Friday, July 4, 2014

Children’s iPad App and Giveaway, Avokiddo ABC Ride

Children’s iPad App and Giveaway, Avokiddo ABC Ride
by Susan Stephenson,

I am a fan of Avokiddo Apps. You might recall I reviewed Avokiddo Emotions and Avokiddo’s Beck and Bo earlier. Recently I discovered Avokiddo’s ABC Ride. It stars characters Beck and Bo also, and is an excellent app for parents and teachers who want to immerse kids in games that will help them learn letters and the sounds they make. I wish I’d known about it before my article, Resources to Help Kids Learn About the Alphabet, was published at the Scholastic Parents blog! It certainly qualifies as a great way for kids to learn about the alphabet.

Avokiddo excel at making apps that are intuitive to use. They put kids in charge of their own learning, and that’s just as it should be with such great technology to help. In ABC Ride, children choose a character with a finger and direct that character onto a bike. They race through the countryside until they come to a task. Tasks are fun and involve a little problem solving. For instance, kids might have their character come to an apricot tree, and be holding an empty box. The apricots begin to fall from the tree and children need to deduce that they must move the box underneath each fruit to catch it.

From the developers:

★ 26 engaging and interactive scenes each associated with a word and a letter of the alphabet
★ Bike through the alphabet seamlessly from letter to letter, or opt out and choose your own path
★ Play and problem solve in each scene to reveal the hidden letter
★ Drag letters in place to spell the words while listening to their names or sounds
★ Original narration with inventive alliteration
★ Have fun with the quirky animals and hilarious encounters
★ Collect stars while riding from one scene to the next
★ Beautiful HD graphics inviting kids to explore and discover
★ Multi-touch support
★ No In-App Purchases – No banner ads

What I liked: I liked the jaunty background music, the attractive art work, the colours and the FUN. I love it when developers realise that yes, it’s important for kids to learn, but games are about fun and play too. Getting the balance between educational and fun exactly right is something I believe Avokiddo achieves. Parental controls give adults the chance to emphasise upper or lower case, and letters or sounds. Pre-schoolers could certainly handle the "spelling" component as it consists mostly of placing letters over their outlines, but I think kids in Kinder and Year One will benefit from the app too.

The voice behind the game seems to be North American. It’s an adult female voice, clear and pleasant. There may be some pronunciation differences, depending on the country you live in. (For example, in Australia, we pronounce the start of “apricot” with a long a, as in acorn not a short a as in apple. ) Because there’s an emphasis on alliteration, mature vocabulary is used e.g. “Acquire the apricots” instead of the more readily understood “get”. That means parents may need to explain and help the first time round with some words, for some kids. Not faults; just something to be aware of.

Learn more about the app via this video below.

In conjunction with this review, Avokiddo are offering redeemable codes for iPad app, Avokiddo ABC Ride, to six readers of The Book Chook. If you’re interested in getting a free version of ABC Ride for your children/students, send an email with "ABC Ride Giveaway" in the subject line to thebookchook(at)gmail(dot)com within the next three days. A random and possibly sleepy chicken will choose six lucky readers at 5.00am on July 7, eastern Australian time, and I will notify them soon after. UPDATE: winners notified.

Check out my other iPad App Reviews on Pinterest.

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