Bottom Line: Kids Maps is a terrific modern translation of an old-school U.S. map puzzle. Highly recommended.
The problem, in addition to eating through batteries four at a time, was that we kept losing states and would end up digging in toy boxes and scouring under tables and couches to find them. The smaller states were particularly troublesome.
Today, we have Kids Maps for the iPad. The app is nearly identical to the the puzzle Ryan had but at about 10 percent of the cost and with no puzzle pieces to look for.
Children start with an empty map of the U.S. Pieces are presented, either in alphabetical or random order, and must be dragged-and-dropped to the proper place. As each piece appears, the name of the state and a quick fact about it are spoken. When the state is placed, the state abbreviation is presented on it, so children can learn the name, shape, location and abbreviation.
The interface is clean and easy and there is a nice tutorial to get started. The narration is friendly and the app provides a ton of positive feedback.
If children answer incorrectly, there is a hint system, making the app accessible to even toddlers who know the drag-and-drop basics. The hints, narration and music can be turned on an off as needed. There is also a difficulty setting that determines if the pieces snap into place automatically or not.
Kids Apps was extremely well developed by Media Mechanic and it shows in that all the small details are accounted for. I highly recommend the app for toddlers up to any elementary-aged child. The app costs $2.99 and is available for the iPad only.
If you would like to purchase Kids Maps please use the links provided. The cost is the same, but Smart Apps receives a small percentage. Thanks for your support!