A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this app.
Kids can learn new vocabulary, word recognition, and spelling as they see a picture of an object, read the word for the object, and hear the word for the object. The repetition can help kids memorize the word in isolation, and the Lost Letter game can help with spelling word memorization. Playwords can help kids learn new vocabulary and memorize some sight words, but some kids may have difficulty transferring words taught in this manner into their reading and writing.
Ease of Play
Controls and game navigation are very intuitive. The three games offer three levels for reading and spelling, but the included words may be eventually mastered.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Playwords is an educational app for kids learning to read and spell. Three games are included in the app. First, Picture Blast shows a picture with the corresponding word below. Tapping "Questions" changes the picture. Tapping "Answers" reads the word. Next, Word Match shows a picture and says the word for it aloud. Kids tap one of four printed words that match the picture. Last, Lost Letter shows a picture, says the word aloud, and shows the word with one letter missing. Kids tap the missing letter. Difficulty in all three games is mixed. The range of words covered is wide, including such words as "cat" and "giraffe."
Is It Any Good?
PLAYWORDS is a visually attractive app that helps kids learn to read and spell a variety of words. Its instruction is gentle, with no scoring or goal to reach. Each of the three games offers a different level of challenge, testing a different component of literacy. This app may appeal to a wider range of abilities than most literacy apps. Once kids have mastered the 300+ words, however, there will be little to bring them back to the app.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.