Vocab-a-splat is a vocabulary-building game that teaches children the meanings of high-frequency words they encounter while reading. The object of the game is to collect enough paint to color the pictures in the Vocab-a-splat Gallery.

Based on Sound Educational Research

Vocab-a-splat is recommended for children aged 4-6. The app is an extension of The First 4,000 Words, a research-based online program for schools that was field tested with children in grades 1-4.

The 200 words taught in Vocab-a-splat were selected from two well-regarded sources: The Educator’s Word Frequency Guide and Hiebert’s Word Zones™ corpus.

Target Audience

  • Ages 4+

Program Benefits

  • Engaging game play.

    Using a slingshot, players fling balls at the pictures to match the spoken words. Players try to make 10 matches before running out of balls. Animations and sound effects sustain the fun.

  • Words organized by theme.

    Words are organized according to 20 common themes such as “Family,” “Science,” and “Around the World.”

  • Progressive challenge.

    As players progress through the game, the targets become smaller and the words more difficult.

  • Contextual help is available.

    Players can tap the gramophone when they need help with word meanings.

How It Works

The object of the game is to collect enough paint to color the pictures in the Gallery.

  1. Tap an unlocked, gray masterpiece in the Gallery. You will go to the Word Learning Studio.
  2. Listen to the word. Tap the word to hear it again. You can hear a definition by tapping the “?” on the gramophone.
  3. Touch and hold the ball on the string and pull it toward you. Aim at the target below the picture that matches the word and release the ball.
  4. If you hit the correct target, the color is sucked from the picture and collected in the tube. If you miss, the pictures stay in place.
  5. Try to get 10 words correct before you run out of balls.
  6. After you get 10 correct, a paintball will form from the tube. Shoot the paintball at the masterpiece. Vocab-a-splat!
  7. When you return to the Gallery, the masterpiece will be painted. The number of stars in the frame indicate your success.


Plan Price Details
Vocab-a-splat $0.99 Compatible with iPad.