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I understand what you are getting at, but I just wanted to create something nice and fun to play. I am not trying to revolutionise the Kana learning experience.
However, I did have an idea. But I wasn't sure if it would work.
I thought that I could create a variety of these mini games for learning Kana and tie it something like Pou/Tamagotchi. You will need to play these games to earn coins so you can buy outfits/feed/treat your little pet.
That's a good suggestion, those games helps to increase familiarity with touch mechanics. For my mom, I installed Pou. Nothing special about it, just a few minigames to get rewards and some cloth and doll-like silliness to play with.
Have a look at this -
You basically want to use a base shape or body and then just overlay it's eyes/mouth/hair/ect. Super simple!
There was an app by a Lebanese dude that reached 500k downloads posted here a few days ago
Edit: here it is: