Social Adventures

 
(i)

 

Learning(i)

Powerful, engaging tool can help boost kids' social skills.

What parents need to know

Ease of play

The first screen includes all options, then users dig down into other more specific choices within those options. For example, under the category "Interpreting Non-verbals" users can choose lessons in the areas of "cautious," "quirky," "strong willed," and more. Then under "cautious," choose from the activities "show me" or "mirror, mirror, what am I feeling?" This app is well-organized, although some of the tabs at the bottom of some screens are not directly related to the activity users may be doing at that time, which can be confusing.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

Although the app may be expensive compared to most apps, it's definitely worth the price if the entire eight-week program is completed. There are two icons promoting other apps on the main menu page that aren't clearly identified as ads and can be easily mistaken for games on the app; once the app is opened, they disappear after five seconds.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Social Adventures is an activity app for kids who need help thinking about social situations and acting appropriately within them (which probably could include most kids in at least some social skills). Created by speech and occupational therapists, Social Adventures includes an entire eight-week program. Users can follow the program, or can just use the lessons for specific skills. This app is chock-full of rock-solid content so, if used properly and consistently until a kid masters the necessary skills, it can be worth the $19.99 cost. 

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • following directions
  • vocabulary

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • asking questions
  • deduction

Self-Direction

  • personal growth

Emotional Development

  • handling stress
  • labeling feelings
  • self-awareness
  • empathy

Communication

  • friendship building
  • listening
  • speaking

Collaboration

  • cooperation

Responsibility & Ethics

  • making wise decisions
  • respect for others

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

The level of student engagement relies heavily on the teacher or parent facilitating the app's activities.

Learning Approach

More than 40 activities, cartoons, or games help students learn and practice seven key social skills with the help of a facilitator and peers.

Support

A clear, brief instruction page provides an overview of the app's functionality. It's helpful that the developers created an eight-week program, but it's not essential to follow it.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • following directions
  • vocabulary

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • asking questions
  • deduction

Self-Direction

  • personal growth

Emotional Development

  • handling stress
  • labeling feelings
  • self-awareness
  • empathy

Communication

  • friendship building
  • listening
  • speaking

Collaboration

  • cooperation

Responsibility & Ethics

  • making wise decisions
  • respect for others

Kids can learn important social skills presented on Social Adventures in seven areas: Initiating social contact; maintaining conversations; advocating and compromising; getting regulated; interpreting non-verbal skills; negotiating space; and experiencing humor. For example, under the "advocating and compromising" category, kids can learn how to politely say "no" to a friend's idea. Kids will also practice following directions, listening skills, self-awareness, making wise decisions, and more. Social Adventures can be a powerful tool to help kids become more comfortable socially through simple lessons and fun games.

This Learning Rating review was written by Dana Villamagna

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What's it about?

First, tap one of eight icons on the main screen to select what your kid is working on; for example, "Experiencing Humor," or "Interpreting Non-verbals." Then within that choice, tap on an activity, read the directions, and play. The bottom of each screen includes the toolbar with the choices: Return to the main page; view the tools (including the eight-week program guide); view a list of and link to visual cartoon lessons; or play the reward game "What's in the Bag?" Clear arrows or Xs show users how to navigate back to previous pages.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Social Adventures is an excellent resource to teach kids social skills like personal space, non-verbal cues, compromising, initiating social interaction, and more. While very useful for kids with special needs such as those with autism spectrum disorders or other social challenges, almost all kids can learn skills that will make them more socially aware by playing the games and completing the activities on this app with a parent, teacher, or therapist. For the relatively high price, it would be nice for the app to include more support and extension activities, such as message boards to share experience and questions, more promised content areas, videos of parents and kids illustrating how the activities work, etc. It's helpful that the developers created an eight-week program, but it's not essential to follow it in order for Social Adventures to be effective. A treasure.

Families can talk about...

  • Complete some of the suggested activities, such as reading the recommended book or watching a YouTube video.

  • Some of the activities are recommended for groups; if your kid is having a particular problem at school, talk with his or her teacher about using the activity in class.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
Price:$19.99
Release date:February 20, 2013
Category:Education
Size:16.60 MB
Publisher:all4mychild
Version:1.2.2
Minimum software requirements:iOS 4.3 or later

This review of Social Adventures was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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