Insight from a Children's Pastor & Awana Commander

New Product Review: Sparks Apps by Battle Gear, LLC


I was contacted recently by the developer of an app to help clubbers in Sparks memorize and retain Scripture. The app sounded interesting, but I was unable to look at it, or evaluate it. It is only available for iOS and I have an Android device. So after contacting someone I knew with an iPad, they agreed to download the apps so I could take a look at them. Each Sparks’ handbook has two apps, one called memory and one called shuffle. I was given access to the apps for the HangGlider book to review. Below are the icons you will see for the associated apps.

zzSparksGroup1I had my friend download the apps on Saturday night so I could review them Sunday afternoon. After he had downloaded the apps, he sent me a text saying that he really liked the shuffle app, but that he needed help with the memory one. When I got there Sunday afternoon, I was able to show him the basics of how the memory app worked and he liked the memory app as well. I was able to briefly look at both apps.

The memory app is designed to help the individual memorize the verse where the shuffle app is geared to help the child retain and review the verses memorized.

He describes the apps as follows:

The Memory App…

Children can see, hear, record, sing and say verses and play several games to help them commit verses to memory.  Tracks memory and review status for multiple participants and gives points for their memory/review activity. As reward, participants pick animals to “help Noah load the ark” and hear the animal sounds. Shares memory status information across multiple devices via iCloud so parents can immediately see their Sparky’s progress.

The Shuffle App helps the individual retain the verse by using different games…

The first game shuffles the phrases of the memorized verses, so the player can drag-and-drop to assemble the verse in the proper sequence.  Up to four players can play this game.  Game 2 is Bible Tic-Tac-Toe – it combines the strategy of Tic-Tac-Toe with the strategy of selecting the verses that you can recite perfectly – to be recorded by you and checked by the second player.  Game 3 is Bible Concentration – once you find the matching verse references, you recite the verse and the second player checks.  Of course if you miss it, you just helped the competition!

With the time that I had to view the apps, I was pleased with what I saw. The graphics are basic, but I can see this being a useful tool that can be used at home. Another way to use the shuffle app would be during the down time in handbook time, the shuffle app can be used to fill the time and help the clubbers (and leaders) review the verses in a fun, mildly competitive way; instead of using coloring sheets to “fill” the time.

There is a modest cost for the apps which I would see as an investment for your club helping children memorize and retain God’s Word. You can view more information and see some screenshots of the apps in the itunes store.

An app for Android devices may be coming in the future.

Shhhhh, please don’t let anyone know that I used an iPad to test these apps 😉

If you try the app, please come back and share your thoughts.


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