A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Starfall Learn to Read is an app version of the stellar learn-to-read website, Starfall. The app has the same content as the "Learn to Read" section of the site. There are 15 mini-books, each focusing on a specific vowel, along with videos and activities to enhance literacy learning. As with other Starfall apps, the thorough and careful design keeps kids focused on learning.
What's it about?
In STARFALL LEARN TO READ, kids choose from a set of mini-books, each of which includes a cute song and short plot using words with the featured vowel sound. On each page, kids can read a sentence on their own, get help on pronunciation, and hear a sentence read aloud. An illustration sometimes animates or requires kids to interact by tapping on items. When kids finish the book portion, they can play related activities such as fill-in-the-blanks or matching and watch a fun video about print concepts.
Is it any good?
Starfall Learn to Read really maximizes on the learning in a fun way. It takes every opportunity to label the letters and letter sounds. Even as kids tap on the "next" arrow, the arrow turns into the target letter and kids can hear the letter sound again. The mini-books have a nice progression when kids read them in order. For each vowel sound, there's a good mix of reading, games, songs, and videos. It would be nice to label each mini-book so that if parents and kids wanted to practice a specific vowel sound, they could easily find the appropriate book. While it's fun to see how they've incorporated some interactive elements into the activities, those who use the website will find few surprises.
Talk to your kids about ...
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire
- Subjects: Language & Reading: phonics, reading
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: applying information
- Price: Free
- Pricing structure: Free
- Release date: September 6, 2012
- Category: Education
- Size: 35.70 MB
- Publisher: Starfall Education
- Version: 1.2.6
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 4.0 or later
- Last updated: November 11, 2020
Our editors recommend
For kids who love learning to read
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.