FirstWords: Deluxe

Common Sense Media says

Great for pre-readers to early spellers, but can get spendy.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Ease of play

Letters are dragged in any order (unless you change the settings to say it must be done left-to-right) to boxes where the letter is visible but slightly grayed out. Most young kids will grasp this right away. For more of a challenge, parents can remove the letter hints in settings.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

A "More Games" link on the title page leads to more apps for sale by the publisher. Under "Options" you can navigate to Twitter, Facebook, and settings, as well as send feedback. The "Get More Words" button on the title page encourages users to keep adding more words to the game in different categories and languages for the price of $.99-$4.99.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that FIRSTWORDS: DELUXE is a very straightforward word-building game. Words are either said letter by letter as they are dragged into the appropriate gray boxes or, if chosen in the settings, a smaller set of words can be sounded out with phonics. This makes this game a treat for both pre-readers and early spellers. The $4.99 app price buys you words in the categories of Animals, At Home, Colors, Shapes, and Vehicles. Tap "Get More Words" on the menu screen and more sets appear: holiday-themed words, Food Words, Clothes, and Numbers for $.99-$1.99 each (under 50 words each) or Spanish, German, and Japanese word sets (around 115 words each) for $4.99, or a French word set (36 words) for $1.99.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • letter or word recognition
  • phonics
  • spelling

Skills

Self-Direction

  • academic development

Communication

  • listening

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Drag-and-drop letter games like this are a treat for both prereaders and early spellers. Add-on word packages can keep it fresh. 

Learning Approach

Kids learn through trial and error, dragging letters to spell three- to 10-letter words. Not adaptive, but difficulty can increase. Phonics feature can help develop listening skills; kids may encounter new vocab by tapping unfamilar objects.

Support

Word packs are available in multiple languages. Phonics feature helps game advance with players.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • letter or word recognition
  • phonics
  • spelling

Skills

Self-Direction

  • academic development

Communication

  • listening

Kids can learn to spell words in five categories with FirstWords Deluxe: Animals, At Home, Colors, Shapes, and Vehicles. Parents can add more categories with in-app purchases. Touching the picture reveals the name of the object. As kids drag and drop letters into boxes to spell the object featured, they can practice sounding out letters with the phonics feature or hear the actual letter names as they're placed -- or go all out and turn off the sound. Kids get good spelling practice while working on listening skills and building their vocabulary.

This Learning Rating review was written by Carrie R. Wheadon

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

Each page of FirstWords: Deluxe has an object and a word to spell. Click on the object to hear the name, then drag and drop letters into the right slots to spell the word. When the word is complete a voice says "b-a-g, bag!" the object spins around, and the next page appears with a new word to spell. The app includes five categories: Animals, At Home, Colors, Shapes, and Vehicles; you can buy more via in-app purchase. Parents get a lot of options so they can tailor the experience to match their kids' skills.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

The best thing FIRSTWORDS: DELUXE for parents is definitely the different levels. Kids over 2 can drag and drop letters and build vocab and letter recognition pressing on objects featured and hearing what they are. As they get older, switch on the phonics every once in a while and help them sound out words. Once they're early readers and budding spellers, change the "Letter Order" setting from "Any Order" to "Left to Right." The only complaint here is the price tag of adding new words. When you add up what you could spend on all the different sets you may be tempted to scrap it all in favor of homemade flash cards at the kitchen table.

Families can talk about...

  • Place letter magnets on your fridge so kids get more exposure to letters and word-building.

  • Take the spelling party outside with sidewalk chalk.

  • Point out words kids may know on signs when you're out and about.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
Price:$4.99
Release date:November 3, 2011
Category:Educational Games
Topics:Numbers and letters
Size:18.20 MB
Publisher:Learning Touch
Version:5.1
Minimum software requirements:iOS 3.0 or later

This review of FirstWords: Deluxe was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 8 years old January 10, 2012
AGE
5
QUALITY
 

writing & read questions

i think that this game is a nice game.

What other families should know
Educational value
Parent of a 6 year old Written bymadsmooney1214 October 20, 2012
AGE
17
QUALITY
 
LEARNING

firstwords deluxe

tempted to scrap it all in favor of homemade flash cards at the kitchen table.

What other families should know
Safety and privacy concerns
Kid, 10 years old May 21, 2013
AGE
4
QUALITY
 

Convince a kindergartener to play this game. Then, let a 3rd grader play this game. What do you think?

There's nothing wrong with this game and its good for children but I don't like this game. It seems unappealing. In kindergarten, kids will madly play this game. By 1st or 2nd grade, everyone just throws this game away. I've felt this way too and I'm 10. Anyone who is in 3rd grade to finishing college should think this game is stupid and boring.

What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models

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