Develop Phonemic Awareness with These Educational Apps

One of the most important ways to set your children up for success is to develop their phonemic awareness.

As parents, we all want our children to be successful in the process of learning to read. There are many things parents can do prior to that point in order to set their children up for success. One of the most important is to develop your child’s phonemic awareness. Research shows that phonemic awareness is the number one predictor of a child’s success at reading. It makes sense to approach the development of this skill in many different ways, including apps! Phonemic awareness is the ability to hear, identify and manipulate individual sounds (phonemes) in words. This is done through activities that help the child break those sounds apart, identify the individual sounds, and then change a sound in a word (cat to bat). Check out these apps that help your child develop phonemic awareness.

 

Phonological Awareness Lab

phonological awareness app

This app was designed by a speech language pathologist and covers the different parts of phonemic awareness through activities in a room that looks like a science lab. The activities cover skills such as rhyming, blending sounds, and counting syllables; however, the app does not provide any type of reward or entertainment value. Even when children successfully complete the activities, there are no rewards or free play. The app would be great as an assessment tool for parents or teachers, and the app does record your child’s scores and progress. The app also allows for tracking of multiple students. The app costs $19.99 and is appropriate for children ages 3-6.

 

Dora ABCs Vol 3: Ready to Read!

Dora

Dora ABCs Vol 3 takes your child to a frog fiesta while helping them blend and change sounds to make words. The phonics games have your child blend simple three-letter words together by themselves or with the support of tapping the letters to hear the sounds. Drag and drop the matching picture next to the word. Then the app gives you a new word, and you have to change the initial sound to build the new word; for example, change car to jar. The frog games that your child can play after the phonics practice keep children interested in the app. This app is not very long but practices important early pre-reading skills. The app costs $1.99 and is appropriate for children ages 4-6.

 

Monkey Word School Adventure

monkey word

Monkey Word School Adventure uses mini-games to help kids get started on the road to reading. Games include spelling, letter identification, rhyming, and much more. Kids love the fast-paced and engaging activities. Children are rewarded with special pieces to add to their own terrarium. Parents get so much value out of the descriptive settings page that break down the learning in each mini-game. The app auto-adjusts based on your child’s play or gives the controls to the adults for customizing the app. Either way, you will know what your child is working on! The app costs $1.99 and is appropriate for children ages 4-6.

 

If you are looking for more apps to support your child in pre-reading, check these ones out.

 

Download the most popular guide to finding and using educational apps for kids!



Tags: , , , , , , , ,


Top Science Apps for Young Children

Check out these great apps for young children interested in science.

Young children are keenly aware of their surroundings, which inevitably relates to science. Check out these great apps for young children interested in science.

 

Top Science Apps

 

Grandpa in Space (iOS only)

Grandpa in Space

Grandpa in Space provides children with an engaging science experience where they can learn science facts.  The app does a nice job of integrating other content areas while learning about science. Other skills presented in the app include: identifying shapes and opposites, memory skills, and rhyming. The app presents the skills in an outer space-themed environment where children can design their own space ship, ride in it with grandpa, and watch short interesting movies about each planet in between practicing skills. We love grandpa’s guidance in learning and his high fives!

 

Weird But True by National Geographic (iOS only)

weird but true

Weird But True is a fantastic free app for children who love to read books with fun science facts or impress their friends and family with interesting tidbits of information. The facts are presented to children in a colorful way, and they can rate the “weirdness” of the app and collect their favorites by pressing the heart. The Weird But True app is free and contains a “pack” of free facts. Additional packs require an in-app purchase that is gated with a math fact (that children may be able to solve). We suggest that you monitor your child’s use of the app so he or she does not mistakenly make in-app purchases.  A fascinating app for the fact-lover in your house!
 

GazziliScience

Gazzili Science (iOS only)
Play with items in a water tank, plant a seed and watch it grow, or taste an apple pie! Gazzili Science introduces young learners to science topics in a kid-friendly environment. In the app, kids progress through six science learning areas that teach through discovery and narration. After completing each area your child can go to the Gazzili fun page where prizes earned throughout the game are used to build a unique contraption. The app also includes an option to turn on the printed narration of the app for hearing impaired students, and that’s pretty cool!

 

Related Blog Post:
4 Superb Science Apps for Kids

 

Download the most popular guide to finding and using educational apps for kids!



Tags: , , , ,


Pre-Reading Skills: Beyond Letters and Sounds

Preschool and Kindergarten students learn to identify letters when learning how to read.

Preschool and Kindergarten students (ages 4 to 6) learn to identify letters when learning how to read. It is also valuable for children at this age to practice rhyming, identifying letter sounds, segmenting words into individual sounds, and identifying syllables in words to support and strengthen their beginning reading skills.

 

Read with Doc McStuffins: Letters and Sounds

docmcstuffins

This app offers five pre-reading activities for preschoolers. It’s much more than an app to practice letters. The app focuses on the following skills: tracing and matching lower and upper case letters, recognizing letters and letter sounds, listening and matching rhymes, determining syllables, and hearing beginning, middle and ending sounds in words. The activities are expertly created and simulate lessons in preschool and kindergarten classrooms. The app will grow with your child as he learns the letters and gains reading skills. The animation and characters in this app come to life (no surprise from Disney) to motivate your child and help him focus on learning the skills. KinderTown is impressed with the quality of the content provided by the app. Our child testers enjoyed the balance of rewarding activities with the learning games. This app ranks at the top as one of the best we’ve seen for preschoolers.

