My kids watched Noggin from a relatively early age, long before Moose and Zee appeared. I had liked the old theme, but the new one had better art and songs, so it wasn’t long before I was hooked. (“I Don’t Like Candy Corn” or “Believe in Spring” anyone?) As the years have gone on, they’ve added more songs, more art, but have retained all the cuteness. And fortunately, they’ve kept the theme going, now that Noggin is Nick Jr.
Nick Jr. has recently put out a few apps for the iPod Touch/iPhone, one of which is Nick Jr.’s A to Z with Moose and Zee. Even though my youngest is almost six and is far above the target reading level for this game, he loves search and find games, so I was happy to get the opportunity to review this app. The idea behind it is to teach preschoolers the alphabet, teaching both the lower and upper case letters at the same time. I really liked this aspect of it, because kids are often taught the upper case letters in isolation, having to learn the lower case ones separately later. This can become confusing.
In the game, Moose tells you what letter you’re looking for and shows you what the letter looks like in upper and lower case. He also says a word that starts with that letter. Each time, there are two upper case and two lower case letters you need to find. If you find all the hidden letters, you move on to the next letter. After you complete a few of these screens, the game gives you a little celebratory screen telling you that you did a great job. Then on to the next letter. As far as I can tell, the game just keeps going on and on until you quit, so there is plenty of entertainment there for your little ones.
All of the images and screens in the game are made from the art from Nick Jr., complete with stick figures with button eyes and all the cute flowers and flying things. Sometimes the screens also contain a word that begins with the letter you are looking for. If you get stuck and don’t tap anywhere, after a while Moose starts giving hints. He also gives hints if you tap too often in the wrong places.
Nick Jr.’s A to Z with Moose and Zee is $1.99 in the App Store. If you’re looking to teach your kids the alphabet and you like the playful art, this app is definitely a winner. You can also go to the Nick Jr. website for printable activities, puzzles, awards and preschool practice packs.
Wired: Really fun art. Teaches upper and lower case letters. Plenty of hints (if needed) and positive reinforcement.
Tired: Calls the letters “big” and “little” instead of upper and lower case, or capital and lower case.
* A free copy of this app was furnished to me for this review.