Emotions Promotional Image

Learn with Rufus

Feelings and Emotions

For iOS (iPad, iPhone, etc.) and Android tablets and phones

The iOS version for the iPhone and iPad is available in the Apple Store right now!

The Android version for tablets and phones is available in Google Play right now!

The Kindle Fire/Android version is available in the Amazon Store right now!

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Rufus Robot


Have fun learning how facial expressions reveal what people are feeling!

The ability to identify facial expressions and emotions is important for interpersonal interactions and provides a basis for communications between two or more people. A young child may find such responses difficult and confusing at times. As they grow, children learn to associate certain facial expressions with given emotions that allow them to decipher how another person is feeling.

Learn with Rufus: Feelings and Emotions aims to help children learn the facial expressions that correspond to feelings and emotions such as happy, sad, anger, and others. Children will learn how to identify easier fully-formed emotions and more difficult subtle emotions. The game is highly customizable to meet the needs of children with varying skills, ability levels, and learning styles.

This game was designed by Dr Holly Gastgeb, a clinical and developmental psychologist with over ten years of experience working with typically developing children and children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Her research has shown that children with ASD have difficulty identifying emotions from an early age. Since this ability is developed throughout childhood, the game is also beneficial for a wide range of children including those early achievers without any diagnosed learning difficulties.

Learn with Rufus: Feelings and Emotions is organized into three parts, a learning phase and two separate games:

  • Learning - A preview of the facial expressions is shown to the child before the game starts.
  • Find It! - Shown a number of facial expressions, the child is directed to select a specific emotion.
  • Name It! - Shown a single facial expression, the child is asked to name the emotion.

To keep children interested and motivated, the following features are included:

  • Reward sets - Choose from nine different colorful child-friendly reward sets including bugs, cars, cats, dinosaurs, and more.
  • Toy break - The child is given periodic breaks with fun on-screen fingerpainting that allows drawing on the screen. This feature can be turned off if the child does not need breaks or finds them distracting.
  • Positive reinforcement - Rufus does a "happy dance" and gives positive verbal reinforcement when the child answers correctly. If the child answers incorrectly, the correct answer is restated.
  • Music and sounds - Child-friendly music and sounds are included throughout the game. This feature can be turned off if the child is sensitive to or distracted by sounds and music.
  • Text - For children who enjoy reading, the word that corresponds to each picture is presented above the picture. This feature can be turned off if the words are distracting to the child.
  • Emoticons - For younger children who haven't yet learned reading or for those who find the text distracting, emoticons that correspond to the emotions are presented. This feature can be turned off to increase difficulty.

Additional customizable features that are present include:

  • Level of difficulty - The level of difficulty can be adjusted to match the child's ability level:
    • Easy - Facial expressions with quickly identifiable emotions
    • Medium - Facial expressions with a mix of slightly less identifiable emotions
    • Hard - Facial expressions with partially formed emotions
    • Expert - Facial expressions with subtle emotions
  • Training - The practice session before the games may be disabled to increase difficulty.
  • Group Size - Choose from a group size for the game phase depending on the child's ability level. Group size can be 2 or 4 for Find It! and group size can be 2, 4, or 6 for Name It!
  • Languages - Choose between English and Spanish.

For parents, educators, and therapists:

  • Profiles per child - More than one child can play the game and all data is stored under each child's name.
  • Track data and statistics - At the end of the game, a graph of the child's data is presented. Touch the graph to enlarge it, and then touch each data point to gather information about the child's performance.
  • Email data - From the graph screen, if the device is capable of email, select the Export button to send yourself a CSV file of the child's progress.

For Ages 4 & Up

Enjoyable for All Children from Early Achievers to those with Autism Spectrum Disorder or Other Learning Difficulties

Screen Shots

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Find the correct emotion
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Take a break and fingerpaint
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Name the correct emotion
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Celebrate successful play with animated rewards

Release Notes

1.0.0 - October 5, 2013

  • Initial release

1.0.1 - October 10, 2013

  • Fixed title vertical centering on toy screen
  • Corrected app name to fit on small screens
  • Fixed iPhone 5 splash screen orientation

1.0.2 - December 8, 2013

  • General bug fixes
  • Fixed email body message in Spanish
  • Added Apple icons for iOS7
  • Fixed problems with settings on switching players
  • Refactored Android back button logic
  • Added parental gate before emailing child data
  • Added new Spanish voice files

1.0.3 - February 9, 2014

  • Miscellaneous bug fixes
  • Added new background, buttons, general aesthetics clean up
  • Fixed game crash on a long player name
  • Fixed issue where renaming a player resulted in lost data

1.0.4 - March 29, 2014

  • Added additional stimuli (faces) to database
  • Fixed line drawing issues in fingerpainting toy
  • Fixed wrong selection size problem in training screen

Frequently Asked Questions

I see the graph, how do I see more data?
On the large Graph screen, touch the dot that corresponds to the game number. A popup will be displayed about that particular game. When you are done, just touch the popup box to close it.
How do I export the game history data from Learn with Rufus: Feelings and Emotions?
Go to the Graph screen from the Settings menu screen and touch the small graph to zoom to the larger graph. Touch the Export button, enter your email address, and press the send email button. A CSV ("Comma Separated Value") file will be attached to the email that you can then read into your favorite spreadsheet program (e.g. Excel, OpenOffice Calc, etc.).

Note that an Internet connection is necessary to email from the mobile device.
I can't find the Export button on the Graph screen. What happened to it?
The tablet or phone must have a mail program set up first. Enable or install your mail program and re-run Learn with Rufus: Feelings and Emotions. The Export button will then appear on the large Graph screen (touch the small graph to zoom to the larger graph).
How do I enter a new name?
On the main menu screen, touch the Choose Player button. Press New Player to go to a screen which will allow you to enter a new player name. Touch the Save button to create the new player.

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