By Debbie Gorrell,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Sandbox tool lets kids explore weather without getting wet.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this app.
Kids can learn about weather conditions and how they affect the environment. Through free play and exploration, kids can manipulate temperature and wind conditions and create weather scenes with nine weather conditions: sunny, partly cloudy, cloudy, rain, thunderstorm, snow, blizzard, tornado, and hurricane. Each condition includes a narrated description and allows kids to observe how the condition affects their avatar and the environment. For example, when kids choose "tornado," they learn its pronunciation and definition. A siren goes off, the avatar jumps into an underground safety area, and, as the tornado sweeps across the screen, leaves blow around and the ground gets torn up. Kids also can choose sunny skies, pleasant temperatures, and kite-flying. MarcoPolo Weather is a fun, empowering way for kids to explore outdoor conditions while appropriately introducing weather safety.
Ease of Play
Easy to navigate and figure out how to use most of the interactive elements. Verbal prompts and instructions guide kids as they explore.
Products & Purchases
There is a small icon on the main play screen that advertises one of the developer's other apps.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that MarcoPolo Weather is a digital sandbox tool that encourages kids to freely explore, experiment, and play. Kids can control and change various weather conditions, such as temperature, wind, and precipitation, and observe how avatars react to the changes. Kids also can clothe and accessorize the characters and add items to the weather scene such as flowers, a tent, an igloo, and more. You can choose from six languages in settings including English, Spanish, French, Russian, Japanese, and Simplified Chinese.
Where to Download
Videos and Photos
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What’s It About?
As with most digital sandbox tools, MARCOPOLO WEATHER emphasizes exploration and open play. Tapping a play button lands you on the main screen, which includes an avatar and animated animals in an outdoor forest scene. Kids can select one of the nine weather conditions, change the setting from day to night, or tap to adjust the temperature and/or wind speed. They can drag interactive objects located along the bottom of the screen onto the scene; objects include clothing and accessories, two other avatars, fruits, flowers, vegetables, a tent, snowballs, and more. A parent section includes a description of the app and settings, as well as extension activities related to weather.
Is It Any Good?
MarcoPolo Weather provides a friendly environment for kids to explore weather. The narrated facts help kids build vocabulary and science knowledge, and the variety of interactive objects will keep kids engaged. As kids experiment with the outdoor scene, it's fun to see how the avatars react to the different weather conditions. Some aspects of the free play are a bit confusing, however. For example, in some scenes a beehive drops when you try to drag it into the scene, and it's not entirely clear how to get it to stay. Overall, MarcoPolo Weather offers the interactivity and variety kids love and cause-and-effect science that can carry over into real life.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about weather in their own area. Are there seasons? If so, how does the weather change?
Review the parent section and complete some of the extension activities together.
Explore the tornado and hurricane conditions and discuss the importance of weather safety.
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
- Subjects: Science: weather
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: part-whole relationships, Self-Direction: academic development, Tech Skills: using and applying technology
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Release date: April 2, 2015
- Category: Education
- Topics: Science and Nature
- Publisher: MarcoPolo Learning
- Version: 1.7.1
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 5.0 or later
- Last updated: October 7, 2021
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