First Words Deluxe App Poster Image

First Words Deluxe



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

What parents need to know

Educational value

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.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Not applicable

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

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.

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.

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
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
Size:18.20 MB
Publisher:Learning Touch
Minimum software requirements:iOS 3.0 or later

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Kid, 10 years old May 21, 2013

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
Parent of a 6 year old Written bymadsmooney1214 October 20, 2012

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, 8 years old January 10, 2012

writing & read questions

i think that this game is a nice game.
What other families should know
Educational value


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