Learn the States With Flat Stanley
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Learn the States With Flat Stanley is a U.S. geography game that can help kids learn the location of each state by seven regions. Kids need to be able to read to play the game. In the spirit of the original school activity in which kids mail Stanley to far-flung places, this app asks kids to send a cute little aviator Stanley image via airmail to each state. Players aim a slingshot at the map toward a requested state and let go, sending him flying. If he hits the right spot on the map, kids get a star under the region, then are asked to spell the state, and then can view more information about that state on a page with photos and information specific to that state. Kids can also tap on a state to see its capital city.
What kids can learn
- cultural understanding
Thinking & Reasoning
- part-whole relationships
Engagement, Approach, Support
Flinging Stanley via slingshot toward each state on the map adds a dash of excitement to the rote activity of state identification.
Kids get immedatiate feedback after they fling Stanley; if they hit an incorrect state, its name and the correct state's name appears. The state info they learn is relevant to their understanding of the U.S.
No verbal instructions, only written. It would be better if the spelling game asked kids verbally to spell the state, so they couldn't see the name already spelled in the instructions.
What's it about?
Tap on a region and the U.S. map appears with that region highlighted. See Stanley in a slingshot next to an airmail postcard that says "Send me to Virginia" (or another state in that region). Kids pull the slingshot back and point it toward the state they think matches the request. Let go, and watch Stanley fly. If correct, kids move to the next page that asks kids to spell the state. Then they tap on the state and see the state flag, bird, flower, and other facts.
Is it any good?
Learn the States With Flat Stanley is a fun way for kids who already know the basic vicinity of U.S. states to practice pinpointing where they are on a blank map. Flinging the happy aviator Stanley via slingshot toward each state adds a dash of excitement to the typically rote activity of state identification by memory. The information and photos provided on the states' flags, bird, history, and more are simple and inviting.
On the downside, there are no audio instructions, so kids have to be able to read to play. Also, the spelling scramble activity oddly tells kids in the written instructions how to spell the word ("Spell Virginia"). Finally, little states in the Northeast may be more frustrating for kids to hit. Even if they think they're aiming the slingshot properly, Stanley may land in a nearby smaller state simply because of the small margin of error in those tiny spots on the screen. Overall, Learn The States With Flat Stanley provides a good way for kids to practice identifying states' locations and learn more about states.
Families can talk about...
Hang a U.S. map on your refrigerator or other prominent place in your home. When a different state or region comes up in conversation work with kids to find it on the map for some geographic context.
Talk about your state's symbols and flag. How do those things apply to your state's culture?