U.S. Geography by MindSnacks

 

Learning(i)

Fun games challenge players on U.S. geography and culture.

What parents need to know

Ease of play

User interface is easy to navigate. Each game is explained clearly in brief written directions. It may help users better understand the importance of the review portion of this app if it was more prominently displayed.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

A small "more apps" tab at the bottom of the main page requires adults to input the year they were born before moving onto the promotional page.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

No personal information is required to use this app. A username is requested -- with the question "What's your name?" -- to create a profile for progress recording. MindSnacks' Privacy Policy, located on its website, includes a special section for information about children's privacy, which indicates it doesn't collect any personally identifiable information from kids on apps designed for kids under 13.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that U.S. Geography by MindSnacks includes eight wide-ranging quiz games that test players on more than 1,000 questions related to U.S. geography and state trivia. A tutorial is provided for each state so, before playing, kids can review basic information aligned with National Geographic's Geography Standards. To keep kids interested in the subject matter, games use fun hooks, such as a state-shape-eating frog or a dart for kids to mark the spot on the map where a certain U.S. landform or landmark exists. Material in some games, especially at higher levels of difficulty, tests users on very specific and/or not commonly known state trivia. Post-quiz reports show how close kids are to mastering each state's information and what skills players developed during the game. This app is just as suitable for adults who want to brush up on U.S. geography and state trivia as it is for kids who want to test and expand their newly acquired knowledge.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Social Studies

  • cultural understanding
  • geography

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • memorization
  • part-whole relationships

Self-Direction

  • identifying strengths and weaknesses
  • work to achieve goals

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

U.S. Geography by MindSnacks is an absorbing way to help kids memorize geography and state facts while viewing gorgeous images of America and its landmarks. Fun hooks, including a state-eating frog, keep kids interested.

Learning Approach

Eight game-like quizzes test players on more than 1,000 questions related to U.S. geography and state trivia. There's a tutorial for each state, so kids can review basic information aligned with National Geographic's Geography Standards.

Support

Brief written instructions guide kids into games. Feedback during game play indicates whether kids are answering quickly or slowly, and reports show how close kids are to mastering the information and what skills they've developed.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Social Studies

  • cultural understanding
  • geography

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • memorization
  • part-whole relationships

Self-Direction

  • identifying strengths and weaknesses
  • work to achieve goals

Kids can reinforce and expand their knowledge of U.S. geography and state cultural trivia with U.S. Geography by MindSnacks. The brief factsheet style lessons for each state can help kids review facts they already know and fill in informational gaps before playing the eight games. Fun game-style quizzes include more than 1,000 facts about U.S. geography and culture.

This Learning Rating review was written by Dana Villamagna

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What's it about?

Create a profile name for progress tracking, then review state information before playing the first game. A list of 20 states appears: Tap a state to learn more about it. The name of the state is spoken, and photos and information appear. The first game, Belly, appears with instructions to tap the state shape that matches the state name on the screen to fill a frog's belly with states. When the round is complete, progress reporting appears. Players then can move on to the next game. Continue for more than 40 hours of game play.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

U.S. Geography By MindSnacks is a fast-paced, information-packed quiz app that draws kids into practicing U.S. geography and state trivia information through eight fun games, distinctive visuals, and demanding questions at the higher levels of play. Players can choose from four games at first, and must complete those to unlock the other four. In addition to the creative games, one of the best features of this app is the thorough progress reporting: Some reports indicate whether a player answers each question quickly or slowly, others show what skills (such as visual recognition, geo-literacy, or cultural literacy) kids master as they play and to what extent they've done so over multiple play sessions.

This app isn't perfect: In some instances, the information players are quizzed on is downright obscure. Also, players can't select which states to focus on. It's probably best if kids have a basic knowledge of U.S. geography before using this app. Still, U.S. Geography by MindSnacks is a fun, absorbing way to help kids memorize facts while viewing some gorgeous images of America and its landmarks.

Families can talk about...

  • If your child is new to U.S. geography and state facts, suggest starting with the easy level of each game.

  • Consider posting a U.S. map in your home and use it to map places of interest to your family, such as where relatives live, or where you've visited or would like to visit.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
Price:$1.99
Pricing structure:Paid
Release date:October 22, 2013
Category:Education
Size:88.10 MB
Publisher:MindSnacks
Version:3.4.1
Minimum software requirements:iOS 6.0 or later

This review of U.S. Geography by MindSnacks 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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