Learning the alphabet and memorizing the shapes and sounds that each letter makes is a big job for preschoolers, and is one that requires plenty of practice and a method of teaching that keeps kids engaged and excited to learn. The power that Apple’s wildly popular iPhone has to grasp kids’ attention and help them learn new skills through interactive apps and games make it a very valuable tool in any parent’s teaching repertoire. These 10 apps can help your child learn the letters of the alphabet, and provide an entertaining refresher course any time he’s in need.
- LetterRecognition – This $1.99 app focuses on helping your children learn to name random letters of the alphabet accurately and in a timely manner. The letters appear in both upper- and lower-case form, and in or out of alphabetical order to ensure that your little one is learning how to recognize each of them independently.
- Bogga Alphabet – Pre-reading preschoolers will love this interactive, virtual version of the same brightly-colored magnetized letters they already know and love. In addition to reinforcing kids’ ability to recognize letters, Bogga Alphabet also lets kids listen to audio pronunciations and practice their skills as a budding spelling bee champion by lining letters up to form short words.
- Little Writer – The Tracing App for Kids – By tracing the lines of each letter in the alphabet, kids are able to commit those shapes to memory and boost their ability to recognize those letters. This free app is customizable in order to suit a variety of skill levels and offers a reward system based upon correct responses. As an added bonus, you can record audio yourself so that every lesson your child learns is in your familiar voice.
- Alphabet Zoo – Designed by educators as an effective method of helping kids learn letter-sound association, this $0.99 app is a valuable tool in your arsenal when it comes to helping your child learn to recognize letters and build the skills he’ll need when he begins to read. Built around concepts that are embraced by the US Common Core curriculum standards for phonics and word recognition, this app is well worth the small investment it requires.
- Goodnight ABC – Raved about by journalists, parents and educators alike, the iPhone version of this popular iPad app is free in the App Store. Not only will Goodnight ABC help your child learn the alphabet and letter recognition, but also other fundamental preschool skills like colors and numbers as well. There are no rigid rules of game play, no time limits and no pressure to make your child feel anxious regarding his performance, making this app a great choice for kids that struggle with anxiety problems.
- Pop ABCs – Learning to identify each letter of the alphabet and to associate the proper phonetic sounds with each of them is a breeze with this $1.99 app, which was tested and approved by both kids and their educators.
- Letter Tracer – Spending time tracing and painting the various letters of the alphabet will help to familiarize kids with their shapes, boosting recognition and helping kids to retain the information through repetition. Combining visual representations of each letter with reinforcement via tracing and voice-overs for identifying them, this $0.99 app is a great choice for preschool preparation.
- Kids ABC lite – Supporting both capital and lower-case letters and offering tracing, audio reinforcement and reading prep along with early writing skills, this lite version of the paid Kids ABC is powerful and engaging in its own right. Designed with a simple interface that is easily navigable by kids, this app is a must-have for parents of preschoolers.
- Nick Jr.’s A to Z with Moose and Zee – Featuring kid-favorite Nick Jr. characters, this $1.99 app seamlessly combines entertainment and education. Part hidden-object game and part letter recognition tool, A to Z with Moose and Zee will keep your child endlessly absorbed and learning every step of the way.
- Alphabet Tracing – In addition to the exciting animations featuring worms, trucks and trains, the free Alphabet Tracing app doubles as a doodle pad and even allows you to print hard copies of tracing worksheets as PDF files. Kids can combine interactive handheld learning with more traditional worksheet-based lessons for an immersive learning experience.
While these apps do have the power to help your child learn much more about letter recognition and phonics than he would on his own, they’re no substitute for the guidance and attention of a loving parent or caregiver. Rather than handing your phone over to a preschooler in an attempt to distract him during long car rides or shopping trips, make an effort to use these apps together to get the greatest benefit. After all, learning is much more fun with a friend.