My iPad comes from China. Where’s that? There was a meteorite that hit Russia. Is that close to my house? When your kids start wondering about places in the larger world, that’s the perfect time to give them a kid friendly resource that can answer their questions. Geo Challenge, by Xing Inc., shows over 193 countries. It has a spinning globe, maps, flags, and fun facts about places near and far.
What the App Does-
Around the age of four or five, kids start to understand that the world is bigger than their immediate community. With this understanding comes the need to find out about these places that they cannot see, but which they hear about in their daily life. Geo Challenge, available for the iPad, iPad mini, iPhone, and iPod touch, is designed to look like an age appropriate version of a world atlas. After you create your child’s passport (complete with photo), you can begin earning stickers by learning where countries are located and what their flags look like.
I tested both the free version of Geo Challenge and the full version. The free version presents a small portion of the content so you can get an idea of its capabilities. The full app is offered as an in app purchase (IAP). I find that having a partial geography app is like having a puzzle with half the pieces missing- it’s not very satisfying.
Geo Challenge comes with both English and Japanese translations. The instructions are clearly written and settings can be adjusted for order and rate of presentation. Background music is an option that can be turned on or off, and it is possible to have the names of the countries appear as they are presented.
What Fun Educational Apps Liked-
The best feature of Geo Challenge is its spinning globe. Years ago, every classroom had a globe in it. Nowadays, students find countries on a virtual globe. The advantage of Geo Challenge is that kids can also access information about that country, including its flag and its major languages. One of my students with autism loves (LOVES) flags, and this app sent him over the moon! Combining tablet technology with his favorite subject matter made an unforgettable learning experience for him. He now has a new reward to motivate him to finish his other work.
My biggest criticism of Geo Challenge is that the characters on the icon and throughout the app are extremely babyish. They give the impression that it is appropriate only for preschoolers, and that is absolutely not true. Geo Challenge has enough challenges in it to satisfy kids from 4-10.
Geo Challenge – Flags, Maps and Geography Learning Game for Kids is available for download via the iTunes App Store - Universal App
On sale for a limited time - 0.99US$ - RRP: 2.99US$
Julie Peterson is a speech/language pathologist (SLP) currently working in a school setting, serving children with special needs ages 6-14. She discovered that the flags of Mali and Chad are almost identical and she can now name at least 10 different countries in the continent of Africa.
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Disclosure: This review was move up the waiting list priority-services. All opinions expressed are purely that of the author.