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Testing out the Hatch Me if You Can Pack with a 4-year old

Updated: Jul 31, 2023

So we got a 4 year old to try out the magic egg pack and needless to say, he was hooked onto it!

We started out with observing the egg-shaped cards. To make the process even more child-led and to get the child thinking, I started out by asking him, what did he think these creatures were? Here are his guesses:

  • Dinosaur ()

  • Tortise (not sure what about the Mermaid looked like a tortoise , got to feedback to my designer)

  • Rhinocerous (ok, like unicorns, they have horns)

  • Plant ( this one is hard! To be frank, he has never seen a Martian)

  • Elf ()

Then we started scanning the first Egg- the Martian !

What I observed:
  • Mandarin comprehension and verbalisation: S listened attentively and answered the questions in Mandarin. When he answered the questions incorrectly, he looked at me and responded with Ooops, I answered wrongly (though I would like to clarify that we try to avoid designing questions with a very obvious Right or Wrong)

  • Cognitive thinking: When the egg hatched, he looked at the cards and started to compare the image on the card with what he saw on screen. It was the Martian in baby phase and he asked me Why this one (the one on the card) has 3 antennae while this one (the one on the screen) has only one?

I loved these moments because they show the child actively processing information and critically questioning. Their curiosity of how the world works is so innately presented.

I explained to him that the one in the screen is probably a baby while the one on the card is older. The questions continued :

So if he is 10 years old, will he have 10 antennae?

If he is 99 years old, will he have 99 antennae?

Ok great, what did I get myself into?

What I could have improved on:
  • It occurred to me as I pen down my reflections, perhaps I should have responded to him in Mandarin even when he asked the questions in English. For instance 餈臬摰摰嚗芣銝銝芾圻閫嚗隞Xa踹之撠梯亥憭閫西鈭 Along the way, we can continue discussing in Mandarin- even if the terms are not as easy/fluent, but its a conversation nonetheless!

We have not had time to try the memory game or the other cards, and I will post an update once we get to that!

Look, even as the creator of the product, we are still caregivers and it is not always we get a perfect session of sit-through to complete the activities. After all, this is a home where we are comfortable and free to do what we want

[Update, the following night]

Have you played the Flintstones Memory Match in Arcade when you were younger? This is my go-to machine when I visit the arcade at Parkway Parade after my ballet class in weekend. Memory games are my forte and this machine dispenses a generous amount of tickets for me to exchange for gifts.

Well, our memory game was inspired by this!

We finally got time from our busy schedules. After the younger sister had gone to bed, we gathered by the table to try out the memory game. We spent about 20-25 minutes on this (could have been longer if not for Grandma chasing us to bed), and it was a great bonding experience!

There are 10 cards in total, and a pair makes up one character. So the idea is to match the cards while placing them face-down. Well you think you know a memory game, actually there is more than one way to play it!

Method 1: Discovered by S while doing free play - Open one card, hold in hand then match from pile

He opened one card first and held it in his hand.

From the pile of cards, he randomly picked one. If it does not match, he puts it down, and opens another one, until it matches.

Method 2: Discovered by me because I realized Method 1 is quite funky. Open one card, then flip back down. Repeat until you identify a match.

It took me a bit of explaining (and a bit of cheating by S) to eventually complete the memory game this way. So I would recommend this for older children (perhaps 5-6 years old).

Method 3: The Flintstones method- Open the cards, memorize all (or try to). Place them back face down, and try to match them with the shortest time possible.

I have not tried this method. As I was recollecting about the Flintstones Memory Match machine at the arcade, I think this was how it was played!

Like all good papers, we end with a summary:
  1. The 4 year old had lots of fun playing with the "Hatch Me if You Can" voice interactive activities + memory card game.

  2. Known for his dislike for Mandarin/ for speaking Mandarin, he answered every question when prompted, which was very satisfying/ encouraging to see!

  3. Creates opportunities for caregivers to build serve-and-return interactions whether in Mandarin or your main language, these are great for development.

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