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- Language Arts Apps

This list has been curated by a Central Park volunteer parent taking into account the Central Park mission and vision incorporating STEAM, project-based learning, kinesthetic learning and passion-based learning.


Details of prices and platforms change constantly so please Google the title for the latest accurate information.


This list was created based on the following criteria:


1) It must be fun.

2) It should have feedback that helps the child learn other than simply "right" or "wrong".

3) There should be both aural and visual interaction.

4) Visual representations of phonics or parts of speech are a bonus.

5) Kinesthetic manipulations of phonic or word elements are a bonus.

6) Giving the child the ability to explore creatively is a bonus.

7) It should have minimal advertising.

8) It should teach something tied to CC and not just be a fun game.

Bob Books Reading Magic 1

BOBBooksReadingMagic1.png"Start your child reading with this phonics-based interactive game. Even very young children love the simple drag-and-drop interface. Your favorite Bob Books characters and full-color animations encourage kids along the path of learning to read."


First the confusing thing for parents sorting through the Bob Books Reading Magic Apps is that there are 3 levels. For the 1st and 3rd level there are 2 apps, one that is full price and one that is called "Lite" which gives you a short trial version of the app.


Full version is $3.99 while Lite version is free.


The full version of Bob Books Reading Magic 1 is linked at: http://bobbooks.com/reading_magic1/


For the Bob Books Reading Magic 1 *Lite* version see: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bob-books-reading-magic-lite/id408873050?mt=8

Bob Books Reading Magic 2


"Introduces and reinforces beginning reading concepts

Crisp, vivid graphics for high definition screens

Phonics-based vocabulary means kids can sound out the words

Drag and drop tiles enhance phonemic awareness, a critical skill for beginning reading"


$3.99, no "lite" version


Links for the full version: http://bobbooks.com/reading_magic2/



"Sight Words can be a stumbling block for early readers because so many of them cannot easily be sounded out or illustrated. Bob Books Reading Magic - Sight Words was developed to assist young readers in acquiring sight word vocabulary through engaging, interactive games that capture a child’s imagination."


Full version link $3.99: http://bobbooks.com/reading_magic3/


Link to the "lite" free version: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bob-books-reading-magic-sight/id1069454090?mt=8

Endless Alphabet

EndlessAlphabet.jpg"Set the stage for reading success with this delightfully interactive educational app. Kids will have a blast learning their ABC's and building vocabulary with the adorable monsters in Endless Alphabet. Each word features an interactive puzzle game with talking letters and a short animation illustrating the definition. Before you know it, your child will be using words like gargantuan and cooperate!"


$8.99 but it goes free sometimes.



Endless Reader


This app introduces “sight words”, the most commonly used words in school, library, and children’s books. Kids need to recognize these words by sight in order to achieve reading fluency. Recognizing sight words is advantageous for beginning readers because many of these words have unusual spelling, cannot be sounded out using phonics knowledge, and often cannot be represented using pictures.


Kids will have a blast learning sight words and their context and usage with the adorable Endless monsters. Each word features an interactive word puzzle with letters that come alive, and then a sentence puzzle with words that become what they describe. See the word “dog” as a barking dog, and the word “up” reach for the sky!"


Free to download, $29.99 for the full version. It goes on sale sometimes for 99 cents.



Endless Wordplay

EndlessWordplay.jpg"Kids will have a blast learning spelling patterns and phonograms with the all-new Alphabot and the beloved Endless monsters. Each lesson reinforces a spelling and phonetic pattern using a sequence of rhyming word puzzles with letters that come alive. The rhyming words then lead to entertaining and illustrative animations that are as fun as they are educational."


Free to download a limited version $14.99 for the full version.



