A new educational start-up, Virtual Forests, has created a nature-inspired immersive game aimed at helping preschoolers learn English at home. The game uses augmented reality to help children learn the alphabet and basic words in a fun and interactive way.

All that’s needed to play is the Virtual Forest smartphone app, a printer, and a child’s enthusiasm to learn. The English learning game works by printing out the forest and the alphabet cards, and then using the augmented reality app to bring the virtual forest and its inhabitants to life. Children will be challenged to use their developing language skills to help their virtual animal get to the bridge and cross to the other side.

Virtual Forests has launched in response to the impact of COVID-19 on early-education around the world, with young children missing out on vital months of the kind of rich, interactive learning that preschools offer. A report from The Sutton Trust revealed losing access to early-education providers is likely to widen school-readiness gaps. Immersive, interactive games like Virtual Forests help parents to create similarly powerful learning experiences for their children at home.

Virtual Forests also aims to help foster the development of love and appreciation of the natural world, specifically our rainforests which are under urgent threat from deforestation. The virtual forest in the first game represents an African Jungle, with children able to play as native animals including a Lion, Cape Buffalo, African Elephant, Nile Crocodile, Giraffe, and Gorilla. Virtual Forests aims to introduce new habitats such as the Amazon, and the rainforests of South-East Asia into future games.

Learn more about Virtual Forests and download here: https://www.virtualforests.com/

●     The Sutton Trust Covid 19 & Early Education Report: https://www.suttontrust.com/our-research/coronavirus-impacts-early-years/