We have been supporters of the National Wildlife Federation over the years and as Tomato has been getting older, I have been geekily excited for her to get the classic Ranger Rick magazine as a way to explore nature in print. We have recently been letting her have supervised time on the iPad with some educational apps and I was approached with a chance to check out the new Ranger Rick Treehouse App for the iPad.
We settled in to explore the Treehouse’s Fall issue and found some real gems inside. Since Tomato doesn’t like a lot of bells and whistles, I was thrilled to find that you can tailor the app to your needs and leave the sound on or turn it off. We opted to turn it off in order to tone it down for her. Our first stops were 10 Reasons to Flip for Dolphins and then Spotted Superstars, about leopards . Both articles had great educational information and presented them with different layers. You could just read the story, access other fun facts and even add humor through jokes and riddles about the animals. At the end of each story, if you answer a question correctly, you earn a badge.
As a parent, the badges center was one of my favorite parts of the app. It promotes thorough work when the children are reading and two of the badges are focused on getting outdoors to play and explore and a journal to record those experiences. It’s wonderful to see an app that has technology and real life experiences dovetailed together.
Other sections of the app include:
- Games, which includes a cute photo scramble game called Scranimals, Dolphin Dive (pictured above), and Leopard Leap
- Bfunny – Critter Crackups, Riddles, Funny Photos
- Videos – Dancing Wallabies, Dolphin at Play, A Leopard’s Life
- Back Door – The object is to find the foods that animals could eat and make the area a certified wildlife habitat. There are also ideas of what to do outside (treasure map or spy on squirrel, for example). Finallly, this is where the My Time Outdoors Journal is located for children to record their outdoor adventures
- and Mystery Closet – We really enjoyed the Animal Clues game here too. It helps kids to think both in visual and auditory ways about animals before revealing what it is.
Overall, the Ranger Rick Treehouse App (ages 7-12) is a good way for kids to learn more about animals and the great outdoors. With the option to turn the sound off, it is nice to be able to tailor it to your needs. I especially love that it encourages kids to be outside and take what they learn on the app and turn it into an outdoor adventure. In order to download the app, you can visit the iTunes store and single issues are $4.99 or you can subscribe for the year at $19.99. Monthly bonus features are also sent with each type of download.
What outdoor adventures would your children record in the My Time Outdoors Journal? Do you subscribe to Ranger Rick? If so, do you have the traditional paper version or this app?
Disclosure: I was provided with a copy of Ranger Rick Treehouse to facilitate a review. As always, opinions are my own.