Kids Learn to Read

App review by
Dana Anderson, Common Sense Media
Kids Learn to Read App Poster Image
Cute app moves kids closer to independent reading.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can learn blending letter sounds to form words, spelling three- and four-letter words, and recognizing words via phonics or by sight with Kids Learn to Read. All of these pre- and early-reading skills help kids ease into reading. This app isn't a perfect learn-to-read experience (there's not a lot of logical progression of word choices in the games), but it's fun and helpful enough for at least a few sessions of play.

Ease of Play

Clear voice instructions help kids know what to tap or do next if they're stuck. In one game, the words being formed aren't pronounced in full after the sounds are blended and there's no visual of what word the letters are spelling, which may confuse some kids who don't know the word. In another game, players have to "turn" a cube by rotating it, rather than tapping or sliding, which may be tricky for young app users.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

There's an icon to select more games on the same screen as the other games within this app. It's not clear to the user that the link is to other apps to install (both paid and free), rather than other games within the same app. Characters featured in this app are commercial characters.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Kids Learn to Read is the third in a series of pre-reading and reading apps created by Intellijoy. Cute character Tommy Turtle leads kids into blending letter sounds to form words. There's also a game that encourages kids to build words, and a game that teaches kids to recognize a completed word by sounding it out or by sight.

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What's it about?

Kids learn via three games: Learn to Blend, where kids tap letters to hear words sounded out letter by letter; Try Reading, in which kids match easy words (like "cow" and "pig") to pictures; and Make Words, where kids practice spelling by choosing the correct letter on a block to complete words made up of letter blocks. A woman's voice sounds out each letter as it appears on the screen to help kids learn the skill of sounding out letters and letter combinations that they are seeing visually.

Is it any good?

For kids who have already tried the first two apps in this series of pre-reading apps (Kids ABC Letters and Kids ABC Phonics), this game will present further gentle learning challenges inching kids along to independent reading. Many kids will especially enjoy the colorful elements in the games that include walking a little turtle across a word bridge and giving skateboards and helmets with matching words to cute animal characters.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Set up letter blocks or other forms of movable letters (even note cards will do) to play the "Make Words" game off-screen with more challenging words.

  • Encourage kids to sound out the words they've already learned on this app when you see them elsewhere -- on signs or in storybooks, for example.

App details

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