Mini-Guide: Dora’s Great Big World

LQ: 8.5

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Brain grade: 8.0
Fun score: 9.0

Dora's Great Big World
Game Type: , ESRB Rating: Everyone Platform/Console: , , , LWK Recommended Age: 0–6 Thinking Skills Used: , Academic Skills Used: ,

Android  |  iTunes  |  Kindle

Dora’s Great Big World is a game based on characters from the television show Dora the Explorer. In it, the player visits different islands, each with a mini-game hosted by one of Dora’s friends. Playing the games will earn the player stars. The more stars they earn, the more stickers they can unlock. Once a sticker is unlocked, the player can use stickers to decorate each island. As the player unlocks more stickers, they rise through the ranks of Junior Explorer, Great Explorer, and Super Explorer.

Games included are a letter matching game, a word family (or rhyming) game, a counting game, and an angles game where you tilt levers in order to roll a rock into a hole. Once the player has successfully completed a round of a game, they are treated to some small, interactive surprise (such as touching flowers and making them spin). Each game includes multiple rounds before the player receives their stars.

There is also the added bonus of receiving one free sticker every day you play. When the player opens the app for the first time that day, Dora shows them a sticker to watch for. As they go to each island and play each game, the player will discover that day’s sticker somewhere. When they click on it, Dora will give them a high five and place the sticker in their collection.

The game does include one island, Tico’s Nutty Forest, that has to be unlocked with an in-app purchase. There is also the option to see other similar games, but only after the user has answered a multiplication question. The ESRB gave Dora’s Great Big World an E for Everyone Rating. This is a game geared for early reading and math skills, however. Consequently, LW4K recommends it for those 6 and under, or those who are struggling with their math and reading.

 

 

 


How-LW4K-Works-2-1

Dora's Great Big World helps kids to practice and improve the following skills:

Dora's Great Big WorldFocus

Getting started and then maintaining attention and effort to tasks.

Dora's Great Big World is a game made up of mini-games, making it an ideal tool for helping build short-term focus. The player has to pay attention to the instructions and then get to work on whatever task Dora's friend has set for them. Each mini-game is broken down into rounds, with short rewards in between. This means that the player only has to maintain attention on their task for only as long as it takes them to complete it once. For most kids this will probably be no more than one or two minutes. The brief reward, and the repetition of having to complete multiple rounds, helps reinforce this behavior. If the player does not maintain focus, they won't get the immediate gratification of the mini-rewards and they won't get the bigger sense of pride that comes from "leveling up" their sticker books and explorer ranks. And of course, they'll want to keep playing!

Working Memory

Recalling and retaining information in our minds while working.

It is also very important for the player to follow directions. Dora's Great Big World provides several opportunities to practice this thinking skill. First, every day the app is opened, Dora presents the player with a sticker that is hidden somewhere in the levels. If the player doesn't pay attention to this instruction, they will miss out on the chance to earn a free sticker. Each mini-game and between-round-reward also include instructions for the player. If they don't pay attention and do what they have been told, the player will be unable to complete the games, and will, therefore, not be able to earn stars. Since stars are the quickest way to get new stickers, and stickers are the only way to raise the player's explorer rank, it is very important for the player to follow directions. Without following directions, the player will miss out on stars, stickers, and ranking up.

Reading

As this is meant to be an educational game that works on early reading skills, Dora's Great Big World does provide practice in a few specific reading skills:  letter identification, matching capitals to their lowercase counterparts, letter sounds, and rhyming. The stronger a child is in basic skills like this, the easier it will be for them to transition into early reading with words like cat that follow the easy-to-sound-out consonant-vowel-consonant pattern.

Mathematics

Dora's Great Big World also provides mathematics skills practice in the form of counting and adjusting angles. The counting game provides very basic practice by having the player count out seeds in a garden in the range of 1-9. The angles game is primarily a game that can't be messed up and provides mostly just exposure to the concepts. The final round of this game, however, required more experimenting and work to achieve the desired goal. It is possible that a younger player, or less-experienced player, might need help the first few times through the game.

 

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