Some things are just timeless, and apparently Mad Libs is one of those things. Perusing through the iTunes App Store, I came across Mad Libs (by Penguin Group USA), a Free fun app for the iPhone and iPad. This free word game app reminded me of my childhood — back when I had time to create lots of stupid and funny stories using these same Mad Libs templates. According to stats inside this Mad Libs’ app, “Over 335 million people have played Mad Libs.” Obviously there are (and were) a lot of us doing the same thing, but I am sure the stories were never the same.
These entertaining and educational word games are not only great learning tools to teach school-aged kid the parts of language and sentence structure, but from my experience, they are notorious for starting plenty of silly kid “giggle-a-thons.” This particular (iPhone and iPad) word game app has been out since 2009, but with its most recent update (11/20/12) offers the complete “Original #1 Mad Libs” book with 21 story templates, a fun new Hint feature, the ability to use your camera (or photos from your camera roll) to add an image to your created story, the option to share stories with others, track stats, and has a stated voice recognition to add words.
Traditionally, this word game is played with 2 players (alternating Reader and Writer) who work together to come up with a crazy and nonsensical story after “blindly” plugging in word parts (nouns, verbs, adverbs, adjectives, names, exclamations, etc.) into a ready made story template. Some of the 21 re-playable story guide templates are: Advice to Prospective Parents, Beauty Advice, Travel Suggestion, Fables, Newpaper Ads, and more. This fun Free word game app can easily be played alone. The reason I say alone is because after you choose a story theme, you don’t actually see the storyline, but are presented with a keyboard and a rectangular-colored box to type in the requested word part. Little dots below the box represent the number of words required to complete a story (at least 16). Kids can come up with their own adjectives, nouns, exclamations, or whatever else is required, and can also use the fun Hint button, which is quite amusing.
Video: Watch Mad Libs – Fun Free App for iPhone and iPad
YouTube App Video Link: Mad Libs iPad App Review – CrazyMikesapps
The reasons it’s so amusing is because this feature uses the accelerometer. Kids will see suggested Hint words displayed as they march by at a steady pace, or for some silly fun, they can speed things up a little and tilt the iPhone or iPad to the left or right to see these words whiz by. But beware, kids with short attention spans may be caught up in the cool seesawing effect — I know I did. I like this feature, not only for adding a cool twist of fun to what could be a pretty boring topic, but this also gives kids a chance to select one of these word types without feeling pressured to come up with one on their own, which also helps them to learn and identify proper word parts — that they’ll eventually be able to mimic on their own.
I’ve tested the story creating process using all my own required words and those solely presented using the Hint feature — both are a blast. There is one thing I should point out when adding words to your story (while using the keyboard) because it may not be obvious right away. You must tap the “next” button on the keyboard to accept the typed or chosen Hint word, which will move you along to the next word choice. The developer description states that there is a voice recognition feature to add words, but I didn’t find it. Just out of curiosity, I created a Mad Libs story using all incorrectly spelled words to see if it would auto correct or suggest words, unfortunately it didn’t, and every single word I spelled wrong showed up in the story just as I had typed it. Personally, I think a spell check would be a very appropriate feature to add to this iPhone and iPad Entertainment app, especially since this free word game app is related to language learning — seems like they’d go hand-in-hand to me.
Anyways, after the words are all selected and your story is complete, you can save it and also add an image by using your camera, image from your camera roll, or none if you don’t want to (which gives its own silly graphic). If your kids want to share the silliness with others, they can then send to friends and family by email, Facebook, or Twitter. There is also a statistics area that will track things like the number of Mad Libs in your collection, time played, pictures taken and amount of Mad Libs shared. This fun Free app is easy to use and has great navigation. Mad Libs has wonderful language learning appeal, offers wholesome family laughs, and plenty of giggles between young friends as they play to create the craziest, zaniest stories around.
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