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Green Rank: Green Our Home

App review by
Mieke VanderBorght, Common Sense Media
Green Rank: Green Our Home App Poster Image
Recycling story has solid message but no reason to re-use.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can learn to identify some items that can be recycled. They'll also hear about the benefits of wooden toys over plastic toys.

Ease of Play

Advance easily through the story's pages, though game directions aren't clear.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Green Our Home is an interactive storybook that aims to teach kids about what items can be recycled. Kids can choose from a read-it-myself or a read-to-me option. The font is a bit stylized and may present a challenge to early readers. Each page has some minimally interactive elements, and some have mini-games where kids identify objects that can be recycled. The story ends with a pop-up window asking users to choose a star rating to send to the app store. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.

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What's it about?

Kids start GREEN RANK: GREEN OUR HOME by choosing to read on their own or be read to. The story follows Ge the bear as he teaches his friends about what items can be recycled. On some pages, kids can tap and drag recyclable items into a recycling can. Ge also tells his friends that wooden toys are better than plastic toys and kids must identify which toys in a playroom are made of wood. Tap the arrows on the left or right of the screen to turn the pages.

Is it any good?

This storybook delivers a great, important message even though it could be presented in a more engaging and comprehensive way. Ge is a cute spokesbear for the recycling cause and explains what can be recycled with clear words. However, the plot and text could offer more interesting elements. Interactive elements get kids involved but are repetitive from page to page and limited in what they present. For example, the items kids learn to recycle are essentially just a few cans, a glass vase, some papers, a television, some toys, a cell phone, and batteries. The directions that instruct kids to touch what can be recycled are misleading because they actually need to tap and drag the items to a recycling can. Finally, Green Rank: Green Our Home is pretty much a one shot app since there's little potential for repeated use. That said, this app could definitely provide a way to start a family discussion about recycling.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the Green Rank: Green Our Home's central message about recycling. Why is it important to recycle? What kinds of things can we recycle? What does "upcycle" mean?

  • Encourage family habits that reduce waste materials regardless of where the materials go. How can we save water? How can we use food waste in a productice way?

  • Help kids identify a full range of what goes into landfill, what can be recycled, and even what can be composted if your city or home is set up to collect composting. Involve them in sorting materials into the right places.

App details

For kids who love protecting the environment and science

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