National Parks by National Geographic

 

Learning(i)

Excellent travel-planning tool works as a virtual trip, too.

What parents need to know

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
Not applicable
Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

Free guide sections include clickable ads.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

No personal information is required. Privacy policy explains how nonpersonal information is used.

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.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Science

  • ecosystems
  • geology

Social Studies

  • geography
  • history

Skills

Self-Direction

  • set objectives

Tech Skills

  • using and applying technology

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Gorgeous images, well-written text, and the ability to personalize and share favorites engage kids.

Learning Approach

Kids learn in self-directed, self-motivated fashion as they read and explore America's parks through the app.

Support

Planning a trip -- virtual or real -- is easy using the itineraries. Complete park guides can be purchased for $1.99 each, but each park's page includes a link to the park's website, which offers much of the same information.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Science

  • ecosystems
  • geology

Social Studies

  • geography
  • history

Skills

Self-Direction

  • set objectives

Tech Skills

  • using and applying technology

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.

This Learning Rating review was written by Amanda Bindel

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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?

QUALITY
 

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.

Families can talk 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

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
Price:Free
Pricing structure:Free
Subscription price:$12.99 for access to all complete park guides
Release date:May 8, 2013
Category:Travel
Size:167.00 MB
Publisher:National Geographic Society
Version:1.3.1
Minimum software requirements:iOS 5.0 or later

This review of National Parks by National Geographic 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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