Appisodes — interactive, animated cartoon episodes presented in app format — seem to be the hype these days, with many big name developers launching their own appisodes. The latest to follow the trend is PBS Kids, who recently launched WordWorld Tales, an appisodes app based on its Emmy Award-winning TV series.
Let’s Build a Word
At the beginning of the app, you can choose the episode you want to watch. An appisode is like a regular TV episode, but every now and then will require you to participate in mini games. All the appisodes in WordWorld Tales are designed to promote early literacy, and cover important skills such as letter recognition and word building.
The mini games vary for each appisode, but in general kids will be tasked to spell words. In the appisode Happy Birthday, Dog!, a mini game requires kids to help Dog dig up the letters H, A, and T, then arrange and squeeze the letters together to turn the word into an actual hat. Kids will also play games that hone their observation and problem solving skills, such as finding hidden objects and matching objects to shapes.
All appisodes are fully narrated in English. When you download the app, you get two appisodes for free: Happy Birthday, Dog! and A Christmas Present for Dog. The appisode Happy Birthday, Dog! lets kids collect birthday supplies for main character Dog, while In A Christmas Present for Dog, they try to save Dog’s Christmas present.
You can unlock more episodes via in-app purchases. Currently only two appisodes are available to purchase, but the developer plans to add more soon.
Parents Need to Know
WordWorld Tales is designed for kids ages 3-5 years old. Navigating the app is simple, and the mini games are challenging enough without being too difficult. There is no time limit and no high scores in the games, but there is plenty of encouragements to motivate kids to keep going.
In terms of safety, precautions have been taken to ensure that kids do not accidentally access sections or links not meant for them. In-app purchases can only be made after answering a security question, and all outgoing links are kept away in secured sections. Furthermore, the app has no third-party ads and no social media links.
WordWorld Tales is available in English only. Please note that the app requires iOS 7.0 or later. It is compatible with iPad.
Things I Like
With animations taken straight from the TV series, WordWorld Tales will surely entertain budding readers. Each appisode is engaging thanks to colorful 3D animations and a friendly cast of characters. There is a smooth transition whenever the story switches to game mode, ensuring an enjoyable experience.
The contents of the appisodes themselves are educational as kids learn to associate words with pictures. They also get to hone important skills for early literacy, such as tracing letters, letter recognition, word building, and print awareness. Audio guides can be heard whenever a letter is touched or a word is formed, which reinforces learning.
Finally, I like that the games have a touch of randomness to them. You can replay a game, but the letters won’t be at the same places every time. This way, kids truly learn to spell instead of relying on memory.
Digital library for toddlers promotes literacy through engaging “appisodes” — animated tales with built-in interactivity. Kids can learn to spell as they build words and participate in fun mini games in each appisode. Several appisodes are available now, with more to be added in the future. A great app to have for newcomers to the series and longtime fans alike.
WordWorld Tales is available for iPad
Get it on the App Store: iPad
App was purchased by us.