Kids U.S. Atlas - Educational Games, Fun Activities and Challenging Puzzle & Quiz to Discover and Learn the Geography of the United States

App review by
Patricia Montic..., Common Sense Media
Kids U.S. Atlas - Educational Games, Fun Activities and Challenging Puzzle & Quiz to Discover and Learn the Geography of the United States App Poster Image
Cool info, good audio, so-so quizzes boost geography skills.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn great facts about U.S. states, geographical features, and history, and they can take speedy quizzes to test their knowledge. As they tap flags in the map, they'll view key text about different sites, and they'll have to think critically about that information to answer quiz questions. Without adaptive quizzes or progress tracking, the assessment element quickly wears thin, but Kids U.S. Atlas - Educational Games, fun Activities and Challenging Puzzle & Quiz to Discover and Learn the Geography of the United States does provide a multitude of fun facts for kids.

Ease of Play

It can be a bit tough to figure out where to tap and how things work, but things get easier with a little practice. The voice-over features are excellent help for struggling readers.

Violence

There are references to violent periods in history -- including wars and ongoing skirmishes between settlers and Native Americans -- but no explicit images or descriptions of violence.

Sex
Language
Consumerism

Most sections only available via in-app purchase, and the app's main navigation screen shows sections kids haven't purchased and can't access, which might frustrate some kids.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Kids U.S. Atlas - Educational Games, Fun Activities and Challenging Puzzle & Quiz to Discover and Learn the Geography of the United States is a study-and-quiz app for learning fun facts about the United States, its history, and its geography. Kids can take short quizzes to test their knowledge and show what they know. The app is free to download, but you'll need to make in-app purchases to access all content.

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What's it about?

KIDS U.S. ATLAS - EDUCATIONAL GAMES, FUN ACTIVITIES AND CHALLENGING PUZZLES & QUIZ TO DISCOVER AND LEARN THE GEOGRAPHY OF THE UNITED STATES is a quiz-and-study app that lets kids explore the history and geography of the United States. Kids can choose one of seven subjects -- animals, national parks, mountains, rivers, lakes, national monuments, and the 50 states -- and explore points of interest from each subject on an illustrated U.S. map. Tap each flagged point to reveal more information: All points include a photo and text (which is always read aloud), and some include a video. Kids can explore as few or as many of these points as they like and then take up to five quizzes per subject. The quizzes range from simple matching exercises to games where you put objects in order, such as ordering the states from largest population to smallest. The quizzes don't adapt or change; for example, the quiz in the 50 states section always asks you to put the same five states in order, but they test some worthwhile information that requires some study and authentic background knowledge.

Is it any good?

There's some impressive information available -- the whooping crane is the tallest North American bird! -- but the static quizzes, lack of progress tracking, and auto-play audio mar the quality. Each section's five quizzes vary in difficulty: Some are super easy and don't have much learning potential, such as assembling a puzzle; however, others require real content knowledge that most kids can't just assume and get right instantly. The sorting questions ("put these states in order by population") and pinpointing questions ("place the pin as close as possible to the right spot)" are especially good, though they'd be even better with a little more detail. Also, it would be great if the quizzes adapted or adjusted following each try. Better progress tracking would help parents monitor kids' time on-task, but there isn't meaningful tracking of right or wrong answers or a kid's real learning outcome. The audio features further complicate this issue: Sometimes the audio continues to play after you've selected your answer. Overall, this is a cool tool for exploring U.S. geography, but look elsewhere for deeper assessments and more detailed insights on the nation and its past. Also, keep an eye out for how to get the best bang for your buck: The free version only comes with the animals section, but users can buy the full suite for $4.99 or purchase them one by one for $1.99 each.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Talk about your family's rules for in-app purchases.

  • There are only a few quizzes available for each subject. What other quizzes would be a good test of your knowledge? Come up with some new ones and new activities to challenge each other.

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
  • Subjects: Social Studies: cultural understanding, exploration, geography, history
  • Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: applying information, making conclusions, solving puzzles
  • Price: Free-$4.99
  • Pricing structure: Paid, Free (Free version includes in-app purchase to unlock all content. Full version available for $4.99.)
  • Release date: May 27, 2015
  • Category: Education
  • Topics: History
  • Size: 69.50 MB
  • Publisher: Planet Factory Interactive S.L.
  • Version: 1.4
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 6.0 or later

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love geography and trivia

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