Appysmarts.com Best Apps for Young Brains


Best apps for kids: spelling.


Educational games for preschool kids and kindergarteners for spelling practice.
To create this list the Appysmarts reviewers collected top educational apps for children featuring:


  • spelling activities

  • crosswords

  • sight words

  • phonics

  • Montessori approach

  • vocabulary development


You may also like Best Apps for Kids: Crosswords.



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Hairy Words 2 - Android Version

Hairy Words 2 - Android Version
by Nessy Learning

Price: 2.99$
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Android

Overall Score: 100/100

version reviewed: 1.0

reviewed:


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

What is it/what do you do with it: a spelling game with 100 sight words.

Spell the words correctly, to collect enough hairy creatures to play a simple game.

What we liked: the concept. Ease of use. Good selection of words. Humor and fun factor. No distracting elements.

What we didn't like: the reward game is very basic. No stats/progress reporting features.

Appysmarts


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  • (years)
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Hairy Words 1 - Android Version

Hairy Words 1 - Android Version
by Nessy Learning

Price: 0.99$
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for price drop alerts!

Android

Overall Score: 100/100

version reviewed: 1.0

reviewed:


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

What is it/what do you do with it: a spelling game with 100 sight words.

Spell the words correctly, to collect enough hairy creatures to play a simple game.

What we liked: the concept. Ease of use. Good selection of words. Humor and fun factor. No distracting elements.

What we didn't like: the reward game is very basic. No stats/progress reporting features.

Appysmarts


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  • Length of play:
  • Educational value:
  • 1
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  • 6
  • (years)
G



Hairy Words 2

Hairy Words 2
by Nessy Learning Limited

Price: 2.99$
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iPhone + iPad

Overall Score: 100/100

version reviewed: 1.0.0

reviewed:


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

What is it/what do you do with it: a spelling game with 100 sight words.

Spell the words correctly, to collect enough hairy creatures to play a simple game.

What we liked: the concept. Ease of use. Good selection of words. Humor and fun factor. No distracting elements.

What we didn't like: the reward game is very basic. No stats/progress reporting features.

Appysmarts


  • Graphic quality:
  • Length of play:
  • Educational value:
  • 1
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  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • (years)
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Lola's ABC Party 2 - Android version

Lola's ABC Party 2 - Android version
by BeiZ

Price: 1.99$
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Android

Overall Score: 97/100

version reviewed: 1.0.2

reviewed:


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

What it is and what you do with it: a set of activities for spelling, word construction and word recognition practice. 4 sets of themed activities (with 8 various activities (spelling, finding missing letters, recognizing words etc, 160 words.

Complete a set activities to play a short mini-game (e.g. prepare an ice cream or decorate a kite). Finish all sets to unlock the final interactive picnic scene.

What we liked: the concept. Good range of activities. Spoken instructions and visual clues. Ease of use. Simple graphics and animations. No distracting elements.

What we didn't like:the reward mini-games may not be too engaging for older kids. We wish there were more configuration options (choice of words, types of activities for practice etc).

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The Berenstain Bears and the Big Spelling Bee

The Berenstain Bears and the Big Spelling Bee
by Oceanhouse Media

Price: 3.99$
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May contain `more apps` links
iPhone

Overall Score: 96/100

version reviewed: 1.09.1

reviewed:


Best for: Interactive books, Attention & concentration, Early literacy, Eye-hand coordination, Interaction, Language

What it is: an interactive version of the Berenstain Bears book by Stan and Jan Berenstain

What you do with it: three ways of 'reading' the books: listen to the narration and follow the text, read the story yourself and auto play (automatic narration and turning pages). Touch the objects on pages and their name will be displayed and read out.

What we liked: the story, excellent reading options (touch the word to have it read out, touch and hold to repeat the paragraph), picture/word associations, professional narration, sounds and sound backgrounds, visual clues.

What we didn't like: relatively high price, limited number of interactive objects, no animations, use of 'system' menus of iPhone/iPad for certain navigation actions.

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  • Length of play:
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Words That Go with Richard Scarry's Busytown Cars

Words That Go with Richard Scarry's Busytown Cars
by Learning Touch

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

Overall Score: 95/100

version reviewed: 1.1

reviewed:


Best for: Education, Attention & concentration, Early literacy

What it is: A simple spelling practice app based on the Richard Scarry's book 'Cars and Trucks and Things That Go'. 45 vehicles, 5 levels of difficulty.

What you do with it: spell names of the vehicles by dragging letters into place. 5 levels/modes: Match letters, Learn left-to-right order, Spell with letter sounds (Phonics), Spell without visual hints (Phonics), Spell sight words and big words.

What we liked: the concept. Original illustrations. Ease of use. Fun factor. Great for Richard Scarry/Busytown fans..

What we didn't like: very basic (not much interaction apart from dragging letters, no rewards/motivation system). Only linear navigation (e.g. no vehicle index, you can't select a particular word/vehicle).

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  • Educational value:
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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.

Appysmarts


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  • 1
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English Maze: First Words HD (US English)

English Maze: First Words HD (US English)
by Cambridge English Online Ltd

Price: 0.99$
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iPad

Overall Score: 90/100

version reviewed: 1.0

reviewed:


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

What it is and what you do with it:a simple arcade game for vocabulary/spelling practice. 8 themes: animals, shapes, transport, body, numbers, food, letters, colors).

Tilt the iPad to steer the spaceman around the maze to match the words with pictures in the correct order. Avoid floating aliens and keep your oxygen level up.

What we liked: the concept. Simple illustrations. Sounds and sound backgrounds. Easy game controls. Spoken instructions, clues/help feature. Fun factor. Good educational value. No distracting elements.

What we didn't like:only timed play (we would like to see some optional 'free play' mode). May get a bit repetitive after longer play (we wish there were more game-like features). May be too challenging for kids with poor eye-hand coordination.

Appysmarts


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  • Length of play:
  • Educational value:
  • 1
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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.

Appysmarts


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  • 1
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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.

Appysmarts


  • Graphic quality:
  • Length of play:
  • Educational value:
  • 1
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  • 6
  • (years)
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