What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Plants HD is a solid, effective educational app for kids who need to learn about the life cycle of plants. This app isn't likely going to earn big fun points or be played time and again by most kids, unless a kid has a keen interest in plants. But as a learning tool, it's likely to grow a kid's knowledge of plants. The photos, graphics, interactive quizzes and games, as well as narrated, solidly scientific information is a vast improvement over drier, textbook-style resources on the topic.
What kids can learn
- life cycle
Thinking & Reasoning
- part-whole relationships
Engagement, Approach, Support
Even though Plants HD doesn't include activities kids may consider tons of fun, it presents the life cycle of plants in a memorable way and reinforces the lesson with engaging photos, an organizing game, and quizzes.
As a science resource, Plants HD is solid, although some of the more complex plant vocabulary included may be a stretch for younger students. The app is quite text-heavy but narration is included, except for quiz questions.
You can turn music off or on, and there's a "read along" option for beginning readers. Some offline, real plant-based extension activities could be a valuable addition to Plants HD.
What's it about?
In Plants HD, kids tap on the icons ("plants and trees," "flowers," "germination," "pollination," "fruits," "seeds," "dispersal") and then learn about that subject through reading or looking at images related to the topic chosen. Fun facts ("It takes 50 leaves to create enough energy to make an apple.") help kids retain concepts, which they are later tested on in three levels of quizzes. Music can be turned off or on, and there's a "read along" option for beginning readers.
Is it any good?
The life cycle of plants comes to life on PLANTS HD in a way that is likely to make a more memorable impression on most kids learning about this topic than more traditional resources. The game in which kids have to place images of the cycle in order is particularly helpful, and the photos with fun facts are pretty and interesting. Kids can earn coins by answering questions correctly, and the quizzes are challenging but not frustratingly so. Kids don't need to be a botanist to enjoy this app, nor will they be one after finishing playing it. But what they're likely to get from this app is a better understanding of the plant life cycle, appreciation for the beauty of plants, and some fun facts to impress you with the next time you're in the park or garden exploring nature together.
Families can talk about...
Plants HD is text-heavy, so if your kid is still a growing reader, you may want to consider reading the information to him or her, or turning on the read-along option.
Get some seeds and help your child plant, water, and grow a plant.