Let’s talk about physics for a minute. And I promise you it’ll only be a minute because that’s the time it will take to impart to you all of my physics knowledge. Ready? Physics is what helps me propel my body over my small children when they decide to stop in their tracks as we walk through the aisles of the grocery store. WOW, that was taxing for my brain.
Physics is also a really important concept for school-aged kids to learn to build a strong foundation of knowledge in both math and science. It’s also the basis for game play in the new app Amigo Pancho. A sombrero-touting Pancho travels through obstacles such as rockets and sword-wielding ninjas, holding on for dear life to his two balloons. (I promise this isn’t a hallucination from overworking my brain.)
Under deep cover as a really fun and challenging game, Amigo Pancho can actually teach the 8-and-up crowd some fundamentals of physics. Players really have to think through the moves before executing them; the goal for each level is to avoid popping Pancho’s balloons and thus failing the level in its entirety. Tools such as high-powered fans or cardboard boxes can be used to move Pancho safely and protect his precious balloons.
The game is colorful and engaging, and the graphics and characters are fun and silly. While the levels are challenging, they’re not impossible and can keep thinking players working on their physics skills for quite some time. Amigo Pancho actually started out as a web game and grew in popularity until some genius (who has a firm grip on the idea pf physics) decided it would be fun to translate it into a mobile format.
My 5-year-old plays this game religiously, and of course I don’t want to let on that he’s actually learning something because then he would stop playing. While he needs help with a lot of levels, I also find him playing independently quite a bit. He’s a little young to really “get” the game, it’s more suited for first graders and beyond. I’ve actually played it myself and found it to be a lot of fun.
Amigo Pancho is only $0.99 so it’s very fairly priced. It could be a good way to teach your kids about physics without having to stop short in front of them in the bread aisle at the supermarket – and probably a lot less painful for everyone involved.