Everyone knows that food is an essential part of life, but not everyone realizes the importance of making better food choices. Whole Kids Foundation wants to change this: their new app, Starting With Soil, is an interactive experience that teaches families where their food comes from and how organic values are connected to the food they eat.
Discover the Wonders of Soil
In Starting With Soil families can explore four informative chapters: The Origins of Organic Soil, Life Underground, Where and How Organic Food is Grown, and Composting and What Families Can Do. Each chapter is further broken down into several topics; when you select a chapter, the list of topics will be displayed. You can then tap or swipe through pages of content, most of which are interactive or animated.
In the Origins of Organic Soil you'll learn what soil actually is and what it consists of. You'll go through an interactive slideshow that shows you how long it takes for nature to make one inch of soil (spoiler: 500 years!) and what else can happen in the world during that time frame.
In Life Underground you'll discover what kind of plants and animals live in the soil, and how they work together to produce food and healthy soil. This chapter also has an interactive diagram that shows how birds can help distribute berry seeds.
In Where and How Organic Food is Grown you can explore a virtual organic farm. You'll learn what a three-sisters garden is and discover symbiosis at work when corn, beans, and squash are planted together. You can also watch time-lapse videos of different plants sprouting: radish, apple, lettuce, and beans.
Composting and What Families Can Do is the last chapter in the app. In this chapter you'll discover how you can start growing your own food at home. You will learn which of your leftover food can be composted and how to make your own compost pile. The app also provides examples of simple actions that you can do at home, at school, and in your community to help improve nutrition.
Parents Need to Know
Starting With Soil is designed for families with children aged 6-12. The app is free to download and use, and it has no ads and no in-app purchases. It does contain unsecured links to Whole Kids Foundation's and partners' websites, but they are safe for kids as well.
If you intend to use the app, do note that it contains fairly large amount of text. There isn't a narrator, so you must be a fluent reader to fully benefit from the app. If your kids aren't reading yet, I'd advise accompanying them throughout the app.
Things I Like
Starting With Soil is an informative app that will spark kids' interest in organic food. Though there is a lot to read, everything is organized neatly as not to overwhelm you. Each page has a beautiful layout, and the interactive graphics and sound effects truly showcase the wonders of the living soil.
The app is best for families, but it can also be used at school. You can, for example, use it to accompany lessons about seed distribution and plant growth, or to supplement activities in the school gardens. Overall, the app is a unique and valuable resource in your children's digital shelf.
I highly recommend Starting With Soil if you're looking for an app to teach your kids about how their food systems work and make healthier food choices. This virtually rich app is jam-packed with fascinating information about soil, and includes virtual activities for hands-on learning, such as planting seeds, building a compost pile, and watching time-lapse videos of growing crops. Great for homes or classrooms, and people of all ages.
App was provided for our honest review.