I have several small children who are in various stages of learning the alphabet. So, when I received the opportunity to review the Alphabet Song Game from The Critical Thinking Co., I knew that I would be able to immediately put it into use with three of my children in our home.
I received the Windows software download edition of the Alphabet Song Game. This is a windows based program, and you’ll need to have Windows 8/7/Vista for your children to play it. The license enables you to download the program onto two computers. We did have this system on our computer, so after a quick download and installation, we were ready to get started.
It’s easy enough to get started with this program. All you have to do on first entry is to press play game, and the person on the game starts singing the alphabet songs as big uppercase letters scroll by. After listening to the alphabet in this manner, the student is then presented with a screen where they are given two choices and they need to decide which is the letter “A.”
From there, students will assemble the whole alphabet in order choosing between the two choices on the screen. When a child gets 90% or better on the level they will be invited to play the next level. If they fail to get 90%, they will be asked to repeat the level that they have just completed.
At any time, you can press the blue house on the screen to get back to the main menu. At the main menu screen, you can view the score of your student’s most recent attempt at the game, view the description of each level and reset the user data to clear off all the scores.
The game begins with nine games to help identify uppercase letters. The student first begins by picking out uppercase letters from a screen with just two letters, but gradually more choices are added in. Eventually, the student is given mirror images and upside down images to choose from as well. There are also lessons where the student is given a choice of four different letters and asked to “identify the _____.”
The lowercase letter games proceed in the same progression as the uppercase games. For the mixed case games, the student is asked to identify either uppercase letters or lowercase letters, but their bank of choices include both lowercase and uppercase versions, and that can be quite tricky for a young learner.
I ended up using this game with three of my children. They are ages 3, 5, & 8. My three and five year olds were complete beginners to the idea of working on their letters. We’ve done some fun “letter of the week” type letter work, but nothing too serious. They easily scored about 70% of their first level letters correctly, but had difficulty getting any better. In fact, it took them a long time to progress beyond the first lesson of the game!! Still, they enjoyed their ABC game time and tended to work in brief 10 minute daily sessions.
My eight year old also spent a long time on this game and found it truly beneficial. The game is recommended on the vendor’s website for toddler through first grade, and even though Rose is a second grader, I decided that she should really have a try at it. Rose has difficulty with letter reversals and writing letters as their mirror images, so I felt that the higher levels of the game, where she would have to choose out of a letter bank that contained upside down letters and mirror images would help her to correct some of her problems in this area.
It really did help. She would work and work on these levels to get the 90% that she needed to get invited on to the next level, and she has written her letters much more correctly, with fewer reversals since she began playing this game. I’m glad she has gotten to spend time playing it.
The game is deceptively simple, and I love the concept. You’re singing the ABC song, and all children learn the “abc song” from a young age. The graphics are clean and clear and it’s easy to play. However, real skills are being picked up as the children progress through the levels. It’s a keeper in our house.