iLearn With The Mighty Jungle: Animals! is a lovely and highly educational app for iPad that teaches about animals, their appearances, habitat and living habits.
Allow Babu, a friendly meerkat, to guide you through this app as you help Babu find a missing animal friend in each level. These games begin with a map that one uses to help track Babu’s buddy. Correct answers will fill in the map with animals that the player follows as one looks for Babu's friend.
I really like how this app teaches interesting animal facts. In the first level involving animal appearances, one question must be answered such as “which animal has fur,” to move forward on the map, but the number of questions one needs to answer in order to move forward goes up in levels two and three. I find it interesting how these questions start out general and become more specific until the correct animal is uncovered, allowing the player not just to learn facts, but to have a chance to compare and contrast the info learned about various animals.
Although it may seem simple to create a talking animal that will educate by asking questions to the players at hand, I see a great deal of sophistication in this meerkat's effortless way of explaining the rules of this game, as well as his delivery of this infomation in a way that is direct, engaging, and encouraging. It is nice that one can answer keep answering until the correct answer is found, as many times as it may take, as one may learn more from mistakes made than just knowing the correct answer. I think this app would be an excellent choice not just for those in pre-school and kindergarten, but for children who are learning English as a second language and those with special needs, as this animal's communication skills are educational in and of itself.
I especially appreciate that all of this game’s instructions are explained verbally by Babu, making this a great game for pre-readers. It is nice that one can tap a question mark to hear the question again or tap Babu himself for a hint.
The information used in this app, designed by educators, meets the National Standards for Life Science teaching in pre-K and kindergarten. I found it to be very educational and surely thought-provoking for this age group and beyond, as I learned some new things as well, and I like how this app made me think about which fish has smooth skin - a shark or a piranha - something I never thought about before.
Although this app would be wonderful for children to play by themselves, this is an app so rich with information that kids will get the most out of it by playing with an adult who can go into further details about this interesting animal information, creating some excellent open-ended conversations as well.
Another interesting aspect of this app is that the questions within each level are tailored to the needs of each player, and I did notice that the questions zeroed in on the few questions I answered wrong. This is something that kids will benefit from, also adding greatly to the replay value of this app. This app is colorful, nice looking and simply a lot of fun. Kids will learn a lot from this app, as did I, and I am looking forward to see what new learning apps come from the developers at Tribal Nova, who also created PBS Kids Play! and CBC Wonderworld online learning programs.