A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Homes by Tinybop takes kids on interactive tours of homes around the world, introducing them to how other people live, eat, sleep, and play. It's all a discovery process with no instructions or objectives, so kids are free to explore and learn on their own, interacting with items in each home. A virtual handbook provides information about each home and the part of the world where it's usually found. Change the settings, and items will be identified in English, Spanish, French, Chinese, or German, with more than 50 languages available in Preferences.
- Parents say
- Kids say
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What's it about?
Starting from a world map, kids choose a home in the United States, Guatemala, Yemen, or Mongolia to explore. They can view the home from the outside or get an X-ray-like view of the interior and then enter and explore each part of the home by tapping where they want to go. Kids will see the types of foods the people who live in the different homes eat, even getting to prepare some of it. They can explore bathrooms -- some aren't inside! -- and see how laundry is done. Kids are free to explore and discover with no rules or objectives, or parents can use the handbook in the dashboard section for background information or to reveal some of the interactive elements.
Is it any good?
The message -- there are many ways to make a home -- is lovely. The cultural education that kids will get is important. The fun and surprising interactive features are engaging. But it's the attention to detail that really amazes. Subtle background noises hint as to what's going on around each home, from sirens and honking cars in the Brooklyn brownstone to chirping crickets and singing birds in the Guatemalan adobe home. The interactive features seem almost endless -- kids can wash dishes, read books, play with toys, sew clothes, prepare food, play records, use the bathroom, and more. It's not perfect, though: Controls can be a bit tricky, especially for little hands, so kids may miss some of the fun and learning.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how the different homes are similar to and different from their homes.
As kids explore each home, ask them questions about what they observe. What kind of climate might this home be in? Are the homes spread apart with lots of space or close together?
Check out the handbook included in the dashboard for more information about each home and the interactive features in the app.
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
- Subjects: Language & Reading: vocabulary
Social Studies: cultural understanding, geography, global awareness
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: thinking critically
Self-Direction: personal growth
Responsibility & Ethics: embracing differences, respect for others
- Price: $2.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Release date: November 26, 2014
- Category: Education
- Size: 698.60 MB
- Publisher: Tinybop
- Version: 1.1.6
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 7.0 or later; Android 2.3 and up
- Last updated: November 11, 2020
Our editors recommend
For kids who love exploring
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.