Cupcake Digital has released Sparky & The Case of the Missing Smoke Alarms starring Sparky the Dalmatian. He has been the official mascot for the National Fire Protection Association since 1951 and is used to promote fire safety awareness beginning with little ones through grade school. The app offers tons of extras from a music video that reinforces what to do when you hear a fire alarm to additional supports for activities, games for kids, and a stellar parent’s section at sparky.org. A teacher’s resource page has also been created at sparkyschoolhouse.org and contains lesson plans aligned to common core standards in math and English Language Arts. The story covers what a smoke alarm sounds like and what to do in case of a fire. It sequences each step several times throughout the story to assist in retaining what to do when hearing a fire alarm sound. All text is highlighted, helping beginning readers to become more proficient and independent in reading along.
There seems to be a mystery in the air as Sparky and the gang try to help prepare for a grand opening party for Aunt Dotty’s new Best Beepers Smoke Alarm Factory. On arrival at her house, a stranger dashes out dropping a smoke alarm while making his getaway. Searching the house, they notice all the alarms are missing, and it is your mission to restore them. Each page is filled with hotspots and search and find tasks that emphasize fire safety awareness, as well as a bit of spooky silliness. It is just the right mix to keep kids entertained while learning, and I have to commend Cupcake Digital for adding to their repertoire of adventures for Sparky. At the end, kids can take their picture with Sparky and there are prompts for discussion about fire safety and to get a feel for what kids retained from the story.
In addition to the story, there is a game with multiple levels to help Sparky fly the super fire alarm in order to collect batteries and fire alarms. Catching ten unlocks the next level, but you need to do math questions to fully unlock the level. Younger kids may need help with the math questions. A catchy song about fire prevention accompanies the game. Pure perfection for capturing the attention of kids! Watch those pesky birds though, they drain your battery and then you can’t get enough lift to grab those alarms!
Teachers with Apps Reviewed Cupcake Digital’s Sparky’s Birthday Surprise last year just in time for fire prevention week. You can read all about this wonderful book by clicking on the link.
About the Author
Jo Booth has been an Occupational Therapist for over 30 years and currently works in Pediatrics with early intervention. She sees kids newly diagnosed on the spectrum as well as medically fragile kids. She loves to move, explore and play every day; so that "her kids" grow up to be healthy independent learners.