Sound Salad - Help Mr. Ear by sorting sounds

App review by
Mieke VanderBorght, Common Sense Media
Sound Salad - Help Mr. Ear by sorting sounds App Poster Image
Listen, think, sort in clever but repetitive game of sounds.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn to listen carefully, sort, and use reasoning and logic to match sounds to a visual representation of what made them. On early levels, kids work on simple sorting, and later levels require a bit more cognitive effort and memory.

Ease of Play

Gameplay is quite simple once kids know what to do. Differentiated difficulty levels let kids learn to play before they get in too deep.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

A small icon on the home screen takes user to ads for additional apps from the same developer. Parent gate blocks purchases.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Sound Salad - Help Mr. Ear by sorting sounds is a very simple game that gets kids matching sounds to the animals, vehicles, machines, and more. Multiple levels of difficulty allow kids of a variety of ages and abilities to find the level of challenge that's right for them. There's not much text or language here, but nonetheless, users can choose to play in English, Dutch, French, German, Swedish, or Chinese. The developer's privacy policy clearly outlines how your information is collected and shared.

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What's it about?

A short introduction explains that all the sounds have gotten mixed up in SOUND SALAD - HELP MR. EAR BY SORTING SOUNDS, so kids have to listen to a sound and drag it to its matching source. Through multiple levels, the task gets more complicated, from sorting only two sounds and listening to the sounds as many times as needed, to hearing four sounds only once or sorting against a ticking clock. Higher levels also have sounds whose sources aren't immediately clear, such as footprints and the sound of the animals who made those prints walking.

Is it any good?

On the surface, this sorting game seems overly simple, but as kids get into the higher levels, play gets more interesting. Kids might want to start at the first level to get acquainted with what they're supposed to do, and younger kids might need to stay in these lower levels, though they might tire of the repetition of dragging sounds to objects over and over again. Older kids should be able to jump into higher levels pretty quickly, and that's where things get more interesting. Often kids must use reasoning to think about what source makes a logical match to each sound. Most of these matches are clever, though a few are pretty ambiguous, which could get frustrating. It may also be frustrating that if kids make a wrong match, they have to start that round over again, though it does encourage kids to pay close attention. Though there's a little break every three levels, play may start to feel too repetitive. It would also be nice for kids to track their progress in a more tangible way. Overall, it's a solid use of a digital experience to help kids practice an essential skill.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how to figure out which source made which sound. Review and reinforce the obvious ones -- the cat, the dog, and so on -- with young kids, and talk through the reasoning with the more complicated ones (Which machine looks like it would make a clicking sound, and why?).

  • Play sorting games with your young kids. Change the rules by which kids sort to increase the challenge level. For example, first sort blocks by color, then by shape, then by size.

  • Talk about why listening carefully is important. In what situations is listening important to being safe? What about to learning?

App details

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