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I read most of the call to action articles out there..however most of them rely on the fact the user can read and understand what the call to action does. I am designing an app for kids (age 2-3) to teach them the alphabet and I was wondering how to create a call to action for them to start the game since they perhaps wont understand the word. I assume it will be colorful but anything else we need to do?

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Study shows that the kids don't learn anything from the electronic screen until they are at the age of 2.5 years. Alphabet video games don't help kids learn, the games could cause ADHD, because of the fast changing pictures, sounds and colours, and that will be a problem when they go to school and have to sit and listen to the teacher for 45min. Please watch this: – Igor-G Jan 25 '13 at 8:31
@BennySkogberg I did't say that the games do, said that they could cause. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder = significant difficulties of inattention or hyperactivity and impulsiveness... If you look at any of the games targeted at kids this is what they do: a lot of bright colours, fast changing images and sounds. The problem will be sitting in the class where they have to look at the teacher. And if they cant do it that is when they are diagnosed with ADHD. – Igor-G Jan 25 '13 at 8:48
The issue here is not to find out what causes ADHD, I'm not a doctor, but that the kids that are under the age of 2.5 are not going to learn anything from the screen – Igor-G Jan 25 '13 at 9:12
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Why do you need to "start" the game? Can't it start "by itself" whe it loads? Like Dora Explorers game "Say it in two ways"? This game learns the kid English and Spanish at the same time, spelling the word in two languages and speaking them. I've not tried it on my own kids, but I'm sure they'd get around it pretty fast.

Important with the screenshot below is the call-to-action button to the left. They seem interesting and "I want to know more" even if I don't understand them instantly. Exploring is a big part of a kids learning.

enter image description here

The game is situated on Nick Jr games for 2-3 years old. Try all 35 of them and see if you get any idea from there.

National Swedeish Television (SVT) also have a kids web site which aims strictly at kids. I can't navigate the ** thing, but my kids could when they we're 2-3 of age. And if you dont know Swedish - see if you can understand a different language and what to do where. I belive some ideas can come from SVT childrens site Bolibompa!

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Thanks for the input, the plan was to start the game intially but there was some feedback that there might be some need for a small tutorial.Hence the need for a button to say play once they are done with the tutorial – Mervin Johnsingh Jan 25 '13 at 8:46
@Mervin I see. If you don' get a better answer, I'll try to update the answer tomorrow. Our kick-off starts now :-) – Benny Skogberg Jan 25 '13 at 9:04

Good question!

I think I'd really try to make it look like something they'd press in real life, far more than I would a button for adults. Perhaps also add an image of a hand/finger pointing at it, or a voice that prompts them.

You could even do something like having an animated character 'hand' them something (when they tap it advances them), or ask them to do a high-five with the character (which advances them).

Either way I think lots of testing is in order once you come up with some good options :)

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the plan was to start the game intially but there was some feedback that there might be some need for a small tutorial.Hence the need for a button to say play once they are done with the tutorial.

I'm not sure why you would need a tutorial for a game designed for a 2-3 year old. If anything, the game should teach the game mechanics while they are playing the game.

If you're talking about just a simple way for the child to advance to the next level, Ben Durnell's suggestion of a "high five" with a clap sound effect sounds pretty interesting.

I'm not sure what type of tasks your game will ask, but if the child needs to drag an object next to the letter it starts with for example, I would have an animated hand gesturing to "tap" on an object and "drag" it to the corresponding letter (perhaps in a ghost effect or arrows pointing to a silhouette of the object).

The idea is to show how to play the game while still playing the game.

But I would test this as much as possible even if you only have 2-3 levels built.

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