Best Alphabet Apps for Kids
My Dad Friend James has been checking out alphabet phonics apps lately so I asked him for a summary of his findings as my kids are well past this stage. Here’s what he says…
ABC Shore for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch.
* focused specifically on upper-case alphabet/letter recognition – not the related but different skills of reading, spelling, vocabulary, writing, lower-case, cursive, etc.
* able to be used by even very young kids independently – perfect on mom’s iPhone in the backseat of the car. No need for mom to adjust settings, worry about advertising or branded characters, help kid navigate levels, etc. No inappropriate content.
* fun for kids without sacrificing educational benefit – much more enjoyable and likely to be used than flashcard-style “drill ’til you kill” apps. Not so silly that kids don’t learn anything.
* economical – not free, but cheaper than similar apps
* timely – who doesn’t want to play on a beach as winter approaches :). $.99
Alphabetic for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch.
A challenging letter search game, most suitable for slightly older children due to its settings/features and frantic pace. It has a “chat with other players” feature which makes me nervous and seems out-of-place in an app for young kids. They also encourage you to buy their other apps from within the app itself. $1.99
iWriteWords a handwriting game for iPhone and iPad.
A fun app but more focused on writing the alphabet and numbers than learning to recognize them. They’re related but different skills as you know. If kids like “connect the dots” style tracing, they’ll enjoy this one. $1.99
Shape-O ABC’s for iPad.
Uses cute puzzles to teach spelling of simple words. Spelling seems like a higher-order skill than letter recognition so this app would seem more suitable for a child with more advanced literacy skills. $1.99
Super Why for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch.
From PBS, so you know it’s fun and based on their educational research. The app has 4 games within it so there’s good value for money. Young kids will like it, but it emphasizes spelling and literacy skills like rhyming and letter writing. Recommended! $2.99
Dr. Seuss’ ABCs for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch.
Pricey but one of the all-time best and most recognized kid alphabet apps. Emphasizes letters but also vocabulary, spelling, picture-word matching. Delightful artwork and narration. $3.99
Alpha Writer for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch.
Very pricey app for kids learning to read by forming words. If you teach spelling with phonetics, you’d like this one since it reinforces letter sounds, especially when they’re combined. Needs a parent involved to explain some complex phonemes. $4.99
To view any app at the iTunes store, just click on image of app.