Montessori Crosswords App Poster Image

Montessori Crosswords

Learning tool for kids to practice phonetics and literacy.

What parents need to know

Educational value

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.

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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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.

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
Subjects:Language & Reading: letter or word recognition, phonics, spelling, vocabulary
Skills:Self-Direction: academic development
Thinking & Reasoning: applying information
Pricing structure:Paid
Release date:March 15, 2012
Minimum software requirements:iOS 4.0 or later

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For kids who love spelling and vocabulary

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...