Clifford's BIG Birthday

Common Sense Media says

Birthday-themed literacy games good for emerging readers.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Ease of play

Overall, the app is easy to use with clearly narrated instructions. However, there's a lot of wait time between activities. Also, in the skee ball activity, younger kids may have a little difficulty flicking the ball up the ramp, which requires a bit of force and getting used to in order to get it all the way up.

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

This app is part of Scholastic's line of Clifford products including the TV show, books, and games.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Clifford's BIG Birthday is part of Scholastic's line of Clifford products and is a fun, educational game that helps kids build literacy skills. Emily Elizabeth and her friends guide kids as they help set up Clifford's surprise party and play some party games. Kids play skee ball while making words from different word families (for example, ­_ay and ­_eg) or spell words while popping balloons. Happy birthday, Clifford!

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • letter or word recognition
  • phonics
  • reading
  • spelling

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • applying information
  • decision-making

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

A great way to incorporate learning into a fun game. Kids get to make a lot of choices as they decorate the party. The activities are fun; waiting for the app to load each activity (which takes too long) is not.

Learning Approach

Sight words belong to common word families, and practicing saying them can help kids' rhyming and spelling skills. The words in the party-decorating stage are in context, which can make them easier to learn and remember. 

Support

Includes clearly narrated instructions. There's no way to review kids' progress.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • letter or word recognition
  • phonics
  • reading
  • spelling

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • applying information
  • decision-making

Kids can learn basic literacy skills. The words presented in the activities are sight words and words that belong to common word families. These words may seem easy, but are essential for teaching kids to read. Presenting the words within word families can help kids' rhyming and spelling skills. For example, kids have to spell "bat" in one activity and then have to make other words that end in "_at." Although the activities are very short and the word list is limited, kids can play them over and over again to practice and review fundamental literacy skills.

This Learning Rating review was written by Cynthia Chiong

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

In CLIFFORD'S BIG BIRTHDAY, kids first help Emily Elizabeth plan a fun party for Clifford. They first decorate a cake and Clifford's doghouse with streamers, pictures, and more. To decorate each item, kids have to select a word to indicate their choice. Once they've surprised Clifford, there are three party games to play that involve spelling, word families, and word-to-picture matching. The more kids play, the more prizes they earn for their take-home goodie bags.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Clifford's BIG Birthday is a great way to incorporate learning into a fun game. Kids get to make a lot of choices as they decorate the party, which can make them feel empowered and a little grown-up. The activities are fun, but there's no way to review kids' progress. In addition, the app takes a long time to load each activity. After every round, the app returns kids to the party room (even if they want to play the same game again), and kids have to wait while the next activity loads. Also, if kids want to go back to decorating the party, they have to start a new party and the party favors they earned will be lost.

Families can talk about...

  • Help your kids extend their learning using the words from the games. For example, ask your kids, "What other words rhyme with hay or bet?"

  • Let your kids help you plan a friend's or family member's birthday party!

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
Price:$0.99
Release date:September 19, 2012
Category:Educational Games
Topics:Cats, dogs, and mice
Size:134.00 MB
Publisher:Scholastic Inc.
Version:1.0
Minimum software requirements:iOS 3.2 or later

This review of Clifford's BIG Birthday was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 13 years old Written byImnotateenbutgood October 3, 2012
AGE
3
QUALITY
 
LEARNING

n/a

What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Parent of a 6 year old Written bymadsmooney1214 October 20, 2012
AGE
3
QUALITY
 
LEARNING

cliffords big birthday

party favors they earned will be lost.
What other families should know
Too much consumerism

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