First Words Animals App Review

Posted on February 23, 2011

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I’ve got kids and there are times when I’m a little desperate to keep them occupied at the Dr.’s office or other waiting room situation. I love looking for toddler/preschool apps that are fun and educational. We’ve had this one for quite a while and it has been tested by my very energetic daughter.

Basically the app shows a picture of an animal and it’s name underneathe the animal – there are scatered letters at the bottom of the screen and your child is to move the letters to the corresponding letter in the animal’s name. Once they finish, a voice over comes on naming each letter then pronouncing the animal name (then the animal spins and makes it’s noise).

Pros:

  • Cute, simple design.
  • Good quality voice-overs (I’ve been unimpressed with many child-oriented apps…sounds like they got the cheapest computer mic from Walmart and recorded in a room with terrible acoustics)
  • Great attention to individual letters and how they make words.
  • There is a mode for older children that allows you to turn the hints off so they have to think and spell the word themselves.
  • The game options are great allowing you to choose between upper and lower case, word order (shortest to longest), voice over spelling speed, and how long the longest word should be (up to 5 letters)

Cons:

  • I wish this app had more to it – there are quite a few animals for your child to go through, but there’s only one game to play and I found my daughter getting bored very quickly.
  • Having a degree in education and having little ones, I’m always concerned about the educational quality of the things my children are watching and playing, so I love the focus on spelling and words…but it just lacks entertainment value which is important to toddlers and preschoolers.
  • There are other apps out there that can teach these same concepts and give you a lot more bang for your buck.

So, in light of these facts, I give First Words: Animals 3 out of 5 stars.

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