Sound Seeker

 Sound Seeker
   by BrainBeanz, Ltd.

What sounds do you hear?  Whether you are a parent or a teacher of preschoolers or kindergarteners, this early  to learn sounds application is worth the download.  An added bonus, currently it is being offered at a discounted rate for the up and coming return of school.  BrainBeanz Ltd. is a development group made up of teachers looking to support both parents and other educators.  Having an educational background, BrainBeanz Ltd. fulfills one of the necessary requirements that Applicable2U looks for, gaming for a reason.  Through a great deal of repetition, auditory clues, easy to follow directions and eye catching graphics, Sound Seeker will put your student or child on the road to the early stages of reading.  To avoid confusion, small groups of letters are learned, in turn, leading users towards a better rate of success over time.  What child doesn’t love stickers and rewards?

Prior to beginning, parents might find it helpful to check out the “p” shaped cog in the lower right hand corner.  Here parents and/or educators will find the “parental controls” of the game.  Various letter selections can be made.  At any point in the game, parents can change which mode to encourage or reinforce.  The SATPIN mode is for those just getting started.  This is the default mode and is the only option that generates rewards. Such rewards are stickers representing each letter of the alphabet.  The RANDOM mode will select letters arbitrarily for those using so as to practice both sounds and letter recognition.  If vowels are an area of concern or need of introduction, then set the mode to AEIOU.  The final letter selection is a users choice option.  Here players can choose any six letters that they would like.  To extend the learning opportunities, both upper and lower case letters are reinforced.  In addition, at the completion of each mode, parents have the option to reset the game so the learning continues for another go around. Once these options have been set, let the learning and fun begin!

So how does one play Sound Seeker?  In the four corners of the playing window are letters and in the middle are bean shaped graphics.  The object of the game is to drag the graphics on top of the matching sound that it makes.  It is important to note that users should be familiar with the letters of the alphabet prior to playing.  If players should struggle though, BrainBeanz has come up with a solution by providing users auditory support. With a few simple taps, a narrator will very clearly state each letters sound.  As an added support, when graphics are tapped  that same narrator will indicate what those images are in case of confusion.  With the help of good listening ears, users should start to hear similarities as the sound attaches itself to a word/image.  Through both positive and negative reinforcement users will know if their matches are done correctly.  If a user is unsuccessful they are not penalized for their mistakes, it just means more practice is required.

Applicable2U explored each letter mode, but was pleasantly surprised at our findings when we were rewarded with a sticker in the SATPIN mode.  We were under the impression that the sticker was the only reward and boy were we wrong.  In order to earn a reward, users must progress through with a certain success rate. Once that rate has been met, a twinkling star will appear stating that we earned a sticker!  At this point, users should click the star button in the bottom right corner.  It is here that players will be able to view those stickers collected.  Without giving too much away, be sure to have your little one click on those stickers as it will bring them to additional games, interactivity and enjoyment.  As 10 and 20 stickers are collected, it appears a certificate is earned.  We do wonder, is this certificate printable? In looking at those follow up games, Applicable2U does wonder if it might be possible to set the challenge a bit higher as more stickers are collected, thus indicating a user that is building their letter sound confidence.  It might be interesting to see a match of a graphic and its letter, or two graphics that have the same letter sound.  Applicable2U feels that this would be an even better indicator of awareness for both parents and educators.

Overall, Applicable2U gives Sound Seeker a thumbs up!  Certainly worth the download for our soon to be kindergartener!  As a user completes the sounds of the alphabet or is looking to move on in the development of reading, parents might be interested in also looking at the next reading series, Blend Seeker.  If you would like to learn more about BrainBeanz, Ltd. please visit their website here.  Don’t forget these educational apps are still on sale as of today, August 23, just click here to begin downloading Sound Seeker and Blend Seeker to your iTunes library today!

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