Word Joust for K-5

App review by
Amanda Bindel, Common Sense Media
Word Joust for K-5 App Poster Image
Solid vocab with some medieval violence best for older kids.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn the 300 most popular words used in elementary-age reading materials. They'll master words like good, big, cow, far, jumped, stand, book, eyes, and stopped. Neuroscience research shows that word games build brain power, so kids will expand their minds through games like word searches and scrambles. Word Joust K-5 makes learning words fun and engaging.

Ease of Play

Some mini-games seem more a test of how fast kids can read as much as of their understanding of the vocabulary. The maze word-find game is quite difficult, especially for younger kids, as many words are presented diagonally and backward.

Violence & Scariness

The hangman game doesn't feature the expected stick figure but hangs a realistic-looking cartoon man, body part by body part.

Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Word Joust K-5 requires a Wi-Fi or data connection to play. Sensitive kids may be turned off by the medieval themes of jousting and scary-looking trolls or the realistic cartoon image in the hangman game of a man being hung part by part. The words included are from lists of most-used vocabulary in the elementary grades, but some of the games may be quite challenging (and frustrating) for younger players in kindergarten and the first and second grades.

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What's it about?

Kids become knaves in a medieval joust where they can either enter a quest and learn vocabulary from a list of 300 age-appropriate words or train by playing games with the words they've encountered in their quests. Games include Scramble (unscrambling mixed-up words); Troll Trickery (matching words to definitions); Labyrinth of Letters, a word search that is quite challenging; Cohorts of Swords (identifying the correct word as it crosses the screen); and Hangman. Kids move up from infantryman to archer and so on. Mastered words and "apprenticed" words (those introduced but not yet mastered in the games) can be reviewed in Stats and on the Global Leaderboard.

Is it any good?

WORD JOUST K-5 is a fun way for kids to practice word skills and develop their vocabularies. The mix of five games is varied enough for kids to practice different skills and use their brains in different ways. Kindergarten through fifth grade is a broad age range, though, and third through fifth grade may be more appropriate for the challenge level, given the fact that kids are playing against time. Younger readers may be too bogged down with just trying to read the moving words and may miss retaining the vocabulary. The words are compiled from lists of frequently used words in children's literature and American textbooks. There is no reason for kids to register their email addresses or share scores on the leaderboard, as their stats are saved within the app.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Read to your kids and encourage them to read. Reading is the best vocabulary-builder. Read our tips on How to Raise a Reader.

  • Some of the mini-games in Word Joust K-5 are classics, including the word search and hangman. Challenge your kid to a pen-and-paper duel with one of these.

App details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love words and reading

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