VTech InnoTab Software - Go! Go! Smart Wheels

Game review by
Christy Matte, Common Sense Media
VTech InnoTab Software - Go! Go! Smart Wheels Game Poster Image
Vehicle mini-games give letter, number learning a new spin.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn to recognize, pronounce, and draw letters. They also can learn to count and recognize numbers. Through the stories and activities, they can learn about how a community works together and what different vehicles do to contribute. Kids will enjoy expressing their creativity as they design their own cars and even make artwork featuring their own faces. Some of the vocabulary words are advanced for the targeted range, but there's one word attached to each letter so kids should be able to pick them up quickly. VTech InnoTab Software - Go! Go! Smart Wheels should rev up kids who love cars and and who love learning new words.

Positive Messages

Most activities involve helping residents of Alphabet Town with daily tasks; emphasizes importance of working as a community.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The Go! Go! Smart Wheels spend their time helping each other around town, working as a team.

Ease of Play

Simple controls, easy to learn; uses stylus, motion controls.

Violence & Scariness
Language
Consumerism

Based on a toy franchise.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that VTech InnoTab Software - Go! Go! Smart Wheels is a collection of learning mini-games based on the characters from the VTech toy line of the same name. Kids can pick and choose which activities to enjoy; there's no overarching plot line to follow. Young kids may need help choosing which of the two difficulty levels to begin with. If they successfully complete the easy level, they'll be prompted to try the harder level. Expect that little ones will need help with some of the harder words and concepts. Editor's Note: This game's publisher, VTech, experienced a breach of parent and student data on November 14, 2015. Click here for more information.

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What's it about?

VTECH INNOTAB SOFTWARE - GO! GO! SMART WHEELS brings kids to Alphabet Town, where the Go! Go! Smart Wheels cars work and play. They can take part in five learning activities in different parts of town where they can practice letter recognition and sounds, numbers and counting, and early handwriting. They may need to help the mechanic repair cars, join the police in search of a letter thief, rescue a kitten caught in a tree, or spend time building roads. When kids are ready for a bit of a break, they can read along with the included ebook. In it, the Go! Go! Smart Wheels have to help a friend out of a sticky situation. The glossary can help kids understand new words. Kids who are feeling creative then can head to the garage to customize a car and build a gallery of their designs. They also can use the photo activity to insert their own picture in a scene.

Is it any good?

VTech InnoTab Software - Go! Go! Smart Wheels is an engaging way for kids to start learning about early literacy skills such as letter recognition, numbers, counting, phonics, and handwriting. There's a mix of learning and creative activities to appeal to a range of interests, but younger kids may struggle with some of them, particularly the handwriting tasks. They also may have trouble with some of the in-game vocabulary words that are chosen for each letter. Some of them, such as the word juice, are advanced for early readers. Others, such as igloo and olive, are objects that may be unfamiliar. A little parental support will be enough to help kids overcome any initial obstacles. Beyond those challenges, the mini-games provide a strong introduction to early literacy skills and a fun way to pass some time. Kids who are interested in cars and trucks, in particular, will find plenty of entertainment value. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about letter sounds. Point out letters you see around the house or while running errands. Practice letter sounds and recognition.

  • Talk about numbers and counting. Practice counting everyday objects at snack time or on the go. Make it a game.

  • Discuss being helpful. What are some ways you can help out around the house?

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