ABC for the Little Scientist for the iPad is a nice, interactive letters app with a science theme. Like other apps such as this, ABC for the Little Scientist consists of letters a to z, each illustrated with its own interactive page where one can tap the letter or word in question to listen to narration, here of either a male or female voice as well as to look for interactive hotspots. I like the fact that this app uses unique words not typically found in apps like this but instead tackles more complex ideas such as “connection” as in internet connection, this page including a roaming satellite and the earth from a view in space. A version for iPhone is also available.
This is a fun app with a good use of animations and bright colors. I like that the phonic sounds are also offered here as many times these letter sounds are not included within apps such as this and the addition of lower-case letters is nice as well, but be aware that the narrators, although speaking clearly, do not sound like native speakers of United Sates English; “z” is also pronounced “zed” within this application. Such issues did not overly throw me but may be a concern of some parents looking to use this app based on the inclusion of phonics sounds.
Although each page contains some nice animated images, I think the interactions used here could have gone a step further, as I would have liked to spin the globe used in the “connection” page with a finger as well as to move the kaleidoscope image instead of simply watching the details morph on their own. Also, some of the word choices are a bit of a stretch for this science theme, but are still interesting choices for kids to learn about.
Well-done moments do exist here as well, as I enjoy tapping the “temperature” page to raise the temperature of a snowman, ultimately melting him as one can watch the level rise on a thermometer or the intriguing view of “universe” as one can use a finger to move the planets around the sun to a very nice effect. There is also a nice moment where children can tap characters used to demonstrate “occupation,” changing their skin tones to varies races and ethnicities - a nice touch.
I do think kids will enjoy this app, especially those fond of this genre of alphabet application, as will those parents looking for slightly different words than normally found among this style of app, possibly creating some interesting conversations about science-related topics as well.