Gappy Learns Reading - Teach Kids Spelling and Reading With Letters & Sounds - Educational Sight Word Games for Kindergarten

Common Sense Media says

Simple, cute spelling app is fun but can get tedious.

Age(i)

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Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Ease of play

Graphics are simple; navigation and play options are clear and intuitive, even for younger kids.

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

The app includes a link to buy more apps from the developer, although users must press and hold the link for five seconds to activate it. Kids aren't very likely to end up in the app store by accident, but they might.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

The app is very safe and private. It doesn't contain any third-party ads, in-app purchases, or links to social networks or the Web. The app also comes with a parental guide.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Gappy Learns Reading is a simple, clean-cut spelling app that allows kids to learn how to spell basic words. Kids start by filling in one missing letter and progress to spelling three-letter words on their own. The design is simple and uncluttered -- it isn't likely to over-stimulate.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • letter or word recognition
  • phonics
  • reading
  • spelling

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • memorization
  • part-whole relationships

Communication

  • listening
  • multiple forms of expression

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

It's fun, and four difficulty settings meet kids at their levels to keep them going. Clean and simple graphics add to the visual appeal, but play is repetitive, and spelling 10 words in each round can get tedious.

Learning Approach

Learning is focused on recognizing sounds and matching them to the right letters. Wrong answers result in constructive feedback to try again. Kids -- or their teachers -- will have to pick which of the four levels is best for them. 

Support

It's easy for kids to see their progress throughout the game, but tracking through each round isn't as easy. There aren't any suggestions for how to extend learning off-screen.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • letter or word recognition
  • phonics
  • reading
  • spelling

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • memorization
  • part-whole relationships

Communication

  • listening
  • multiple forms of expression

Kids can learn to match letters with their names, or to the sounds they make, in simple three-letter words. These foundational skills are important in supporting kids' further reading education. Although its word lists are limited, as kids use Gappy's First Words they'll improve their reading, spelling, and word-recognition skills.

This Learning Rating review was written by Mieke VanderBorght

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What's it about?

Kids are asked to spell three-letter words to help the character, a cute bunny named Gappy, construct bridges during a long walk home. There are four levels of play, and activities range from finding one missing letter in a word to spelling a whole word upon hearing it spoken aloud. When kids reach 10 correctly spelled words, they earn part of a house they can use to customize Gappy's house. In the app's alphabet area, kids can review letter names and their sounds. Kids or parents can choose to include spelling words from three preloaded lists (with a total of more than 200 words), and kids can play using lower-case or capital letters.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

GAPPY LEARNS READING boasts clean and simple graphics, a user-friendly interface, and a likable character named Gappy. As an app that helps kids learn how to spell and construct words, it's a relative success. However, the options for customization and the range of potential learning are somewhat limited. Some kids may get bored with the preloaded word lists, and play can be somewhat repetitive and tedious. Because words are preloaded, and all have only three letters, it isn't as extensive as it could be. What’s more, some of the words may be odd choices for beginning readers. Progress is hidden as kids play, and there's no option to save and exit mid-round. This can be a lot to ask for the app's young audience.

Gappy Learns Reading works best as a tool that pre-readers and emerging readers can use for extra practice. Its gentle, clean approach and repetitive play also could make it a helpful tool for kids with language delays.

Families can talk about...

  • Monitor kids as they play to make sure they're on an appropriate level.

  • Talk to your kids about letters and their sounds, especially letters in words they're already familiar with.

  • Expand your kids' active vocabulary by talking to them about the meanings of the words they encounter in the app.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPad
Price:$2.99
Pricing structure:Paid
Release date:September 5, 2013
Category:Education
Topics:Numbers and letters
Size:39.60 MB
Publisher:Spinlight Studio
Version:1.5
Minimum software requirements:iOS 4.3 or later

This review of Gappy Learns Reading - Teach Kids Spelling and Reading With Letters & Sounds - Educational Sight Word Games for Kindergarten 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.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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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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