PBS Kids WordWorld

Common Sense Media says

Animation and big visuals help preschoolers learn to spell.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Positive messages
Not applicable
Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this entertaining, educational website is the companion to the PBS preschool series by the same name. On the site -- just as in the television show -- the words come to life, providing a picture that is instantly associated with the word. A pink pig’s body is formed from the letters P-I-G. The trunk and leaves of a tree are formed from the letters T-R-E-E. In a colorful, fun, engaging environment, preschoolers can explore a world of words, learn to sound out letters, play a variety of letter-recognition games and collect “WordFriends.”

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • letter or word recognition
  • naming
  • spelling

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • logic
  • problem solving

Creativity

  • imagination
  • making new creations

Communication

  • listening

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Preschoolers will be delighted by creative visuals, immensely likable characters, and fun interactive features.

Learning Approach

Kids will get a lot of experience interacting with words and the letters they include. However, there are only a limited number of activities and little to no way to track or assess learning.

Support

There's help when kids get stuck: They get to hear the words and the sounds that make up the words. The site's unique approach to interacting with words can be helpful to kids from various backgrounds, but navigation can be confusing.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • letter or word recognition
  • naming
  • spelling

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • logic
  • problem solving

Creativity

  • imagination
  • making new creations

Communication

  • listening

Kids can learn -- and see -- how words are formed from letters and the sounds those letters make. Letter by letter, kids build words that transform into the shape of the objects they define. For instance, the letters that make up T-R-U-C-K combine to create a stylish yellow tow truck. Kids can find words to spell, play games that reinforce word recognition, and collect WordFriends. The WordFriends go on comic adventures and face challenges that can only be resolved when correct words are selected. Though narrow in scope, this site adeptly brings words to life with friendly and familiar pictures.

This Learning Rating review was written by Conny Coon

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What's it about?

In PBS Kids WordWorld, words come to life, providing a picture that is instantly associated with that word. Animated animal hosts have colorful bodies that are shaped from the letters that spell out what animal they are -- for example, a pink pig’s body is formed from the letters P-I-G. The trunk and leaves of a tree are formed from the letters T-R-E-E. Games, activities, and videos encourage kids to follow logical literacy concepts to build words step by step and sound them out piece by piece. The site presents an imaginative world to explore and a variety of interesting, educational places to practice and reinforce spelling skills.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Like the imaginative television series it’s based on, WORDWORLD is a place where words come alive. Preschoolers will be delighted by the animated animal hosts, whose colorful bodies are shaped from the letters that spell out what animal they are. The site presents a world to explore, and young visitors can consult a map that shows a variety of interesting, educational places to discover.

At each stop, they’ll find lots to do: words to spell, say and collect; adventurous word games that promote spelling and reinforce word recognition; and a number of printable coloring pages. As they click on objects, kids are encouraged to sound out letters to build each new word. And the letters of each new word, of course, represent exactly what they’re spelled to be (i.e. a barn is built from the letters B-A-R-N). Preschoolers will enjoy the age appropriate games with simple audio instructions and will have fun seeing letters (and their sounds) make words. Most of all, the activities in WordWorld will help preschoolers see words as their friends.

Families can talk about...

  • How learning new words is fun when the words come to life. What makes these words and characters so special? Is it easier to learn words when you can see exactly what they are right away?

  • Why learning on a computer is a great addition to learning from a book or learning at school -- but shouldn’t replace the traditional ways of learning. Why it’s just as important to spend time away from the computer as it is to learn how to use a computer.

  • Other television shows that teach kids about letters and words and reading? What are some of the fun ways they help preschoolers learn?

Website details

Genre:Educational
Pricing structure:Free

This review of PBS Kids WordWorld was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Parent of a 4 year old Written bymslala December 8, 2009
Parent of a 6 and 10 year old Written bystevekruse December 15, 2009
AGE
4
QUALITY
 

good for early learners

Great for helping kids learning to read
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages

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