Sea creatures have an enduring fascination for many children. Our own are certainly keen on all things ocean-dwelling, so MarcoPolo Ocean should be a hit.
Released by developer MarcoPolo Learning for iPad, it’s the first in a planned series of ‘Discovery’ apps designed to encourage children to explore the real world around them.
In this case, it’s all about the ocean. “Make dolphins jump. Build a coral reef. Explore the deep sea. Create your own aquarium,” explains its App Store listing, which pitches the app as a “digital sandbox” for children to explore without being weighed down by specific goals or scoring.
The app is based around five sections: coral reef, marine mammals, fish, boat and submersible. There’s an emphasis on building by dragging bits into place – fins, gills, a tail and an eye for a fish, for example – with the words and some facts read out as you go.
As you build things, they’re placed into the ocean that forms the centre of the app, ready to be dragged around and tapped to make things happen. Your children can dive down into the depths, or get fish to frolic on the surface.
It’s very fun to use, and it has a light educational touch too, delivering plenty of information to children without ever seeming dry, or like a test. We also think it’ll have plenty of replayability with children, as they come back to build and explore again.
MarcoPolo Ocean costs £1.49 for iPad on Apple’s App Store. Here’s a video demo: