Scout's ABC Garden

App review by
Christopher Healy, Common Sense Media
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Very basic alphabet learning with cute interactive scenes.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn preschool skills like letters, numbers, and colors as they garden with LeapFrog’s Scout or Violet. The game is geared toward young preschoolers, with the first level teaching letter recognition of capital letters. The second level introduces lowercase letters, and the third level introduces letter sounds. Since the game is repetitive and each round focuses on one letter, parents might consider using the app to introduce a letter a day. Kids may lose interest repeating the same routine for each letter in one sitting. Scout's ABC Garden can help young preschoolers gain mastery with letter recognition.

Ease of Play

The game has three difficulty levels, and even the hardest one can be handled by preschoolers with ease.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

Parents will be asked if they want to receive an email newsletter with offers and information from LeapFrog.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What 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.

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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.

Talk to your kids 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.

App details

For kids who love preschool learning

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