May 19, 2011

App Review: Rainforest Survival Challenge

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Rainforest Survival Challenge image

 

A few weeks ago I was contacted by Ruckus Media Group about a new iPad app they created. They sent me a code to download Rainforest Survival Challenge to my iPad so I could try it out. Uh, I mean, so BabyGirl could try it out. As homeschoolers we spend quite a bit of time using a variety of technology – computers, video, camera, iPads, iPods, iPhone. One of the key components of all these uses is that technology must be a means of enhancing learning, not a way to avoid learning.

My iPad has a number of game apps, most of which BabyGirl or I have downloaded for free. And while they are supposed to be educational, they really are more of a time waster than anything else. When I read about the Rainforest Survival Challenge and how it was developed I was really interested in finding out if BabyGirl would see through the learning and not want to play.

Ruckus Media indicates that

This new app is designed for kids ages 8-12.  It was designed to entertain and educate about rainforests with thought-provoking details about wildlife from one of the most fascinating and delicate ecosystems on Earth.  It’s a game that challenges children to survive in the Amazon, while teaching them about various animal and plant species. The app was created with the education experts from the Rainforest Alliance and Stepping Stones Museum for Children.

I can definitely see that it’s not your average $3.99 download from iTunes. I started playing with it and was immediately hooked. As her teacher, it is my job to make learning fun for BabyGirl. This fits the bill! The colors are vibrant and fun and the animals, plants and eco-system are interesting. I had been playing about 10 minutes when BabyGirl started asking if she could play. After snatching kindly taking the iPad, she snuggle up on the couch and spent the next 25 minutes entranced in learning about Rainforest animals, their habitat, eating and other fun facts. Her competitive nature started to take over and she had to play another game so she could beat the computer!

Rainforest Survival Challenge screenshotWhat I’ve really liked about this game is that she can play it alone or sit with me or her dad and we can work together. It’s a perfect way to help her learn in a fun and interactive way, while not letting her think she’s being taught. The game requires not only knowledge of each of the animals but also how they compare to one another. The player also needs to try and guess what might be under the ‘mystery cards’.

BabyGirl liked that it had her name on it. She kept telling me I couldn’t play it because it had her name. I think that’s her subtle way of letting me know she wanted the iPad so she could play.

Any time I can get my daughter to spend her time wisely is a win for me! I know kids need down-time from learning. But the best part of this is that kids won’t think of this as education. Instead, it’s just a fun game that gives them information so they can beat the computer using their knowledge and skill.

My only concern about the game is that there are a finite number of cards and if your child is as fascinated by this game as mine, they’ll become masters at who’s who and what’s what in the rainforest very quickly. I hope that updates will bring new information and cards to keep the game updated and fresh. Be prepared for your child to love learning!

Rainforest Survival Challenge is available from iTune for $3.99 with a portion of the proceeds going to support education initiatives at the Rainforest Alliance and Stepping Stones Museum for Children. I highly encourage you to download this app. If nothing else, it’ll give you a few minutes of peace and quite while the kids learn and use their knowledge in a fun way.

Disclosure: I was provided with one free download of this app to facilitate my review. I do not receive any compensation for your purchase. This review was not edited by Ruckus Media and is not subject to their overview. All words are mine. Images, however, are courtesy of Ruckus Media.

Sara

{ 1 comment }

shifra May 20, 2011 at 5:53 am

I do not have an ipad – boo! I guess I will add that to the list….

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