App review by Dana Villamagna, Common Sense Education | Updated July 2013
USA For Kids - Games For Discovering America And The US States And Their Capitals
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USA for Kids - games for discovering America and the US states and their capitals

Fun way to celebrate U.S. culture and geography, but not much depth

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Based on 3 reviews
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Subjects & Skills
Science, Social Studies, Critical Thinking

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Pros: A nice variety of American cultural touchstones, including music and sports, are presented in different game styles.

Cons: Activities aren't necessarily aligned with learning goals, and content doesn't go into much depth.

Bottom Line: Warm, engaging spotlight on American culture and geography with fun practice games, too.

You can use portions of USA for Kids in a whole-class U.S. geography lesson, or as fun solo states and capitals study, presidential history, or thinking and reasoning skills practice for individual students. Some students may not initially consider certain musical instruments or sports as being specific to American culture, so this app can also provide some good discussion starters about what makes American culture unique. And, since you can play in English or Spanish, this could be a great resource for ELL students learning U.S. geography.

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USA for Kids - games for discovering America and the US states and their capitals is an app that uses games and videos to introduce kids to a variety of slices of American history and U.S. geography. The app includes puzzles of presidential faces, a find-the-differences game featuring common American animals, a sports matching game, videos, historic sites, and more.

On the main screen, kids choose from eight activity icons. In the free app, four activities are free (musical instruments, U.S. sports, animals, and presidents). Three are "free to try" (videos, locate the site, and identify state capitals' locations); you can purchase the full U.S. states puzzle, or you can buy all features at once. Once kids tap an icon, they read or listen to the basic instructions for that activity, tap again, and then play or watch the video. All games come with audio instructions, and most are easy enough for young grade school-age kids while interesting enough for older grade school-age kids, too.

Kids can begin to learn about America's culture, history, and geography. As they play games, they'll solve puzzles, observe, and build memory skills; it's a low-stress way for kids to learn snippets about Americana and practice recalling what they may already know. There's not a lot of progress data saved, or any real way for kids to reflect on their learning. There aren't a lot of opportunities for critical thinking, and it would be nice to see some more detailed info provided about specific topics, like American animals and sports (currently those activities include images only, no names or details about either).

Overall Rating


Engaging activities touch on many different areas of American culture and geography. Design would be more user-friendly for younger kids if free, free-to-try, and in-app purchases weren't intermingled.


Skills such as puzzle-solving, finding difference, estimating location, matching, and more help kids learn and recall information. Some games could benefit from added depth, including a bit more information on topics.


Helpful, succinct written and audio directions. Feedback is encouraging, though not related to performance. There's not much data for kids to track game progress, only shaded stars for correct answers.

Common Sense reviewer
Dana Villamagna Classroom teacher

Community Rating

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Featured review by
Linda W. , Technology coordinator
Technology coordinator
Wareham Middle School
Wareham, United States
USA for Kids provides a fun and engaging opportunity for students to learn about presidents, flags, states, cities, animals and flags. Fast moving games and puzzles help students expand content knowledge in a variety of interesting topics.
If you are going to use USA for Kids, the paid version is a must as the free version only allows students access to flags and presidents. It is a great tool for reinforcing students learning of basic content but it does not go into enough depth in many of the areas. I liked the section on states and liked that there were two level of challenges for students. For the easy challenge the states had names on them and then the students were challenged in the harder section with no labels on the states and t ...
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