Mama Tech Talk App Guide: Best Apps for Learning the Alphabet
The number one category I’m requested to review apps in is education. I guess it makes sense since I’m a mom of young children and have a degree in education. Parents will often ask, “What’s the best app for learning letters? What about learning numbers?” So, this week I’ve assembled a list of some of my favorite iOS apps for learning letters and learning to read. If you’d like to know more about any of these, just click the link to the full review.
Interactive Alphabet – ABC Flashcards is a great basic application for learning the alphabet. Each letter features a little activity for an object that goes with the letter (ie, “eat” a virtual apple for the letter “A”). Each activity keeps the letter sounds a little easier to remember. Interactive Alphabet is available for both iPhone and iPad and features fun music, and original alphabet song, “baby mode” (the app automatically changes the flashcards every 15 seconds). It’s simple, easy to get around, the music is upbeat and kid-friendly and my toddler and preschooler enjoy it. Interactive Alphabet – ABC Flashcards is charming, uncluttered and simple. It gets 4 out of 5 stars from me. Check out the full review here.
AlphaTots is one of our family’s favorites and has become very popular since its release a short while ago. If you can only afford one alphabet app, I recommend this one. AlphaTots is available for both the iPhone and iPad and includes the alphabet song and an activity section for each letter of the alphabet. The narrator’s voice is pleasing and motherly and the graphics are smooth and kid-approved. I absolutely love that both my kids have found it incredibly easy to navigate and have no problems jumping around to different letters. They actually fight over this one – a good sign that Spinlight Studios will enjoy long success with this one. I give AlphaTots 4.5 out of 5 stars. To read my full review, go here.
Shape-O ABC’s is a delightful blend of three things most toddlers and preschoolers love: animals, puzzles and letters. Granted, not all the puzzles are of animals, but many of them are. Once your child chooses a puzzle to solve, he or she will be taken to a puzzle and asked to put it together. Once they solve the puzzle, they are congratulated and can play with the animal colors. While they solve the puzzle they hear and see the name of the object they are working on and the letters are presented as puzzle pieces in some levels. Letters are not necessarily the main focus, but this app proves to be a great springboard to re-enforce the fact that letters make words. The difficulty level can be adjusted which makes this app relevant for more than just a small age range. I give Shape-O ABC’s 4 out of 5 stars. Read the full review here.
Word Wagon is a great app for kids who are already familiar with their letters. The focus is on spelling and putting letters together to make words. There’s no other way to say it: Duck Duck Moose rocks the educational app world and Word Wagon is no exception. The app features word puzzles and four levels of difficulty. It currently features 100 different words for children to spell (including Dolch words) and as your child gets words correct they will begin to earn virtual stickers. My kids love collecting virtual stickers in the game. Word Wagon is available for iPhone and iPad and I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars. To check out my full review, go here.
Nick Jr.’s A to Z with Moose and Zee incorporates a seek-and-find element of fun to learning letters. If your children have watched Nick Jr at all they will be familiar with these cute characters and their letter hunts. This one does a great job helping children distinguish the difference between upper and lower case. If your little one likes to look for hidden objects, this will probably be their favorite alphabet learning app. If your preschooler gets stumped and can’t find a letter, the app offers hints. I do wish it were easier to skip to specific letters, but for now it takes over and randomizes the letter order. A to Z with Moose and Zee both looks pretty and works smoothly on the iPhone. I give it 4 out of 5 stars.
Lola’s Alphabet Train is an alphabet app filled with mini activities. Choose a level of difficulty then hop on Lola’s Alphabet Train. She’ll take you through activities like letter memory, letter quizzes and word puzzles. Get answers right and your child will earn coins to buy little prizes in Lola’s store. The voice over is a great guide for kids and helps them know what to do. Once your child earn the money to buy a prize, they place it on Lola’s train and can tote it around proudly. This app isn’t the most stunning one I’ve seen, but it gets props for variety. It is available for both iPhone and iPad. I give Lola’s Alphabet Train 3.5 out of 5 stars.
Maybe your young ones already have the alphabet down, but they just can’t stand anything having to do with math. Check back next week where we will explore the best math apps available for ages 2 – 12.
Hannah is an educator, mom to three wonderful children ages 3 and younger and proud wife of an Operation Iraqi Freedom Veteran. She is the founder of MyAppinions.com. My Appinions is a site where she posts reviews of iOS apps of all kinds but with a heavy emphasis on ones with educational and practical value.