Kids Planet Discovery - games and videos

(i)

 

Learning(i)

Wide variety of world-expanding games, but a mixed bag.

What parents need to know

Ease of play

Very easy to play. Each game comes with a brief, written synopsis on the screen kids see before starting to play. But there's no audio support, so kids need to be able to read or have an adult read to them. During this review, the videos took too long to load.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

In the free version of the app, the choices for paid content are co-mingled with the free content on the main screen, so much so that it may be hard for younger kids to distinguish which icons to tap for free content and which ones will take them to the app store. The giant "BUY ALL" icon in the center of the main screen is also rather distracting. You can buy the premium version for $4.99; it doesn't have in-app purchases at the time of this review.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

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

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • following directions

Science

  • animals

Social Studies

  • cultural understanding
  • geography
  • global awareness

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • making conclusions
  • memorization
  • solving puzzles

Emotional Development

  • perspective taking

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

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).

Learning Approach

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.

Support

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 kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • following directions

Science

  • animals

Social Studies

  • cultural understanding
  • geography
  • global awareness

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • making conclusions
  • memorization
  • solving puzzles

Emotional Development

  • perspective taking

Kids can learn about world geography and culture, as they practice game- and activity-based skills like solving puzzles, matching, and memorization. Kids will learn some details about cultural life, like clothing, landmarks, and art in the videos and games. If you purchase additional content or buy the premium version, kids can also learn about animals, world music, and more about all the countries. It has some good geography and culture learning, but Kids Planet Discovery isn't a standout app.

This Learning Rating review was written by Dana Villamagna

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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?

QUALITY

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.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
Price:Free-$4.99
Pricing structure:Free, Free to Try, Paid
Release date:April 11, 2013
Category:Educational Games
Topics:Science and nature
Size:25.90 MB
Publisher:LA FACTORIA D'IMATGES
Version:1.4
Minimum software requirements:iOS 5.0 or later

This review of Kids Planet Discovery - games and videos was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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