Britannica Dinosaurs: more knowlege, a little less entertainment

Spoiler alert! Britannica Kids Dinosaurs is the educational equivalent of Dinosaur Zoo, which I reviewed Tuesday. It’s more expensive, but also a lot more informative. Your kids can play different games with dinosaur pictures. Alas, however, there are no cool animated dinos. Just a lot more motionless 2D dinos. Still worth four stars.

After I reviewed Dinosaur Zoo Tuesday I decided to see if there were any dino apps that actually taught kids something about dinosaurs. Britannica Kids Dinosaurs is slightly more expensive ($5) , but it should answer a few more questions than its competitor. Should your kids actually want to know something about dinosaurs, that is.

If they just want more Barney, buy them the doll.

Don’t expect the full Encyclopedia Britannica; this is an app for kids. But your child can learn about why the dinosaurs disappeared and how they were discovered again. They can even track dinosaurs by type and improve their vocabulary with neat pop-up dialogues.

The feature isn’t quite as sophisticated as a hyperlink, but they can click on highlighted words to learn what they mean.

Britannica Dinosaurs may not deliver cool interactive animations, but they have a lot more pictures of a lot more dinosaurs. If kids want to track them alphabetically, they can find statistics and several paragraphs of description. If they want to play around with the dinosaur, they can scramble the image into a jigsaw puzzle.

Kids can scramble any picture into a jigsaw puzzle. These aren’t 500 piece brain busters, it’s a kids’ app after all. But they should provide lots of challenges to your kids.

A convenient dial at the bottom of the screen let’s your child switch back and forth between information and different games. They can jump to a section of pictures and videos, and even take a quiz to prove they were using the app when you got mad at them and sent them to their rooms to learn about dinosaurs (and let you decompress). They can even share information with friends using Facebook and Twitter feeds.

It would be nice to have an interactive map, showing where different dinosaurs roamed. Kids could click on the dinosaur’s image on the map and be taken right to the proper article. I don’t think this is too much nitpicking, either. Five dollars is a lot for a kids’ app, and the Britannica does have sizable resources.

In addition to jigsaw puzzles, kids can challenge themselves with magic square puzzles (which are also made from the pictures). These are a lot more difficult, so your older children should be challenged, too. Britannica Dinosaurs even provides an excavation game, allowing kids to brush off sand and try to guess which dinosaur they’re uncovering. Younger children can play memory match.

Among the games for kids is an excavation game allowing children to dig bones out of the sand and identify the dinosaur.

Britannica Dinosaurs is one of the better children’s education apps out there, and if you like it, you can directly download some of their apps on other topics as well, including Aztecs and volcanos (for a price, of course). It lacks the cool factor of animated creatures who snap birds out of the air, but sometimes kids need to suck it up and learn things.

Jenny Manytoes rates Britannica Dinosaurs

Jenny Manytoes would purr next to Britannica Dinosaurs. It should hold the interest of your younger children long enough for you to remember that you still love them, and they might even add a point or two to their test scores.

The Jenny Manytoes Rating System

Jenny Manytoes, our polydactyl cat

  • When Jenny makes biscuits on a product she thinks she’s in heaven.
  • When Jenny purrs over a product she’s very happy.
  • When Jenny naps next to a product it’s okay with her.
  • When Jenny bunches her tail she can live with a product, but she has higher expectations.
  • When Jenny leaves it in the litter box….I don’t think I need to explain this one.

About Phillip T Stephens

Phillip T. Stephens disappeared into the Bermuda Triangle twenty years before he was born, creating a time travel paradox so confusing it remains unspoken between physicists and sci-fi writers to this day. Follow @stephens_pt
This entry was posted in 4 Stars - Purr, Child distractors, Education, Entertainment, In-App Purchases and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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