USA for Kids - games for discovering America and the US states and their capitals
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that USA for Kids - games for discovering America and the US states and their capitals is a video and game app with an all-American theme. Some content is free and some is free-to-try, and other features have paid content only. The free-to-try games simply continue the same few questions and content. If kids want less repetition, you can make the in-app purchase or buy the premium version. All games come with audio instructions, and most are easy enough for young grade-school-age kids while being interesting enough for older kids, too.
What kids can learn
- cultural understanding
- historical figures
Thinking & Reasoning
Engagement, Approach, Support
Engaging activities touch on many different areas of American culture and geography. Design would be more user-friendly for younger kids if free, free-to-try, and in-app purchases weren't intermingled.
Skills such as puzzle-solving, finding difference, estimating location, matching, and more help kids learn and recall information. Some games could benefit from added depth, including a bit more information on topics.
Helpful, succinct written and audio directions. Feedback is encouraging, though not related to performance. There's not much data for kids to track game progress, only shaded stars for correct answers.
What's it about?
On the main screen, kids choose from eight activity icons. These include puzzles based on presidential faces and trivia; a find-the-differences game featuring common American animal species; a sports matching game; videos; historic sites; and more. Four activities are free (musical instruments, U.S. sports, animals, and presidents). Three are "free to try" (videos, locate the site, and locate state capitals), and the full U.S. states puzzle is $0.99. Or you can buy full access for $2.99. Once kids tap an icon, they read or listen to the basic-instructions screen for that activity, tap again, and then play or watch the video.
Is it any good?
There's something to spark almost every kid's interest in America on USA FOR KIDS - GAMES FOR DISCOVERING AMERICA AND THE US STATES AND THEIR CAPITALS. This app includes the usual American presidents information and state and capitals activities, but it also provides games that feature American musical instruments, sports, and animals natural to American habitats (such as bald eagles, alligators, and bison).
Since USA for Kids includes voice narration for instructions and some content, this can be a good choice for younger kids just beginning to learn about U.S. geography, history, and culture. But with a target age of 4 and up, it's bothersome that this developer intertwines free with free-to-try and paid content. This mingling can be frustrating and disappointing for kids as they try to play but are limited in certain areas -- and irritating for parents who weren't planning on making in-app purchases for full access. Still, if you're looking for a good starter U.S. geography, history, and culture app and are willing to pay for full access, USA for Kids is a solid choice.
Families can talk about...
If your kid has a particular interest in sports or music, guide them to those subject-related games for an engaging entry point.
Talk about what makes your state unique and about some other states you and your kid may like to visit someday.