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Read with Phonzy: Kids Reading Game

App review by
Mieke VanderBorght, Common Sense Media
Read with Phonzy: Kids Reading Game App Poster Image
New readers practice fluency with simple exercises.

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 to read simple sentences and practice reading fluency. Voice-recognition software lets kids know whether the whole sentence was read correctly.

Ease of Play

Plenty of how-to instruction, including help and reminders when it seems as though kids are struggling to figure out what to do. Kids do need to tap and hold the record button while they're reading, which could take some practice.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Read with Phonzy: Kids Reading Game uses an animated alien and voice-recognition software to encourage kids to read out loud. Reading practice comes in sets of five simple sentences, each with an accompanying picture. The voice recognition gives kids feedback on whether they've read correctly or not. Parents need to allow access to their device's microphone for the app the work. They'll also need to allow access to the camera roll for kids to participate in a mini-game in which they'll take a picture of themselves making a funny face. The app collects voice recordings to perfect its voice recognition software, but those recordings are not tied to any identifiable information. For more details on how your information is collected and shared, read the developer's privacy policy.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byLeanne G. November 5, 2017

Needs More Work

The app does allow you to record your voice. However, it doesn't correct you if you don't say the sentence correctly. It seems as though it's mor... Continue reading

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What's it about?

Kids tap and hold the microphone button while they read short sentences out loud in READ WITH PHONZY: KIDS READING GAME. Each sentence has a picture that helps clue kids in to what the sentence is about, and they can tap a help button to hear the narrator read the sentence. Kids get two tries to read accurately enough to collect the sentence's picture. After five sentences kids play a mini-game with the camera or voice distortion. Kids can visit a gallery to see what pictures they've collected and silly photographs they've taken.

Is it any good?

With a simple, kid-friendly interface, kids get instant feedback as they practice reading short sentences. A picture accompanies each sentence, which can help give them a hint or some context to guide them in decoding what the words in the sentence are about. And for when they're struggling, kids can always tap the listen button to hear the sentence read aloud. These supports make reading easily accessible -- even for beginning readers. On the other hand, the three- to four-word sentences are quite simple and don't allow much room for growth as kids become stronger readers. Read with Phonzy: Kids Reading Game's main attraction is the voice-recognition software, which could still use some fine-tuning. In general, the software works, but it tends to be overly forgiving, letting words that clearly have been mispronounced slide by. Parents may still want to stand by to help ensure that kids are reading the words correctly. And if Phonzy doesn't accept the reading, there's no indication of where kids made a mistake, and kids only have one additional chance to try again. This raises the point that the interaction that happens when new readers struggle through a book by a caregiver's side cannot be replaced by a screen and voice-recognition software. Yet, given that it's free, Read with Phonzy: Kids Reading Game could offer some fun extra practice.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the words that your kids struggle with in Read with Phonzy: Kids Reading Game. Help them sound the words out, memorize them, or point out spelling rules (such as the rule of the silent final "e") to help kids notice patterns.

  • Read books to your kids as often as you can, even after they learn to read on their own. Beginning readers can read to you, or you can take turns.

  • Use the sentences as a launching pad for storytelling. Kids can choose a sentence they read to be the first sentence in their story. Then they can get creative by writing and/or drawing what happens next.

App details

For kids who love reading apps

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