By Debbie Gorrell,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Plant process heavy on whimsy, light on learning.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this app.
Kids can learn about the basic needs of plants by growing a tree from a seed. They learn that plants need water, sunlight, and nutrients. Kids also play music for the plant, which is fun but can mislead kids into thinking this is also a basic need of plants. The setting is whimsical but unrealistic; the plant eventually grows into a tree and gets placed on a planet in outer space.
Ease of Play
Interactions require simple tapping and dragging. Audio support that explains some of what kids need to do could improve the overall user experience.
Parents Need to Know
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Videos and Photos
Based on 1 parent review
Tiny Trees Parent Guide
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What’s It About?
In TINY TREES kids start on a spaceship, where they'll find two characters sitting in chairs, as well as a tiny seed in the center of the screen. By tapping, dragging, and exploring the graphics, kids can interact with the characters and other graphics on the screen. They can water the seed, give it sunlight, play music for it, and give it nutrients in the form of a rainbow-colored blob. The seed slowly grows into a seedling and then a midsized plant. It eventually grows into a tree, and the spaceship lands on a whimsical planet. Kids can continue to interact with the graphics, all while a moon plays a song as a campfire burns. At the end of the activity, kids drag pictures of their adventure into a photo album.
Is It Any Good?
With its colorful, interactive graphics, this exploration app has a lot of initial appeal but fails to deliver rich content and replay value. Although kids learn some basics about plant growth, they'll likely have a hard time making sense of the oddly placed and irrelevant animations. A more realistic setting and some audio instructions and information could help make a better connection to science. For the price point, there could be additional activities or at least options to do more with the plant. It's definitely beautiful, and, with some adjustments, it could be a nice combination of science and art.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the importance of growing and taking care of plants. How is the process of growing a plant in real life the same as and different from the process in Tiny Trees?
Make sure kids know that in real life, scientists have not discovered any plants that grow on other planets. As far as we know, Earth is the only place they grow.
Have kids make a flip-book showing a tree growing from a seed to an adult. Each page of the book should be a drawing of a stage of plant growth, starting with a seed and ending with an adult tree. When the pages of the book are "flipped," it creates an animation of the plant growth.
- Device: iPad
- Subjects: Science: life cycle, plants
- Skills: Tech Skills: using and applying technology
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Release date: March 25, 2016
- Category: Education
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy
- Publisher: Jose Maria Fernandez Juarez
- Version: 1.0.2
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 5.1.1 or later
- Last updated: June 12, 2017
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