App review by
Jenny Bristol, Common Sense Media
Playwords App Poster Image
Practice reading and spelling through gentle gameplay.

Parents say

age 3+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn new vocabulary, word recognition, and spelling as they see a picture of an object, read the word for the object, and hear the word for the object. The repetition can help kids memorize the word in isolation, and the Lost Letter game can help with spelling word memorization. Playwords can help kids learn new vocabulary and memorize some sight words, but some kids may have difficulty transferring words taught in this manner into their reading and writing.

Ease of Play

Controls and game navigation are very intuitive. The three games offer three levels for reading and spelling, but the included words may be eventually mastered.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Playwords is an educational app for kids learning to read and spell. Three games are included in the app. First, Picture Blast shows a picture with the corresponding word below. Tapping "Questions" changes the picture. Tapping "Answers" reads the word. Next, Word Match shows a picture and says the word for it aloud. Kids tap one of four printed words that match the picture. Last, Lost Letter shows a picture, says the word aloud, and shows the word with one letter missing. Kids tap the missing letter. Difficulty in all three games is mixed. The range of words covered is wide, including such words as "cat" and "giraffe."

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byMaryI October 14, 2011

Simply Wonderful!

Great illustrations, excellent clear and lively female voiceover. Would recommend as a great intro-to reading app for kids.

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What's it about?

Kids choose from three levels of word exploration. In Picture Blast, kids see a colored line-drawn picture and the word. They can hear the word read aloud by tapping the word "answer" or the picture. In Word Match, kids see the same pictures from Picture Blast with four word choices. Kids must choose the word that matches the picture. In Lost Letter, kids see the same pictures and the word with one letter missing and must choose the letter block that completes the word. The sounds and background music are peaceful and score is not tracked.

Is it any good?

PLAYWORDS is a visually attractive app that helps kids learn to read and spell a variety of words. Its instruction is gentle, with no scoring or goal to reach. Each of the three games offers a different level of challenge, testing a different component of literacy. This app may appeal to a wider range of abilities than most literacy apps. Once kids have mastered the 300+ words, however, there will be little to bring them back to the app.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Play the app with your child, emphasizing the letter sounds in the words.

  • Draw your child's attention to printed words in their world -- point out an exit sign and pronounce the word together; look at a stop sign and form the sounds in the word.

App details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love having fun while learning

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