Learning to read involves many complex factors, with one critical skill being an ability to associate alphabet letters with their sounds or phonemes. Although many words will be memorized by bright young children, gaining a system of phonics gives young readers clues to "decode" new words that they confront while reading.
The problem for teachers and parents has always been how to make phonics seem interesting and meaningful to children, when in reality it lies outside of most natural conversation and communication.
Although early childhood educators try to find alphabet books, rhyming games, and phonics songs to help make this study more compelling for students, the advent of iPad phonics apps has become a true game-changer for us!
Now our young students can independently engage with active touchscreen apps that are specifically designed to bring phonics to their emerging literacy. Here are 3 top phonics apps that have unique design features that make them among the best for kindergarten and first grade. Enjoy!
1. Crabby Writer: Phonics, Read & Write (by Mrs. Judd's Games) gives kids a warm beach sand and beautiful seashells to write letters and well known rhyming words. Each letter and word is sounded-out for players as they write on the beach and discover easy-to-read words that float across a sparkling ocean. The app's cute scrapbook stores a player's illustrated, recorded words for review, and it also offers multicultural sandcastles to decorate with letters, numbers, and natural treasures from the sea. Perfect for spring & summertime fun!
2. Endless Alphabet (by Originator Inc.) infuses phonics into the context of learning new vocabulary terms as: Hilarious, Musician, Kind or Exercise. Players can scroll through an endless loop of about 50 vocabulary words that are delightfully animated, and illustrated with adorable "monsters." Those wanting to help children acquire new vocabulary words and build a system of phonics will find this app a true gem that brings humor, action and character development to a child's app investigations.
3. ABC Ninja: The Alphabet Letters and Phonics Slicing Game for Kids (by Innovative Mobile Apps) let's kindergarteners and first graders have fun slicing their way through the alphabet while learning phonics! Kids who loved Fruit Ninja can now enjoy the same fun in an app designed to help then learn letter sounds; and they can explore both lowercase and uppercase letters. Parents and teachers can also adjust the app's difficulty level to customize it for a child's particular perceptual-motor abilities. Love that!