3 Apps That Help Your Child Practice Sight Words

As children begin to learn to read, they come to recognize many common words in our language known as sight words.

As children begin to learn to read, they come to recognize many common words in our language known as sight words. Some examples of sight words are they, were, was, and here. Often these words cannot be “sounded out” and help improve reading fluency if memorized. Check out these apps to help build your child’s bank of sight words.


Sight Words Ninja – The Endless Slicing Game to Learn to Read (iOS only)

sight word ninja

Designed after the famous app, Fruit Ninja, this app presents sight words to children to slice and chop. The app begins by tossing 1 word into the air for children to slice. The word is said aloud, and children must slice the correct word. There is not a lot of feedback given for words sliced incorrectly, other than the word being grayed out. Parents, keep watch to be sure your child is discerning the correct word and not slicing all the words presented. As well as watching your child play, be sure to set up the game in the Settings area at a level where your child is challenged and the words are appropriate. There are five different sets of words, three levels of difficulty, and options for the length of the game. The app costs $1.99 and is appropriate for children ages 4-8.


Word BINGO (iOS, Android)

word bingo

Word BINGO provides a fun way to practice recognizing and spelling over 300 words from the Dolch sight words list. Three activities engage children to identify spoken Dolch words, and one activity has children unscrambling letters to practice spelling them. Every time you make bingo or spell ten words, two of the other activities become available. These activities are game-like, entertaining, and motivating but still have users practicing from the word lists. Children earn bingo bugs that they can play with after successfully completing activities. Some key features in Word BINGO are the multi-player format, a user report card, levels for word lists and games, and thorough instruction and options pages. Parents, be aware that the music is upbeat and could be viewed as distracting to other children working nearby or to yourself. There is an option to mute the sound. The app costs $2.99 and is appropriate for children ages 4-8.


Sight Words Games & Flash Cards for Reading and Spelling Success at School (Learn to Read Preschool, Kindergarten and Grade 1 Kids) (iOS, Android, Kindle)

sight words

This app provides a variety of games for reinforcing identification of sight words. In each game, words are paired with speech so even very young children can experience over 200 sight words. The games are engaging and fun for young learners. Children will enjoy the word machine, which pops out 3 options for a sight word from which the child must pick the correct one. Another unique game is the gears game in which children must listen to the center gear say the word and match the brightly colored gear with the sight word. At the end, the gears make a puzzle in which all the gears turn and move together. The app costs $2.99 and is appropriate for children ages 4-8.


Related Blog Post: Pre-Reading Skills: Beyond Letters and Sounds


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Best Apps for Handwriting

Handwriting is an essential skill for early childhood development. Learning to hold a pencil or marker and then construct meaningful lines is a process that leads to learning letter and number formation.


Read our recommendations for apps that help with handwriting and other skills associated with reading development.


Many of the following apps work not only for handwriting, but also for other skills associated with reading development. Learning to name letters, form them correctly, and associate the correct sound with the letter are all processes developed during the pre-reading stage of development. Try out these apps to develop early handwriting skills. If your child is able to hold a pencil, try a stylus for easier transfer of the skill from the iPad to paper.


abc PocketPhonics: letter sounds & writing + first words

abc PocketPhonics app icon

abc PocketPhonics: letter sounds & writing + first words brings several important language skills together into one app. In abc PocketPhonics, children learn to recognize letters, hear letter sounds, form letters by tracing, and use the letter sounds to build words. Parents are able to create multiple users, control the font and letter types, choose the letters their child will work on, and determine how skillful the writing needs to be. The app introduces letters in small groups and works on each individual letter before moving on to the next group of letters. As each letter is introduced, the app gives the letter sound and tells your child to repeat it. Encourage your child to say the sound out loud as they play the app. Parents can opt into a weekly email that provides an update on your child’s progress. The app tracks the user’s answers and does not advance them without first demonstrating mastery of the basics. This app is appropriate for children ages 4-6 and costs $6.99.


LetterSchool- learn to write letters and numbers

letter school

LetterSchool learn to write letters and numbers is another best app to add to your child’s collection of letter and number writing experiences. Letter School clearly introduces each letter, sound, or number (1-9) with an additional 3 levels of interaction that supports your child from tracing a line to forming the letter all on their own. A variety of animations keep the content fresh and interesting for kids. Use bubbles or railroad tracks to trace over the lines. The positive, motivational feedback encourages your child and will keep them wanting to use this app! Check out the lite version to try out some of the content for free. The app is appropriate for children starting to use crayons and markers for the tracing portion of the app and should last up through mastery of the letters, approximately ages 3-5. The app costs $4.99.


iTrace – handwriting for kid


iTrace – handwriting for kids provides a simple approach to practicing handwriting. The main menu offers clean choices of practice with uppercase letters, lowercase letters, or numbers. In addition, there is word section that has an area to practice writing your child’s name, thematic words, or a customizable word list. The app has a few distinctive features, such as left-hand friendly modeling and individual tracking, and it supports multiple users.


Related Blog Post:
Does My Child Still Need to Learn Handwriting? (Demme Learning)


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Top 10 Must-Have Math Apps

This week we present an array of math apps to help students learn essential concepts, from preschool to high school.

