Hatch is an app that takes the sometimes difficult task of focusing and turns it into a game by rewarding the user with eggs that will hatch after committing to–and completing–various length periods of focusing on a project or goal. To achieve this, the user must select how long they need to focus. Choices range from 5 minutes to 2 hours, increasing in five minute increments. Once the timer is set, the user simply needs to leave Hatch open, without entering any other apps. If they reach their goal, the user will hatch their egg, revealing a mystery animal. The animals are mixes of common animals, such as sheep and elephants, and the practically indestructible, many-limbed and microscopic tardigrade. The longer the user’s goal is, the more rare the animal that will hatch.
The app is free, but it does have several animals available as in-app purchases. The ESRB gave Hatch a 4+ rating. While the app is technically usable by anyone, LW4K recommends this for ages 6 and up, as they will be the most capable of focusing for five or more minutes.
Hatch--Stay Focused helps kids practice and improve the following skills:
Getting started and then maintaining attention and effort to tasks.
Hatch provides its users the opportunity to practice several different aspects of the focus thinking skill. To begin with, depending on the length of time selected for the user's focus goal, he or she will be able to focus on either short-term or long-term focus. The five-minute increments also allow for the user to stretch their short-term focus skills into a longer-term focus, eventually going as long as two hours, if wanted. The fact that the user cannot leave the Hatch app also provides the user the chance to practice ignoring external (phone-based) distractions.
Being efficient and aware of our use of time and effort.
Another thinking skill Hatch can help with is the time management skill, specifically with regards to estimating time. When the user is determining how long of a goal to set, he or she must first evaluate how long their task or project will take, as well as how focused their mind is feeling. It is important that the user choose a goal that is achievable, but also something that will stretch and improve their abilities. The more times the user turns to Hatch to help maintain focus, the more times they will also use and improve their time estimation skills.
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