We’ve done a lot of apps with letter sounds, but this is one of my favorites. Although it’s not an app that he normally chooses to play, if I start it for him, it’s one that holds his attention for the longest period of time.
It starts with a small group of letters. Children hear the letter sound and trace the letter with their fingers.
Then it gives them a sound and asks them to touch the letter that makes the sound.
I like the voice – it is clear and easy to understand. Since the kids just heard the sound when tracing the letter, the probability of success is pretty high. If they do hit the wrong letter, it disappears from their choices and they get to choose again, so eventually they’ll get it right.
I will say that the graphics in this game are not very exciting, even for me. A highlighter and a pencil that clap aren’t really that engaging. So I think that it must be the ability to successfully spell words that keeps Ayub entertained. He can do this one for quite a while. I like that it teaches letter sounds, and never mentions the letter names. He is having trouble distinguishing between the two, so this is more obvious to him. There are also a ton of parent options and settings that you can control, including how many letters to include, whether to focus on just sounds or also words, and even the writing style (including cursive, if you’re into that). You can also set how sensitive you want it to be when checking the child’s writing. Ayub tends to stray outside the lines sometimes, and it won’t let him continue until he gets it back under control. However, if you were playing this on an iPhone, it might be nice to relax it a little since the lines are smaller.
Pocket Phonics is currently $2.99 in the app store, which I think is a pretty fair price for this. I wish the graphics were a little stronger, but I very much like the concept and the order of activities. And, since Ayub sticks with it for a while, I think it has a greater chance of teaching him something.