Homer (Learn with Homer)

LearnWithHomer.jpg"Cultivate a love of reading in your child today!
- 1,000+ phonics lessons in our groundbreaking step-by-step Homer method for kids age 2-8
- Over 200+ stories in our award-winning library of eBooks
- 200+ Science and History lessons to build advanced knowledge
- Art and Music activities to foster creativity
- Easy-to-use, nurturing, supportive and fun
- 150+ Printable Worksheets, Learning Games and Activities for when screen time is over
- 60 First Readers - your child’s first books they can read on their own! 
- Capture magic memories as Homer record’s their first books read for you!"


Homer is free to download and access the free content. To access all content it requires a monthly subscription $7.99. They let you cancel anytime and do multiple 30-day free trials. As a parent, I cringed at the subscription but then was surprised to see my kids learning about so many world cultures and singing along. This is a kid chosen app.



Hooked on Phonics

HookedOnPhonicsLearnToRead.jpg"Kindergarten is an essential time for your little one’s cognitive growth and development, especially when it comes to literacy skills. Based on the award-winning Hooked on Phonics system, our Learn to Read app helps ensure a smooth transition by preparing your child to learn to read. The app consists of 12 digital lessons and 36 eBooks that can be easily navigated by Kindergarten-age children who already know the alphabet and are just beginning to make letter-sound associations. Based on the latest learning research, the app is aligned with the National State Standards as well as the Common Core Reading Foundational Skills for Kindergarten, including concepts of print, phonological awareness, letter-sound correspondence, and high-frequency word recognition."


This is one of those places where to the parent, Hooked on Phonics looks fantastic. It can be. But for my kids they preferred other apps like BoB and Homer. Maybe your kids will like Hooked on Phonics. Luckily the app download is free and you can make an in-app purchase to unlock other levels. The full package is normally $49.99 but sometimes the whole classroom version goes on sale for 99 cents.




Lexia Reading Core 5

LexiaReadingCore5.jpg"Lexia Reading Core5 supports educators in providing differentiated literacy instruction for students of all abilities in grades pre-K–5. Lexia’s research-proven program provides explicit, systematic, personalized learning in the six areas of reading instruction, targeting skill gaps as they emerge, and providing teachers with the data and student-specific resources they need for individual or small-group instruction."


Lexia is not approved for curriculum use in SCUSD but it is widely used in the San Jose Unified School District. It is a much bigger investment cost than other apps but the depth of their content and adaptive content is pretty good. Some may find it a little too repetitive for fast learners who like to skip ahead. Currently Lexia is redirecting families to the Rosetta Stone for Kids app and positioning Lexia for schools.



Monkey Word School Adventure

MonkeyWordSchoolAdventure.jpgJoin Monkey and his jungle friends as they explore a fun-filled world of letters, sight words, phonics and spelling. Seamless game flow and behind-the-scenes performance adjustment allow your child to jump right in and begin playing and learning."


This app normally costs $2 but sometimes it goes on sale free. I downloaded it when it was free and was surprised to find all my kids playing it together for fun. Something about this app makes the kids really enjoy it. I honestly have not looked closely to figure out why...



Raz Kids

RazKids.jpg"The Kids A-Z mobile app delivers interactive learning content for Raz-Kids and Science A-Z anytime, anywhere. Kids can choose from a library of eBooks, eQuizzes, and other eResources to access on their own, or complete assignments scheduled by their teacher or parent. With the Kids A-Z app, personalized learning goes wherever the student does!"


Raz Kids has both a web site and an app. A school subscription or home subscription is required to access the content. Most SCUSD schools have Raz Kids. It is like an e-library of leveled books with quizzes.



StarFall ABC

StarFallABCs.jpg"Starfall ABCs motivates through positive reinforcement and play. Children delight as they see, hear, and interact with letters and sounds in words, sentences, and games. All children, and especially English language learners, benefit."


This is great for preschoolers or any kids who are learning the alphabet. It is free.



