Parents' Guide to

Word Wonderland (Elementary)

By Amanda Bindel, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 9+

Engaging game, but learning seems incidental, lacks depth.

App iPad, Android Paid Education
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The problem with Word Wonderland (Elementary) is that it contains no explanation of any of the targeted word concepts, and the critical thinking kids do is not related to the word skills the app is supposed to teach. What is a diphthong? How does r control a vowel? The word sort ends up being an activity for matching letters in words to letters on the space path. For example, given the suffix -ion, kids could simply find the word ending with -ion (suction) and drag the suffix into place. No critical thinking or understanding is necessary. The tutorials are focused on explaining the intricate rules surrounding each part of the space path -- the arrows, the stars, the machines -- and maneuvering the space crab along the path to the end. Word Wonderland plays like an arcade-style space game with some words thrown in almost as an afterthought. That said, the space maze is fun; this just isn't an app suitable for real learning.

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