constraints or definite boundaries on your child's play. The child is free to explore and use their imagination throughout the app.

Overall I found Hippo Seasons to be a great learning tool for children , especially children with special needs who get to enjoy and fulfil part of their sensory diet through the use of the features in the app. Many children never get to roll a snowball or watch a snow storm. Likewise a child who loves the sound of water is often restricted in their daily lives from enjoying this activity due to safety concerns. With the use of this app the child can explore and enjoy all of these activities in a safe environment , whilst at the same time finding themselves immersed in the scene and imaginary world that it creates. The app is easy to use and at $2.99 is very reasonably priced considering the features it contains. I would recommend this app to any parent whose child loves the sounds and sights of nature.  Take a quick peek at the video link posted below to give yourself a better insight into how the app looks and operates.

To find out more about HippoSeasons please visit the Hippotrix pages listed below. 


  1. Thank you AppAble for such a thorough & delightful write-up of Hippo Seasons. We are pleased you consider it a perfect learning tool Julie-Anne and we are glad your son enjoyed spring so much! It is designed as a sensory delight and is doing much for those young users with special needs...check out our blog for latest feedback…

    1. Thank you Simone. It was a pleasure to review your app. I can see it being a huge hit with the Special Needs community.