Trains are a fascination for many preschoolers and toddlers. Tracks 'n' Trains: The Zoo Train app capitalizes on this popular vehicle by creating an interface where young children can build and operate their own trains and tracks. This completely customizable train set is as wide-open as a child's imagination.
Have a look:
Build and Play provides children with a blank canvas to set up a railroad track. Children can choose a grassy scene, a desert scene, or a winter wonderland. Each type of land provides children with different details. To begin with, children can lay down track in anyway they want.
There are 15 different styles of track, from straight to curvy, and circular or crossroads. Children build and connect the tracks to create a route. After completing the tracks children can then add details.
Each type of scene offers different details. In the grassy scene, children can add trees, flowers, rivers, stone walls, and cows. The desert offers cactus, scrub brush, rocks, stone paths, and camels. The winter scene gives children the option of adding deer, snowmen, trees, snowballs, or frozen rivers.
Once kids are happy with their scene, they choose one of three different trains to drop on the track. Turn the train on and it begins its route along the tracks. Use the arrows at curves to toggle the direction the train is moving in. You can adjust the speed as well.
Built tracks allows children to choose from a selection of premade tracks. There are nine preloaded tracks at the time of this review. Children can choose an ice skating scene, several desert scenes, forest and bridge scenes, as well as pastureland and symmetrical train tracks. After choosing a preloaded track, children can still customize the scene to fit their needs. They can delete sets of tracks as well as add their own pieces and scenery. When you're ready, drop a train and off you go. Each track can be saved and renamed so that users can play with it again and again.
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Tracks 'n' Trains: The Zoo Train is a really great app for train lovers. Because the app has two different modes: the built in train tracks and the customizable scenes, children at any ability level are able to use it. I liked all of the different styles of train track available.
I will freely admit that I tried to fit as many pieces as I possibly could into my first trial run. I also enjoyed the novelty of adding small details like trees and animals. I thought it was clever that the developer also used appropriate sound effect for the three background scenes. Small details like the sound effects and the tile flipping scene changes are what make apps like this stand out amongst their peers.
Overall, Tracks 'n' Trains: The Zoo Train is an app where young learners can stretch their imaginations. With the ability for children to build new scenes each time they play, this app has endless possibilities. I'm planning on pulling this one out on our next road trip!
Tracks 'n' Trains: The Zoo Train is available for downaload via the iTunes App Store - iPad
Promo Price - Free - RRP - $2.99/£1.99/€2.69
At the time of this review, the app had no in-app purchases or ads, and external links were protected behind parent gates.This app was reviewed by Sarah Emerling, a mom, teacher, and technology coach. She is a self proclaimed tech nerd and is passionate about technology in education. You can follow her ed. tech. blog at The iLesson Lady.
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Disclosure: This review was move up the waiting list priority-services. All opinions expressed are purely that of the author.
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