National Parks by National Geographic

App review by
Amanda Bindel, Common Sense Media
National Parks by National Geographic App Poster Image
Excellent travel-planning tool works as a virtual trip, too.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn about the history and features of 25 of the 59 parks in the United States National Parks System. They can get quick park facts and statistics and view images of them. Kids can improve their reading-for-information skills using the nonfiction articles included. Viewing the incredible images of the varying landscapes of the parks introduces kids to U.S. geography in a dynamic way. Kids can use National Parks by National Geographic for travel planning and geography or history research, too.

Ease of Play

Navigation is straightforward and easy to follow. Nonreaders may appreciate the gorgeous images, but the information is text-driven and written for a teen or an adult audience.

Violence
Sex
Language
Consumerism

Free guide sections include clickable ads.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that National Parks by National Geographic is an excellent travel-planning tool that includes visitor information for 25 of America's 59 national parks, as well as maps, a photo gallery of some National Geographic archived images, and user-submitted images. It can also be a fun way for kids to research and explore U.S. geography through the photos and (for older kids) the detailed information. Users can purchase complete guides with trail guides, articles, professional images, tips, and facts for $1.99 per park or $12.99 for all parks.

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What's it about?

View each park, featured with a breathtaking image on the start page. An interactive U.S. map shows the location of each of the parks. Focus on one park by reading its specific sections -- "About the Park," "How to Visit," "Park Info," "Getting There" -- and details about camping and lodging. The front image for each park also includes the current temperature and a link to stats such as local time and park size. The sidebar includes a photo gallery, saved user-created itineraries, news, and Editor's Picks of trails and hikes. Enjoy a virtual trip with gorgeous images.

Is it any good?

NATIONAL PARKS BY NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC isn't designed for kids, but it can still be fun for them to use, even if it is text-heavy. It's kind of like flipping through an atlas or parts of a National Geographic magazine -- fascinating and educational. Families planning a trip can use it to plan and gets kids excited about what they'll see and do or just enjoy the parks virtually. The facts and stats included are interesting, and the articles are well-written and informative.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Encourage kids to research places they'd like to visit and plan a vacation to one of the parks.

  • If your family plans to travel to several state parks, consider buying an annual pass for $80; it gives access for a vehicle to all the U.S. National Park Service facilities.

App details

For kids who love travel

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