Skyscrapers by Tinybop

App review by
Dana Anderson, Common Sense Media
Skyscrapers by Tinybop App Poster Image
Build, explore, design, and learn about tall buildings.

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn about the utilities of skyscrapers, how they’re built, and how they withstand natural disasters. This open-ended play app is a fun way for kids to explore engineering as it relates to architecture and cities, and the labels and parent guide provide more concrete learning opportunities.

Ease of Play

Designed for open-ended play, so kids can't go wrong. However, some verbal instructions or a few on-screen prompts that guide kids to notice and explore all the available options could be helpful.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

"More Apps" icon on the app's main screen. Tap it and you move to a promotional page where you can watch a promo video for other Tinybop apps or purchase them by swiping up with two fingers, which connects you to the App Store.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Skyscrapers by Tinybop is an open-play app where kids explore foundations, power, water, and how they withstand pressures, such as earthquakes. By adding skyscrapers to a city skyline and then playing around with their compositions, kids explore these tallest buildings in the world. The water services feature shows tiny people using the toilets with little dots to represent waste and some farting noises. Labels on various parts of the buildings present building-related vocabulary, and there's a parent handbook that explains fun facts about each of the six categories and offers discussion questions for parents and kids. Read the app's privacy policy to find out about the types of information collected and shared.

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What's it about?

First, create a user icon and enter your name on SKYSCRAPERS BY TINYBOP. If you choose to let the app access your location, the app will reflect the actual time of day where you are. Tap the "+" icon to add a skyscraper to the skyline. Add floors to your skyscraper as you watch the height of the building grow (with actual measurements shown). Tap on the left side of the screen for more options, such as to see how the building withstands lightning strikes, earthquakes, or wind storms. Go in for interactive close-ups where you can take a resident to the bathroom to see how the plumbing works, experiment with the electricity, test the foundation, or send residents up and down on the elevators. In settings parents can access a guide that explains all the features and offers discussion questions.

Is it any good?

For kids who love buildings, this app is sure to make them happy enough to leap tall buildings in a single bound or at least know more about them. Skyscrapers by Tinybop includes beautiful buildings in detail and diversity. From choosing different tops of the tallest towers to watching how a rubber ducky clogs the plumbing, this app is full of tiny, engaging details. The interactive text labels are excellent vocabulary builders, if your kid can read (or you read to them). For kids who can't yet read, some audio prompts and explanations would definitely add to the fun experience. Watching the buildings withstand earthquakes, winds, or lightning strikes is reassuring for kids to see how much skyscrapers can handle, and observing how good engineering plays an important part in the literal stability of our cities may inspire future engineers. The parent handbook is a terrific resource for parents looking to get the most learning out of the app, but if you just want building-obsessed kids to play, this is a good app without parent involvement, too.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the excellent discussion questions in the parent handbook for Skyscrapers by Tinybop.

  • Since some of the features on this app may not immediately be apparent to all kids, ask your kid to show you what features they've explored, and read the parent handbook to find out if there's more for them to find. If so, guide them to those options, too, for the full skyscraper experience.

  • What's the tallest building in your area? If there's a skyscraper nearby that you can visit, take a ride up the elevator for an up-close look at a skyscraper. If not, make skyscrapers and a skyline out of blocks or Legos at home.

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
  • Subjects: Science: engineering
  • Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: investigation, part-whole relationships
  • Price: $2.99
  • Pricing structure: Paid
  • Release date: August 1, 2016
  • Category: Education
  • Topics: STEM
  • Size: 232.00 MB
  • Publisher: Tinybop
  • Version: 1.0.4
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 7.0 or later; Android 2.3 and up
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

Our editors recommend

For kids who love building and engineering

Themes & Topics

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