A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Wallykazam! Letter and Word Magic is an preschool literacy app based on the Nick Jr. show Wallykazam! that features non-threatening ogres, dragons, giants, and fairies to teach early reading skills like letter recognition, letter tracing, and phonics. Kids create their own user account (up to four accounts on each device) and explore the village, playing four different mini-games. The fourth game also serves as a reward activity where kids animate a little monster using descriptive words they've unlocked while playing the other games. There are separate versions of the app for iPhone and iPad, with the HD iPad version costing a few dollars more.
What's it about?
Wallykazam! characters take kids through four literacy-building games. Libby Light Sprite helps kids trace lowercase letters and reinforces the phonetic sounds of each letter. Kids look for letters that Bobgoblin has hidden in the forest, matching the letter, hearing its name and its phonetic sound. Then kids match rhyming words or word sounds to build a tower as tall as Gina Giant. Kids unlock new words after a few rounds of play that they can then use to animate Borgelorp and improve their vocabularies.
Is it any good?
WALLYKAZAM! LETTER AND WORD ADVENTURE's fun characters will delight preschoolers, and its 3-D graphics are simply amazing. But it's the learning content that really makes it magical. The four games each focus on an aspect of learning to read in a way that is fun for kids while reinforcing pre-reading skills. The use of lowercase letters is a nice touch since the majority of text that kids encounter while reading is in lowercase form. Each activity emphasizes phonics, with kids hearing both the letter's name and its phonetic sound. The tower game will challenge kids, and the amount of content within that one mini-game is impressive by itself. Kids will work with rhyming words, finding words that begin with the same letter sound, or finding words that have the same starting blend. The reward activity is really innovative and manages to still incorporate learning. Kids will learn new words (like fluorescent) when they unlock the word and then drag it into place to change Borgelorp. It's beautiful, fun, and educational.
Talk to your kids about ...
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Fire phone, Kindle Fire
- Subjects: Language & Reading: following directions, letter or word recognition, phonics
- Price: $3.99-$6.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Release date: April 18, 2014
- Category: Education
- Topics: Magic and fantasy, Numbers and letters
- Size: 124.00 MB
- Publisher: Nickelodeon
- Version: 2.0
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 6.0 or later
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