Rocket Speller




Spelling app deftly combines work and fun.

What parents need to know

Ease of play

Easy enough for preschoolers to figure out on their own, with levels that keep young elementary-age kids challenged as well. Drag-and-drop controls work very well.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Not applicable

Free version contains linked logo to other paid apps. Both versions have links to other apps behind the protected parent screen.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Rocket Speller mixes up academics and fun to help kids with letter recognition and spelling. As kids spell words correctly, they earn parts of a rocket to assemble and fly. The free version includes five levels and the choice of upper- or lowercase letters. The paid version, Rocket Speller PLUS, is $2.99 and includes the choice of letter name or phonetic sound and the choice of word category.

What kids can learn


Language & Reading

  • letter or word recognition
  • spelling


Thinking & Reasoning

  • thinking critically

Health & Fitness

  • fine motor skills

Engagement, Approach, Support


Rocket Speller uses a little play break as a reward to keep kids engaged. The spelling segments are short and easy to manipulate, and, after completing three words, kids choose a part for their rocket.

Learning Approach

Five levels keep kids challenged. Using adaptive assistance technology, Rocket Speller gives kids hints when they're struggling to find the right answer.


No instructions are necessary, though kids may not understand that they're choosing parts for their rocket the first time around. No scores or word mastery lists are kept.

What kids can learn


Language & Reading

  • letter or word recognition
  • spelling


Thinking & Reasoning

  • thinking critically

Health & Fitness

  • fine motor skills

Kids can learn to spell a variety of words using different strategies. Early readers match letters to spell three- and four-letter words by dragging the matching letters into the right places, and parents can choose to work with uppercase or lowercase letters. Competent readers drag the right letters into place for seven- to 10-letter words without visual or auditory cues. At all levels, Rocket Speller uses adaptive assistance, a tool that recognizes pauses and missteps when kids are struggling and offers hints as needed. Rocket Speller is a fun way for kids to play with letters and words and to build spelling skills.

This Learning Rating review was written by Amanda Bindel

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What's it about?

Zip, the alien, flies onto the screen along with a picture of an object. Kids fill in the blanks to spell the name of the item by dragging and dropping the right letters into place. Levels get increasingly more challenging, from Level 1, which includes three- to six-letter words and shows the letters (so kids are basically just matching the letters), up to Level 5, which includes seven- to 10-letter words with no visual or auditory hints. After kids spell three words correctly, they get to choose a piece of their rocket. After they've completed 12 words, the rocket is complete and kids get to launch it, catching stars as they soar.

Is it any good?


ROCKET SPELLER is simple in concept but highly customizable, making a great educational app. The drag-and-drop controls are easy enough for preschoolers to master, and Level 1 reinforces letter recognition, which is just right for little ones. Each level gets a bit more challenging and ramps up the expectations and word difficulty to continue challenging elementary-age kids. The ability to choose letter case adds another layer of learning for preschoolers, and the choice of letter name or phonetic sound in the paid version helps early readers. Kids working strictly on spelling would do fine with the free version, but for kids learning letter sounds, the paid Plus version is a good value. The mix of work and play is great.

Families can talk about...

  • Help your child choose the appropriate level that's challenging yet achievable.

  • Point out environmental text you encounter, like signs and labels, and see which words your kids recognize.

  • Take turns reading aloud together.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
Pricing structure:Free
Release date:September 14, 2013
Topics:Space and aliens
Size:24.60 MB
Minimum software requirements:iOS 6.0 or later

This review of Rocket Speller was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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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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