App Description: These apps teach you the step-by-step method of grooming your pet dog or cat. Using either of the apps, children can follow and learn the essential steps of grooming a pet animal by soaping, rinsing, drying and brushing his hair. Children can also learn what grooming tools are required to follow each of these steps. There are a number of different breeds of cats and dogs in the app. By shaking the iPad you can switch to the next pet in line to be groomed.These are simple yet enjoyable apps that work with any age group.
How we use it: At the Children’s Museum of Houston, we use these apps in the Kidtropolis Vet Clinic. In the Vet Clinic, children are able to get a job as a Veterinarian, Groomer, and Vet Assistant to meet the needs of the vet “patients”. Working as a veterinarian or veterinarian’s assistant, children are able to care for the pet animals by reading their charts,diagnosing their ailments, weighing them and viewing their x-rays. As a groomer, they can bathe, dry, brush and style the pets. These experiences allow them to have a better understanding of the roles these community members play in contributing to society.
Our facilitators engage the children by using the app to relate to real-life experience. Some of the questions they ask the children before the interaction are:
- Do you have a pet? Have you ever seen a pet being groomed?
- How do you get ready for school? What do you do first? The facilitators encourage answers that involve a step-by-step routine.They use the app to show how grooming a pet also involves steps.
After going through the grooming routine on the app, the child gets to practice the same routine on one of the pet animals in the Vet Clinic. The facilitators also discuss the tools required for grooming and if children can identify some of them in the clinic. In addition, you can role-play for some of the tools that are not available. What else can you use if you don’t have a certain grooming tool such as a dryer? Furthermore, the app can be used as a test to ‘employ’ new groomers for the clinic. If the children can successfully complete the grooming routine, then they are hired as groomers and receive the Kidtropolis paycheck for their work.