App Review
Beck and Bo

Drag-and-drop adventure great for learning new words in context

  • When kids put Beck and Bo into the ocean, they swim.

  • As Beck and Bo wander the aisles of the market, they think of items they need to buy and kids can place those items in their shopping cart.

  • Beck and Bo drive a jeep on a safari, and kids get to start and stop the jeep as they want.

  • Kids get to build a snowman in the snow scene.

Quick Take
Pros: Imaginative play and a simple design engage kids and cleverly introduce new words.
Cons: Twelve levels of play may not take long, even for a toddler.
Bottom Line: Your wee one will enjoy animating Beck and Bo's world while developing creativity and logic.
Learning Scores
Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

Beck and Bo go lots of interesting places, some familiar, some exciting and new. The simple graphics draw kids into scenes. It's easy and satisfying to drag and drop objects -- and sometimes things happen.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer? 4

Imagination and language skills were obviously a priority for developers. Kids learn logic, cause and effect, and even new words.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students? 3

The interface is intuitive. Completed levels are tracked with a star, which can prove delightful for toddlers and preschoolers.

Our Review
What's It Like?

Toddlers will delight in Beck and Bo as they control a little boy and girl who go on adventures separately and together. Kids can make Beck go down a slide at the park or put them both to bed in their room. In each themed scene, items drop into the world, and kids drag and drop the items wherever they want. Kids can view the written word for each item and hear it pronounced. Many scenes are animated, so kids see clouds move through the sky or a cat peek out of a window. 

Is It Good For Learning?

Unlike the many preschool apps that focus on memorizing the ABCs and 123s, Beck and Bo develops creativity and logic. It also develops vocabulary that occurs in the real world. For instance, Beck and Bo go for a walk along a city street or to the market. They play at the beach, at a lake, in the snow, around the backyard, and, of course, at the park. They even go on a safari, attend a carnival, and travel on a train. One scene is all about going to bed.

Scenes are beautifully drawn and invite exploration -- just right for little ones. When kids complete a level, it's marked with a star and kids get rewarded with a little victory song and an animation. Levels can be replayed, but that star can be a source of true delight for a child feeling accomplishment.

 

 

How Can Teachers Use It?

Beck and Bo encourages exploration and teaches cause and effect. Ask questions along the way to see what kids are taking away from the experience. Encourage toddlers and preschoolers to practice dragging and dropping objects to see what happens. Some objects need to be placed correctly for things to happen. For example, on a city street with lots of vehicles, kids need to move the stoplight on top of the pole and then tap it to turn it green before the vehicles start to move.

 

This review of Beck and Bo was written by

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