Since moving to our new building, I’ve had less time to discover and play with apps. Still, when I find a good one, I like to let you know. This one is MarcoPolo Arctic by MarcoPolo Learning Inc (iPad/iPhone $2.99). It isn’t one I would use in storytime, but it’s a good one for our iPads in the children’s room, and a good one for parents to know about.
The app lets you choose more than 20 different types of arctic animals and birds to play with and examine. Types of animals include tundra and taiga animals, semiaquatic mammals, and marine mammals.
One part of the app is a puzzle.
You put the pieces in place while the app tells you about the different parts of the animal. Another part of the app lets you populate the arctic with different animals and then you get to feed them.
The animals will refuse to eat things that they don’t like, but chow down on those things that they do. You can only select foods from the ribbon on the bottom—you can’t feed the animals to each other. So even though a polar bear would eat a snowshoe rabbit in real life, he’s not eating one in this game.
The app lets you choose between seven different languages, and you can opt out of the informational voice overs, music, and sound effects, although that would take away from the educational aspects of the app. Under the “More” section of the app, the creators offer other activities, including a selection of fiction and non-fiction books about the arctic, and projects such as building an igloo out of ice cubes, and a Blubber Ice Dip experiment, among others.
There’s lots of fun interactivity in this app, and plenty of education as well.