... an Apps for iPads Review
iPads aren’t just for having fun. There I said it. Kids would like nothing better than to just play on them all day. So we get excited when developers make apps that allow kids to follow their passion for having fun while learning at the same time. The four spelling apps we selected today are some of the very best you are going to find for your young children. They are all just the right combination of learning and fun!
Please notice that each app is geared to specific age groups and some are more targeted than others. While they all teach and encourage spelling they also all do it in their own unique fashion so you will want to pick an app that fits your child’s needs as well as the way they like to play. That’s why we are bringing them all to you in one review; to make it easier to compare them side by side. Which is your favorite??
Please realize that there are LOTS of spelling apps in the App Store, we have weeded through a lot more to bring you these four. If you have others you love be sure to tell us about it!
We’ll start off with an app called
Don’t let the plain icon fool you. Each word is supported by good photos, encouraging yet not distracting music and gentle “nudges” to guide your child.
The aim is to make words from the images you see. Drag the correct letter in the appropriate box below the image. To make things a tad easier for younger players, the letters and the boxes can be colored. This feature can be turned off for older players. Every game starts out with 3 stars. If you make a spelling mistake a star or enable the letterhelp, it will cost you a star. The player who collects the most stars wins of course! This game is suggested for ages 4 and up.
Next up we have Word Wizard and I think you are going to find that this one is truly an award winning app. While it is primarily for children, people learning English can use this as a great tool also!
Word Wizard is a unique app that lets kids hear the sounds of letters and words using a talking movable alphabet. Featuring advanced text to speech capabilities, the app can pronounce and spell-check an unlimited number of original words. Word Wizard also provides spelling practice with a list of more than 1,400 questions and answers. One of its BEST features is that you can add your own words to create any spelling quiz so your child can use it to study for their spelling test at school!
Simplex Spelling Phonics 1 is the next app up on our review desk. Within five days of launching, Simplex Spelling Phonics 1 was featured by Apple as New & Noteworthy in 5 different countries (US, Canada, China, Poland and Romania) under the education category. Simplex Spelling has been ranked as high as #5 in the Education category in the US.
Recommended for ages 4 through 10 the narrator guides them non-threateningly through how to use the app. We particularly liked the module that made it sound like you are competing in a spelling bee, giving them the word, using it in a sentence, and then helping them sound it out. Simplex Spelling Phonics 1 teaches a full year of spelling curriculum with over 450 high frequency words divided into 42 lists that are organized by spelling patterns and difficulty levels. But don’t take our word for it watch it yourself. We think you will agree that this app is great for grade-school aged kids! It’s not cute or babyish at all, and will be a good addition to study time in most homes.
Last, but not least is an app that younger grade school love is called Happi Spells. With its silly illustrated animals and sounds they find it fun while learning through simple crossword puzzles.
This is a fun crossword spelling game where kids can practice spelling in a fun and exciting way by dragging letter tiles on to 48 different mini crossword puzzles. Compete for “snails” and try to improve your own high score! Kids are prompted if they try to place a letter where it does not belong and are rewarded for a job well done.
Each and every one of these apps will be a great addition to your iPad for your child. We encourage you to watch the videos so that you can select the app(s) that works best for yours! Which is YOUR favorite? Which is theirs?
Apps for iPads Recommended Reading:
App Store Link : http://bit.ly/wordwizard
★New-York Times – “Speak ‘N Spell for the iPad Generation” – “This is an important breakthrough in reading instruction, because it leverages the iPad’s size, powerful speech synthesis abilities and touchscreen, so that every letter can be a building block of phonetically accurate sound”
★Children’s Technology Review “Editor’s Choice Award for Excellence in Design” – 4.8 stars out of 5 – “Turn your iPad into a talking alphabet/language generator – and the perfect tool for a child just starting to experiment with letters and their sounds”
★Wired’s GeekDad Blog – “This is a fantastic app for young children, right through to children in later elementary school which makes it an app worth having on your iPad.”
