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What's it about?
HOPSTER CODING SAFARI FOR KIDS is an educational puzzle game in which kids guide the animals to their homes or to their parents. The game uses coding logic, which is commonly introduced in coding apps for kids. This teaches kids basic concepts, like using step-by-step instructions (an algorithm) and grouping repetitive instructions into a function. It starts simply, with a bear, an empty space, and a cave. Kids are given two paths: one horizontal and one vertical. They must choose and place the correct path to lead the bear into the cave. Even young children can easily understand what's going on. As the app progresses, kids contend with multiple paths/animals and paths with turns. Eventually the path puzzle pieces turn into arrows. In the most advanced stages, the kids no longer place the arrows directly on the animal's path, but instead place the "commands" in a series of blocks at the bottom of the screen. The puzzles are broken out into two levels: Each level has seven animals and each animal has five puzzles. When kids complete a puzzle, they earn a sticker for that animal's page in a free-play sticker book area.
Is it any good?
It's refreshing to have a coding logic experience for kids that feels fun and playful, and less like you need to churn your way through. Hopster Coding Safari for Kids does two things particularly well. First of all, they don't claim outright to teach kids to code. Coding logic is essential for coding, but it's not coding in and of itself. Second, they found a way to make the puzzles fun instead of tedious. Who wouldn't want to help a cute joey find his way back to his mama kangaroo? The animals are adorable, and the puzzles never get so long that you feel like quitting. Pair that with easy-to-use drag and drop and a proper ramp-up of skills, and Hopster Coding Safari for Kids is a win. The sticker book pages are just icing on the cake. The only complaints are that the second level, which appears when the first level is complete, could use a better label; tapping on it at first looks like you've simply erased all of your progress so far. And the multicolored arrows on the higher levels seem to be more of a distraction than an aid. But overall this free app adds up to some great educational fun.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about coding and the importance of step-by-step instructions in Hopster Coding Safari for Kids. Practice "writing code" for each other by laying out a set of instructions to get from point A to point B. Can you write clear instructions? Does the order matter?
Families can talk about learning with apps. Do you think this is a good app for learning? Why, or why not? What can you learn?
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: hypothesis-testing, logic, solving puzzles
Tech Skills: coding
- Price: Free
- Pricing structure: Free
- Release date: June 19, 2018
- Category: Educational Games
- Topics: Wild Animals
- Size: 52.60 MB
- Publisher: Hopster
- Version: 3.1.5
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 6.0 or later
- Last updated: June 19, 2019
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