You know an educational app is good when your children ask to play it instead of games! In Duck Duck Moose Reading, pre-school through first graders will love joining Milo the Meerkat and his sidekick Puffs at the zoo, feeding letters and words to flamingos, monkeys, lions, and dolphins. Created by Duck Duck Moose, this phonics game is based on the Common Core State Standards – Foundational Skills of Reading at Kindergarten. The reward that has my kids returning to Duck Duck Moose Reading over and over is by completing the phonic activities, players earn animals to create their very own zoo scene!
Duck Duck Moose Reading contains nine word and letter activities to reinforce letter sound recognition for all consonants, short vowels, and long vowels. Activities range from feeding a dolphin the correct lower case letter out of several floating around, to feeding monkeys pictures that start with a specific letter, to rearranging words to spell consonant-vowel-consonant (CVC) words. Each level works on several different letters and vowel sounds at a time. In the parents section, parents can follow along with their children’s progress as they advance through constantans and vowels.
I had a pre-kindergarten four year old and a first grader try Duck Duck Moose Reading. They have built up quite a menagerie for their own personal zoo, which comes with six different scenes. After watching the two of them interact with this app, I believe it is well-named as Kindergarten Reading (former name of app)! For the most part, my first grader’s reading skills are above the level of this app. The area that she benefited most from was rearranging letters to create consonant- vowel-consonant words. However, she enjoyed using this app immensely as she loves the rewards that come for completing each level – earning one of the 43 available animals for her zoo. Duck Duck Moose reading was much more challenging for my Pre-K student and I found her ‘cheating’ by just feeding every word or letter to the animals until she got one right! When she took her time and listened to the directions she was able to accomplish the activities that required her to choose the right letter as it floated by. She had more difficulty identifying pictures that started with the requested letter (i.e. a picture of a house for “h”) and the word creation was definitely too hard!
We would love to see an option in a future release that allows educators to choose letters and sounds for children to work on. We have not been able to find a way to return to the home page to switch players or track progress unless you exit the app entirely. This will always return you to the home page, rather than the most recent activity. Parents should also be aware that on the home screen there is a big box on the top left that will take players to Duck Duck Moose’s other apps in the app store.
Duck Duck Moose Reading has engaging music, narration and graphics. As always, Duck Duck Moose has created a top notch app that will keep children engaged with the activities! Like another of our favorite educational apps, Squeebles Fractions, the rewards in each level of Duck Duck Moose Reading keep children coming back for more – and in reading, as in math, the repetition of letters and sounds helps children become confident readers.