- What is the best way to learn phonics?
- What are the best phonics apps for kids?
- What are the best free phonics apps?
- Awesome phonics websites
Phonics apps are a terrific way to get your child reading. With so many on the market, it can be difficult to work out which are the best ones that can teach phonics the right way. We’ve listed our favourites here so all you need to do is choose which one your little one will prefer. All of them are super entertaining and allow your kid to both play and learn at the same time.
What is the best way to learn phonics?
The UK Government website states that 75 percent of children under the age of five used smartphone or tablet apps to learn in the six months prior. To support parents helping to teach their kids to read at home, the UK Government also listed six expert-approved apps to encourage this.
Phonics is the gateway to learning to read. Phonics teaches kids to read by being able to match sounds with letters in the alphabet. Since this is a sound and sight-based learning activity, phonics apps are a particularly useful way to learn and practise.
Moreover, it’s your chance to give your kids their screen time while they are doing something super productive too. It’s a win-win for you and for your child who will delight at the many fun and entertaining phonics apps they can “play” with.
We’re going to share the best phonics apps for your early learners to develop their skills so they’ll be reading in next to no time.
What are the best phonics apps for kids?
Enticing your little one to learn to read and continue improving is made so much easier with interactive apps. All of these phonics apps are kid-friendly and designed with them in mind. This obviously means plenty of colours, cute and wacky characters, and usually lots of rewards and motivation along the way. 👾
Here are some of the best phonics apps for kids. Don’t forget, these shouldn’t replace reading books to your child. The apps are designed to be a learning tool that your kid can do (mostly) on their own.
Reading aloud to your kid has other important benefits that are crucial to their development and your bonding time. We hope you enjoy exploring these beautifully-designed phonics apps.
Phonics Hero is one of the recommended apps laid out on the UK Government’s website we mentioned above. It was developed to help children in everything from spelling out their first word through to reading with confidence. With over 850 educational games, there are three years’ worth of content for your child to work through.
This phonics app revolves around a superhero that all kids adore: Zak. Your kid will join Zak’s mission, which is to save his friends from Dr Lazy Bones. This app is great for you because it provides reporting so you can track your child’s progress and give them oodles of praise along the way for extra motivation.
Reading Eggs phonics app
Reading Eggs is one of the most popular phonics apps on the market, with millions of users. The app has games, activities, songs, and rewards to motivate your child to continue. Reading Eggs Junior begins with phonics and then kids move through different stages according to their level. It’s bright, interactive, and aimed at kids from 2-13 years of age.
One thing to note is that some of the activities for younger kids are supposed to be completed with your assistance. It’s available on Google Play and App Store.
Monster Phonics app
The Department for Education, UK, listed Monster Phonics programmes as effective multi-sensory phonics resources. There are two Monster Phonics products you can use at home:
- Learn to spell the first 100 high-frequency words
- Learn to spell the next 200 high-frequency words
The Monster Phonics app uses clever colour coding and characterisation to boost learning. It does this by placing sounds into groups. There are ten groups and they are assigned different colours each with its own monster character. The system was created by Ingrid Connors, who is a phonics specialist, audiological scientist, and primary school teacher.
Monster Phonics is used in many primary schools and complementing this work at home is a great way to increase your kid’s confidence with reading. You’ll be pleased to know that the app and games follow the New Curriculum for Spelling (KS1).
What is the best phonics app for kids?
All of these offer something unique from the others. We recommend looking at the demos online first with your child or signing up for a free trial which most of these apps provide to see what interests them the most. After all, they’re much more likely to spend time on the app if it appeals to them and looks fun. 🎉
You can also read reviews from other parents to see if there are any comments that make you sway towards or away from a certain app. However, you will find across all of the apps that what works for one child hasn’t for another. As long as you find an educational app that your child likes then try it and see how they get on.
The other thing to consider is whether you are looking for a long-term learning app that will carry your child through the next few years or not. You know your kid better than anyone.
Some kids have a much shorter attention span than others and can benefit from new and exciting characters and apps over time. Other kids love challenging themself and the prospect of unlocking new worlds and seeing their progress over years will keep them captivated and going back for more.
What are the best free phonics apps?
There aren’t many free phonics apps but we know of a good one called Simplex Spelling Light and also a free app with in-app purchases called Read with Phonics. Here’s more information including what operating system they’re available on and what your kid can expect to learn.
Simplex Spelling Light app
Before we get into the app details, Simplex Spelling Light is only available on the App Store and is one of the growing number of phonics apps iPad style. This means that it won’t fit some of the older iPhone models’ screens perfectly. Having said that, it’s free so why not download it if you have an iPhone and see how it looks. The developers are constantly making updates and tweaks.
This app focuses on phonics and also has more than 50 high-frequency words to kick-start your child’s reading journey. Importantly, it boasts a good speech to sound match which is key to support learning at this stage of development.
Read with Phonics app
Read with Phonics is available to play on their website or to download as an app via AppStore, Google Play, or Amazon. The educational games will help your little one learn the phonics sounds and it teaches word comprehension. It covers the 44 phonics sounds and more than 1,200 words with 116 phonics games and adventures exploring four exciting worlds.
It’s a great app for incentivising your little learner because they can only progress as they unlock new sounds and levels. We love the quirky characters in the storyline that will accompany your child on their reading discovery adventure and they are guaranteed to as well.
Awesome phonics websites
There are a number of great websites with phonics games and learning resources on them too. This means you can access them from any device that is connected to a web browser. Here are two options your kid will absolutely adore. 😍
The Phonics Play app
The Phonics Play app is actually only web-based and includes a host of interactive games and downloadable resources. Many schools have subscriptions to the Phonics Play app tools so you may be able to log in from home, for free. Some of the games are also available to play without signing up.
This site was created by Rosanna Springham, who was a leading literacy teacher for many years before going on to study software development. She then combined her two passions: phonics and computing to come up with the Phonics Play content.
There is a treasure trove of valuable learning tools on this site. Here are some of the goodies you’ll find:
- Flashcards Time Challenge: Helps to build up speed
- PhonicsPlay Comics: Decodable comics
- Welcome to the Zoo: Helps with listening and copying
- Picnic on Pluto: To practise blending
- Planetary Plurals: To practise plural rules
- Space Race: To practise segmenting
As well as plenty of fun activities and games for your child to explore autonomously, Phonics Play has additional resources for you, designed specifically for parents.
Teach Your Monster to Read
The computer version of Teach Your Monster to Read is free, all you need to do is register for an account. This is one of the phonics apps recommended on the UK Government site. It has also won a number of awards and continues to be popular with parents and children alike. The games will help your child match letters to sounds, spell words, and read sentences.
Your child will create a friendly monster and go on an adventure to new and exciting places together. As your kid plays games and wins prizes they will progress to harder challenges until they are ready to read little books in the programme.
We hope you enjoy looking over these phonics apps with your little one. Learning to read is one of life’s great adventures and unlocks the doors to many magical books and is the foundation to building most new skills in the future too. Using fun but educational phonics apps is a great way to kickstart this journey for your child.
If your child needs extra support, we have some great tutors at GoStudent who specialise in teaching phonics. They make learning fun and will help your kid learn much faster with one-to-one classes. If you’d like to give it a try we offer a free trial class so you can see just how beneficial it can be for your child.