Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Critical Thinking Co.'s Alphabet Song Game

Okay, I will be honest when I review products.  The Alphabet Song Game is a very basic program for teaching and reinforcing the order of the alphabet and what each letter looks like.

It is a free download from the Critical Thinking Co.  That's the only plus.  And the only reason I don't hold it against the company.  They have tons of incredible resources, so you may want to just stop reading this review and head over to see all the great stuff they have.

Reasons not to download the Alphabet Song Game?  It is boring, mind-numbingly so.  There are a number of wonderful free sites out there that offer so much more, in a much more engaging manner.

This program has no customization and minimal user feedback.  If a child clicks on the wrong letter, there is no indicator.  They just are supposed to assume they are wrong if nothing happens.

It is geared toward preschoolers, but it lacks any engaging features.   One screen is seen over and over in each of the 22 levels with no variation. The graphics along the top never change once the game begins.  The audio consists of one female voice giving directions with the same short cheering track after each level.

What does it do?  The alphabet song is sung to begin every level.  The activities consist on clicking on the letter specified out of groups that contain more letters or with each level.  Sometimes, the letters are to be clicked in alphabetical order, and in other levels, the letters are randomly called out to be clicked.  As the levels progress, the kids are expected to be able to discern not only the correct letter but also the correct appearance of that letter.  As the kids progress through the levels, their accuracy is tracked, so that is helpful for parents and teachers.

I think the Alphabet Song Game has potential, but it's just not an engaging education tool in its present state, in my opinion.  I know my kids need more interaction and visuals when they are working on the computer.  For what it does, why not sit down with a child and play some non-computer games with the old magnetic letters?

However, like I said at the beginning, it is free.  And the Critical Thinking Co. doesn't sell fluff.  I have been impressed with every item I have gotten from them.  Head over to their site and check out all the great resources they have, from games to workbooks to software to hands-on learning sets.

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