The Smart Apps for Kids team put together this great list of the top apps for sight words in response to a reader request.
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Until then, check out our list of the best apps for sight words. Sight words are great in helping children get into reading, to give them a basic foundation upon which to build their reading skills.
Eggy 100 HD by Blake eLearning
FREE, iPad only
This app has options for Australian, UK, and US English speakers, which is important for beginner readers. Eggy 100 is part of the Reading Eggs program which is available by subscription online and also has some wonderful apps to supplement the program. We also featured it in a recent Free and Reduced Apps post in June.
“Eggy Words 250 is an application designed to help children recognise and learn sight words. Sight words are words that readers should know automatically “at sight”, such as he, the, was and where. This app covers the first 250 sight words using a fun and motivating game to keep kids learning.”
My First Words - Flashcards by Alligator Apps
FREE with in-app purchases, iPhone/iPad, Customizable
Alligator Apps have a whole range of sight word apps that are fully customizable meaning you can choose your own categories and pictures, your localized dialect and use your own recordings. Again, good for those learning to read in Australia. This particular app has flashcards sorted into 13 categories such as Actions, Clothing, Animals, and Feelings--and seven categories are free! Check out our Good Free App of the Day post for all 35 apps.
✔ Add your own cards - record own voice and add own pictures! ✔ Includes 200+ gorgeous photographs that are carefully hand picked and selected ✔ Fun & engaging voice artist keeps kids engaged ✔ 8 different play modes to show the flashcards anyway you like. Play modes include (image only, word only, flashcard only, word then flashcard, word then image) ✔ 8 unique game modes including find the item, listening, and reading games ✔ Fully customizable font size, font color, spelling (upper case, lower case, etc.)”
Sight Words by Little Speller, Grasshopper Apps
FREE, iPhone/iPad, Customizable
Grasshopper Apps are fully customizable, making them a very attractive option for educators in Australia and the UK looking for apps with the correct accent. Little Speller is a word building activity that breaks down each sight word into its constituent letters for the child to place in the rack below the flashcard. See all 24 Grasshopper Apps in our Good Free Apps of the Day post.
Help your child learn to speak, read, and spell as they learn to recognize words and letters by sight sound and touch. Sight Words, also known as the Dolch List are an integral part in learning how to read. The Dolch Word list contains 220 words that make up the most common words of the English language and are easiest learned by sight. It is important for young readers to be able to instantly recognize these high frequency words in order to be proficient and fluent readers. The only FULLY customizable app of its kind!
Monkey Word School Adventure by THUP Games
This app rates a perfect 5-star rating on Smart Apps For Kids! This engaging learning app has high energy, a seamless interface, top quality production values, thoughtful content - but also provides the ability to customize the difficulty levels for three different users. All while kids are inadvertently learning through play. Succinct verbal instructions are given throughout the apps six learning games so there is absolutely no chance of confusion. The theme is the jungle and exploring, which will appeal to both boys and girls. The skills addressed are age appropriate 3-7 year olds.
Join 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.
Squeebles Spelling Test by KeyStagefun
This app is a Smart Apps For Kids Top Pick, rated 4 1/2 stars as a go-to app for weekly spelling homework and test prep. This universal app makes weekly spelling menus sent home from school a cinch for those with an iDevice. The developer forgoes preprogrammed lists of sight words that don't usually match up with school lists, and puts parents in control of creating lists and otherwise totally customizing the experience for each child using the app.
Quickly and easily set up personalised spelling tests for your children, using the words you want them to learn. The app allows you to set up tests, enter words and then record audio versions of those words for your children to listen back to before they spell them. Stats on each child let you see how they're doing and which words they're struggling with.
SightWords Pro by 24x7 digital
Another Top Pick, SightWords Pro is a must-download for working with children on sight words. Using Sightwords Pro, a parent or teacher can display each word on the screen, ask the child to read it, and then touch either a star for the correct answer or a flag for the wrong one. Words which were answered incorrectly (flagged) can then be loaded by themselves into a set of their own for additional work. Lists can be randomized by shaking the device.