Starfall I'm Reading

StarfallImReading.jpg"The stories in this app contain a controlled vocabulary set, using the words most frequently encountered in print. The stories and activities reinforce high-frequency words, also called “sight words,” in sentences rather than in isolation. This ensures the young reader will make a meaningful association with each word and more readily commit it to memory. The stories can be read aloud to model the qualities of fluent reading: intonation, expression, inflection and rate. Users can enable or disable the AutoRead feature. Ear buttons are supplied for fluency when AutoRead is off."


This is a $2 app version of some of the content from the Starfall web site subscription.



Starfall It's Fun to Read

StarfallItsFunToRead.jpg"After reading about artists and musicians, making a magician, reading poetry, laughing at tongue twisters, and solving riddles, your child will agree: It's Fun to Read! With a basic understanding of letter-sound relationships, your child is ready to explore a variety of genres and topics that will expand reading vocabulary, comprehension, and world knowledge. The games and activities within demonstrate the joy of reading through rhyme, alliteration, spelling patterns, and word play."


Starfall has this same content on their web site as part of a subscription. This app is just a portion of the web site for $2.



Starfall Learn to Read

StarFallLearnToRead.jpg"Each numbered section features a vowel sound and its related spelling. Your child will hear, touch, read and eventually master this sound-spelling through a variety of engaging activities, movies, and songs. Encourage your child to play and explore! Your child will come to recognize the relationship between spoken and written language while having fun learning to read. This app is excellent for emerging readers and English language learners."


Starfall has a web site with free content and subscription to access full content. Then they have some free apps and some paid apps. Starfall Learn to Read is one of the $3 paid apps.



Super Why!

SuperWhy.jpg"Help your child achieve the Power to Read with this collection of four SUPER WHY interactive literacy games. Your child can play along with each of the four main characters from the TV series: Alpha Pig, Princess Presto, Wonder Red, and, of course, Super Why, while practicing the alphabet, rhyming, spelling, writing and reading. Super Duper!"


The Super Why app is great for preschoolers or any kids learning phonics. $3.99. It is based on the PBS Kids show.





Wet Dry Try

WetDryTry.jpg"Make handwriting practice fun! With Wet-Dry-Try, children learn and practice correct formation habits for writing capitals, numbers, and lowercase letters. The app simulates our Slate Chalkboard and Blackboard with Double Lines and helps children learn handwriting skills in the easiest, most efficient way. The result truly is handwriting without tears!"


Great for preschoolers and any kids learning how to form letters. This is the companion app that follows the Handwriting Without Tears methodology. While it looks simple for $5, there is a lot more behind its method than is obvious. Many occupational therapists use the HWT techniques because it is so visual and kinesthetic.



Word Wizard

WordWizard.jpg"Word Wizard offers several unique reading and spelling activities for children ages four to 10:

• A talking Movable Alphabet that allows kids to experiment with phonics and word building thanks to the advanced text to speech engine.
• 3 spelling activities that increase in difficulty
• 184 built-in word lists (about 1800 words)
• Add your own words to create unique spelling quizzes
• Keep tabs on your children’s progress with detailed reports"


This app is great with preschoolers as well as kids who are learning to spell because of the text to speech engine they have. Costs $5 but sometimes it is on sale for 99 cents.




WordGirl Superhero Training

WordGirlSuperhero.jpg"• 4 educational mini games with 30 levels each
• Iconic Word Girl villains
• A deeply embedded vocabulary curriculum
• 12 HD clips featuring WordGirl and Captain Huggy Face in action
• Customizable girl and boy superhero avatar creator
• 48 pieces of earnable gear to customize your superhero avatar"


At first glance, this thing look like a silly waste of $2 until your child starts embedding all this new vocabulary into their everyday conversations. This app is based on the PBS Kids show called Word Girl.



Word World

WordWorld.jpg" This library of exclusive touchable story tales focuses on early literacy skills as children watch words in each story come to life! As children explore, discover, collect and create different parts of each appisode, they create their own learning adventures."


This app is free to download but then you in-app purchase individual appisodes for $2. This is more for preschool or any kids needing help with phonics.