USA for Kids - games for discovering America and the US states and their capitals

App review by
Dana Anderson, Common Sense Media
USA for Kids - games for discovering America and the US states and their capitals App Poster Image
Varied, fun journey through U.S. geography and history.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn about the culture and geography of America, particularly states and capitals, animals, sports, historic sites, and music. As kids play games and watch videos, they can gain cultural understanding, learn a bit about some of the most famous presidents, and practice identifying states and their capitals. It's a low-stress way for kids to learn about American culture and geography and practice recall. USA for Kids can be a good place to start kids learning about the different parts of the United States that give America its unique culture and history.

Ease of Play

Very easy to use. USA for Kids includes audio instructions, and the extended information in certain sections also can be narrated, if desired, simply by tapping a button. All games can be played in English or Spanish. The only potential major difficulty for kids is navigating through the in-app purchases and "try for free" sections without getting frustrated.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

The premium version includes all content, no in-app purchase needed. In the free version, you can make in-app purchases ranging from $0.99 to $2.99 to unlock content. Also in the free version, the choices for paid content comingle with the free content on the main screen, so much so that it may be hard for younger kids to distinguish which icons to tap for free content and which will take them to the App Store. There's also a huge promotional banner on the bottom of the main screen for the developer's other apps.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What 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.

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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.

Talk to your kids 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.

App details

For kids who love social studies

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