Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

National Geographic Kids Magazine

National Geographic Kids Magazine

Spring 2014 Mobile Apps
Ages: 6 - 10 yrs.
Platform: iPad

National Geographic and National Geographic Kids magazines have always been a beacon for quality and consistency in the publications world. Spending time with the National Geographic Kids iPad app showcases the fine aspects of the original print, combined with interactive elements that digital publications can provide.

For those not familiar with National Geographic Kids, it is dedicated to expanding awareness of the animal kingdom and teaches children about interesting characteristics of individual species. The app is essentially a shell app that allows users to download and open digital versions of each monthly magazine issue. Each digital version includes interactive games and videos based on the content for that month. The digital issues are well designed and easy to navigate, and the content is both educational and engaging, particularly for children who enjoy reading and academic content. And of course the photography is great.

Because the app based on static magazine content, the approach is definitely low-key, with the focus more on reading content and not on interactive elements. It is ideal for kids who enjoy spending time reading books or magazines, and awesome for children who are interested in learning more about animals this way. However, some children may not be as engaged by this approach and might exit out to a favorite game after a short time.

This being said, perhaps more time and creativity could be put into the interactive elements and approach to interactivity in the app/monthly issues. The iPad can offer so much in terms of an interactive experience. In terms of price, it is actually cheaper to subscribe to the print versions of the magazine,for $15/year as the apps come free with this purchase. Otherwise, the digital app purchases alone are $19/year or $4 per app. The $15 all-inclusive price is definitely a good buy for your child and is worth it just for the quality of content and photography available from National Geographic Kids.

Tim Leverett   ©2014 Parents' Choice
Tim Leverett is an entrepreneur living in Rochester, NY. Tim created the Giggles Computer Funtime For Baby Software Series and Club Toddler, and is considered an expert in children's media and software products. He is dad to an 11 year old boy and has many nieces and nephews spanning the ages of newborn to 19 years old.

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National Geographic Kids

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