Big Bird's Words...A Sesame Street App App Poster Image

Big Bird's Words...A Sesame Street App

Impressive use of technology great for young readers.

What parents need to know

Educational value

Kids can learn more than 500 vocabulary words and to recognize those words in print. Related words for each shopping-list item are explained in depth. As kids search for wholesome foods in the on-screen market and in their homes or stores, they'll learn about good food choices and reading food labels. Big Bird's Words uses Sesame Street-quality educational principles and cool technology to make learning fun and interactive.

Ease of play

The app includes tips to make the word finder work better, such as placing an object flat and using objects that aren't curved. It does take a steady hand that may require an adult's help.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

The app features Big Bird from Sesame Street, which does have some cross-marketed product lines, but there are no ads in the app.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Big Bird's Words uses the device's camera and augmented reality to help kids identify words in their environments. It's developed specifically for phones, but it can work on tablets, too. To play, kids will need access to several food packages or items with labels so they can find the words and scan them with the camera. The app includes a free download of word labels that parents can print if they don't have access to the foods labeled.

What's it about?

Play starts in a market where kids play an "I spy" game wherein Big Bird describes a food and kids have to tap the food in the on-screen market. That item is then added to the grocery list. From that list, kids choose a word to drag into the Word-o-Scope. They then have to find that word in their environments (the pantry, the store, a recipe, any piece of print). Kids line up the word in the camera, and the Word-o-Scope, impressively, recognizes it. Then a collage of related words appears, and kids can tap each word to learn more about it.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

The technology of the Word-o-Scope is impressive, and it works really well. In-app tips encourage kids to lay the item to be scanned on a flat surface and to find words that are printed straight, rather than on a curve. The hardest part is finding the words on the labels. "Vainilla"​ in Spanish won't cut it for "vanilla," and apparently not all cartons of eggs actually have the word "egg" on them. That tiny inconvenience just encourages kids to look at labels more closely. Parents will probably have to help occasionally, offering a steady hand or help finding the word, and this is more developmentally appropriate for early readers than the youngest Big Bird fans.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about grocery shopping and meal preparation, explaining the ingredients they're using or items they're shopping for.

  • Play word games while shopping or driving, pointing out words at first and then, as kids get more comfortable, asking them to find certain words.

App details

Device:Android
Subjects:Language & Reading: letter or word recognition, vocabulary
Skills:Thinking & Reasoning: decision-making, thinking critically
Self-Direction: academic development
Tech Skills: using and applying technology
Health & Fitness: balanced diet
Price:$.99
Pricing structure:Paid
Release date:June 26, 2014
Category:Education
Topics:Book characters, Numbers and letters, Puppets
Size:92.90 MB
Publisher:Sesame Workshop Apps
Version:1.2
Minimum software requirements:Android 2.3 and up

This review of Big Bird's Words...A Sesame Street App was written by

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