Scout's ABC Garden
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Scout's ABC Garden is an early-learning alphabet app from the educational software company, LeapFrog. The game's main objective is to teach the alphabet, both upper- and lower-case letters, but there is also a bit of basic counting in some of the interactive elements. Aside from the main game (which features, among other activities, a "whack-a-mole" type game where kids must tap gophers that pop out of holes), there are three screens of an interactive farm for kids to explore. They can tap on various hotspots to trigger animations and tap characters to hear them speak.
What kids can learn
Language & Reading
- letter or word recognition
Thinking & Reasoning
- thinking critically
- using and applying technology
Engagement, Approach, Support
This app is the right level of exciting for a three-year-old. There are cute interactive elements to explore, and prizes are spaced throughout. Kids may lose interest in repeating the same routine for each letter in one sitting, though.
Kids can learn preschool skills like letters, numbers, and colors, and the app's repetition can help them to master letter recognition. The levels advance from capital letters to lowercase and then to phonics.
The game tracks kids' progress and rewards them as they move further along the alphabet. LeapFrog's parent communication tools allow parents to see which letters their kid has learned.
What's it about?
Kids are introduced to each letter in the alphabet, first in uppercase, then in lowercase, and then by phonics sound. Working on one letter at a time, they match the letter in the garden and count as they tap gophers and butterflies. The app includes three screens to explore as well, where kids can toss a ball with Scout or Violet, honk the horn on a car, play music and dance, identify colors on a blooming flower, or pop and count bubbles. Birds in a nest sing numbers and colors, too, reinforcing preschool knowledge.
Is it any good?
In SCOUT'S ABC GARDEN, kids match letters in order to grow produce for Scout, an adorably chatty title puppy. In between familiarizing themselves with upper- and lower-case letters, they'll get to tap on pesky gophers that could ruin the garden. It's just the right level of exciting for a three-year-old. The game tracks kids' progress and they'll win trophies as they move further along the alphabet. Outside of the main game, there are a bunch of cute interactive elements to explore, from animated squirrels who pop-up for a surprise to a talking car that will tell jokes with Scout. Kids can also play directly with Scout, tickling his belly, high-fiving him, and so on. The lessons here are very basic and probably too simple for kids beyond preschool, but for the right audience, this app is can be a lot of fun.
Families can talk about...
Read with your kid every day -- it's the first step to encouraging your kid to be a lifelong reader.
Choose a letter of the day to point out as you see it in your reading or environment after your child masters that letter in the app.