- Discover all types of weather
- Fun interactive characters
- Self guided exploration
You’ve heard the expression as changeable as the weather? Well that was definitely this weekend for us. Halloween was a comfy 70 degrees with pleasant Trick or Treating. The next day plunged to a high in the low 50’s, dark clouds and snow on the mountain tops. Changes in the weather can be sudden and fascinating but young children often have difficulty understanding why yesterday was just fine in their shirt sleeves yet today they may need their puffy coats. For an interactive look at how temperature, wind and cloudiness effect weather and individuals a great app to share is MarcoPolo Weather.
MarcoPolo Weather is designed as a discovery app, something the developer calls a “digital Sandbox”. Its open ended approach helps kids understand how weather works through free-play with three cute characters: Scout, a curious bear; Willow, the clever pink bunny; and Gorbie, a goofy hippo. Nash the sneaky ram drops by for some mischievous fun, but he isn’t a character for dress up and play in the free version. After selecting a character we dressed them up in clothes from the bottom tray, then we played with the temperature. Bundling them in a cozy coat and then cranking the temperature up to 100° produces a very sweaty bunny. Putting her in summer shorts and dropping the temps to 5° gave her the shivers. What happens to pretty flowers in the cold? Adding them to the picture produces a quickly frozen plant. Hot weather will have them drooping too but you can perk them up with some rain. See what happens to a gentle summer when the temperature falls and a gusty wind picks up. It may produce just the right conditions for a snowball fight with one of your new friends. Experimenting is simple and fun with this creative app.
The free version is the one that I reviewed and some of the options are limited. I found that for an introduction, MarcoPolo Weather was really well developed and led to a great dialog with my testers. The characters were engaging and the graphics, top shelf. For the most part I think this would be best suited as a discussion app with a parent or teacher. As a game I found that kids lost interest quickly but for one on one instruction it worked great.