Read with Doc McStuffins: Word Building

App review by
Mieke VanderBorght, Common Sense Media
Read with Doc McStuffins: Word Building App Poster Image
Word games with TV buddies solid but repetitive.

Parents say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

Kids say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn about reading simple words. Three activities build on word families or words that have the same ending sound. By picking out the word the audio directions ask for, kids will also practice reading sight words. Finally, kids work on story building as they change nouns and verbs in short stories to customize the narrative. They can also express some creativity through drawing. Though somewhat repetitive, kids can work on constructing and recognizing simple words with Read with Doc McStuffins: Word Building.

Ease of Play

If the clear audio and visual instructions don't help, kids can easily experiment through trial and error.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

There's a small icon on the home page that advertises more apps by the same developer; access is protected behind a parent gate. The app itself is also a tie-in to a TV series and is part of the larger Disney brand.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Read with Doc McStuffins: Word Building offers five games to explore word families and word play alongside the characters from the preschool TV series Doc McStuffins; though kids who know the show will love the app all the more, it's not necessary. Parents can read about each activity's learning goals in the parents' section and turn off the background music or reset progress. If parents are also interested in the first app in the series, Read with DocMcStuffins: Letters and Sounds, buy it as part of a bundle to save a few bucks. The thorough privacy policy details the kinds of information collected and shared.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

What's it about?

There are five activities in READ WITH DOC MCSTUFFINS: WORD BUILDING that each touch on slightly different aspects of reading simple words. Three activities stress word families -- words that have the same ending sound but different beginning sounds -- and have kids construct and sort words such as "stag" and "flag" and "chin," "shin," and "spin." A fourth game asks kids to read sight words as they form constellations. The fifth activity presents a simple story and lets kids change some key words. Each activity has many levels and offers some opportunity for free play.

Is it any good?

A nice collection of wordplay games offers lots to do, but changing background graphics on otherwise identical activities may not fool kids. Game settings such as bath-time splashing or snow play are fun; the characters are super kid-friendly; and clear, patient instructions make gameplay easy and accessible. Three activities focus on word families, which is a nice way to help kids segment words and decode how to read them; however, the play for all three of these activities is essentially the same, which could make things feel repetitive. Though it's a nice inclusion, the storybook activity is disappointingly sparse and oversimplified. Overall, this is not the best or most inspired option for simple word building, but it's a decent, fun, and large set of games that kids -- especially fans of the series -- are likely to enjoy.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about word families, or rhyming words. Construct little stories with as many rhyming words you can think of and write them down together. Point out how the words all have the same ending set of letters.

  • Give kids more practice picking out and recognizing sight words (small, extremely common words that often can't be sounded out, such as "the," "a," or "she." Whenever you see them, have kids say them out loud.

  • Consider reading a literacy expert's guidance on buying letter- and phonics-focused apps.

App details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love preschool and early reader apps

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate