A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Ansel and Clair's Adventures in Africa is an educational adventure game that teaches kids about three major regions of Africa: the Nile, the Sahara Desert, and the Serengeti. It also discusses their different ecosystems. Each area has a number of animals to learn about, as well as nature and cultural elements. Kids also will find at least one game to play. The story is about an alien and a robot who are visiting Earth to learn about Africa so they can teach their fellow creatures back home. Ansel, the alien, is curious and sometimes gets himself into trouble. He asks a lot of questions about the animals and other features, and Clair, the robot, answers all his questions in detail. The animals and items in each ecosystem have arrow markers near them which turn into checkmarks once the learning about them is completed. Then, they can drag a camera over to take a picture. Kids collect and later arrange these photos into a trip journal. Also, for most items, kids can tap a light bulb to learn more about each item. As kids explore, they help Ansel and Clair gather lost spaceship parts that were scattered over Africa when they arrived. All parts of the app adhere closely to the Africa theme and pertain to the animals, history, or culture of the area.
What's it about?
In ANSEL AND CLAIR'S ADVENTURES IN AFRICA, the duo's spaceship loses some of its parts over Africa, so kids need to touch and drag the ship over one of the three featured ecosystems to retrieve them and explore the area. First-time players, watch the cute intro story. Parents, view the page-by-page tutorial. After that, kids simply follow the pointers to tap interactive objects, listen to the explainers, play the games, and write or include photos in the journal. It's easy, educational gameplay.
Is it any good?
Ansel and Clair's Adventures in Africa is a delightful way to learn about the animals and cultures of Africa. An alien who's like a curious child and his companion robot are visiting Africa to learn about it to teach their people at home. The alien asks a lot of questions, and the robot answers with plenty of factual information on a level kids will understand. The danger of being near wild animals also is imparted. Kids can interact with scenes, for example turning day into night in the Sahara Desert or turning the rainy season into the dry season in the Serengeti. They can learn about animals and cultural and natural aspects of the scene. Some of the animals or other items give different information depending on whether it's day or night, the rainy season or the dry.
The design of this app is gorgeous and very nicely done. The sound effects add ambiance to the scenes. Ansel and Clair are drawn in a different art style, so it's apparent that their alien presence doesn't belong. The games and activities are both fun and entirely appropriate for the age of kids likely to play this app, and they fit into the African theme. All the animals that live in each ecosystem are shown together, even though in real life they would not coexist so peacefully.
Talk to your kids about ...
- Device: iPad
- Subjects: Language & Reading: following directions, vocabulary
Science: animals, ecosystems
Social Studies: cultural understanding, geography
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: applying information, solving puzzles, thinking critically
Emotional Development: perspective taking
Tech Skills: digital creation
- Price: $4.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Release date: March 15, 2013
- Category: Education
- Size: 155.00 MB
- Publisher: Cognitive Kid, Inc.
- Version: 1.1
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 4.3 or later
For kids who love animals, both real and virtual
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.