Parents' Guide to

Simple Machines by Tinybop

By Emily Pohlonski, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 6+

Choose your tool, adjust variables, watch it work, have fun.

Simple Machines by Tinybop Poster Image

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What you will—and won't—find in this app.

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Is It Any Good?

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Fun exploration is full of surprises as kids play with highly interactive tools, though how much they learn depends on adult involvement. As kids change the type of wheel, width of wedge, or number of pulleys, they can observe how those adjustments alter force and how much work gets done. Aside from the science, there are fun, kid-friendly whimsical moments that will make kids want to keep exploring: Fish jump from tank to tank as the screws move up and down, the wedge-split icebergs reveal surprises, and the inclined-plane pinball game's many moving parts offer endless entertainment. The only drawback is that there's no guidance to help kids analyze what happens. Though this keeps the inquiry student-driven, some kids will need additional coaching to get them to ask questions and examine their observations. Playing with a grown-up will go a long way to focus each activity and enhance potential learning. A short and sweet kids' tutorial with some of the terms used in the labels also would provide an anchor for the concepts each game presents.

App Details

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