★ Featured by Apple as ‘New and Noteworthy’
Word Wizard is an app for iPad and iPhone that fully exploit a text to speech engine to help kids learn word building and spelling.
Kids can now build any words and sentences using a Movable Alphabet and hear how it sounds, as well as verify spelling using the built-in spell checker.
The app also features fun spelling quizzes including 184 word lists of 10 words each, and the possibility to create its own word lists.
Simplex Spelling Phonics 1 http://www.pyxwise.com/ssphonics1.html
Pyxwise Software http://www.pyxwise.com/
Available on the App Store http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/simplex-spelling-phonics-1/id481553580?mt=8
Simplex Spelling improves English spelling and reading skills by using a powerful combination of phonics lessons, spelling/word patterns, our unique “reverse phonics” approach and contextually relevant spelling rules.
Simplex Spelling Phonics 1 teaches a full year of spelling curriculum with over 450 high frequency words divided into 42 lists that are organized by spelling patterns and difficulty levels. Each of the 42 lists comes with a lesson that teaches one of the basic building blocks of spelling in the English language. These basic building blocks include the different phonograms, sounds, and spelling rules.
Our spelling lists focus on some of the highest frequency words in the English language to help students establish a base foundation of literacy and confidence with spelling and reading.
Students learn a new concept for each lesson building on the skills learned from previous lessons. Simplex Spelling Phonics 1 guides the student and act as a personal spelling coach with every word, while teaching “how to spell” English words.
Traditionally, students are asked to memorize spelling words for a test. While this type of memorization may be sufficient to pass a spelling test, it often does not transfer into good long term reading and spelling skills. Our goal with Simplex Spelling Phonics 1 is to not only teach a list of words, but to teach students “how to spell” these words, thus building long term skills that can be used for over 84% of the words in the English language that follow phonetic patterns.
Many studies show that students who learn to read through phonics have a higher level of literacy than students who learn to read by using flash cards and the whole word approach. Also that not all readers are good spellers, but almost all good spellers are also good readers. This is why Simplex Spelling’s comprehensive unique phonics approach to spelling really works to create both better spellers and better readers.
Recommended for ages 5+.
Note: All text and voice in this application is entirely in English.
Note: You can not create your own spelling lists in Simplex Spelling Phonics 1.
★ Over 450 high frequency spelling words to help build literacy.
★ Words are spoken and used in a sentence to establish context and improve vocabulary.
★ Introductory spelling list seamlessly leads a student through all of the application’s features by providing spoken information while having the student spell new words.
★ 42 instructional lessons teach phonics, phonograms, and spelling rules.
★ A full “reverse phonics” approach that includes sounds made by all the different letter combinations. This is in addition to the basic “single letter” phonics that most applications are limited to.
★ Contextually relevant spelling rule hints that help explain “how to spell” English words.
★ Unique letter by letter feedback system provides feedback while the student is in the process of spelling each word.
★ Guaranteed success on every word.
★ Support for multiple user accounts.
★ User stats screen allows you to see at a glance words that have been mastered and words that require further practice.
★ Remembers each user’s position in every list, so that you can resume from where you last left off.
★ Supports both upper and lower case letters.
★ Supports both alphabetic and QWERTY keyboard layouts.
★ Supports US, UK and Canadian English spelling of words.
Simplex Spelling is a universal application. Purchase it once and then use it on all your iOS devices. Videos:
“Happi Spells” is the crossword spelling game where kids can practice spelling in a fun and exciting way by dragging letter tiles on to 48 different mini crossword puzzles. Compete for “snails” and try to improve your own high score. Don’t like your score on one puzzle – just go back and try to beat it. The fewer mistakes, the more “snails” you earn. Every solved puzzle will open up a new one.
Check out all our games at: http://www.happipapi.com
Become a Facebook fan: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Happi-Papi/225027554177469