A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Wizard School (formerly Wonderbox) combines videos, drawing, and interactive challenges to get kids engaging with material that interests them. To get the full experience, kids use a device's camera, camera roll, and microphone and send messages to friends and family. If kids are under 13, parents need to provide their own email addresses and record their voices to give permission (though savvy kids could get through the permission process on their own). The messaging feature is safe and limited to people whom kids actually know use the app. You'll need an Internet connection to use the app, and kids should be strong readers to play on their own.
What's it about?
In their own unique WIZARD SCHOOL account, kids watch videos, draw, take pictures, create, share, and message with family and friends and engage in multistep challenges. Educational videos and fun challenges are organized by themes such as Music, Science, and Sports. Challenges, such as designing a tree house, include background information, prompts, and a general framework to get started. Kids also can explore and create freely. Play earns coins, which kids use to "buy" stickers and drawing tools.
Is it any good?
Learn, create, and share in a safe and inspiring environment that takes learning to the next level. The Internet's resources combine beautifully with the interactive challenges in Wizard School, especially because the whole experience is kid-driven. Safe messaging adds a social component that's not only fun but also can encourage kids to follow an inspiration offscreen. Though some challenges are better than others -- there's an overly heavy focus on "making things talk" (adding your own voice to images, animals, and so on) -- most will appeal to lots of kids. If kids could create their own challenges, it would open up the possibilities even more. The biggest drawback might be the coin-and-marketplace system: The emphasis on rewards and "buying" items to use for creations doesn't quite fit the overall vision, which seems to emphasize the internal love of learning, but some kids will like the leveling up and earning elements. Overall, this app offers a unique and valuable platform for 21st-century learning and is interactive learning technology at its (current) best.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about which features of Wizard School make this messaging community safe and why a more open messaging community might not be so safe. What rules might kids want to follow when messaging with this app or in general?
Watch the videos and do the challenges together. Work with kids to set up anything that needs to happen offscreen. Ask kids open-ended questions about what they create.
Encourage kids to continue researching and exploring the topics they're most interested in.
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
- Subjects: Language & Reading: following directions, presenting to others, storytelling
Social Studies: cultural understanding, exploration, geography
Arts: acting, drawing, film
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: collecting data, investigation, thinking critically
Creativity: developing novel solutions, imagination, innovation, making new creations, producing new content
Communication: conveying messages effectively
- Price: Free
- Pricing structure: Free
- Release date: August 25, 2016
- Category: Education
- Size: 78.60 MB
- Publisher: Duck Duck Moose
- Version: 2.0
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 7.0 or later
- Award: Common Sense Seal
For kids who love science, geography, music, and design
Our editors recommend
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.