There are some very good apps for helping children to practise their spelling, including the recent release of a series of Andrew Brodie Let’s Do Spelling apps.
Now there’s MiniMo Town, which takes a different approach to the same problem. Aimed at 5-9 year-olds, it’s a town-building game that includes lots of spelling elements.
In some ways, it’s a bit like FarmVille or SimCity or other town-building games that adults play: kids create their own metropolis by setting down buildings and responding to the needs of their residents.
This is a pay-upfront game though – no in-app purchases required – with educational elements at its heart. Children will learn the alphabet and spellings for 150 words as they play.
For example, to cut down a tree children have to drag the letter ‘a’ into place in the word ‘saw’ – which creates a saw for them to use. To give a girl a bird, they have to drag the letter ‘b’ into place in ‘bird’ and so on. It feels like a game rather than a spelling test.
There are some other elements that we think will appeal to many children: the inclusion of four monsters who wander into their towns with mischief in mind. There’s a Slime Monster, a Tickle Monster, a Thief Monster and, ahem, a Fart Monster.
We’ve been playing the game this morning, and it’s very easy to get started with: kids build their town from the ground up, learning how the different game features work as they go.
There’s plenty of scope for play too, as children plan out their towns and figure out how they want everything to fit together. MiniMo Town has already won a ‘best educational game’ award in its native Denmark, and we can see why. Now children outside Denmark can enjoy its charms.