First Words Deluxe
By Carrie R. Wheadon,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Great for pre-readers to early spellers, but can get spendy.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this app.
Kids can learn to spell words in five categories with First Words 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.
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.
Products & Purchases
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.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that FIRST WORDS 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.
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Videos and Photos
First Words Deluxe
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What’s It About?
Each page of First Words 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?
The best thing FIRST WORDS 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.
Talk to Your Kids 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.
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
- Subjects: Language & Reading: letter or word recognition, phonics, spelling
- Skills: Self-Direction: academic development, Communication: listening
- Release date: November 3, 2011
- Category: Educational Games
- Topics: Numbers and Letters
- Publisher: Learning Touch
- Version: 5.1
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 3.0 or later
- Last updated: December 7, 2017
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