A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Britannica Kids: Ancient Rome is an educational app with a variety of ways for kids to learn about the rise of the Roman Empire. While it, of course, has encyclopedia-like entries (which, thankfully, don't run too long and risk losing the reader's attention), it also offers several games and quizzes to engage children ages 8 to 14. The app mentions some of the uglier parts of history, such as gladiator fights, but doesn't focus on the gore. Users can upload pieces of the app to their Facebook and Twitter pages as well as use location mapping to see where they are in proximity to the empire.
What's it about?
Kids can read a series of articles about the Ancient Roman culture and its gods. A spin wheel at the bottom of the app rotates between categories and a series of games, which include Brush-Off (where players uncover a picture by "brushing" away dust by wiping the screen with their hand), jigsaw puzzles (assembled by hand), pictures, and video.
Is it any good?
History can be boring -- and the encyclopedia is seen by many as the product of a bygone era -- but Britannica Kids: Ancient Rome is a wonderfully educational and entertaining way for kids to learn more about the Roman culture. There are the usual (and expected) walls of print, but they're not the chief focus -- and they're extra helpful, highlighting difficult words and offering definitions so kids don't get frustrated.
It's games like the timed quiz, magic square, and puzzles that kids are more likely to spend time with. While they'll learn less with these than they will by reading, they will be engaged and spend more time with the app. Britannica packs a lot of value into this one.
Talk to your kids about ...
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
- Subjects: Social Studies: events, historical figures, history
- Price: $1.99-$4.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Release date: October 18, 2011
- Category: Education
- Topics: History
- Size: 171.00 MB
- Publisher: Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc
- Version: 2.1
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 3.0 or later; Android 2.2 and up
Themes & Topics
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For kids who love history
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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.