I think that if you want a true description of someone, ask a three-year-old. They don’t hold back and have no hesitation in giving you all the details about someone’s ‘big nose, yellow hair, googly eyes and loud voice’. Interestingly, with these descriptions rarely comes judgement – kids just describe very much what they see and have little interest in what’s ‘normal’ and what’s ‘different’.
A few years ago, a US study found that when kids as early as three years were encouraged to respect differences, they showed less biased attitudes and behaviours as they grew older. The study confirmed what is really common sense and, building on the concept, Wee Society created the incredibly beautiful and particularly unique app, Wee You-Things.
Wee You-Things introduces a cast of colourful characters that celebrate ‘you-things’, those little and big things that, together, make you special and like no one else in the world. Some ‘you-things’ you can see, like Ruth’s purple tooth and Kai’s extra eye. Others you can’t necessarily see, such as the fact that Little Dot gets scared a lot and that Nellie smells like hot pepper jelly. The characters also represent various family situations (Brad’s got two dads) and abilities (Niels has orange wheels).
The diversity of the characters and their ‘you-things’ gives parents and kids an opportunity to discuss and understand differences and encourage empathy. Rest assured, the conversation will likely be light given the craziness of the characteristics that the app employs.
After meeting twenty-two new friends, kids are asked, “What’s your special you-thing?,” and get to become part of the story by adding their photo and their own ‘you-thing’.
Each of the quirky characters include irresistible interactive animations that respond to touch – watch Pierre run with his arms in the air, change the frames of Bea’s glasses and marvel at Kyle’s galaxy-filled ‘ginormous smile’.
Notably, this app is beautifully designed. The characters are bright, engaging and funny. The graphics have a Scandanavian aesthetic – bold colours in a restricted palette and a clever use of geometric patterns. It’s without question the most striking and unique app I have come across this year.
Wee-You Things is $2.99 and is available through iTunes. It is suitable for children aged three and over.