Parents' Guide to

Smart Tales: Books and Games

By Mieke VanderBorght, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 3+

Solid preschool activity set aims high, feels familiar.

App iPhone , iPod Touch , iPad , Android Free to try Education
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A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this app.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 1 parent review

age 13+

Take care: teaching reading, spelling and reading with apps in foreign languages is not desirable!

In the Netherlands it is absolutely undesirable in schools to teach children the written language/reading by offering capital letters. The capital letters are only discussed when the child has mastered reading, spelling and writing of the "lowercase" letters. And above all: everything, both the small and the capital letters, are learned phonetically. And pronounced phonetically. It is therefore also very important that parents and grandparents, nanny, etc. practice this at home with the child in the same way. When learning to read, spell and write a word, this is done as follows in Dutch primary schools: for example, the word d a k (= roof in American). Dak is spelled du (as in American done), a (as in hard in American), ku (as in culture in American. So never dééé-aaaa-kaaa! in American: would that be if in r oo f : is taught here as ru-oe-fff and never as ar-oo (as in over) -ef. In summary: every country has its own pronunciation, way of offering, characters. I advocate offering apps in the native language and in accordance with the method of the country in question, otherwise the apps will do more harm than good.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

Brightly colored animals and silly stories will likely appeal to kids, though the quality of the stories and activities is a bit ho-hum. Rhyming and rhythm are tried-and-true methods for engaging kids with language. But the wording in Smart Tales is sometimes a bit odd, and the rhymes don't always work out particularly well -- at least in the English version. Its multiple languages make Smart Tales accessible to more families, and the text may be more successful in other languages. Unfortunately, the integrated activities are also mostly mediocre. Games are standard multiple-choice pick a match, or drag-and-drop puzzles, for example. They're super simple, which makes them easy for little ones but not all that exciting or creative. Finally, the main menu is a bit confusing, with the same content appearing in multiple places. Overall, Smart Tales: Books and Games isn't particularly innovative or exciting, but it does offer some solid fun for the early preschool crowd.

App Details

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