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Young children will delight in the magical vehicles of Richard Scarry, reminiscent of the favorite books. There are five levels of fun, ranging from letter matching and left-to-right sequencing through spelling longer words. Players watch as whimsical vehicles pull onto the screen and stop at the traffic light, waiting for the letters to be arranged to spell the word that has been pronounced. Once the word is spelled correctly, the narrator repeats it, and one or more children’s voices repeat it again, then the vehicle gets the green light and drives off the screen.
- Five levels from letter matching through spelling
- Dozens of fun vehicles
- Lively illustrations
- Creative and friendly characters
- Easy-to-use parental controls and options
Words That Go With Richard Scarry’s Busytown Cars provides the same high-quality experience that parents and teachers expect from books by the same author, with the added fun of the Ipad’s interactivity. The levels are well-thought-out and offer fun challenges for young children. There are dozens of vehicles in the game, so the young players will be continually fascinated.
Words That Go offers five levels of sound practice with letter matching, left-to-right sequencing, beginning phonics skills and spelling. Young learners put letters in order to make words that match the crazy cars, and have as much support as they need to be successful. So the very young or beginners have the option of dropping letters on top of matching letters to spell the target word, then in the next level, they must match the letters from left to right. The phonics levels offer common, phonetically regular words to spell by dragging letters into their proper positions with and without letter sounds, and the spelling level covers sight words (which are not all phonetically regular) and longer words with two syllables.
This app’s best feature is the scaffolding (the sequence of lessons that offers just the right amount of support to the player for success). Words are voiced, then voiced again after spelling, then repeated, so the player gets to hear them several times. This will help with memory, as well.
If your child is already a fan of Richard Scarry books, he or she will be delighted to find the same vibrant and busy illustrations in this app. The vehicles have the whimsical quality that we expect from this author, and the background illustrations on the page are extremely detailed. This opens the door to a lot of conversation and finding games, which will extend the life of the app.
In addition, young children will enjoy the cars as they appear one by one, then motor off after the task has been completed. There are a few reward animations that play after several words have been spelled, but I wish this was more frequent. I also think developers missed an opportunity for fun by not making the pictures themselves a bit more interactive. It would have been nice to touch the various characters and be rewarded with a small animation or sound effect.
Words That Go is a good value. The activities will grow with your child, which is always a nice feature in an app because it really extends the play value. Children from approximately ages two through six will enjoy the activity and benefit from the educational content.
This app is very child-friendly. The Parents’ Area is well protected with an instruction to tap a random sequence of numbers into the provided keypad. The control of options is in the Parents’ Area, including choice of level, use of capital or lower case letters, and explanations of each level. There are links to the app developers’ website and a comment system that open into a browser, and links to the app store for purchase of other games by the same developers. There are no links to social media or email.