Review by Dana Villamagna, Common Sense Education | Updated July 2013
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Kids Planet Discovery - games and videos

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Colorful way to learn about world; some missteps in content quality

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1-5 This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
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Pros: Colorful, creative, and easy geography learning combine in high-interest fun.

Cons: Some activities don't make much sense.

Bottom Line: It has some good geography and culture learning, but Kids Planet Discovery isn't a standout.

The videos can be a good entry point for lessons in world places and cultures as a whole class. The puzzles and dress-up game are good solo activities, while the "Find The Intruder" game -- in which kids look at a richly illustrated scene from a country and try to guess which item isn't from that culture -- could be played solo or as a small group game, with lots of discussion all the while. Since the app can be played in eight languages, it can also be good for use in foreign language and ELL classrooms.

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Kids Planet Discovery -- games and videos to travel and learn about the world's geography, nature, and cultures is a color-filled geography experience, with some gaps in ease of use and quality of content. With more than 100 games and 80 videos, there's a lot of geography, nature, and culture learning to be found. Unfortunately, to find it, users must wade through intermingled free, free to try, and paid content, unless they've purchased the premium version for $4.99. There are videos, puzzles, matching games, find-the-difference games, and more. Some games are culturally and geographically relevant, while others don't make much sense (for example, a matching game in Africa that includes imaginary monsters in glasses and smiling stars). Still, the cool maps, good information, and games that are in context are worth a look, and maybe an in-app purchase. Kids need to be able to read or have an adult read the instructions to them. As an alternative to more challenging geography games, Kids Planet Discovery can be a good choice.

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Kids Planet Discovery is easy geography and culture learning. There's no intense quizzing or intricate continent or country puzzles here. Kids simply learn by completing the games and activities, like a cultural dress-up activity or a "find the item that's not part of this culture" game, and by watching videos. All play is generally pretty easy, except that kids must read or have instructions read to them. The dress-up character game featuring traditional clothing is fun and sweet, but it would be nice for kids to be able to see and choose clothing for boy characters as well as girls. This app can help kids grow in cultural understanding as they gain perspective on their own culture's differences from the rest of the world.

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Overall Rating
2

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?
3

Exploring the world through the colorful images, maps, videos, games, and activities is fun. However, the in-app purchases mixed in with free content can be distracting and confusing (the premium version has no in-app purchases).

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?
2

Videos and activities form the basis of learning here. Games are categorized by memory, puzzles, seek-and-find, and dress-up. With in-app purchases or the premium version, the learning approach also adds world music.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?
2

Kids can read the clear written instructions at the beginning of each game. No data on progress or activity success -- there's just a rewarding icon and message that appears at the end of each game-based activity.


Common Sense Reviewer
Dana Villamagna Classroom teacher

Teacher Reviews

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Featured review by
russellr ,
2
Fun, colorful games, but not a ton of learning.

Most of the content costs money, which makes it less accessible for many student users. The free content takes a long time to load - we were unable to view the videos, which would probably have had more educational content than the games.

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