This is me and my daughter Issy. We’re both nerds.
And 2 weeks ago, this happened:
Issy sent me a wordsearch message on WhatsApp asking me to find the names of her and her best friend.
“What a cool idea!!” I thought..
I’ve been making ChatBots for Facebook Messenger recently and for those who don’t know what a ChatBot is, it’s basically an automatic chat that feels like you’re chatting to a real person. ChatBots are used mostly for stuff like Customer Service and Sales Advisors
So I thought it would be pretty cool to turn Issy’s Wordsearch game into a ChatBot so she can play it regularly by herself. To be honest, anything that gets her off YouTube has got to be a good thing and I thought it would improve her ability to read more words, learn to type and improve her spelling.
So I made it while on holiday last week and gave it to her a few days ago and SHE ABSOLUTELY LOVES IT!!
I started it with simple groups of words that she could easily identify; colours, animals, clothes etc but also built a library editor so I can add new and longer words as her spelling improves.
If anyone is interested in having their own personal database to add/edit/delete different words, get in touch.
I also thought it would be cool to add a Machine Learning module to auto optimise the frequency of the words she’s failing on while giving her enough easy ones to keep her engaged but I’ll leave that for Phase 2 ;)
I have many ideas on new features but forcing myself to leave them out as thought it would be far more interesting to only build the features that Issy designs so it remains a product designed by a 5 year old.
So far, she has designed one extra feature: Challenges. While playing, she said “my challenge is to get to 50 points!” so that was our first improvement and now in our latest version, when she gets 3 points she receives a Challenge prompting her to reach 10 points to unlock a Gold Star emoji and so on..
Anyway, she loves playing and it’s really helping her to read, type and spell so I thought I would make it available to other parents and children too :)
It’s 100% free to use and you can open it on your Messenger App or directly from our Facebook page and because it runs on Messenger it’s really lightweight which is awesome because when she’s watching YouTube my data allowance and battery take an absolute beating!
If you try “IssyBot Wordsearch” I’d love to hear if you think it helps assist your child’s reading, typing and spelling.
I might make some more ChatBots for Issy soon, perhaps one for helping with numbers — but I’ll wait for her designs! If you’re interested, please do keep an eye on our little website and Twitter for updates.