Friday, February 7, 2014

Barefoot World Atlas updates: new packs added! (ages 5-10)

I've raved before about Barefoot World Atlas -- the spinning globe that brings a traditional atlas into a new realm for young kids. Well, Touch Press has wowed me again, with five fantastic extension packs. If you haven't tried out this app, please take a look!
Barefoot World Atlas
app developed by
TouchPress and Barefoot Books
available at iTunes App Store
ages 5-10
Young children have a difficult time envisioning the large extent of our world. It's so hard to see how the separate parts relate to the whole. This app lets kids physically spin the globe, zooming in and out, and then learning a specific region. It's tactile and visual -- and kids love it!

The original app presented a select amount of information that Nick Crane's original book contained -- at times, it seemed a bit limited to me. Now they've added five extension packs that enable kids to explore their different interests on a global level. Each is available as an in-app purchase. Normally, I really dislike this approach, but it seems to be very appropriate here. Families purchase the basic app for about $5, and then they can choose a specific area to purchase for an additional $1.99.
Extension packs for Barefoot World Atlas
Barefoot World Atlas
Extension Packs
available now:
Great Cities
North America
International Football
World Art
coming soon:
Cut & Create
Dinosaur Planet
Wacky & Wonderful
Animal Planet
I want to highlight three strengths of these packs:
  1. The format (choosing which pack to explore) helps focus a child, providing more content without overwhelming them. Less is more, especially when it comes to visually arranging information.
  2. The content is truly multinational, covering all the continents. I especially loved the art extension pack, which includes items ranging from a Mayan pottery vessel to a central Africa Bronze plaque to an early 20th century Russian painting.
  3. The Great Cities pack includes several pictures for each location, adding more information without cluttering the interface. These photos lead to great conversations and "ah ha!" moments for kids!
Take a look a this short video from Touch Press demonstrating the World Art pack:

The review copy of this app came from our school library collection, thanks to a generous grant by the Berkeley Public School Fund. I so appreciate their support, as we look for new and exciting ways to engage our students. Please support your local schools fund!

Review ©2014 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books

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