Dora's Great Big World HD

Common Sense Media says

Mini-games go beyond core skills with a bit of engineering.

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

Easy to play. Level progressions increase in difficulty as a kid earns stars. With no results or feedback, however, parents will need to watch kids play to assess whether they're really learning or only guessing.

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

A logo link on the start page leads to more Nick Jr. apps, but it's behind a child-locked code that should keep preschoolers out. The app is based on the Dora the Explorer franchise.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

The COPPA-compliant privacy policy outlines how personal and nonpersonal information is collected and used. Kids don't have to enter any personal information to play.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Dora's Great Big World offers preschoolers four educational games to help them practice letters, phonics, counting, and engineering. Fans of Dora will enjoy seeing some of their favorite chracters and hearing a bit of Spanish from Dora. The variety of content in both math and language is nice, but it comes at a higher-than-typical price for preschool apps. With no results or feedback, parents will need to watch kids play to assess their level of learning.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • letter or word recognition
  • phonics

Math

  • counting
  • numbers

Science

  • engineering

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • applying information
  • memorization
  • thinking critically

Self-Direction

  • academic development

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Dora engages kids in each fast-paced mini-game. Kids can enjoy saving up stars and redeeming them for stickers.

Learning Approach

Broad curriculum covers letter recognition, phonics with word families, counting, and numerals, as well as a bit of STEM exploration. Depth in any one area is pretty shallow.

Support

The intro for each game models exactly what kids will do, along with clear verbal instructions. No progress data for grown-ups, although each kid's profile has its own sticker chart.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • letter or word recognition
  • phonics

Math

  • counting
  • numbers

Science

  • engineering

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • applying information
  • memorization
  • thinking critically

Self-Direction

  • academic development

Kids can learn early literacy and math skills such as letter recognition, basic phonics, and counting. They'll learn a bit of Spanish vocabulary from Dora, too. When counting, kids learn to recognize the numeral since it isn't verbalized. Kids recognize word families, uppercase and lowercase letters, and rhyming words. They'll incorporate STEM-related thinking as they tinker around in space to make a rock fall where they want. Dora's Great Big World HD provides fun, core, preschool-skills practice and a preschool-level introduction to engineering.

 

This Learning Rating review was written by Amanda Bindel

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What's it about?

DORA'S GREAT BIG WORLD HD takes kids to four worlds to learn preschool skills. In the rainforest, kids match uppercase and lowercase letters. In the garden, they practice counting and recognizing numerals. On the farm, kids identify rhyming word families. In outer space, they practice STEM skills by engineering a path into which a boulder falls. Dora throws in a bit of Spanish, too. As they play, kids earn stars that can be redeemed for stickers to decorate the worlds. Each device can host up to four players.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Letter recognition, counting, and rhyming words are pretty typical in preschool apps, but the arcade-like space game exposes kids to increasingly important engineering skills in a very simple way. Each mini-game is short and engaging. Kids can choose to play again, redeem their stickers, or choose a different game. For the price, parents might expect some kind of progress report, but none is available. Another minor complaint: Usernames can be seven characters max, so kids with long names miss out on a chance to see their names in print and reinforce that important preschool skill.

Families can talk about...

  • Watch as your kid plays so you can have an idea of their areas of strengths and weaknesses.

  • Incorporate counting, pointing out letters, and playing rhyming games in your daily routine to reinforce those literacy skills. Let kids tinker and create to build STEM skills.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
Price:$2.99-$4.99
Pricing structure:Paid
Release date:July 1, 2013
Category:Education
Topics:Book characters, Great girl role models
Size:863.00 MB
Publisher:Nickelodeon
Version:1.1
Minimum software requirements:iOS 5.0 or later

This review of Dora's Great Big World HD 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.

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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.

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