Kids Planet Discovery - games and videos
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Kids Planet Discovery - games and videos to travel and learn about the world's geography, nature, and cultures is a color-filled geography experience, with some ups and downs in quality of content. Some games are culturally and geographically relevant, while others don't make much sense (for example, a matching game in Africa that includes imaginary monsters in glasses and smiling stars). Still, the cool maps, good information, and games that are in context are worth a look, and maybe an in-app purchase if your kid really likes the free content.
What kids can learn
Language & Reading
- following directions
- global awareness
- cultural understanding
Thinking & Reasoning
- solving puzzles
- making conclusions
- perspective taking
Engagement, Approach, Support
Exploring the world through the colorful images, maps, videos, games, and activities is fun. However, the in-app purchases mixed in with free content can be distracting and confusing (the premium version has no in-app purchases).
Videos and activities form the basis of learning here. Games are categorized by memory, puzzles, seek-and-find, and dress-up. With in-app purchases or the premium version, the learning approach also adds world music.
Kids can read the clear written instructions at the beginning of each game. No data on progress or activity success -- there's just a rewarding icon and message that appears at the end of each game-based activity.
What's it about?
On the main screen, kids choose from nine different activity icons. The activities under one icon are free (called "Continents," which includes memory games, puzzles, dress up, and find-the-differences games). The other eight are "free to try" or only available via in-app purchases starting at $.99; a $4.99 in-app purchase unlocks everything. Once kids tap an icon, they read the basic instructions screen for that activity, tap again, and then play or watch the video. A sometimes fun, other times lacking, celebration of world cultures and geography.
Is it any good?
The loads of interactive ways that kids can explore people, animals, and places on Kids Planet Discovery are lots of fun, but a mixed bag in terms of content quality. Some content here just doesn't fit all that well and other parts of the app could use improvement, too. For example, the dress-up character game featuring traditional clothing is fun and sweet, but it would be nice for kids to be able to see and choose clothing for boy characters as well as girls (currently, there are only girls). Also, kids need to be able to read or have an adult read the instructions to them, and in-app purchases are interspersed throughout game choices. For those reasons, it's important for parents or teachers to be closely involved with younger kids who are using this app.
Still, whether you make the in-app purchases for full access or just peruse the free content, kids can learn a lot about other cultures and world geography from Kids Planet Discovery.
Families can talk about...
Discuss the numerous items in the find-what-doesn't-fit scenes from various countries. There's a lot to learn from what does belong in the scenes, too.
If your kid is very interested in animals or music, consider buying the content in-app or buying the premium version.