Many adults enjoy word games like Scrabble, crossword puzzles, anagrams, and so on. There are tons of books and apps devoted to wordplay, which gives you a clue about how popular they are. Perhaps we enjoy flexing our mental muscles or we like to learn new words. Whatever the reason, plenty of people like to rummage through the game closet, pick up a pencil and a book of word games, or open one of many apps for their mobile devices to get their linguistics fix. Why? Because it’s fun! But for kids it’s a different story. They are at various stages of absorbing language, depending on their age. So while word games may indeed be fun for them, they serve a much more useful purpose for the younger set in that they help to increase vocabulary, improve spelling and pronunciation, and virtually teach kids the proper way to use language. Lucky for parents (and kids) there is an app that can provide linguistic fun for the whole family. That app is Chicktionary.
You can either download the iPhone versions (which also works for iPad and iPod Touch) for $1.99 or you can get the optimized iPad version for free and pay 99 cents each for about a dozen different puzzle packs. While the latter comes with some neat extra features, the premise of the game is basically the same in each version. Players will receive a pack of chickens lined up in a gallery, each bearing a letter, and they will have to choose letters in sequence (as you choose, the letters drop down as eggs) to make as many words as possible. As correct words are spelled out they will appear in the egg crates above, earning you points. With 300 levels, this game is sure to entertain and challenge every player.
Plus, there are all kinds of options and features that can make the game more fun and exciting. For example, beginners may want to go easy on themselves by choosing to play with no timer, giving them unlimited time to find all possible word choices related to their gallery of letters. But those who prefer more of a challenge can play the timed mode whereby they have 3 minutes to find as many words as possible. And if you really want to pile on the pressure you can select the 2-minute time limit that nets you increasing levels of points based on the number of words you assemble.
And during the course of the game you can shake your favorite iDevice to redistribute the letters (perhaps giving you a better chance to find more words). You can also see any words you missed and a dictionary feature allows you to access definitions for words, making it a great learning tool for kids. As for those who like to share their successes or see how they stack up in the online arena; the game also features Facebook Connect capabilities and domestic and international scoreboards for comparison. It’s going to be a while before you starting looking at affordable online colleges for your kids, but that doesn’t mean you can’t set them up for success now with games that help them to absorb language, which will aid them in every other subject. Chicktionary is one app that makes the learning process a lot more fun.
Thanks to Evan Fischer for this guest post. He is a freelance writer and part-time student at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, California.