A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Smiley Sight Words can be used to drill children on over 1,500 common English words. Parents can check progress reports after each play session. Kids (or parents) can mark each word with a smiley or frowny face as they work through the flash cards (be aware that kids super sensitive to negative feedback might not like the frowny face as a motivating tool). There are several different decks of virtual flash cards here, arranged in up to 40 levels of difficulty. One of the decks features UK spellings, so be aware of that. Parents can also create custom decks.
What's it about?
Kids or parents start at level one of the sight words or choose a specific set of words to practice such as shapes, nouns, days of the week, and Dolch. Once kids read the word out loud or, if they cannot read it, tap on the word to hear it spoken aloud, they tap on a smiley or frowny face to log it correct or incorrect. Kids shake the device or double tap the screen to re-shuffle the cards. After a round of words is complete (most rounds have 20-40 words, more or less), kids can see their learning data.
Is it any good?
If you're seeking a set of virtual flash cards with which to drill your child on reading common words, SMILEY SIGHT WORDS might be the best you can get. It's got over 1,500 words arranged into five decks, each with multiple levels of difficulty. Kids can interact with the words, tapping to hear them aloud and marking them with either a smiley or frowny face. They can also shuffle the deck with a shake of the device. Parents have a lot of control here with the ability to track progress, remove already-mastered words, and even create a custom deck. Up to 40 kids can each have their own profiles on the app.
Talk to your kids about ...
Assign verbal statements to the smiley and frowny faces to put a positive spin on the sad ones. For example, the frowny face could be saying, "Keep working on it," or "Oops! Try again."
Encourage your child to use the words in a sentence to reinforce learning and provide reading clues.
For kids who love learning with apps
Our editors recommend
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.