The Scholastic Big Red Dog teaches users how to read, write, and gives vocab lessons in this educational Leapster title.
Like all other Leapster games, Clifford will teach users in an entertaining but educational way. The goal of the game is to collect pages from a joke book. Because Clifford is so big, his sneeze scattered the pages of little Emily’s joke book. But as the game goes on, the jokes are collected and read to the user, heightening the entertainment value. Who knows, something like this might take learners on an early road to a life of stand up comedy.
The game teaches youngsters how to speak by offering phonics lessons. Using the stylus, the player will touch things that start with a certain letter or sound. When the screen is tapped, a picture is taken. After enough items have been recognized, the game reviews the photos that were taken. This might spark the art of photography into a young user.
Spelling is taught by tapping letters from an on screen art board. Once a word has been spelled out, that word then transforms into an image. This is a great way to associate words and letters with real life objects.
One of the most important lessons this game teaches is handwriting. Something like this can only be taught through the use of a touch screen, a perfect fit for the Leapster hardware. Through narration, audio and visual cues will let the player know how to draw each individual letter. It even teaches how to make capital and lowercase.
To further the advancement of teaching phonics, the game has some pretty clever rhyming lessons. Not only will this teach young’uns how to speak, they must also figure out the correlation between an on screen image and a word. For example, the game asked to rhyme words with “bug” so “rug” and “mug” were acceptable answers.
The stylus is the main form of input for this game. To teach reading skills, the player can read along and tap any word in a sentence to hear it read out loud. And in the balloon popping game, letters and whole words must be tapped through the use of audio clues. This game teaches through the use of simultaneous visual and audio communication.
The packaging on the game states that this is ideal for Pre-K through K grade levels. I couldn’t agree more. The younger Leapster players will get the most out of this title as the game will probably be too easy for older gamers, even on higher difficulties. This title is probably worth the price for the penmanship tutorial alone. It is important for young learners to learn proper penmanship upon first learning how to write. Otherwise, they could grow up to have sloppy handwriting…man, I wish I used this thing when I was younger.
If your little one needs some reading, writing and speaking pointers, then Clifford the Big Red Dog could definitely warrant a purchase.