Critical thinking is the ability to make clear, reasoned judgements. It’s an important skill that allows us to understand how things work and solve everyday problems. Learning to think critically starts from an early age, so it’s important to teach your kids to do it.
In our app pick for today, kids can learn to develop their critical thinking skills by solving a mystery. Called Prehistoric Mystery, it follows mankind’s very first criminal investigation by Lucy, a young detective, and her pet dodo, Darwin.
A Prehistoric Mystery
As you might have guessed, Prehistoric Mystery takes place in a time when mankind still live alongside mammoths and dodos. The protagonists, Lucy and her pet dodo, Darwin, are tasked to investigate a series of theft that befell four opposing tribes. To do so, they must search the crime scenes for clues.
This interactive storybook is interspersed by 13 mini games that take advantage of the device’s features, such as microphone and gyroscope. Among others, kids will navigate a rolling stone through a top-down maze, rekindle a fire by blowing into the microphone, connect neurons together, run through an obstacle course to catch runaway animals, and connect the dots to create cave paintings. They will also use their deduction skills to identify the culprit based on the clues they have collected.
Additionally, the app offers a cave painting game that can only be unlocked by completing the challenges. These challenges include finding all the hidden crickets in the book and scoring perfect tries on some of the mini games. You can choose the appropriate difficulty level for the games before you begin reading.
Parents Need to Know
Prehistoric Mystery is designed for kids aged 4 to 10. It comes with two reading modes, “Read to Me” and “Read by Myself”, and is available in six languages: English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese. The “Read to Me” mode includes text highlighting and professional narration.
The app has no third-party ads and no in-app purchases. There are external links at the end of the book to rate the app and to access the developer’s other apps, but they are secured. No Internet access is required to use the app.
Things I Like
What I like best about Prehistoric Mystery is that it teaches kids to develop critical thinking and deduction skills. As kids follow Lucy and Dodo on their quest, they’ll learn to analyze clues and make decisions based on facts. The app shows this process step-by-step, making it easy for kids to follow along.
Like previous Slim Cricket storybooks, Prehistoric Mystery features a strong theme and lots of humor. Positive messages include open-mindedness and getting alone with other people. The story is presented nicely with great animations and voiceover, so much so that following the story in “Read to Me” mode is almost like watching a cartoon. There are also lots of little interactions to keep you engaged.
Finally, I like how the mini games are designed to be challenging enough for every age, but can also be skipped if you can’t or don’t want to play. There isn’t a punishment for failure, and you can replay each game as often as you want.
With its exciting plot and more than a dozen clever games, Prehistoric Mystery is a fine app that will keep kids engaged from start to finish. This interactive book not only teaches critical thinking, but also encourages kids to have an open mind and to get along with others. I highly recommend this app for kids ages 4-10.
App was provided for our honest review.
About Slim Cricket
Slim Cricket creates interactive storybooks and educational apps for ages 3-10. They have a knack for incorporating strong themes and humorous elements in their apps that engage children to play.
You should also check out their other apps:
Peepo and the Unfinished Story is a great storybook for kids ages 4+ to satisfy their cravings for fantastic adventures. The story touches on dreams, passion, and bravery. Even though the main character himself is not a hero, he would help other characters find their passions and pursue their dreams.