SightWords Pro contains a selection of over 1,600+ sight words which comprises up to 85% of the text in a child's early reading materials -- comprehensively compiled from Dolch, Fry, Pinnell-Fountas, UK, and many other high-frequency word lists. Choose a pre-defined flash card word list, or build and save custom flash card lists to match what is taught in the classroom. Add custom words and record your own pronunciations.
Word Mayhem HD by Generate Learning
$0.99, iPad Only
Word Mayhem is an arcade-style game where the student works through levels by tapping on every word they see floating on the screen. Every correct tap awards a point and moves closer toward the level quota. An incorrect tap means they need to wait a few seconds. A fun way to practice sight words already learned.
30 levels of gameplay; A word bank of 300 sight words!; Helpful advice given if they are struggling; Positive feedback given when they are doing well; Gameplay self-tunes to their speed. The faster they answer the faster the game goes!; 3 levels of game speed for beginners, advanced and maniacs!
iTouchiLearn Words: Speech & Language Skills by StayTooned
This app uses games and animations to help the child practice reading common vocabulary words. A handful of words are grouped together with others that they belong to, such as apple, seed, tree, worm.
Engaging animations and activities teach kids about the context of words and reinforce early speech and language skills. Each activity features: ★Sight Words ★Spelling ★Reading ★Fine Motor Skills ★Meets Common Core State Curriculum Standards ★Ideal for Special Education & Speech Therapy
PCS Bingo by DynaVox Mayer-Johnson
FREE with In-App Purchases, iPhone/iPad
This app uses the very popular game bingo to reinforce common vocabulary words, articulation, language and rhyming.
This PCS™ Bingo App is great for classroom Bingo games to practice vocabulary, articulation, language and rhyming. It’s great for SLPs who frequently move between different classrooms and facilities. Customizable categories allow the user to meet specific goals. Parents can use the App to continue lessons at home or on the go.
Sight Words Sentence Builder by Sierra Vista Software
The four levels in this app require the student to arrange sight words from increasingly more difficult sentences.
Did you know that automatic recognition of Sight Words is an essential part of functional literacy? This fun game covers all levels of Dolch Sight Words and lets students practice them in context.Using grade appropriate (Dolch) Sight Words, children assemble short sentences from given words. The player receives visual and auditory feedback indicating whether the response is correct. Once the student answers correctly, the exercise moves to the next sentence.
Fry Words by Innovative Mobile Apps
Using Fry’s list of 1000 most common sight words, the flashcards are grouped into 100s and are fully customizable. Find all of the Innovative Mobile Apps on our Good Free Apps of the Day post.
The Fry 1000 Instant Words are a list of the most common words used for teaching reading, writing, and spelling. These high frequency words should be recognized instantly by readers. Dr. Edward B. Fry's Instant Words (which are often referred to as the "Fry Words") are the most common words used in English ranked in order of frequency. To make learning the Fry Words fun, simple, and easy, we have broken all 1,000 Fry words into unique sets of 10 words each. Ideal for Kids 1 - 4 Years Old
Sight Words by Innovative Mobile Apps
Like Fry Words, this app from Innovative Mobile Apps uses the Dolch list of sight words as customisable flashcards.
Help Your Child Learn to Read Sight Words, also known as the Dolch List are an integral part in learning how to read. The Dolch Word list contains 315 words that are broken down into appropriate age groups. It is important for young readers to be able to instantly recognize these high frequency words in order to be proficient and fluent readers. Why Sight Words from Alligator Apps? We believe that educational apps should be ridiculously fun, immensely educational, and affordable for all. Fortunately, hundreds of thousands of parents agree and have turned us into one of the hottest app developers for kids on the iPad.
Little Stars Word Wizard by Innovative Mobile Apps
FREE, iPhone/iPad, Customizable
We featured this great app as a Good Free App of the Day. Check it out to learn more!
