ALPHABLOCKS SERIES 2&3 Client: Blue Zoo/CBeebies
BRING WORDS TO LIFE WITH THE ALPHABLOCKS
This spring CBeebies is launching a ‘Love to Learn’ season as part of the channel’s 10th anniversary celebrations. Here at Plug-in, we’ve been a huge part of that, delivering interactive content to accompany the key early years literacy and numeracy launches.
Alphablocks is a series of adventures designed to help pre-schoolers to learn to read through phonics, using a blend of entertaining word play and exciting narrative. The Alphablocks are 26 letter block characters who land in an empty world. Together they discover that by joining forces and creating words together, they can create anything they can spell! Each episode, they set off with their new powers, armed with their own unique phonetic sound. For example, T ‘tuts’ affectionately everywhere he goes, ‘A’ exclaims a short sharp ‘Aa!’ when an ‘A’pple falls on her head and ‘S’ extendssssssss his words. When the alphablocks work together, they fuse to make brand new sounds, such as OO, SH and AR. The Alphablocks sound out MOON as “m-oo-n MOON!”
Commissioned directly from BBC Children’s Interactive, the format delivers plenty of opportunity for online learning. Not only are the linear episodes premiered online, lots of the episodes are interactive, inviting the user to play along with the Alphablocks and make words to complete the stories. By arranging the Alphablocks to bring words to life you can either move the story on or just have fun! We were responsible for the technical implementation of series 1 of Alphablocks, however with this commission, we’ve also been able to apply our UX expertise and create a usable framework for all 78 episodes. Kids can access the episodes via a soft, goal-orientated approach: each episode is viewable in order of reading ability and and reflects the curriculum-based reading colour range that is used in schools: starting with pink, moving through red, yellow, blue then green. As you work your way through the animated episodes and games, the words become longer and more complex but the charming storylines and clever word play only gets better! The carousel will automatically place you in the place you left off, working as a kind of sticker book, with easy access to the episodes you’ve already seen and hints of the locked episodes to follow.
Alphablocks can be seen on CBeebies every day at 9.20am and you can watch all the shows and play the interactive games here!