App name
Approx ages:

Brief comments
Curriculum Links (Please add
ABC Alphabet Phonics Song
Age: 3+
ABC Alphabet phonics song.png
This app has six games for helping young children learn about the alphabet. ABC Tapping involves tapping the screen to make a letter pop up, with a simultaneous (American) pronunciation of the letter name. This would probably not engage children for long. The ABC Song has children singing the ABC song as letters appear, one on top of the other, before they order themselves into sequence. ABC Matching involves matching upper and lower case letters. When children correctly match letters, a picture of an item beginning with that letter appears, with a spelling and pronunciation. ABC Ordering shows the alphabet in order with a few blank spaces, into which children must drag ‘stray’ letters. ABC Words involves tapping a letter, then a letter name, sound and two pictures of items beginning with that letter appear
ABC Alphabet phonics song illus.png

ABC Pocket Phonics
ABC pocket phonics.png
This is one of the better apps available for helping children match letter sounds with letters. Can also be used to help children to blend sounds together (phonological awareness).
ABC pocket phonics illus.png

ABC Tracer
Age: 3+
ABC tracer free.png
For young children to trace around alphabet letters with finger. A little difficult to make the handwriting smooth and accurate on this app. An eraser is available so children can rub out any attempts that they are not happy with. There are more appropriate apps of this type available for the Australian context.

Alphabet tracing
Age 3+
ABC tracing.png
An alphabet tracing app to help children from letters. Children watch a train travel around a letter to show starting points and directions and then trace with finger. Letter names are pronounced. The teacher can create alphabet tracing worksheets and email them to self or print out so that children can practise with pencil rather than fingertip. Bat and ball printing (not Victorian Cursive).
Alphabet tracing illus.png

Intro to Letters by Montessorium
Age: 4-7
This app is useful for practising letter sound relationships. The child traces various letters and digraphs and learns about letter formations while an audio feature pronounces the sound that the letter or digraph typically represents. American pronunciations.

ABC Magnetic Alphabet
Age: Early Years
abc magnetic alphabet.jpg
This app features 167 magnets in 6 colours. Magnets can be rotated and resized. Make words, illustrate them with pictures and save them. Good for making word families. Can save illustrated words and import into another app (such as PuppetPals) to make into an attractive multimodal alphabet or word book.

Chicktionary for iPad
Age: 6+
A word making game. Children must make as many words as they can from the set of letters given.Potential to improve spelling. An element of silliness makes this game fun. Sound effects (clucking hens) may prove to be distracting for some children.
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Ending Blends
This app features the blends: ft, ll, nt,st, nd, sk, m, ck, mp, and lk; Student selects an ending sound and then a beginning sound and is then able to hear the word and see an image that represents the word. The app contains 100 different word combinations, sound files and images.

$2.99 (Lite version: Free)
Age: 4+
This is essentially a handwriting app. Children have to trace the letter following a sequence of numerals. For children who have no knowledge of numbers or counting, this app would not be useful. Many of the instructions are written so a parent or teacher would need to help the young child.

Oz Phonics web site

Phonics Silly Sentence 2
Age: 4-7
phonics silly sentences 2.png
This app introduces long vowel sounds and letter combinations though activities such as flash cards, matching, sound and sign, and silly sentences. Limited usefulness in free version.

Phonics Silly Sentences Short vowels
Age: 4-7
phonics silly sentences hort vowels.png
Introduces short vowel sounds and letter combinations. Activities include flash cards, matching games and silly sentences.

Phonics Vowels
Age: 5-7
See youtube demo
phonics vowels.png
May be useful for phonics and word family practice. American pronunciations.

Pirate Treasure Hunt: Eight Challenges
Formally known as Pirate Treasure Hunt - TLF
Age: 4-7
Pirate treasure hunt.png
Solve problems using literacy and numeracy skills. The app features a variety of problem types - spelling shapes, visual cues, word knowledge, addition of numbers and time.

Twinkl Phonics Suite
This phonics suite is based on the high quality Letters and Sounds materials from the UK. Not free but takes into account developmental sequences and good pedagogical principles. Modules (phases) are also available separately for $3.99 each.
Also available for android.

Word Magic Lite
Paid version: $0.99
Age: 4-7
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Fill in missing letters to spell the words that match the image. The ‘lite’ version has limited words. Settings can be changed to suit student ability.

Alphawriter Montessori
Age: 4-7
In the Moveable Alphabet section of this app, children drag the letter sound from scrolling alphabet bar to spell the word to match the picture shown. The second section offers a storyboard so that students can create own stories.

Wiggles ABC Adventure
Age: 4-7
wiggles abc advent.png
Great for familiarising young children with letter recognition and letter names. The Australian voices of the popular Wiggles singers will be attractive to many young children. See . No letter sounds are given, only letter names.

Word Wall HD
Age: 4-7
word wall.png
This app is essentially a phonics app. It has ‘abc’ and ‘words’ sections. Within each of these, children can play games. In the ‘abc’ section, the following games are available - See and Find is a picture or word matching game, which is essentially a memory game and with 12 cards, too hard for many young children. Hide a Word involves swiping a finger cross the screen to move a spotlight that reveals hidden words, which are pronounced when found. Bubble Words involves dragging and dropping letters to spell target words. Jigsaw Words involves dragging and dropping pieces to spell a word and make up a picture – children could easily do this activity without paying attention to the letters so it may be of limited value.
In the ‘words’ section of the app, it’s possible to make word families – this is a worthwhile activity – the narrator blends the sounds together to make a word and then the word is put into a sentence. The voice is American and this may be disadvantageous when teaching Australian children phonemes. A YouTube demo can be found at and a review showing a young child using the app can be found at

To add more, click EDIT above and add you app review here.

Link to Spectronics list of Phonics AppsExcellent blog by Amanda Hartmann at Spectronics