Little Stars - Word Wizard is a fun educational app for kids that helps kids discover and learn spelling. While your kids will enjoy playing this game, they will be learning new words, their spellings, and phonetic sounds. It can be played with 1 or 2 players and requires the student to tap the correct picture (out of 4) that matches the word that is either said or read.
Sight Words and Spelling with Pixopop HD by Marcel Widarto
$2.99, iPad Only
We rated this app 4 stars. The app differs from your run-of-the-mill sight words app because it offers three distinct modes of play for kids to learn the fundamental am/is/was/were/can/do/have/come/see/it building blocks of the English language. These words are also commonly referred to as Dolch Words or core vocabulary in AAC apps. It is necessary to recognize them on sight in order to be a fluent reader. With Flash Cards, Word Challenges, and a customizable word list, this app definitely earned its 4-star rating!
The three different game modes (Flash Card, Word Challenge and Spelling), will guide your child through the different stages of learning the sight words. Those stages are: seeing and hearing the word for the first time, recognizing the word and selecting the correct word in a multiple choice word challenge mode, and finally knowing how to spell the word in the spelling mode.
Simplex Spelling HD - Dolch Sight Words With Reverse Phonics
This app will appeal to older students still needing to work on sight words, because it features a more sophisticated interface than others.
Simplex Spelling improves English spelling and reading skills in a fun and interactive way by combining a unique “reverse phonics” approach with contextually relevant spelling rules that explain why words are spelled in a particular manner. It works like a personal spelling coach with every word. Simplex Spelling HD teaches the Dolch sight words to establish a base foundation in spelling and reading fluency.
Smiley Sight Words by 24x7 digital
We rated Smiley Sight Words a 4-star app. It presents parents and educators with more than 1,600 sight words flash cards, divided into well over 100 sets to work with beginning readers. Smiley Sight Words allows for up to 30 students (with name and photo) to use the app at one time, without additional in-app purchase, and tracks their progress.
The 1,600+ sight words included with Smiley Sight Words comprises up to 85% of the text in a child's early reading materials. A child who can recognize just 8 of 10 words in a sentence can typically understand its meaning! "Sight words" often cannot be illustrated via simple pictures or sounded out according to regular phonetic decoding rules, thus they need to be learned and recognized "on sight". Smiley Sight Words is a handy way to keep track of and encourage a child's mastery of their sight words.
Teach Me: Kindergarten by 24X7 digital
TeachMe: Kindergarten earned a 5-star rating from Ron. If you have a child in Pre-K/Reception or Kindergarten, buy this app, because it's one of the best. Mimi Mouse asks questions about each topic, congratulates the player on the right answer and explains the correct answer if the question has been answered incorrectly.
TeachMe: Kindergarten is an educational iPhone/iPad/iPod touch app which teaches four different age appropriate subjects to Kindergarten aged children: sight words, addition, subtraction and spelling. Parents can select which subjects they want, set different difficulty levels, and even choose specific questions. Parents can review performance history for each subject to check how their child is doing.
Teach Me: 1st Grade by 24x7 digital
Just like the Kindergarten version, the TeachMe: 1st Grade app earned a 5-star review. There is A LOT to like about TeachMe: 1st Grade. The app poses questions in reading, addition, subtraction and spelling, the latter three of which have to be written to be entered, a feature not yet seen in any other educational app of this kind. (And the writing recognition is excellent.)
TeachMe: 1st Grade teaches four age-appropriate subjects to first grade children: sight words, addition, subtraction and spelling. TeachMe: 1st Grade's unique TeachTech character recognition engine interprets a child's written answers, helping to reinforce writing skills while teaching math and spelling.
This post was the first group venture of the new team for Smart Apps for Special Needs! Leslie M. is the mother of three wonderful children who loves to advocate for her children and others with special needs. Cas P. has four wonderful children, works as a special needs assistant, and is addicted to apps. She also tries to include some chocolate consumption in every day--strictly medicinal, of course! Heather H. also contributed to this post.