Learn with Word Friends by developer WordWorld is a super cute, high quality word building app from the favorite children's television program found on PBS. Join all of your favorite characters from the Emmy winning cartoon as they practice word building skills at three different levels.
Learn with Word Friends has one free character open to play with. Start with Dog and a set of easy words to see if the app is appropriate for your young learner. Each of the seven characters has the same games available to play - but the level of words changes. Dog offers practice with easy words.
Each character allows you to practice creating and spelling words in three games: Rain, Scramble, and Match. Rain and Match both start out with the iconic word friends idea of words shaped like the thing they spell. In the Rain game, letters fall from the sky. Players must select and drag the correct letters to the correct spots in each word. In Scramble, all of the letters are on screen and must be rearranged into the correct order. Match is a memory style game with the word-pictures on each of 16 cards. Match pairs to hear the word read aloud and reveal a new picture.
The Farm aspect of the game allows players access to all of the other characters, or to purchase the other characters if desired. Dog and Ant offer easy words like log, hat, rock, and ball. Frog, Pig, and Bear all focus on medium words like toast, bridge, mountain, and nightlight. Sheep and Duck work on the hard words like rocket, umbrella, lighthouse, and blender. It seemed as we played each level that one aspect of the increasing challenge of each level was more letters to choose from in the Rain level.
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Our family loves the Word World show and own several of the DVDs, so this app was an immediate hit. The graphics are very high quality and fall in line with the television program. Additionally, as an adult I love how clever the words look when they are depicted as pictures. I love that each level uses this unique feature to show the word and image. The images darken in the Rain and Scramble levels and brighten when the word is spelled correctly. I particularly like the Rain level. Players must choose the correct letters to spell as they fall from the sky. It seemed as if each progressively harder level had more wrong letters to sort through. I also liked that for weaker spellers, the darkened image still could be viewed for hints as to what letters were missing. Plus, in Rain and Scramble, as the letters are manipulated they are stated aloud. This gives an additional level of support for children learning to spell these words.
Overall, this app stands up to the high quality of the television program. Playing and interacting with familiar characters is both fun and educational. With unique words and images, this app does a great job of giving young learners several ways to practice spelling and word skills.
Learn with Word Friends is available for download via the iTunes App Store - Universal App
Free to try - Additional games available via in-app-purchase
This app was reviewed by Sarah Emerling, a mom, a special education teacher, and a technology coach. She is a self proclaimed nerd with a passion for incorporating technology into education and you read her findings at The iLesson Lady.
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Disclosure: This review was move up the waiting list priority-services. All opinions expressed are purely that of the author.