Parents' Guide to

Gro Garden

By Mieke VanderBorght, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 5+

Free play in virtual sustainable garden requires patience.

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Gro Garden is a great, easy way to get kids excited about and engaged in gardening and sustainable living. With each area depending on some action in another area, kids get a sense of how growing and consuming food can be interconnected. They are free to drive their own experience, cycling through planting, harvesting, eating, making compost, and planting again. Small usability issues may prove frustrating: Catching the compost microorganisms to feed them food scraps can be hard, and some drag-and-drop elements don't always work easily. It also would be nice to see more background information, such as the names of the vegetables that kids are growing. This virtual garden doesn't fully represent the real thing (for example, no consequences for overwatering or failing to harvest full-grown veggies) and offers only a small taste of the rewards, but its slow pace -- which might be frustrating to some -- is a nod to the actual patience it takes to grow plants. Aside from its shortcomings, Gro Garden is a nice introduction to the wonders and excitement of sustainable gardening.

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