Sago Mini Zoo

App review by
Ana Beltran, Common Sense Media
Sago Mini Zoo App Poster Image
Cute virtual zoo offers open-ended play.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn about animals and their habitats, especially with adult guidance. Open-ended play can encourage storytelling. 

Ease of Play

Open-ended play. Tap and swipe to make animals or objects move.  

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

The launch page displays a link to a page listing products and apps created by the developer. Kids can browse the products, but a parent wall limits access to downloads or purchase. The link can be turned off in settings.    

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Sago Mini Zoo is an app for preschoolers that encourages self-directed and open-ended play., much like their suite of successful apps. Through Sago Mini Zoo, kids will explore ecosystems, such as the Arctic, jungle, and savannah, and the animals that live there. Kids will find familiar animals and objects in Sago Mini Zoo, such as giraffes and Ferris wheels, and they will also encounter less common animals, such as lemurs. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.

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What's it about?

SAGO MINI ZOO is a digital playset that allows kids to explore a zoo setting, while encouraging them to use their imagination to determine how the game should be played. Kids will take a visual and audio journey through the digital zoo, encountering different animals and habitats along the way and hearing different zoo sounds, such as birds chirping. There are no rules. Kids define how the game will be played. Sago Mini Zoo provides the objects for kids to play out their imagination. They can take the zoo animals to veterinary care, feed animals, or take a leisurely boat ride through the zoo. They can ride the Ferris wheel or grab a snack. How they engage with the app is completely up to kids. The launch page has a “For Parents” button that allows families to explore suggestions on how to use the app as a platform for learning and provides extension activities. The launch page also has a button advertising new products and apps designed by the developer. Kids will be able to browse through the list of products, but a parent wall restricts their ability to purchase or download. The “For Parents” and “Sago News” buttons can be turned off under the Zoo tab in settings. 

Is it any good?

This familiar sort of digital preschool playset lets kids engage in open-ended play while learning about animals and their habitats, but still falls short of offscreen imaginative play. The premise behind Sago Mini Zoo -- which is to empower kids to make the rules, engage in open-play, and use their imagination -- is powerful message. The graphics are vivid and engaging, and kids familiar with Sago Mini apps will recognize the characters. Kids will be excited to find a Ferris wheel, popcorn stand, their favorite animals, and discovering little details in the playset. Sago Mini Zoo introduces little ones to animals and their habitats and provides a platform for conversations about animals, where they live, and why. It also provides families a platform to talk about how to care for animals. Without the guidance of a grown up,ideas on how to engage with the app, and a bridge to offscreen experiences, kids probably won't learn much and may eventually lose interest. The playset offers a wide variety of animals and objects to engage with, but it doesn't replace the level of engagement created by offscreen imaginative play where kids are able to hold, feel, and physically move objects as their imagination -- unconstrained by an app's limitations -- takes flight.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about caring for animals when playing Sago Mini Zoo. What do animals need? How might animals feel? If you worked with animals, how would you care for them? 

  • Talk about animals and their habitats. The app introduces the idea that certain animals thrive in certain places. Where do penguins live? Why? What other animals might we find in the Arctic? Where do zebras live? Why? What other animals might we find in the savannah? 

  • Take the play offscreen and pretend to be animals with your kid. How do you act like a lion? How does an elephant swing its trunk?

App details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love preschool and open-ended apps

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