Word Wagon - by Duck Duck Moose
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Word Wagon - by Duck Duck Moose is a phonics and spelling app designed for beginning readers. As the little mouse and bird bop along, kids can tap any item they pass and try to spell it. Depending on the level you choose, you can either see the silhouettes of the letters in place, or try to spell it without any such hints. For each word they spell, kids will win an animated sticker for their virtual sticker book. And every three correct spellings earn them a chance to play a connect-the-stars constellation game.
What's it about?
In Word Wagon, kids follow Mozzarella and Coco as they travel down a conveyor belt of objects. As they jump over each object, kids can tap on the object to learn more about the letters in the word associated with it. With each word they spell, they earn a sticker, and with every three words, they earn a star that leads to a constellation picture. However, Word Wagon does not keep track of progress from session to session. Finally, Mozzarella and Coco do silly things, making Word Wagon an app that combines humor and learning.
Is it any good?
WORD WAGON - BY DUCK DUCK MOOSE has the same crisp, colorful, and whimsical animation as the other wonderful learning apps by this publisher. And the solid educational content here is conveyed in a way that is clear and easy to grasp, while still being fun for preschoolers. The sticker collecting feature and the bonus constellation game are both neat additions that kids should enjoy a lot (although they may complain that the constellations don't really look much like the animals they're supposed to be until after all the lines are filled in). The best part for parents, though, is the ability to customize the lessons. Choosing different levels doesn't just make the words more challenging, it can also mean removing audio or visual hints, or allowing kids to hear the word used in a sentence, and so on.
Families can talk about...
Make sure kids don't lose focus on the word by playing with the characters too much.
Ask your kids to spell the words they just learned.
Draw connections from the words shown to real life. ("Train starts with the letter T, just like your name.")