Kids Maps

Educational Value:
Fun Factor:
Skills:Puzzles, Geography, n/a

What we like best:

Bright colors, and a simple, no-frills interface is reminiscent of old-school puzzles.

What you should know:

Speed isn't necessarily the name of the game here; if a child fits each piece into the puzzle too quickly, she'll miss out on fun state facts.
Full Review:

Pack your bags and buckle up; it's time for a virtual all-American road trip! This basic map app gives kids an early introduction to the 50 states.

Children can choose one of four map segments (Midwest, Northeast, South and West) then place each state puzzle piece in the right location on the map. The states are labeled with their abbreviations, helping kids learn the shortened name as they master the location of every state on the map. The image for each state corresponds with things the region is known for—think potatoes for Idaho—and a verbal introduction, such as “Alaska starts with an A. Polar bears live in Alaska.” Although the bright red arrows are a useful prompt, you'll need to leave the sound on, because without the verbal instructions and information, the game isn't overly intuitive.

As budding geographers becomes familiar with state abbreviations and locations, up the ante with the “alphabetical order” feature to remind children which states begin with which letters. Additional fun facts about each state—such as flags, flowers, birds and capitals—would make this app a must-have for your interactive library.

Reviewed 2012-10-01 on iPad iOS5 by Tia Benjamin

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Topic:Social Studies, Games
Platform:Apple, Android
Publisher:Media Mechanic