Sight Words Ninja - Slicing Game to Learn to Read

App review by
Christy Matte, Common Sense Media
Sight Words Ninja - Slicing Game to Learn to Read App Poster Image
Fun trumps learning in this word-slicing adventure.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can practice their ability to recognize a specific sight word out of a collection, but it's more of a practice app than a learning tool.

Ease of Play

Kids will have no trouble figuring this one out, as long as they have the sound turned on. Younger kids with less refined fine-motor skills may struggle as they learn to swipe just the target word without touching any others.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Sight Words Ninja - Slicing Game to Learn to Read is an education take on the popular Fruit Ninja app. The app says a sight word and kids must swipe it with their finger when it appears on-screen. Parents can adjust the grade level of the words shown and even turn specific words off and on. There are also difficulty settings and the ability to change the duration of each game. Both the settings and the other apps are accessible via a parent gate that requires tapping with three fingers. Most kids who can read any sight words will be able to pass this easily. Read the app's privacy policy to find out about the information collected and shared.

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What's it about?

SIGHT WORDS NINJA - SLICING GAME TO LEARN TO READ will have a familiar format for fans of the Fruit Ninja app. The game announces a sight word, and kids swipe it with their finger when it crosses the screen, while being careful to avoid other words. That's it. Each game goes for a specific duration of time, so the goal is to get as many points as possible with the time available. Parents can choose from three difficulty levels and five grade levels (preschool to third grade). The difficulty levels impact how many of the target words appear on-screen (one to five words), how fast the words move, and how quickly they rotate as they fly past. The game also adjusts difficulty within each of the levels as kids show mastery. Parents can choose to turn specific words on and off and can even record the words in their own voices. There are no statistics available over time to see how kids are mastering the words, although there are stats available at the end of each game.

Is it any good?

The level of customization available is impressive and easy to use, but it's not clear that this is an ideal way for kids to learn sight words or how the words were chosen. Sight Words Ninja - Slicing Game to Learn to Read is a fun way to practice, that's for sure. But picking out a word as it flies across the screen with other words and rotates is perhaps fine for a fun practice, but not necessarily the best way to be able to learn to read and spell sight words. Parents will no doubt appreciate being able to choose the difficulty level, record their own voices (or their kids' voices) reading the words, and even pick and choose which words to focus on. It's unfortunate that the app doesn't continue that trend by providing in-depth statistics over time. This is a fun educational novelty, but it would be best paired with something a little more robust and learning-oriented.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about reading using Sight Words Ninja - Slicing Game to Learn to Read. Which words do you know already? Which might take some practice?

  • Do you think this is a good app for learning? Why, or why not? What can you learn? 

App details

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