Montessori Crosswords




Learning tool for kids to practice phonetics and literacy.

What parents need to know

Ease of play

Kids drag and drop letters to place them. There are different levels of crossword difficulty, from simple consonant-vowel-consonant words ("wig," "fin") to more complex words with long vowels and blends. There's also a moveable alphabet where younger users can simply drag letters around to create interesting pictures. Kids can reveal the solution at any time by tapping the hint button.

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Sexy stuff
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Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Montessori Crosswords helps kids ages of 3 to 10 develop literacy skills by dragging and dropping letters into a crossword grid to form words that correspond to the given pictures. Very young kids can practice linking phonetic sounds to letters (one of the fundamentals of Montessori), while older kids can expand their vocabularies in the higher of three difficulty levels. The menu contains a link to the publisher's site with tips for parents.

What kids can learn


Language & Reading

  • spelling
  • vocabulary
  • letter or word recognition
  • phonics


Thinking & Reasoning

  • applying information


  • academic development

Engagement, Approach, Support


This solid word-builder is robustly educational without distracting bells and whistles or sensory overload commonly found in kid apps. Design is bright and clean.

Learning Approach

Combining technology with classic Montessori principles like phonics creates an accessible experience for kids to link sounds to letters.


The variety of experiences is superb, and help is readily available in-app. Data tracking kids' progress would be a nice addition.

What kids can learn


Language & Reading

  • spelling
  • vocabulary
  • letter or word recognition
  • phonics


Thinking & Reasoning

  • applying information


  • academic development

Kids can learn phonics and beginning reading skills or improve their spelling with Montessori Crosswords. The app offers three levels of increasing difficulty, for kids ages 3 to 10. The phonetic sounds are well-done and will help kids as they learn to put together words. Montessori Crosswords does a lovely job of marrying Montessori principles and technology to create an app that can teach kids phonics without over-stimulating their senses.

This Learning Rating review was written by Amanda Bindel

Kids say

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What's it about?

MONTESSORI CROSSWORDS puts the language shelf of a Montessori classroom into your kid's hands. Kids choose their level, from simple three-letter words to more complex words, and then drag and drop letters to spell the assigned word. Kids can hear the letter sounds as they decide which letters to use. Kids can access hints (seeing the word spelled out so they can match letters) by tapping the question mark. Kids can customize the app, too, choosing capital or lowercase letters and choosing print or cursive letters.

Is it any good?


The best edutainment apps are able to teach kids without condescending to them, and Montessori Crosswords is a beautiful example of this. Its presentation is fun and aesthetically pleasing, but not too sugary as to turn off older kids (the app targets kids as old as 10 and as young as 3). With a database of nearly 300 words and their corresponding pictures, along with tens of thousands of possible crosswords, Montessori Crosswords is a great way for kids to develop literacy in an engaging way that feels like play.

Families can talk about...

  • Read with your kid every day. It's the first step to encouraging your kid to be a lifelong reader.

  • When talking about letters, be sure to make the letter's sound for your child in addition to (or instead of) naming the letter.

  • Work on lowercase letters. Most words in print are composed of lowercase letters.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
Pricing structure:Paid
Release date:March 15, 2012
Minimum software requirements:iOS 4.0 or later

This review of Montessori Crosswords was written by

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

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What parents and kids say

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Parent of a 4 year old Written byjlipiec May 10, 2011

Perfect app for my 4yr old

My 4yr old loves this app. He is a Montessori student, so this is the only app that goes along with how he is currently learning to read. He does great with the 3 letter words so far, and loves the moveable alphabet game where he can just spell words on his own. I like that he can easily see the answer if he is stumped, which encourages him to copy the larger words he doesn't know.
What other families should know
Educational value
Parent of a 4 year old Written byEli_Zag September 16, 2010
I personaly like it but it is a bit difficult for my 4 year old boy because he does not know his letters very well yet. And it is not so fun so it is hard to have them stay more than a few minutes. Probably he will like it more in a few months...


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