Best Kids Apps

Spelling and reading for…fun? You know it

 

If there’s one thing we love here at Best Kids Apps, it’s word games.  Our kids like them too, but they’ve got to learn the ABCs before they play Words With Friends.

 

Luckily, there are thousands of alphabet and early reading apps available.

 

Here are a few of our favorites to get your kids heading down the road to literacy!



Toontastic Jr. Pirates

Tell us your story, young scallywag!
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  • Age: 4+ |

  • $1.99


Toonstastic Jr. Pirates is a storytelling app that allows young kids to make their own pirate-themed animated movies.

Kids choose the beginning, middle, and end of their stories by scrolling through sets of scene starters. The characters act out the beginning of a scene, such as “Love at First Catch”, then kids finish the story. They record their own narration (with funny voices, matey) as they move the characters through the scenes.

Why we love it:

The original Toontastic app is one of the best free creative apps for school-aged kids. Teachers use it because it teaches storytelling concepts through imaginative play. This junior version simplifies the process for preschoolers.

Watch out for:

It’s difficult to scroll through the scenes when they move at the speed of a slot machine, so slow it down by tapping the screen gently. The app also doesn’t give kids much time to think of the narration as it counts down quickly to record. To get the perfect movie, kids will need to use the redo button a lot.

 



Word Wagon

The world's most adorable French mouse helps kids learn to spell
  • * * * * *
  • Age: 3+ |

  • $1.99


Word Wagon is a popular educational app that lets preschoolers have f-u-n as they learn to spell words with the help of a beret-wearing mouse named Mozzarella.

Mozz and his best friend Coco jump over objects on a conveyor belt. When kids see an object they would like to spell, they tap on it to stop the conveyor belt, and then drag letter tiles to spell the matching word.

Why we like it:

As kids move up the four levels, they move past learning letter names to learning letter sounds. Coco reads back the words they spell by sounding them out phonetically.

It’s hard not to love Mozz and Coco. If kids need a break from spelling, they can tap on the two characters to hear funny conversations about cheese, pickles and chocolate soufflé.

Watch out for:

This app doesn’t store players’ information, so kids have to earn new reward stickers every time they play.

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LetterSchool

A letter learning app that will have kids coming back for more
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  • Age: 3+ |

  • $2.99


LetterSchool is a “best of the bunch” letter learning and handwriting app that will keep kids coming back for more.  Which is, after all, the whole point.

This is educational technology as it should be!

Subtle audio clues help kids learn the correct way to form letters (paying attention both to order and direction of lines).  Got more than one letter learner in your house?  No problem.  This app can store scores for up to three.

Why we like it:
The app presents kids with a giggling, dancing alphabet.  They choose a letter, say Z.  “This is the letter Z!” enthuses the app, “for z, z, zebra!”  Then, kids have to trace the letter three times.  But it’s not just boring chalk, oh no!  They trace with lights, rockets, gardens, train tracks, chains, and candy necklaces.  Simple animations boost the replay value.

Teachers and occupational therapists will love the fact that they can designate lower or upper case letters (or numbers) as well as choose from three handwriting learning programs.

Once they conquer the blue background level, they’ll unlock the orange background level with many more games.

Watch out for:
It would be nice if we could input kids’ names instead of choosing from the three characters in the settings (which isn’t really very clear).  Maybe for future updates?

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