dino apps

Last night, my daughter, husband and I were among the 200 guests at the launch of Dino Tales and Safari Tales, two new mobile learning apps from Kuato Studios, at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. We had so much fun trying out the new games on big screens under the shadows of the museum's iconic dinosaur exhibit in its grand entrance. What better way to explore games about dinosaurs and safaris than under a 40-foot-tall Barosaurus skeleton rearing up to protect its young against an attacking Allosaurus?

My daughter really enjoyed Dino Tales and Safari Tales, and I was impressed by them, too. Developed alongside students and teachers and designed to strengthen literacy, reasoning, and enquiry skills in young children, both apps (available on iOS and Android platforms at $3.99) are also exciting and fun, and the graphics were really cool. In Safari Tales, my daughter especially loved exploring the magical safari land as a baby elephant she could "dress" in a color and pattern of her choosing and playing its Slingshot Alley adventure.

During the event, actress Uma Thurman entertained parents and kids with a special story time, reading two of the interactive stories from the games. "Having three children of my own, literacy is of the utmost importance to me in their education," Thurman said in a press release. "I have seen just how much technology is progressing in this area and how it is becoming more and more important in their everyday lives."

My daughter is almost nine years old, and while I should maybe limit screen time more than I do, I think it's unrealistic to expect her to not be interested in video games. So, if she's going to play them, they might as well be educational, right?

Ellen Sturm Niz is a New York City-based editor and writer who thought meeting Dascha Polanco at the event was really, really awesome. She was so nice! Check out Ellen's new Etsy shop and follow her on Twitter and Pinterest.

Top image courtesy of Ellen Sturm Niz.