Smashing Grammar

App review by
Amanda Bindel, Common Sense Media
Smashing Grammar App Poster Image
Arcade-style games test reflexes as much as grammar skills.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Arcade-style games test reflex speed as much as grammar knowledge, but spelling, plurals, parts of speech, and verb tense are tested. A few items are ambiguous--for example, "knock" can be verb or noun. Some activities are more about words in context than goal of identifying part of speech.

Ease of Play

Tapping controls are simple and intuitive. Challenge increases as game progresses.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Smashing Grammar is an educational grammar game with six arcade-style games. Kids select a game -- from plurals to verb tenses -- and then tap the correct answers. Gameplay stops when the timer runs out and continues to the next level if the goal score was met. If not, kids can play again or quit. High scores are tracked, but there's no registration required to track it. Read the app's privacy policy to find out about the types of information collected and shared.

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What's it about?

SMASHING GRAMMAR features six versions of one idea: Kids can choose which skill to focus on, choosing from "Noun Disco," "Verb Garden," "Syllable Spaghetti," "Spelling Slumber Party," "Tense in Paradise," or "Plural Piggies." Gameplay continues as long as the winning streak continues. Then kids see high score reports and can chose another game or play again. Gameplay simply involves tapping the correct answer, be that choosing the correct meatball in a bowl of spaghetti or the right pig in a piggy bank. Bombs and bonus hearts are thrown in, too, to deduct or add points.

Is it any good?

Arcade-style tap-and-smash game tests reflex speed and a variety of grammar skills. Overall, the visuals, music, and voice-over make the games appealing and inviting, so kids will readily jump in. Note, however, that there's no instruction or feedback offered, beyond whether an answer is right or wrong, so this is more for practice than instruction. Occasionally, there are answers given that are somewhat ambiguous. For example, in the "Noun Disco" game, the word "knock" is a wrong answer, even though it can be both a noun and a verb. Also, when kids are selecting words to plug into given sentences, such as "John ate _____ for breakfast," kids are paying more attention to words that make sense in context than to the word's part of speech. In the end, though kids may have fun at first, they may not be engaged for long since each game is basically the same.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the grammar concepts tested in Smashing Grammar, instructing kids on how to identify the skills covered since there's no instruction in-app.

  • If kids find the speed of the game discouraging (due to hitting the wrong answer in haste), assure them that the game isn't testing their knowledge as much as their speed.

App details

For kids who love spelling and grammar

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