My First Trip To Washington DC
Subject: Social Studies
Category: Maps, Community, People & Places
Target Age: 7,8
Device: iPhone, Universal with 3D
Price (as of publishing): FREE (iPhone) & $3.99 (Universal with 3D)
KinderTown’s objective is make your life easier by providing quality educational apps for your children. Now, we would like to become your personal “Vacation Planner.” On July 4 we will be celebrating our country’s birthday. Our nation’s capital is a wonderful vacation destination. Even if you are not able to take a trip to DC this year, spend some time exploring and discovering the city and it’s history with this app.
We heard about this app from teachers recommending it before class field trips and we understand why. My First Trip to Washington DC is an educational app about our nation’s capital. There are 43 pages of maps, monuments and history including:
- US capitol
- Supreme Court
- Smithsonian Air and Space Museum
- National Mall
- National Museum of Natural History
- White House
- Washington Monument
- National Zoo
We also really appreciate the thoughtful integration of photography and animation. Information provided has a reasonable amount of depth which will be meaningful for both adults and kids. This app sparks an interest in history with many teachable moments.
A bonus: Use a pair of red-and-blue glasses to view the app in Stereoscopic 3D.
Show What You Know
In the classroom we introduce new concepts by first “activating prior knowledge.” The supporting of new experiences with familiar ones makes it easier for kids to retain and recall the new information. Our activities today show how apps can be excellent tools for introducing new and interesting experiences.
Activity 1: Discover Your Community
If Washington DC is not in your vacation plans this year here are three other “trips” you can take with apps.
1. Take a trip to the fire station. A quick call to the local fire station can spark an afternoon adventure with your child. Introduce the a parts of the fire station with B2ME Firefighter. By introducing the fire station this way your child has images, vocabulary and general context to connect to the real experience.
Our review of 2BME Firefighter: 2BME Firefighter is an app for young children to learn about firefighters, firetrucks, and fire safety. Experience a day in the life of a firefighter while exploring the uniforms, equipment, how to answer emergency calls and much more. When you are done exploring, visit the quiz section to see how much you have learned. A really nice feature is the tutorial where children practice tapping, dragging and swiping. There is also a lite version with a small sample of content to check out before you buy.
2. Attend a summer concert. See if your community band or orchestra is having any outdoor concerts this summer. Prepare your child for the experience by using the app, Meet The Orchestra. Your child will have a good introduction to the instruments they will see and how they sound.
Our review of Meet The Orchestra: Meet The Orchestra is an excellent app for learning to identify the common instruments found in the orchestra. In the learn section you tap to hear and see different instruments. The images and sound quality shine but we wish we had heard more common melodies. The quiz section stands out with 4 different activities. Identify instruments by both appearance or sound and there even is a memory game for the little ones. A stand-out activity is called “define order” where you listen to instruments and identify the order that they were played.
3. Visit a planetarium. If summer is the time of year you have time to visit museums as a family, don’t forget about the planetarium. Before going read about space with the omBook, There’s No Place Like Space. This app is filled with questions, images and curious kid role models that can enhance your trip.
Check our Facebook contest for a chance to win this fantastic app!
Our review of There’s No Place Like Space: There’s No Place Like Space! brings child driven vocabulary learning to the topic of space. This eBook transforms the original text by allowing children to tap to receive information on each image while learning basic facts about each planet. Engaging Science question and answer sessions, child friendly design, parent information page, and 2 levels of reading support creates an ideal learning environment. Watch your child tap on pictures to learn new words and start talking about planets and physics with this interactive eBook.
Activity 2: Make Your Own “My First Trip”
Kids can learn so much through playful discovery! This activity, which can be tailored for many ages, yields many educational benefits.
1. Paper & writing materials
3. Maps of your town (young children may struggle understanding them but it is never too early to expose them to maps!)
The goal of the activity is to make your own version of “My First Trip to Washington DC” about your own community. You can go high-tech by putting together a video or your own story with an app like “Tapikeo.” You can also make a fantastic map and book with limited technology support. It really doesn’t matter how you make it. What matters is the thinking and discovery that goes into the activity.
Start by mapping out an area of your town that you want to tell the story about. Draw the streets, important buildings and favorite places. Do some research to learn the history of places and the city or tell your favorite stories about things you did at each place. Again, what matters is that your child takes ownership and personalizes the project.
Write, record or draw pictures to illustrate each important place in town. Encourage your child to go back to the “My First Trip to Washington DC” to see what was interesting to learn about in the app. With such a great model app, I see kids coming up with all kinds of interesting and innovative ways to present their hometown.