A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Pocket Penguins is a delightful webcam app that shows a group of African penguins in captivity swimming, interacting, and feeding at the California Academy of Sciences' penguin observation area. This app is perfect for penguin lovers to watch and observe the little waddlers from three webcams, as well as see a biologist give twice-daily presentations. There's a mild push for app users to purchase tickets or make a donation.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
Kids can observe African penguins in a human-made habitat above and below the water via three webcams. Kids can also listen to a marine biologist give a presentation about the penguins by opening the app at 10:30 a.m. or 3 p.m. PST. To choose the webcam they want to view, kids simply tap on the camera icon in the top right hand corner and then tap on "Main," "Underwater," or "Biologist." If the connection is lost, kids will see the option to watch a recording of the biologist presentation.
Is it any good?
There's something calming yet engrossing about watching these African creatures go about their day on these three webcams. The pre-recorded biologist presentation is good -- if the option to watch it pops up. Otherwise, if you want to hear the Q&A session with the biologist feeding the penguins twice daily, you have to open the app at 10:30 a.m. or 3 p.m. PST. It would be nice to have more information about what viewers are watching available to read on the app all the time, in order to understand the behavior better. A discount on tickets to the actual exhibit is available on the app.
Talk to your kids about ...
Find supplemental learning materials about penguins from the library or penguin websites so your kids can understand some of the penguin behavior they see.
Encourage your kids to think about what interests them in what they're observing and write down questions or ideas that result.
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire, Nook HD
- Subjects: Science: animals, biology
- Price: Free
- Pricing structure: Free
- Release date: July 5, 2011
- Category: Education
- Size: 31.80 MB
- Publisher: California Academy of Sciences
- Version: 1.0
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 4.0 or later, Android 2.2 and up
- Last updated: August 22, 2016
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.