Appysmarts.com Best Apps for Young Brains


Best sight words apps for kids recommended by Appysmarts reviewers.


Below you can find the best educational apps for early literacy activities focusing on sight words learning and practice. These apps are available for iPad, iPhone or Android device (Google Play).

You may also like the list of: Best kids apps for phonics practice

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Sight Words & Spelling with Pixopop HD

Sight Words & Spelling with Pixopop HD
by SoGaBee

Price: 2.99$
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iPad

Overall Score: 95/100

version reviewed: 1.0

reviewed:


Best for: Teacher & parent tools, Attention & concentration, Early literacy, Language, Thinking & problem solving

What it is: an app for teaching sight words and spelling with 240 sight words divided into 24 lists (with an option to create custom lists).

What you do with it: there are three modes of using the app: audio flashcards (review the words one by one), word challenge (listen to the word and point to the correct word on the screen) and spelling practice (listen to the word and try to spell it using the on-screen keyboard).

What we liked: the concept, simple graphics, ease of use, the option for creating custom word lists, detailed stats of child's progress, the Tricky Word List feature (automatically keeps track of the words the child has difficulty with).

What we didn't like: the narration could be more lively and inspiring. The 'trophies' rewards system (you get a simple picture for each list completed) may be not too enticing for the target age group. We would like to see some sort of instructions and guidance for parents within the app. As we understand there is no option to track the progress of more than one student.

Bottom line: a very good tool for educators and parents of children learning to read and spell. Can also be used for students learning English as a second language.

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Gappy's First Words™ - Android version

Gappy's First Words™ - Android version
by Spinlight

Price: 2.99$
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Android

Overall Score: 90/100

version reviewed: 1.3

reviewed:


Best for: Education, Attention & concentration, Early literacy, Language
Video

What it is: an app for reading and spelling practice (over 200 3 letter CVC and sight words).

What you do with it: 4 levels of difficulty: beginner: listen to the instructions and point to the letter whose name you hear, easy: listen to the word and identify one missing letter, medium: listen to the word and identify 2 missing letters, hard: listen and spell the whole word.

Simple reward system: for every 10 correct answers you get a new piece for Gappy's house.

The app also has a practice mode (sound keyboard with letter sounds/letter names).

What we liked: the concept. Good educational value. Simple illustrations. Simple (but motivating for the target age group) reward system. Ease of use. Overall quality of the app.

What we didn't like: 10 word sets to get a reward piece may be too much for some kids (the spelling activity itself may not offer enough variety to keep some kids occupied). No progress tracking.

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Gappy Learns Reading

Gappy Learns Reading
by Spinlight Studio

Price: 2.99$
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iPhone

Overall Score: 90/100

version reviewed: 1.0

reviewed:


Best for: Education, Attention & concentration, Early literacy, Language
Video

What it is: an app for reading and spelling practice (over 200 3 letter CVC and sight words).

What you do with it: 4 levels of difficulty: beginner: listen to the instructions and point to the letter whose name you hear, easy: listen to the word and identify one missing letter, medium: listen to the word and identify 2 missing letters, hard: listen and spell the whole word.

Simple reward system: for every 10 correct answers you get a new piece for Gappy's house.

The app also has a practice mode (sound keyboard with letter sounds/letter names).

What we liked: the concept. Good educational value. Simple illustrations. Simple (but motivating for the target age group) reward system. Ease of use. Overall quality of the app.

What we didn't like: 10 word sets to get a reward piece may be too much for some kids (the spelling activity itself may not offer enough variety to keep some kids occupied). No progress tracking.

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Best Apps for Young Brains - get our weekly app recommendations by e-mail!


Monkey Word School Adventure

Monkey Word School Adventure
by THUP games

Price: free
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iPhone

Overall Score: 89/100

version reviewed: 1.03

reviewed:


Best for: Education, Attention & concentration, Early literacy, Eye-hand coordination, Interaction, Thinking & problem solving

What it is: a pack of 6 activities for early reading and writing practice (mostly 3-5 letter words and basic sight words).

What you do with it: set up and (optionally) configure the account for a child (range of activities and difficulty level). The activities include: tracing letters (trace letters with your finger), rhyming maze (connect the words that rhyme), phonics bridge (find the missing sound in a word), spelling stone (drag letters to the correct place to spell a word), sight birds (collect the sight words on the screen), word wall (find hidden words). The difficulty level will be adjusted automatically as you progress. There is also a simple rewards system with stickers.

What we liked:the concept, good educational value, simple but engaging tasks, wide range of early-reading/writing topics (spelling, phonics,letters,tracing etc), lively graphics and animations, spoken instructions, visual hints, multiple user accounts with customization options, locked out 'parent menu'.

What we didn't like: the activities can get repetitive after some time. We wish there were more activities focusing on phonics.