Must-Have Math Apps


Motion Math Pizza

Motion Math: Pizza! (iOS only) teaches children beginning economics by simulating a pizza shop. While using the app, children are learning about economics, setting prices, and serving customers through simulation. Parents, follow up the use of this app with conversations about why certain things cost more money than others and how your family makes purchasing decisions.


Bugs and Bubbles

Bugs and Bubbles (iOS only) is an engaging app for younger children. The randomized practice offers multiple ways to practice beginning math skills in a visually rich environment. Counting, upper- and lowercase letters, and sorting are all presented with a fun garden theme.


Pet Bingo

Pet Bingo – by Duck Duck Moose (iOS only) is a math fact practice app that includes addition, subtraction, multiplication, anddivision. This app can be replayed for a long time and could be used with multiple children in your house. Children earn rewards for completing math facts correctly in order to care for their virtual pet.


Quick Math

Quick Math – Multiplication Table & Arithmetic Game (iOS only) offers basic math fact practice with a simple, clean interface. KinderTown’s favorite feature about Quick Math is that you can write on the screen with your finger and it will recognize the answer. Quick Math has also developed the apps Quick Fractions and QuickClocks that provide similar practice of the concepts.


Dragon Box Algebra

Dragon Box Algebra 5+ (iOS, Android, Kindle Fire, Windows Phone) is an app that develops algebra skills with approachable problems for children starting at age 5. (There is a second Dragon Box app for more advanced students, called Dragon Box Algebra 12+.) Both apps create problems that must be solved visually in order to make the quantities on both sides of the screen equal. This app is excellent for preparing students for algebraic thinking.


Splash Math

Splash Math (iOS, Kindle, Android) is a series of apps that are made for each grade level. The Splash Math apps cover an entire year’s worth of math skills. Through the app, randomized practice is presented to your child. The app also offers parent features such as progress reports and the ability to customize the skills your child is practicing. This app serves as a great reinforcement of concepts your child has already learned in math.


Math Doodles

Math Doodles (iOS only) is a puzzle app that brings a visual perspective to math thinking. This app contains many complex concepts and spans a wide range of skills. Your six-year-old child could use this app as well as a high school student because of the ability to change the type of puzzle pieces presented from simple dice to Roman numerals.


Operation Math

Operation Math (iOS, Android) has created two apps, Operation Math and Operation Math Code Squad. Operation Math simulates high-tech, intense math missions for children to undertake. Operation Math Code Squad follows the same ideas, but up to 4 players can play at the same time. There is a timer feature in this app, and if your child does not like the feeling of being rushed or timed, this would not be a good match. Operation Math Code Squad is an example of how apps can involve multiple players in order to practice math facts.


Motion Math Zoom

Motion Math: Zoom (iOS only) moves your child along the path of learning numbers, place value, and number relationships with this thoughtful app. By the use of analytics, the app guides your child at his own pace through a variety of number quantities with the goal of helping him manipulate a number line and make connections between 1’s, 10’s, 100’s, and eventually decimals. The game appears simple as numbered balloons float on the screen, but the swiping, pinching, and tapping will keep your kids on their toes.


Related Blog Post:
3 Problem-Solving Math Activities for Kids (Demme Learning)


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myBlee Math

We’re coming at you with a review of myBlee Math, an app that provides instruction, practice, and parent feedback...at a monthly cost. But it might be just to banish math anxiety in your young student!

myBlee Math


myBlee Math

myBlee Math app review.

myBlee Math offers a wide variety of elementary math lessons on topics such as measuring line segments, working with money, mental math and multi-digit addition for students ages 5-8. KinderTown likes how the app gives initial instruction on a particular concept before the child is asked to practice or apply it. The instruction is given with a female robotic-like voice. Another great feature is the use of “MyScript” technology that can identify a child’s handwriting as she writes her answer directly on the screen. Children will also find the use of the digital manipulatives which include movable rulers, blocks, protractors, etc. both interesting and helpful for solving problems. myBlee is an app that would benefit students who need additional practice with math concepts. The app offers communication to parents about their student’s progress through frequent emails. The app is free for 10 minutes each week. Subscriptions can be purchased for students who need more time per week for $9.99 a month or for $74.99 for a year.


Read about other math apps here.


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Best Apps for Math Fact Practice

It’s back to school time and I bet many of you are looking to sharpen up your child’s math facts. Make practicing math fun and interesting with these apps!


Make practicing math facts fun with these apps!

Math Fact Apps

Sushi Monster

Read KinderTown's review of Sushi Monster.

Sushi Monster is made by Scholastic, and is completely free! Sushi Monster is a delightful app for strengthening kids’ math fluency and reasoning with addition and multiplication.


Operation Math

Read KinderTown's review of Operation Math.

Operation Math makes practicing math facts unbelievably fun! Check out the full review inside the KinderTown app.


Math Bingo

Read KinderTown's review of Math Bingo.

Math Bingo is a fun way to practice math facts. Users choose a character, identify if they want to work on adding, subtracting, multiplying, dividing, or a mix of all four; tap on easy, medium, or hard, and then set to work filling a bingo board with bugs as they solve math problems. Download KinderTown for more information.


Quick Math

Read KinderTown's review of QuickMath.

Be Quick, Be accurate! QuickMath works to improve math fact fluency by offering the challenge of speed and accuracy. Check out the review inside the app!


Follow KinderTown’s board Number Sense and Math Play on Pinterest.


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