Learn Spanish - MindSnacks

App review by
Leslie Crenna, Common Sense Media
Learn Spanish - MindSnacks App Poster Image
Fast-paced fiesta of language fun for older kids.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can learn some basic vocabulary and phrases in a new language. Lessons cover topics such as days and colors, greetings, foods, movies, and verb families but also adult-oriented topics such as bargaining, taking a taxi, and spending a night on the town. Kids can tap on items to hear pronunciations or review mastered words. Learn Spanish - MindSnacks can be a good way for kids to learn and practice basic Spanish, especially if they enjoy quick-paced gameplay.

Ease of Play

Overall, easy to use, but lesson selection is buried a bit too low. In some games, aspects of gameplay such as the quick pace won't work as well for younger kids.

Violence
Sex
Language
Consumerism

With only one lesson, the free version is really a preview. All titles in the series (including Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Chinese, and Japanese) cost $4.99 each, or $19.99 for all, though educators can get a half-off discount.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A "night on the town" lesson includes the phrase "to go to a bar" and "to order something to drink" with a picture of a cocktail.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Learn Spanish - MindSnacks is a hip language-learning app with lots of pep for kids learning basic Spanish vocabulary and simple sentences. With only one lesson, the free version is really a preview; the full version has much more depth. You must register (via email or Facebook), but reminder notifications including a word of the day are optional. Users can share to Facebook via the app; you can turn this off in settings. A "night on the town" lesson refers to going to a bar and getting a drink, whereas other lessons are completely kid-friendly.

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What's it about?

The heart of LEARN SPANISH - MINDSNACKS is the games. Two available at startup are Swell and Belly. In Swell, kids must select a correct translation before water runs out on a cute little fish. Belly is a simple matching game wherein a frog snatches correct answers with a fantastically long tongue. Success unlocks seven more, including Word Birds, where kids select letters to spell target words. Most games require fast response times, and some routinely end in a fruitless effort to keep up.

Is it any good?

Despite the cute characters, Learn Spanish - MindSnacks is more appropriate for tweens and up. Since the name of the game is speed, the app is great for kids who like fast-thinking learning games. Gaming-oriented kids will dig the jazzy -- if young -- graphics and hip tunes plus constant quests and challenges. Slower, more practical-minded kids may not like some portions of this app but may gravitate toward the vocabulary lists with detailed images instead. The frantic games might frustrate and discourage them. Lessons on adult topics such as a night on the town or taking a taxi are a bit mystifying in an app targeting such a wide age range, and the skills page needs clarification. Still, Learn Spanish - MindSnacks has good design and navigation.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • For younger kids, check out bilingual picture books from the library and take turns reading.

  • If Spanish-language radio or television is available where you live, consider tuning in with your kid.

App details

For kids who love learning about the world

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