Common Sense Review
Updated February 2013

Alien Buddies

Energetic aliens prove effective messengers for teaching pre-reading
Common Sense Rating 3
Teacher Rating (1 Teacher Review) 4
  • Kids practice pre-reading skills by matching letters, numbers, shapes, and colors.
  • In the settings, students can choose beginner, easy medium, or hard; a quiz size of 5, 10, or 20 questions, and other options.
  • In dot-to-dot, kids tap the next number in the sequence to complete a space-themed picture.
  • You can customize numbers to show a range from 1-10, 1-20, or 1-15, and you can customize letters as well.
  • Players earn stickers for completing activities, then have fun decorating one of eight scenes with the stickers.
Pros
Games are fun and easy to play, and who doesn't like a cheeky alien?
Cons
Kids may rip through all the levels, mastering games quickly when they don't find more challenging activities.
Bottom Line
This cute and easy-to-use game can help kindergartners learn shapes, colors, numbers, and letters.
Amanda Bindel
Common Sense Reviewer
Classroom teacher
Common Sense Rating 3
Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return? 3

The four games in Alien Buddies are fun and easy to play, but they might be too easy.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer? 3

Kids could concentrate and get the right answers, but they could also master each level by randomly dragging and tapping aliens.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students? 3

Teacher resources are linked on the home screen, and you can see how and what your students are doing.

About our ratings and privacy evaluation.
How Can Teachers Use It?

Teachers may find Alien Buddies useful for kindergartners struggling with basic concepts like shapes, colors, numbers, or letters. The games are pretty straightforward, so early readers will get straight to the concepts. If kids seem to be improving, teachers (or students) can up their challenge in a few ways, such as with uppercase and lowercase letters and number ranges.

You can't create separate accounts for different students, but you can "reset all" in the parents' section on the home screen to restart when a different student starts.

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What's It Like?

Alien Buddies helps kids learn about shapes, colors, numbers, and letters. The aliens are cute, and they bop around and make funny noises, like "Oh, no!" when moved incorrectly and "All, right! Whee!" when they end up in the right place. That said, mastering all the levels in all the games may not take kids very long, as the games aren't very challenging. Kids could even stumble into correct answers by dragging and dropping aliens indiscriminately.

Both the puzzle and dot-to-dot games offer 18 choices. To make a puzzle, kids choose from four-, six-, or eight-piece games and make a picture of an alien. In the dot-to-dot games, kids form pictures by connecting numbers in the proper order.

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Is It Good For Learning?

Of note are some core pre-reading concepts that students learn through four games: match, puzzle, dot-to-dot, and stickers. In the match game that has eight short rounds, kids load aliens onto the correct spaceship by matching color, shape, number, or letter. They can match by looking or click an object to hear its name spoken and then find the corresponding alien or ship.

Students can vary how much they're challenged in some ways. In the letter match game, they can focus on either lowercase or uppercase letters, or match lowercase to uppercase. In the number match, they can increase their range from 1 to 10, to 1 to 20, to 1 to 50. In all games, kids can earn stickers, and in the stickers game they get to use them.

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See how teachers are using Alien Buddies