Zap Phonics is a early-level reading game designed primarily for toddlers and preschoolers. Players are introduced to two characters, Zap and Gus, who guide them through gameplay. Instead of teaching the names of letters, Zap Phonics is concerned with the sounds of the letters. Associating the correct sounds is more important than simply memorizing the names of all 26 letters. The game will help players build a strong foundation in phonetics and phonemic awareness skills — necessary tools for sounding out new words and reading passages. With cartoonish animation and engaging narration, young players in particular will enjoy gameplay — especially when Zap puts extra emphasis on his favorite letters. It’s a drag and drop game that requires players to put letter into the basket of a crane. Each time players pick up a letter, Zap makes the corresponding sound. There is no inappropriate content, making Zap Phonics perfect for children aged 3 though 6.
There is only one objective in Zap Phonics -- to place letters into a basket. But the benefits of the game extends far beyond it's seemingly limited design. Players keep playing until all the letters are gone, upon which Zap cheers and commends players for their performance. But because players are constantly hearing the letter sounds each time they drop one into the basket, they are internalizing each playful sound. Soon, they will be anticipating what Zap will say -- maybe even with the right emphasis. The more the game is played, the more familiar young players will become with letter sounds. It's less about rote memorization and more about application.
Letters do not always make the same sound. Vowels in particular, are read differently depending of the letters that come before or after them. While the Zap Phonics takes things "one letter at a time," it's important for players to realize that while there are only 26 letter in the alphabet, there's a much larger range of sounds that they make. It takes strong adaptive thinking skills, as well as exposure to more advanced language, to understand when to apply different sounds. Players should take things one step further and explore the myriad pronunciations and possibilities of the English language.
All membership plans come with full access to our entire suite of tools learning guides, and resources. Here are a few of the ones we think you’ll like the most: