What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Alphabots includes six mechanical-themed, alphabet-related activities -- learn, find, build, turn, slide, and spell -- to help kids master the ABCs. Some preschoolers may find the computer-generated robot voice difficult to understand and the letters assembled from mechanical parts hard to recognize. Kids also must tap arrows or the next word to advance to another activity, but there are no verbal or visual cues to draw their attention to it.
What kids can learn
Language & Reading
- letter or word recognition
Thinking & Reasoning
- solving puzzles
- thinking critically
What Kids Can Learn
While Alphabots was created for educational purposes, we don't recommend it for learning because the educational design and objectives aren't well-suited for preschoolers who are learning the alphabet.
What's it about?
Kids "learn" letters by viewing an animation of each formed by mechanical parts and hearing a robot-related word for each (such as "axle" and "bolt"). They "find" the letter from four options called out verbally, and then they "build" each letter from robot parts, dragging them into place. They "turn" nine puzzle pieces to create a picture and "slide" three pieces into place to complete the letter. They also "spell" robot-themed words (such as "fuse" and "volt") by dragging the letters into the correct order.
Is it any good?
Incorporating STEM into everything isn't always a great educational idea. Letters formed using mechanical parts are a cute abstract representation, but preschoolers learning to recognize and form letters are not going to benefit from approximations. The interface isn't very preschooler-friendly, either, with no visual cues or verbal instructions. The vocabulary in the spelling section also isn't on-target for this age range. While learning specific terms such as "fuse" and "axle" is great, words such as "tec" and "klic" (if they're actually even words) will confuse emerging spellers.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about other ways to explore with robots. For some robot-related fun, put out assorted building tools (bolts, nuts, screws) and have kids put together their own "robot" alphabets.
Save Alphabots for kids who are really interested in mechanics or robots and who have mastered alphabet recognition.