I have a kid who really wants to be creative, but usually needs a good helping hand before embarking on a project, and now we’ve found an app that caters for that perfectly. The brand new WonderBox app hails from Duck Duck Moose, one of the early educational app developers we really fell in love with. So it’s no surprise that this one is another winner, whether you’re a homeschooled parent or just looking to get your kids excited about learning through technology.
Oh, and it’s free. NS !
The app contains 3000 fascinating and very well organized educational videos on topics such as science, puzzles, crafts, sports, the world or people. Then there’s a section featuring dozens of creative challenges and prompts that allow kids to use their own imaginations and natural curiosity to bring the subjects to life, whether it’s designing a tree house , build a bike (see ours below!) or even put the iPad completely away to head to the kitchen and create a cool science experiment.
We just happen to be obsessed with the video showing an octopus escaping from a jar with a tight-fitting lid, as a demonstration of how they use the suction of their tentacles. But you’ll find all kinds of topics that will thrill your middle school students or tweens, from JK Rowling to hieroglyphics.
I think parents will love that there is no (I repeat, no) in-app purchases, although it doesn’t appear to be. Each user starts with 1,000 coins, and if you want to earn more, you earn them not by asking your parents for iTunes credits, but by watching the educational videos and participating in the challenges. Isn’t that cool? Then you can swap parts for items from their designs, like adding a cool handlebar with a basket to a bike design.
It’s like playing around with creative thinking and problem solving the same way a great classroom teacher might – only in app form. In fact, I wasn’t surprised to learn that every WonderBox challenge has been reviewed by educators given their attention.
When your kids have finished their creations, they can share them with friends whose parents have added them to their own profiles, using their unique “friend code”. And of course, they can also share on your own profile, which is linked to your email.
With that in mind, I suggest that you create “rules” in your email account so that anything shared with you goes straight to a folder without clogging your inbox. At least if you have kids like mine who want to email everything they’ve created with me. Not that I blame them.
You can download Duck Duck Moose’s WonderBox app application for iPhone (coming soon for Android) for free. And there are no in-app purchases, which we think is really wonderful.