YMCA Reads!

Phonics Skills

ABC Phonics Animals Free Lite – Talking and Spelling Alphabet Flashcards Kids Games 

Ideal for: Pre-reading

What is it? An interactive set of flashcards featuring animals, complete with animations and animal sounds. In one game, a voice calls out each letter, and the child selects the correct written form; in another, children must match the picture of an animal with its correct name.

How much is it? Free for this demo version; the full set of cards costs $1.99.

Platforms: iPhone, iPod Touch (2nd-4th generations), iPad. Requires iOS 2.2.1 or later.

Reviews: Several parents complained that the demo version is full of ads to purchase the full version – which kids can easily press. Another reviewer says that this game is “probably best used with headphones,” because the background music could be annoying for parents. Still, the app is “cute” “brings phonics to life.”

abc PocketPhonics

Ideal for: Pre-reading, beginning reading

What is it? This app combines three functions into one program. The app teaches users letter sounds (phonetics, rather than the letter names) and letter writing (users can actually trace each letter), and comes with a bank of over 170 frequently-used words. A ParentZone feature allows parents or teachers customized the app to the child’s/student’s needs.

How much is it? $1.99, and a free demo version is available.

Platforms: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad. Requires iOS 3.1 or later.

Reviews: Parents remark that the app engages and excites children about learning these basic skills. It is also useful for teaching techniques such as cursive, and offers positive reinforcement to encourage children. One parent wrote that the upgrade from the free to the paid version was worth the price.