My little six-year-old grandson was playing on my iPhone the other day and asked me to download some new game applications - for the uninitiated - apps are smart phone, eReader and iPad applications.
That's when I realized that I’ve been missing the boat. Although we love Doodle Jump and Angry Birds, new apps mean new opportunities to find something educational... something that could provide my grandson with some reading help. Genius!
As we started to search for children’s reading games in the App Store, I became completely overwhelmed. So I decided to do my own homework – with some help from iPhone Mom, I now know a little more about a few of the best educational and reading apps available.
Here Are My Top Ten Reading Apps for Children:
WordUs2 is a fun word game that is part word ladder and part Mastermind. The quick start game has you guessing a 5 letter word, but go into Select Game Mode and you can set the options for words as small as 3 letter words. Also in game mode, you can play Calm and Collected where you guess the word in you own time, Think Fast which is a timed round, and a couple of other options too.
2. THE THREE LITTLE PIGS
An instant favorite – this is a fabulously illustrated, delightfully narrated modern take on a classic tale. Each scene is animated, touch the pigs and other hotspots on the app to hear them talk and do other fun things. You can even help the wolf try to blow the piggies house down!
3. SUPER WHY! - PBS KIDS
The SuperWHY app follows along the same lines as the PBS kids show, entertaining and educating young kids about words and reading. With 4 different games within the app, there's everything from tracing letters to picking the best word to finish a sentence.
4. MISS SPELL’S CLASS
Miss Spell’s Class is an original word game that lets players test their spelling skills against the most commonly misspelled words on Dictionary.com. Players must quickly decide whether each of 20 words is spelled correctly or incorrectly, as speed and accuracy count to get to the top of the class!
5.abc POCKET PHONICS
abc Pocket Phonics is packed with activities to help your child develop early literacy and penmanship skills. The app focuses on letter phonics, both the sounds of individual letters and the sounds that are made when certain letters are combined, making it perfect for early readers. In addition, the letter-writing section visually demonstrates how to write a letter. There is also a game where your child can learn to read and spell common first words.
6. LETTER WRITER OCEANS
LetterWriter Oceans is a gorgeous app that will teach your preschooler how to write letters. The letters float below the ocean’s surface, and when your child taps on a letter, the guides for the letter strokes appear. A small fish will swim to the beginning of a stroke, this is where your child should place their finger. Now they need to follow the stroke directions and write the letter on the screen. The little fish will follow their finger as long as they are writing correctly.
7. JACK AND THE BEANSTALK INTERACTIVE STORYBOOK
Jack and the Beanstalk Children’s Interactive Storybook turns the well-known story into an app with astonishing graphics. Each page of the story has different things to tap on and interact with. Tapping on the characters will give you additional dialogue and several pages have hidden games. This is the kind of app where you want to tap everywhere on the screen to make sure you’re not missing a thing.
8. GEOWALK – 3D WORLD FACTBOOK
GeoWalk provides a trip around the globe where your child can learn about different landmarks, historical figures and animals. As they spin the globe on the screen, dots will appear, scattered about in different locations. Depending on the category that your child has selected, the dots will represent places, people, flora or fauna. Your child can then tap on the dot to pull up a larger picture and facts about their selection.
9. THE MORON TEST
Sounds bad, but it isn't. The Moron Test asks a series of questions that really get kids thinking. Some of them have obvious answers and others appear to have obvious answers that end up being wrong. It’s fun for the entire family and will give everyone’s brain and powers of observation a workout.
10. THE OREGON TRAIL
The game’s premise is still the same: you must take a journey on the Oregon Trail and survive the experience. You’ll need to make decisions and solve problems that will help you travel safely. The app involves mini games about repairing your wagon, picking berries, hunting, fishing and more. At times you may even find yourself in trouble from illness, lack of supplies and bandits. Beware the dysentery! If you have a favorite iPhone or smart phone app to boost a child's educational acumen, list it here.