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Zoo Playground: Games for kids

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A beautifully designed and engaging app for toddlers and preschoolers themed around animals and their habitats.

Teacher Review

This app aims to teach children about animals and their diets and habitats, as well as using the heming to develop a range of other core preschool objectives.  The game is split into a section of animal information and another section of mini-games featuring the same animals.
 
The interface is so easy to navigate that even a very young child could start using this app without any adult input.  Upon starting up, you are shown many pages of animals, divided up into different habitats. All the information is very visually immediate, making it obvious for users where they can click and what they will learn.  The very high quality of the graphics and sound add to the user experience and allow pre-readers to access all the information on screen. After exploring the animal facts, children can flick through to the mini-game pages.
 
There are nine mini-games, each of which has been very well designed for usability, with on screen help and feedback in the form of non-obtrusive animations on screen.  Each game is also provided with notes for parents on how to use the game with their children for best effectiveness, including discussion tips.  Again, the screens have been very well designed to provide an engaging interface that still retains simplicity of navigation and information.
 
Three of the mini-games directly relate to the animal facts that the children previously browsed, allowing children to test their knowledge of where animals live.  The first couple of turns on each game are might slightly easier to allow young learners to build confidence in each activity. After a certain time, the screen animation gently nudges children to the correct answer, making the frustration level very low.  A third mini-game tests knowledge of animals' diets in a similar way.
 
Two mini-games relate to numeracy and literacy, albeit in quite a lightweight way.  The numbers game requires users to count a small set of animals and match the number , but a lack of progression means that this will be pitched slightly too high or low for the majority of learners. The letters mini game involves dragging and dropping letters onto the animal names – again there is no progression beyond matching the letters given, so children can just match the letter symbols whether or not they have any real understanding of the phonics involved.  Despite this minor criticism, the engaging nature of the app may well encourage more reluctant learners to have a go, so there's certainly scope for this being useful to some.
 
The remaining games are less geared towards specific learning objectives, but all are useful and well thought out games which will help develop creativity, concentration and memory.
 
Overall, this app manages to balance the provision of educational material with the engagement of young learners and manages both in one beautifully designed package that children will be keen to come back and learn from over again.

Screenshots

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From the Developer

An extensive Zoo and a fun Playground in one with lots of animated animals and built-in educational games for kids.

At the Zoo, your little ones will meet lots of different animals. At the Playground, they’ll play many fun, engaging, educational games. These games will enrich their knowledge, and help to develop various key skills.

Little boys and girls can feed the animals, pet them, learn their calls. The animals are colorful, friendly and fun – so that your child will be content to enjoy many happy hours of play and learn at the same time.

The current Free version of the game includes:

  • 20 animated animals;
  • 3 built-in educational games designed specially for kids;
  • expandable to full version with 40 animals and 9 educational games;

Features

  • Professional clear and friendly voice-overs in English (both US & UK);
  • A simplified interface which allows children to play with parents and by themselves;
  • There are no points, scores, ratings, violence, or other unsuitable aspects usually found in games for older players;
  • If your child gets stuck at any point, the game will provide hints;
  • The difficulty level rises as your child masters each task;
  • Perfectly suits for both boys and girls;
  • The game invites the child to play various mini-games, so that they can develop a diverse range of skills;

Your child:

  • Encounters the many wonders of the natural world by learning about different animals and their habitats;
  • Learns new words, letters and pronunciation;
  • Learns numbers and develops numeracy skills;
  • Learns the names, appearances, and behavior of various animals;
  • Learns the names of different foods through feeding the animals;
  • Learns to associate various sounds and images;
  • Feels happy and have lots of fun playing with all the amusing animals!

MINI-GAMES

The educational games are important component of Zoo Playground. Your child will first meet the animals at the Zoo, then, when they get to the Playground, they will revise what they’ve just learned through a fun game. The current version of Zoo Playground comes with 3 educational games for kids and may be extended to full version with 9 games for little boys and girls.

Free built-in games for kids:

1. “Who lives where?” – a game designed to develop cognitive ability, memory and attention skills. The child matches the animals to their natural habitats.
2. “Coloring papers” – color in some animals with your child. Save and share the pictures.
3. “Happy Memories” – turn over the squares and find matching pairs of animals. The number of squares increases with each successful game.

Games for kids at the full version:

4. “Numbers” – a game designed to develop the child's numeracy skills.
5. “Words by letter” – the game shapes the child’s understanding of the alphabet and teaches them to recognize letters and words.
6. “Swapped habitats!” – a game designed to develop cognitive ability, memory and attention skills. A different version, where the object is to match the animals with their natural habitats.
7. “Feeding” – feed the animals by giving them the food you think they’ll like the most.
8. “Hide and Seek” – the task is to pick out the right image. The number of images increases.
9. “Jigsaw Puzzle” – your little one learns to distinguish different parts of an image and to assemble them into a complete picture.

Play, interact, bond and enjoy precious moments of joy with your little one!

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