What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Weird But True is a fun adaptation of the popular book by National Geographic. The free app comes with 25 facts, and you'll have to pay to get additional packs (ranging from 99 cents to $1.99; unlocking all the content will set you back $5). Each fact is presented as a page with fun fonts, sound effects, and occasional illustrations. On the fact page, kids can tag a fact as a favorite, rate how weird the fact is on the "weird-o-meter," tap to see and hear an animal float across the stage saying "that's weird," share the fact with a link to the app on email, or visit the menu. Kids can swipe from fact to fact, visit their favorites, or scroll through topics alphabetically. Kids can also see a list of the weirdest facts as rated by other users during the past week. A few facts mildly mention violence, such as ants that explode when they're attacked.
What kids can learn
- substance properties
Thinking & Reasoning
- analyzing evidence
- applying information
Engagement, Approach, Support
An excellent adaptation of the popular book series by National Geographic. Kids will love the fun sound effects and creative design of fonts and colors as well as the several ways to interact with facts.
Kids favorite, share, and rate facts based on weirdness, all of which require them to pay attention when they read. A list of weirdest facts rated by other users inspires participation. Real-world activities can reinforce learning.
The app has extensions with more facts, but you have to pay.
What's it about?
Kids swipe through screens with weird facts in this easy-to-use app. The facts are visually appealing, but are not read aloud and thus require good reading skills. With each fact, kids can mark it as a favorite, rate the weirdness factor, and share it via social media. Kids can also browse the facts by topic and by "top weird-o meter," a weekly ranking of the weirdest facts by other users.
Is it any good?
WEIRD BUT TRUE is a great adaptation of the popular book series by National Geographic. The app focuses on cultivating curiosity, which it does well. Kids will love the fun sound effects and creative design of fonts and colors on the pages, as well as the several different ways of interacting with the facts.
But there are some downsides. First, the developer is not entirely upfront about what you're getting when you install the app. The app's description in iTunes refers to "more than 600 kid-friendly facts," but does not clearly explain that to get all the facts you'd have to make four in-app purchases totaling $5. Second, the app does not contain sources for the facts or explanations of why or how they're true, which not only could help kids learn more about the facts, but also helps them learn to evaluate seemingly factual statements in our digital age. So, families may want to use this app to spark creativity and questions (and have fun!), then find time to talk about verifying facts with research -- and enjoy doing that research together.
Families can talk about...
Seek out experiences that might expand on or let kids see for themselves some of the facts such as visiting a science museum or zoo or even doing some experiments of your own!
Read along with your kids and relate some of the facts back to real-life experiences.