How It Works? - Games for Kids to Learn & Discover

App review by
Debbie Gorrell, Common Sense Media
How It Works? - Games for Kids to Learn & Discover App Poster Image
Superb mix of exploration, games, and offline activities.

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn about volcanoes, earthquakes, the water cycle, energy, plants, and planet Earth. Animations do an excellent job of visually explaining the topic, and pop-up windows define vocabulary terms with audio support that can be turned off. Each topic also has a set of four additional activities. Kids can apply what they learn by playing games, doing a hands-on investigation, or completing a mini-quiz.

Ease of Play

Navigation is intuitive, but the main interactive screen could use some prompts or hints.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that How It Works? – Games for Kids to Learn & Discover is a learning app that teaches kids about six main science topics. Kids can interactively explore a topic by tapping on graphics and watching the screen come to life with animations. They can also read about important vocabulary associated with the topic, do jigsaw puzzles, carry out experiments, and complete activities to test their knowledge. The app has a parent-gated setting for nine different languages, including Spanish, French, Dutch, and Italian. Read the app's privacy policy to find out about the types of information collected and shared.

User Reviews

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What's it about?

Kids start with HOW IT WORKS? – GAMES FOR KIDS TO LEARN & DISCOVER by choosing one of the six topics from the home screen. This takes kids to the open exploration screen, where they can tap beautiful interactive graphics and vocabulary words to learn about a topic. For example, when kids explore the volcano, there is a cross-section diagram of a volcano. It includes tappable vocabulary words such as "crater," "magma," and "lava." When kids tap on the magma at the bottom of the volcano, the magma bubbles upward and the volcano erupts. There are four icons at the top of the screen for the games, investigations, and mini-quizzes. The games and mini-quizzes use simple tapping and dragging, and each investigation includes a materials list and procedures.

Is it any good?

Kids are sure to enjoy the learning experience as they explore the colorful graphics and the interactive components of this beautifully designed science tool. The animations are age-appropriate and highly visual, allowing kids to learn through observation. Some of the wording of the vocabulary terms is a little awkward, but it's not enough to distract from learning. One of the best features of this app is that kids have an opportunity to openly explore and apply what they learn. It's not always clear how to interact with the graphics on the main screen, so a few audio hints could help. And the mini-quizzes could be improved with some more targeted feedback. But overall, How It Works? – Games for Kids to Learn & Discover is a terrific, kid-friendly way for kids to explore science.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about real-world experiences they have had with the topics in How It Works? – Games for Kids to Learn & Discover. For example, talk about the parts of the water cycle kids have directly observed. Discuss the kinds of energy kids use at home.

  • Carry out the investigations together. Be sure to plan ahead by gathering all of the necessary materials. After each investigation, talk about how it relates to the topic. 

  • Ask kids which topic they enjoyed exploring the most and why. What new things did they learn? What did they already know about the topic?

App details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love science and STEM

Themes & Topics

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