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TeachMe: Kindergarten

TeachMe: Kindergarten
by 24x7digital

Price: 1.99$
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iPhone

Overall Score: 89/100

version reviewed: 3.2

reviewed:


Best for: Education, Attention & concentration, Early literacy, Early math, Eye-hand coordination, Interaction, Language, Thinking & problem solving, Understanding of the world

What it is: a pack of activities for teaching sight words, spelling, addition and subtraction.

What you do with it:please see our video review.

What we liked: high educational value, easy operation, audio instructions and clues, intelligent reward system, 'player' configuration, management and reporting options.

What we didn't like: activities may get repetitive after some time. We experienced occasional audio glitches when using this app.

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Simplex Spelling HD - Dolch Sight Words With Reverse Phonics

Simplex Spelling HD - Dolch Sight Words With Reverse Phonics
by Pyxwise Software Inc.

Price: 4.99$
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iPhone

Overall Score: 88/100

version reviewed: 1.7.2

reviewed:


Best for: Teacher & parent tools, Attention & concentration, Early literacy, Language, Thinking & problem solving

What it is: an app for improving spelling and reading skills, contains over 260 high frequency sight words divided into 26 lists organized by spelling patterns and difficulty levels.

What you do with it: choose the word set, then listen to the instructions and examples and try to spell words correctly using the on-screen keyboard.

What we liked:the concept, wide range of learning material, the way the learning material is presented (extensive use of text and audio instructions and hints, sample sentences), simple to use interface, support for multiple user accounts (with separate word stats for every user), support for American, British and Canadian English spelling, very high educational value.

What we didn't like: could be a bit more appealing visually. Navigation is not consistent. In addition to the help menu we would like to see some sort of instructions/guidance for parents.

Bottom line: an excellent choice for teachers and parents (we recommend the whole Simplex Spelling series of apps).

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Spelling Words: Card Matching Game

Spelling Words: Card Matching Game
by @Reks

Price: 1.99$
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May contain `more apps` links
iPhone + iPad

Overall Score: 87/100

version reviewed: 3.0

reviewed:


Best for: Education, Attention & concentration, Early literacy, Eye-hand coordination, Interaction, Language, Memory, Thinking & problem solving, Understanding of the world

What it is: a memory game with over 600 words for enhancing reading and spelling skills.

What you do with it: play the memory game with words (instead of pictures like in the 'classic' memory game). Match pairs of words by either reading or listening to them. 3 play modes: single player, two players (where kids take turns) or player against the 'computer'. There is additional minigame which can be played between the main memory games.

What we liked: the concept, easy operation, good educational value, number and choice of words (short vowel words, long vowel words, sight words), many configuration options (uppercase/lowercase, word lists, 6/12/18 tiles), clear pronunciation of all of the words, the visual prompt option (to take a quick look at the cards).

What we didn't like: dull graphics, big ad for other apps from the developer, no rewards system (could be helpful as the game can get boring after a while), the scoring system is not kid-friendly. The extra minigame is very basic (you just tap a 'similar' dinosaur and that's it).

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Word Wagon HD - by Duck Duck Moose

Word Wagon HD - by Duck Duck Moose
by Duck Duck Moose

Price: free (was 2.99$)
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May contain `more apps` links
iPad

Overall Score: 87/100

version reviewed: 1.0.2

reviewed:


Best for: Education, Attention & concentration, Early literacy, Eye-hand coordination, Interaction, Language, Personal & social, Thinking & problem solving, Understanding of the world

What it is: an app for teaching letters, phonics and spelling (about 100 words).

What you do with it: drag the letters to the right place to spell the words (letter sounds/phonics practice). The words will be read aloud, and spelled either letter by letter or by phonics (depending on the mode). The advanced modes don't include the visual clues (spelling practice).

What we really liked: the concept, quality graphics, easy operation, voice clues, additional interactive elements, overall 'look and feel' and quality of the app. Good educational approach (inclusion of both letters and phonics, choice of words). Good progress/scoring tool.

What we didn't like: range of words could be wider. The progress will not be saved when you close the app. Audio quality could be a little better. The activities are rather repetitive.

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Word Wagon - by Duck Duck Moose

Word Wagon - by Duck Duck Moose
by Duck Duck Moose

Price: free (was 2.99$)
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May contain `more apps` links
iPhone

Overall Score: 87/100

version reviewed: 1.0.4

reviewed:


Best for: Education, Attention & concentration, Early literacy, Eye-hand coordination, Interaction, Language, Personal & social, Thinking & problem solving, Understanding of the world

What it is: an app for teaching letters, phonics and spelling (about 100 words).

What you do with it: drag the letters to the right place to spell the words (letter sounds/phonics practice). The words will be read aloud, and spelled either letter by letter or by phonics (depending on the mode). The advanced modes don't include the visual clues (spelling practice).

What we liked: the concept, quality graphics, easy operation, voice clues, additional interactive elements, overall 'look and feel' and quality of the app. Good educational approach (inclusion of both letters and phonics, choice of words). Good progress/scoring tool.

What we didn't like: range of words could be wider. The progress will not be saved when you close the app. Audio quality could be a little better. The activities are rather repetitive.

Appysmarts


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