What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Bluster! is a word game developed by the educational publisher McGraw-Hill. Kids can play in single mode, cooperatively with a partner, or competitively with a partner. The Honors section tracks high scores for each arrangement of play. Kids need to read independently to play because no words are read aloud. No personal information is requested, but kids can enter their initials for the Honors board. Additional word packs can be purchased for $0.99 each.
What kids can learn
Language & Reading
Thinking & Reasoning
- part-whole relationships
- academic development
Engagement, Approach, Support
Three options for play, three levels, and more word packs keep gameplay interesting. The well-designed table-top team and versus modes enhance engagement.
Surprising weather component is fun, but it doesn't contribute to learning. The range of levels and word packs will challenge kids at many reading levels.
Few instructions are included, with no hints to find the right answer if a kid gets stuck.
What's it about?
Choose from three levels of play. A list of words appears across the screen, and kids follow the instructions to drag three words into place. For example, "Match 3 words that rhyme," or "Match 3 words that have the same prefix or suffix." Play is timed and can be paused by tapping the sun. Kids can play solo against the clock, cooperatively with a partner, or against another player. Kids race against time and weather to match as many words as possible. Fun play with more than 800 words.
Is it any good?
BLUSTER! includes many levels of play to match kids' current skills. Level 2 includes rhyming words, prefixes, and synonyms. Level 3 includes prefixes and suffixes, word roots, and homophones. Level 4 includes rhyming words, prefixes and suffixes, and adjectives. Oddly, there's no Level 1. In solo mode, kids only make word matches. In the competitive mode, bad weather comes through to slow players down, which is frustrating for the affected player but exhilarating for the other player. Getting the words to drag properly or scrolling through the list gets a bit tricky when kids are going for speed. In the team and competitive modes, the iPad screen works beautifully as a table-top game.
Families can talk about...
Since Bluster! has both cooperative and competitive options, play with your kid in both modes.
Play word games verbally. Take turns naming different rhyming words, words that begin with the same prefix, or words that are homophones.