Big City Vehicles – Cars and Trucks for Kids by The Melody Book is the exciting discovery app for car crazy kids! Every boy or girl who has played this has sat enraptured discovering the vehicles and denizens of the Big City. Designed for the preschool set, it captures vehicles that they see within their daily routines, and allows them to interact with objects, the characters on screen, and even an ice cream truck! Graphics are bright and cheerful, and the opportunities for teaching and learning are incorporated within the function of the play itself, rather than as being delivered by rote drilling. And that is what sets this app apart from the pack. Learning evolves organically and can be scaffolded as a child gains competencies.
On opening, one finds a busy street with cars and trucks bustling down the street. Vehicles that are airborne and also an underground subway are included and can be found with the arrows going up or down within the app. A settings tab on the bottom in the shape of a little car icon displays vehicles that kids have discovered as well as the ability to call up favorites. Music can also be turned on/off depending on a child’s tolerance to auditory input.
A simple tap on a vehicle sets gameplay in motion. Each tap identifies the vehicles. In 10 out of the 22 street vehicles, there are mini-games associated with them. The pacing or ratio of play with vehicles that have extended play/mini games is perfect. It slows down the pace for better assimilation and allows the time to find the hidden gems within the game. And this is where teaching opportunities lie – Can you find a car that is red? Can you pop 3 balloons? …or…Is that a Hippo on the school bus?
My favorite, however, is the stoplight. Turning the light red or green stops or starts the vehicles. For kids that have issues with safety, such as running off when in a store or worse – parking lots, controlling the light pairs the action of starting and stopping with the stoplight. Playing red light/green light as an off-screen activity (complete with a flashlight) also sets in motion the beginning of self-regulation within a larger community setting and one we are all very conditioned to responding. Try yelling “Red Light” in the middle of a mall, and watch a host of folks stop in their tracks!
Love, Love, Love this app. Daily routines, imaginative play, counting, colors, and the ability to play and learn about helpers in our world as well as rules and expectations for behavior, make this a well-rounded app. Big City Vehicles – Cars and Trucks for Kids is a TWA Top Pick and one that will quickly become a classic. Highly Recommended.
Jo Booth OTR/L has been an Occupational Therapist for over 35 years, and currently practices at EasterSeals of Sepa, Montgomery County Division mainly focusing in Early Intervention. It is an APS (Approved Private School) and home outreach based setting. She has also worked in Adolescent and Adult Rehabilitation. Writing reviews for Teachers With Apps has been a tremendous opportunity and experience to share and learn with others.