Am I Smarter Than A Preschooler?
While browsing the Amazon Appstore, I came across a limited-time offer for the Super WHY! new Android app for $0.99. Super WHY! is a show on PBS Kids that helps little kids understand phonics. While I think the show does a good job teaching children to be compassionate – for example, in one episode, the characters cheered for Humpty Dumpty so that he could come down from the wall on a slide – I don’t appreciate the way the show dismantles classic stories by converting perceived bads to perceived goods. I believe there is value in exposing children to the darker things in the real world.
The four mini-games in the app featuring the show’s characters are designed to train players in the areas of alphabet recognition, spelling, rhyming, and reading comprehension. The graphics are adorable and inviting, and the controls are straight-forward and intuitive. Players either tap on the screen to make a selection, or they follow the animation to learn to write. With each successful game, players are rewarded a “sticker” for their virtual sticker book, which they can “stick” on a variety of backgrounds to create amusing scenes, especially when the goat is involved.
In addition to being an educational tool for literacy skills, the app is a fun continuation of and complement to the show. The material is taken directly from the show so the app serves as a refresher. In particular, the reading comprehension mini-game refers to stories told in the show, so children must watch the show in order to win and earn stickers. What a great way to keep a young audience interested and engaged!
The app did not keep my attention for long. But for the short time that I played the games, I enjoyed the mini adrenaline rushes that came with the reassurance that I am smarter than a preschooler!