Meghan and Alex Michelic, co-founders of Wonder Bunch Media, announced the launch of their first children’s learning app, Letter Meadow. They also released a short animated film called Happy at Home about life at home from a child’s perspective during social distancing and concerns about COVID-19.
Founded in 2019, Wonder Bunch Media creates children’s learning apps that address many of the most common parent concerns about apps such as educational quality, ads and safety while being engaging and fun for children. The Michelics, who live in Omaha, are the parents of four young daughters and had been seeking quality screen time options for their own children.
“Meghan and I are careful with screen time,” said Alex Michelic, the company’s COO. “However, with four kids under the age of six, it’s unrealistic for us to never give them screen time. When we looked around at what was out there for children’s apps, we determined there really weren’t that many that met our criteria for learning, age appropriateness and over-stimulation, and we figured other parents were feeling the same way. That’s how Wonder Bunch Media was born,” he said.
The apps are inspired by the wonder of nature and take children on adventures to different outdoor environments. Letter Meadow teaches children to recognize and trace letters and put them together to make sight words. It is now available on the App Store and will be available later this year on Google Play. The Michelics intend to release eight more apps in 2020 including Number Island, Art Camp, Pollination Station and Peaceful Forest.
Wonder Bunch apps feature diverse characters based on real kids that children can relate to. In a focus group for Letter Meadow, the Michelics saw that children playing the games were closely studying what the characters were doing and saying. That sparked another idea, the Happy at Home video.
“We hoped to create animated films down the road once Wonder Bunch Media was more established,” said Meghan Michelic, CEO. “However, we saw an opportunity to make an impact and help families by using the Wonder Bunch characters to discuss COVID-19 in a simple and understandable way. We’re really pleased with how it came out and we hope it helps even a little bit during this time.”
Happy at Home is written from the Wonder Bunch kids’ perspective and provides helpful reminders on keeping a routine, learning, helping parents and maintaining healthy habits – while also playing, connecting and having fun. It is available at www.wonderbunch.com/happy and also has a Spanish translation.
A core belief of Wonder Bunch Media is that children deserve high quality illustrations and music in the apps they play and digital media they consume. Omaha artist and graphic designer Skylar Hogan drew the Wonder Bunch characters and created the imagery and animals for Letter Meadow. He is now working with other artists to design the next apps in the series in the same style. All of the apps have custom music that is written and recorded by a singer-songwriter.
The Michelics have been working closely with an advisory committee that includes early childhood educators, parents and other experts in the development of their apps. They have also conducted research, surveys and focus groups to test their apps with parents and children.
“This would all be for nothing if our end user – children – didn’t love the apps,” said Meghan. “Watching children play an app for the first time, seeing them smile and look to a parent to share their accomplishments is incredibly rewarding.”
About Wonder Bunch Media
Wonder Bunch Media creates high-quality learning apps inspired by the wonder of nature that leave children feeling happy, smarter, more confident – and calm. Wonder Bunch apps feature characters based on real children and all apps are developed under the guidance of an advisory committee made up of educators and other experts. The company’s first app, Letter Meadow, is now available on the App Store. Wonder Bunch Media will release eight more apps in 2020. The company was founded in 2019 by Meghan and Alex Michelic, parents of four young daughters, who wanted to create apps that concerned parents like them could trust. For more information, please visit www.wonderbunch.com You can also find us on Facebook and Instagram.