Gro Recycling is a cute and fun interactive universal app that allows children to sort recycling into different receptacles, totaling six in all, including a unique choice of recycling batteries as well as a compost container.
Game play is charming and intuitive as one simply drags a piece of recycling to be recycled to the correct container, as these bins happily and hungrily eat what they are being served, while a mistake will result in the spitting out of the wrong material.
This app is lovingly styled with the delightful humanizing of these recycling bins as cartoony faces, which are included with fun, witty noises that each of these characters makes, hungry to eat recycled materials.
I enjoy the sorting of materials, although the youngest children may need a little help identifying the type of bin each character is, as these machines are not marked, so a little exploration is needed to see what materials they prefer to eat. I can also imagine that some children will have a difficult time discerning between plastic and glass when it comes to things such as salad dressing bottles, which could be made from either material - not a huge issue as the wrong machine will simply spit back mis-sorted materials for children to try again.
By far, my favorite moment of this app is when children choose to use a tool to drag a bin to the recycling plant, as here one can see an even larger machine convert materials back into re-usable products such as glass, plastic or paper that hold food to be eaten at a picnic which includes other familiar faces, brightly colored animated animals with re-occurring roles seen from other Gro apps, with even the batteries are recycled into new ones that will bring power to a radio at this gathering.
I do find, however, that the reconstituting of new vegetables from compost skips a few steps which can be confusing to children as compost can be transformed into excellent growing medium for plants - not the produce itself - a minor note that will not take away from this app's wonderful message about recycling. It would be nice, however, if instead of food being produced directly from the recycling plant, compost was given to these picnic animals for them to plant seeds with, growing a garden for the future.
After the picnic goers open up the contents of the new packaging for the other newly filled and previously recycled glass, paper and plastic containers, this empty bag or bottle too gets recycled in the main section of this app as well, and children are introduced to a new recycling bin, as three bins are within use at one time. It is fun to see what new recycling container has now been included, swapping out one of the other containers that was in use earlier.
Children and their adults will also greatly enjoy tapping all the different cogs, levers, switches and other details seen within this recycling center, including two different musical selections per machine - wonderfully sounding music that really makes the recycling center an area to explore for quite some time.
Older children may tire of this app, but I think toddlers and preschool aged children will enjoy the cyclical nature of this application as well as all that there is to tap and explore in the recycling center, making this app easy to recommend for young children.