 

Parents, watch your preschooler interact with the app and then simulate the activities in the real world with your child for extra practice. For example, the app uses common words to determine the number of syllables in a word. Ask your child questions like, “How many syllables do you hear in the word macaroni?” “How many syllables are in the word banana?” To imitate the rhyming games, ask your child, “Which word rhymes with cat, bat, or wagon?”

 

Check out the Power Pack: Letters and Sounds: Ages 5-6 for more tips about how to effectively use apps to help your child learn pre-reading skills, as well as hands-on activities you can do with your child.

 

Do you have a kindergarten or budding learner who investigating letters and sounds? This Power Pack is for you!



Tags: , , , , , , ,


Language Arts Apps for Elementary Students

Here are a few Language Arts Apps for elementary students.

Here are a few Language Arts Apps for elementary students, approximately grades K-3.

If you are using Spelling You See – Listen and Write, check out Starfall ABC’s and Gappy Learns Reading.

 

Language Arts Apps

 

Bluster Deluxe (iOS only)

Bluster deluxe

Bluster Deluxe challenges students to make connections in word patterns as they read. Content focuses on rhyming, prefixes and suffixes, synonyms, homophones, adjectives and more. The game offers options for playing against others or working independently. Children will need to have a solid foundation with reading word lists in order to avoid frustration. If your child is beginning to read chapter books, this app would be a great fit to boost their vocabulary.

 

 

Starfall ABCs (iOS, Kindle Fire and Google Play)

starfall abc's

Starfall ABCs brings each letter to life with pictures, animation, games, songs, and stories! Using a clear and articulate voice, each letter is identified by name, sounds, and words. Children interact with each letter by tapping, sliding, sorting, and dragging objects through five or more screens of engaging phonics learning. Many of the letters include real pictures as well as animations. The most exciting part of this app may be the sign language animations from the bottom menu! Starfall ABCs is a must-have app for children learning their letters, letter sounds, and beginning to read.

 

Gappy Learns Reading (iOS, Google Play, Kindle Fire)

Gappy's First Words

Gappy Learns Reading supports young kids by building words letter by letter and sound by sound. Gappy gets lost from his home and your child needs to build 10 words to get him to his house. After building 10 words, prizes can be earned to customize the house. There are four levels in the app to accommodate a wide variety of abilities, from early learners who are beginning to work on letter identification, to early readers who have greater knowledge of how words are formed. Customization in the app includes turning on and off word sets and letter formation. This is a well-designed app for learning about letters and sounds while building words.

 

Reading Raven Vol. 2 – iOS only

readingraven2

Reading Raven Vol. 2 continues the excellent language development play from the original app. Designed to build on Reading Raven Vol. 1, kids work through digraphs (sh, qu), blends (spr, mp), and reading words and sentences with word lengths up to six letters. The play is the same with colorful thematic areas for repeated practice that thoughtfully build on each other. Adults can customize the activities for their child’s needs, and learn about all the levels right inside the app.

 

Related Blog Post:
Winning Word Apps

 

Download the most popular guide to finding and using educational apps for kids!



Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Winning Word Apps

Playing with words is an excellent way to develop vocabulary, develop spelling skills and learn new words along the way. Check out these winning word apps!

 

Playing with words is an excellent way to develop vocabulary, develop spelling skills and learn new words along the way. Check out these winning word apps!

Word Apps

Curious Words

Curious Words is an exploratory app that inspires children to make connections between words and their personal surroundings. Read KinderTown's review.

Curious Words is an exploratory app that inspires children to make connections between words and their personal surroundings. My children love to create videos on their iPad. This app works to direct a child’s learning while making videos. The app prompts children with words, and then they are to take a picture that coordinates with the word. Children can swipe to the left or the right to choose new words. The app then combines the words and pictures into a unique video for the child.  If the child does not like the video they can easily deleted the video and rerecord. For young readers, the words are read aloud, so the focus of the app is word associations not learning to read the words and developing creativity and curiosity. Curious Words is $1.49 at the time of this review and is appropriate for children ages 4-7.

 

Word Sundae

Word Sundae is a smart spelling game for kids and their parents or peers. Read KinderTown's review.

Word Sundae is a smart spelling game for kids and their parents or peers. Word Sundae can be played in different ways, but always involves 2 players. Play against the computer, a parent, a friend or sibling. Children are presented with Scrabble-like tiles that they must combine to make a word in their sundae bowl. KinderTown likes how scoring is different for kids and parents to level the playing field for friendly competition. A child friendly dictionary is automated within the app, so children must submit real words not nonsense words. Children earn rewards along the way such as extra turns, bonus tiles and extra points. Word Sundae is .99 and appropriate for children ages 5-8.

 

Endless Wordplay

The lovable monsters are back! This time with a focus on reading rhyming words. Read KinderTown's review.

The lovable monsters are back! This time with a focus on reading rhyming words. The monsters travel around a map with stops along the way. Once the monster stops his mouth opens with a rhyming word. The word is sneezed out and the letters are scattered.  Your child must reconstruct the word. The letter sounds are made when the letters are touched and the word is read once the word is reconstructed. The app does require the child to reconstruct the word in letter order. The words continue to be presented and all relate to a rhyming family; ran, can, pan, tan. Once a series is complete a sentence is presented with the rhyming words in context and the monsters act it out. The app is free and does have in-app purchases ($4.99) to buy more rhyming families once you complete the 3 free rhyme families. A great app for the beginning reader in your family.

 

 

Download the most popular guide to finding and using educational apps for kids!



Tags: , , , , ,