Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

SUPER WHY for iPad

SUPER WHY for iPad

Spring 2011 Mobile Apps
Ages: 3 - 6 yrs.
Developer: keith Soares
Producer: Alex Breen
Producer: Jennifer Wells
Producer: Ben Grimley
Developer: PBS KIDS
Download Price: $3.99
Platform: iPad

One of the very first apps that my children used on the iPod was SUPER WHY, based on the PBS series. Seeing it in large scale on the iPad only enhances this already terrific educational game for children. Like the iPod version, children may select from one of four activities or choose the SUPER WHY book to play all four games in a row. When children complete an activity they are awarded a "sticker" that automatically appears in their "My Super Stickers" section. They can use the stickers to decorate different scenes in a sticker book.

The four activities teach children reading comprehension, spelling, letter recognition and how to write letters by tracing them on the screen. With each game, they are given multiple options to choose from when answering a question. For example, if they are asked to find the letters in the word "star," they will see three letters on the screen and the character asks them to look for the first letter, "s." If they select the wrong letter, that option disappears and they are left with two remaining choices. This means that children will always ultimately succeed in finding the right answer - there is no losing in the games. As a parent, I really like this feature because it eliminates a lot of frustration for younger children. It's not about always having them win, but rather about finding the right answers and learning. It also encourages them to continue to keep trying.

There are many other small, but terrific features on this app that make it great for early readers. Most importantly, it is easy to navigate - you can always get back to the main screen by clicking on the arrow. And for parents or children new to the game, there is a "How to Play" menu that explains each of the games. It seems simple enough, but many app producers overlook these items. The producers of SUPER WHY got this right from the start and it has certainly stood the test of time in our house.

Jessica Hensley   ©2011 Parents' Choice
Jessica Hensley is a web designer, yoga and fitness enthusiast and proud mother of two very active young boys. She has been working with family and educational websites for over 12 years.

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