Duck Duck Moose Reading

Common Sense Media says

Good reading skills practice, but too busy for some kids.






What parents need to know

Ease of play

Very easy to play. Kids simply tap on their account, and the game at the level where they stopped during their last play session will appear. Audio directions are given in a clear voice. When kids finish a level, they earn an animal for their zoo page, which they can decorate by choosing a habitat and placing the animals by swiping a finger around the screen. There are arrows to return to previous screens and other big, colorful icons to clue kids visually into what to tap.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Not applicable

The name of the developer is spoken aloud when the app opens, and there's a More Apps tab at the top left side of the main screen that moves users out of the app to view other apps by the developer; however, the app asks users to enter a number code in order to discourage kids from doing so. 

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

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Duck Duck Moose Reading is a colorful, visually busy (and rather noisy, unless you turn off the background music) early reading app that focuses on very basic reading skills, such as letter recognition and letter sounds. Nine activities focus on letter sounds and letter recognition within words. There's no doubt that there's solid learning to be had here. But everything on this app seems to move quickly, and there's a lot going on visually for an app for pre-readers, so if your kid is easily distracted or needs extra time in reading practice, this may not be the best choice.

What kids can learn


Language & Reading

  • following directions
  • letter or word recognition
  • phonics
  • reading


Thinking & Reasoning

  • part-whole relationships

Engagement, Approach, Support


The nine activities can be visually and intellectually engaging, as long as kids aren't distracted by the fast-moving pace and noisy sounds (which can be muted).

Learning Approach

Exercises gradually increase in difficulty by level. Kids will learn by playing the nine Common Core-aligned activities and, when completing each one, will collect reward animals to include in a little zoo on the app.


Verbal instructions provided. Reports are provided for parents or teachers to track which skills each kid is working on; percent completed; and consonants, short vowels, and long vowels mastered.

What kids can learn


Language & Reading

  • following directions
  • letter or word recognition
  • phonics
  • reading


Thinking & Reasoning

  • part-whole relationships

Kids can learn letter recognition and letter sounds for all consonants, as well as short and long vowel sounds, on Duck Duck Moose Reading. Kids can also practice following one- or two-step spoken directions. For example, kids are told to swipe all balloons that float by that they have identified as containing something that starts with "H" toward a waiting penguin. This app includes activities that focus on CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) words to help pre-readers and emerging readers build skills in combining letters to read words. Duck Duck Moose Reading offers good skills practice, if kids can block out the distractions.

This Learning Rating review was written by Dana Villamagna

User reviews

Parents say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

Kids say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

What's it about?

Up to three kids can have accounts on DUCK DUCK MOOSE READING, and others can play as guests. When your kid taps on his or her account, the game at the level where they stopped during their last play session will appear. It could be matching letter sounds by having a giraffe eat the letters of the sound that the app asks kids to find, or feeding a dolphin all the words that begin with the sound of the letter T. When kids finish a level, they earn an animal for their zoo page.

Is it any good?


Duck Duck Moose Reading was created using Common Core standards and includes exercises that gradually increase in difficulty by level, as well as a parent page for tracking kids' progress. While Duck Duck Moose Reading is a fine app for basic letter recognition and letter sound practice for pre-readers and early readers, it could be greatly improved by calming everything down a bit, in both visuals and sounds (especially nixing the distracting background music by turning it off). This app is not the best choice for kids who are easily distracted or who need a little extra time or visual space to think about answers.

Families can talk about...

  • Talk about letters and letter sounds in everyday life. Transfer some of the word and letter find and match games from the app to real-world situations like the grocery store.

  • Visit the Duck Duck Moose blog and print out the workbook related to the Duck Duck Moose Reading app.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
Pricing structure:Paid
Release date:December 5, 2012
Size:34.30 MB
Publisher:Duck Duck Moose
Minimum software requirements:iOS 4.2 or later

This review of Duck Duck Moose Reading 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


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; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

Write a user reviewThere aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Essential Apps Guide