Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Sago Mini Road Trip

Sago Mini Road Trip

Fall 2016 Mobile Apps
Ages: 2 - 5 yrs.
Developer: Sago Mini
Download Price: $2.99
Platform: iPad

Jinja the Cat is going to visit her friends, but she needs some help packing and getting there! In Sago Mini Road Trip, an app designed for children aged two through five, players select a destination, pack Jinja's bags, choose a vehicle, and help her navigate her road trip. Changing destinations merits changing a wardrobe; we love this implied lesson about how where you're going can effect what to wear. Players can select from six destinations ranging from the mountains to the big city. And, they can choose one of fifteen vehicles including a race car, school bus, ice cream truck and even a bathtub on wheels or a pickle car.

Here, preschoolers are clearly in the driver's seat. The gameplay is intuitive and most children can pick it up with little to no parental assistance; helping the player's sense of independence and self-confidence. Children play at their own pace with no rules or arbitrary time limits - not to mention no distracting ads or in-app purchases to get in the way of their open-ended play.

In addition to be an entertaining and accessible game for young children, Sago Mini Road Trip introduces counting and demonstrates some important physics concepts. Clearly, most two to five year olds are not ready for Einstein and Newton, but seeing that a vehicle slows down going uphill or over rocky terrain and speeds up going downhill or while sliding on mud lays a foundation for STEM-based lessons.

Sharon Heuscher   ©2016 Parents' Choice
Sharon holds B.A.s in English Literature and Ancient Studies as well as a B.S. in Psychology. She is currently a masters-level trainee in Clinical Psychology specializing in neurodegenerative diseases. For the past thirteen years, Sharon has focused primarily on raising, educating, and nurturing her five children who range in age from three to thirteen.

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