Many three to six year olds are fascinated by wild animals. Sailing Home: Learn Animal Habitats helps children learn about interesting and sometimes exotic animals and their homes. By correctly returning all the animals back to their home environments, they not only learn to associate the animal with its proper habitat, but they also begin to develop an appreciation of the delicate balance that exists in nature.
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Sailing Home: Learn Animal Habitats is a new app for IOS and Android devices by Puppet Life. It begins with a cute little tale that explains why the animals have to go back to their homes. Once they’re aboard the ship, it’s time to set off with the jolly captain to deliver each one safely to its original habitat. The captain gives a short, concise description of each animal, along with its habitat, plus a fun fact or two.
As the first mate, your child’s job is an important one: he has to remember the correct place for each one. He slides the animal onto the island with the correct environment, and then moves onto the next one. Fortunately, the animals are presented in groups of three, so it’s relatively simple to choose the correct home. The directions are easy to follow (“touch the arrow,” “take a look at the map to decide where we’re heading next,” etc.) and the user interface is clear and understandable, even to a young child.
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I find a lot to like about Sailing Home: Learn Animal Habitats. The developers at Puppet Life are able to find a good balance between entertainment and education. The descriptions of all 14 animals include facts that kids want to know- for instance, “ In bitterly cold weather, a polar bear usually sleeps with a paw covering its nose,” or “With their large ears, fennecs are able to hearing their prey, even underground.” Parents will also find themselves learning a thing or two.
Another thing I noticed was that the pacing here is a little slower than in many other apps. This is actually a good thing, because it allows children time to process the information they are given about an animal. Other apps I’ve reviewed have felt a bit rushed at times, and this can be overwhelming for a child. Studies show that slowing down the pace of instruction (even a little) improves overall comprehension and the ability to retain the facts that are presented. Sailing Home: Learn Animal Habitats does one thing, and it does it very well. If your child is at a stage where he is excited to learn about wild animals, this app will provide him with enough factual information and enough fun to engage him for a long time.
At the time of this review, Sailing Home: Learn Animal Habitats contains no ads or in-app purchases. The only external links are to the iTunes Store for other Puppet Life apps. The link is accessible only through a protected parent portal. Parents can be confident that their children’s privacy is protected when using this app.
Review by Julie Peterson, a speech/language pathologist (SLP) currently working in a school setting, serving children with special needs ages 6-14.
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Disclosure: This review was move up the waiting list priority-services. All opinions expressed are purely that of the author.