Parents' Guide to

The Electric Company Wordball

By Jonathan H. Liu, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 5+

Videos from show combine with action to teach phonics.

The Electric Company Wordball Poster Image

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THE ELECTRIC COMPANY WORDBALL is a creative use of the TV show's educational videos. While watching one of nine videos teaching a few letter sounds or letter combinations, players tap on the "wordballs" with the featured letter or letter combination. Then, in the second portion of the game, words move across the screen, which may or may not need the collected wordballs to complete them. The player flings the wordballs at the words to complete the words and score points. With graphics, videos, and characters from the TV show, the app does a good job of translating the experience while making it more interactive.

Though the app is intended to teach children who are learning to read, the game might actually be a little difficult for the target age -- flinging the wordballs requires dexterity and arcade-game skills that some 5-year-olds may not have. Also, trying to collect the wordballs during the video may distract from the video itself, since it is hard to pay attention to the words while watching for and tapping the wordballs. Overall, a promising educational app that would be better with a lower difficulty level option for young kids.

App Details

  • Devices: iPhone , iPod Touch , iPad
  • Pricing structure: Free
  • Release date: January 14, 2011
  • Category: Educational Games
  • Publisher: PBS KIDS
  • Version: 1.0
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 3.0 or later
  • Last updated: August 23, 2016

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