Kids gardening with an iPad

GETTING DOWN: Dirtgirl helps school children plant their own “smart seeds” using the dirtgirlworld app on an iPad at Bondi Beach Public School.
GETTING DOWN: Dirtgirl helps school children plant their own “smart seeds” using the dirtgirlworld app on an iPad at Bondi Beach Public School. Getty Images

THE creators of the hit international children's television program dirtgirlworld have expanded their horizons and are getting kids into the garden using technology.

Whiporie resident Cate McQuillen, one of the creators and producers of dirtgirlworld, the AFI and ADG award-winning program, spoke to The Northern Star yesterday about the launch of a world first augmented reality iPhone app which allows dirtgirl herself to help children grow their own vegetable garden.

Ms McQuillen said she wanted to create something innovative and new, that also helped to get kids off the couch and outside, learning about the environment they live in.

So with help from the Digital Artists Network and Screen Australia's all-media fund, they created the free to download dirtgirlworld app.

"We've basically blended an augmented experience with relative content from the show," she said.

Children and their parents can buy what's best described as "smart seeds" from the dirtgirlworld website, or from Big W from November 22. Then, using inventive technology, children can reveal dirtgirl as their gardening companion by pointing the iPhone camera at special markers found on the seeds. Dirtgirl will walk you through the steps to growing these specific vegetables, and will reward you each week as you continue to garden.

"The dirtgirlworld growing app is a great way to get kids and their big people outside, learning and playing together," said Ms McQuillen.

"Most young kids already know how to use an iPhone and iPad better than us, but it doesn't get them off the couch. The dirtgirlworld app gives them an excuse to get outside, get grubby and have fun growing their own food."

Ms McQuillen said she believed the app would be appreciated by parents.

She said the team at dirtgirlworld enjoyed doing "anything we can do to help parents live an engaged life with their children while also getting outside and learning environment together."

Topics:  dirtgirlworld gardening

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