In which Brianna describes an app that has captivated and educated her daughter. This article contains both affiliate and non-affiliate links.
Endless Alphabet by Orginiator
There are loads of apps and games out there for kids. A lot of them are…not great. At best, they’re mindless and repetitive. At worst they can be harmful. There are dress-up games with questionable story lines and bizarre let-the-toddler-perform-a-c-section games. Then there are the ads for things that have nothing to do with the game you’re in. We don’t let Monkey play endlessly with her tablet, but it does have its uses, especially for long car rides. To avoid all the pitfalls mentioned above, I’ve carefully curated a collection of games and apps for Monkey’s tablet. This is about one of her favorites, Endless Alphabet.
Endless Alphabet is made by Originator, and it is a letter-learning game for young children. It features a cast of fun-colored monsters who like to play with letters. You select one of 70 words to play with from a carousel inside a big monster’s open mouth. You’re shown the word briefly, and then a bunch of monsters run through and strew the letters across the screen! It’s up to you to put the letters back where they belong. As you drag a letter across the page it becomes like a mini monster itself and makes its sound (L goes “la, la, l’la la, la!” in a very silly voice). When the letters reach the correct spot, they lock into place and say their name (“L!”), before settling into a dormant state. In the upper left corner, there is a bubble that says “word,” and clicking on it causes a lady with a really friendly voice to define the word in a way that makes sense to littles. Some words are simple, only four letters long, others are longer with trickier sounds (i.e.: camouflage. Whoa!). Once all the letters are in place, the letters wake up and dance in place for a few seconds. Then, and this part is super cute, the monsters come back and perform a little skit that demonstrates the meaning of the word.
OMG, guys, I can’t get over how stinking cute this app is! The best part is, Monkey loves it, too. She struggled with the drag-and-drop motion at first, but I figure these days that’s a life skill she needed to learn anyway. Once that was mastered, she had little trouble dragging the letters into place. After each one I hear her say the letter’s name and then proclaim “I DID it!” It’s not unusual for her to bring me her tablet to enjoy the monsters’ skit together. Each letter of the alphabet has at least two puzzles starting with it, and some have as many as eight. The words themselves range in difficulty for both spelling and concept, but they aren’t separated that way. I’m giving this app five eggs, because 1) my kid is actually learning from it, 2) she loves learning from it, 3) it’s adorable and 4) its sounds don’t drive me batty after five minutes. Do I love hearing it over and over? No, of course not, but it’s really one of the least annoying Things That Make Sounds in our home. I can’t wait to try Originator’s other apps, including Endless Spanish, Endless Numbers, Endless Wordplay, and Endless Reader.
We were fortunate enough to pick up Endless Alphabet as part of Amazon's Actually Free Underground app store. But, Amazon is bringing that program to an end. You can still download Endless Alphabet for free on most platforms, but you only get the puzzles for A-C, so it's more like a demo version. The full app costs $8.99. That's ok! Let your kid try the light version for free, and if they love it like Monkey does, it's totally worth the nine bucks. Besides, paying for apps is usually the wiser move anyway, but that's an article for a different day.
Do you have a favorite educational app for your littles? Is there anything we need to try? Let us know in the comments below. Or, you can engage with us on social media and get extra special info in our newsletter.
Ariel and Brianna are friends who met while working in a library. Now they collaborate to develop life-enhancing book club experiences.
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