Pick-A-Pic is an app designed to help very young children learn to match categorized words with simple pictures. Children can review the pictures, hear the words and see them spelled out, then can take a quiz that shows the word and offers a selection of four pictures to choose from to find the match.
Categorized words (groups of 10)
Clear, easy to understand drawings
Complete control of background sounds and music
Instant feedback during the quiz
Five available categories of words
Pick-A-Pic is a high quality app that will help the very young learn to match printed words with clear pictures of common items in categories such as animals, clothing, fruits and more. The app is very simple to use and intuitive to play. It provides good, solid practice with the printed version of many common items. Developers did a good job of making the app easy to use and understand. One possible drawback is the level of contrast on some of the pictures. In the Animals set, the frog is a light green on a slightly different background, which could be very difficult for some children to see, especially if they have any sort of visual impairment.
Pick-A-Pic is intended to teach young children the connection between printed words that name common items and simple pictures. The app is listed as being intended for use by children under five years of age. Educators are likely to debate the value of having kids memorize words at that age, and the app is basic enough that it is not likely to interest children who are trying to learn words just a few months later.
The app presents the ten pictures in the group. If a user clicks the picture, a narrator says the name of the item and the word appears below the group of pictures. After all ten pictures have been presented in this way, the app moves to ‘quiz’ mode. It shows four pictures and a printed instruction to “Find a ___.” Tap the correct picture, and the narrator says the name of the picture and the word “Correct” is displayed. Tap an incorrect picture, and a large red X crosses it out. Completing all ten animals correctly starts a fireworks display with the words “You have found all Animals! Go and try another category!”
One large concern about this app is that it really does little to help young children learn the words. If they can’t already read the prompt sentence (“Find a ___”), then they are quite likely just to guess randomly. It’s quite possible to page through the initial sequence without seeing or hearing the words, and then landing in the quiz with absolutely no idea what’s going on.
This app is basic, especially the free version. It does the job it’s intended to do and does it nicely. However, there’s not much glitz or much to attract children in the age group that it’s intended to be used with. Correct answers are rewarded with the word, “correct,” but most young children won’t be able to read it. A correct completion of the entire task (correctly identifying the ten words in the set) will set off fire works, which are a bit more rewarding, but would likely get tiresome after a few views.
This app is free on the App Store, making it a good value. However, the free version is quite limited, having only one group of words containing ten pictures. There are four additional groups available, but users must make in-app purchases to use them. If your plan is to simply stick to the free version, there’s not much content here. It is, however, enough that you could judge if your child enjoys it and benefits from it, which makes it a good value.
This app is child-friendly, but it does contain in-app purchases on one of its main pages. If a child taps a word group that you do not already have access to, there is a message to “Ask your parents to buy new category,” and an effective parent gate that requires solution to a complex math problem requiring use of order of operations to solve.