11 Engaging Apps for Phonics Beginners

Last Updated on October 20, 2023 by Editorial Team

A letter is the smallest unit of the English language, and each has a corresponding sound. When you learn to read, you need to learn how to break the words into letter sounds and blend them to produce correct pronunciation. This ability to break words into letter sounds and blend them back stems from phonics intelligence.

Are you still wondering why phonics learning is important for your child? Read on to explore more advantages.

Why should children learn phonics?

“Why schools stress on Phonics learning?” Isn’t it causing more confusion and burdening students with additional work? Often parents share this concern and raise brows on the relevance of phonics teaching. To all these parents, I would say, “By giving good phonics practice, you are strengthening your children’s fine reading abilities. A single activity of phonics offers advantages such as:

  • Ability to pronounce words correctly (correct reading, easy to comprehend by other people)
  • Visualize correct spelling by listening to the word spoken to children (improvement in writing dictation and understanding instructions with growing ability to comprehend words correctly)
  • Equips children to make more meaningful words by learning about word families (vocabulary-building)

Having learned enough about the advantages, you must be wondering what exactly phonics sessions comprise. Here is a quick explanation of phonics with examples.

Understanding phonics with relevant examples

Mostly, it is assumed that everyone knows about phonics. Anyway, if you are a phonics beginner, here is a little help.

By phonics, we mean that children match the sounds of words spoken to them with individual letters or their combinations (extracted from National Literacy Trust, UK). As mentioned in our previous post on phonics worksheets, the reading activity mostly comprised breaking words into letters, such as BAT was taught to read as B-A-T bat. It did leave a gap in learning, and moving forth to complex letters proved cumbersome.

For example, the k sounds appear in italics, and epochs too, though these words don’t contain the letter K. The Answer to this lies in learning phonics.

What Phonics Sounds apps may help you learn?

There are about 40 plus sounds that children can master by learning to read through phonics. With regular practice, children master all of those as a part of the phonics learning program.

You must know that the International Phonetic Alphabet has included 44 unique sounds or graphemes (units of letter sounds) to help kids differentiate one letter, word, or meaning from another. Every consonant and vowel and their combination represent a unique sound. A few examples of phonics sounds (grapheme-phoneme correspondences or GPCs) are:

  • b – b, bb
  • l – l, ll
  • r – r, rr, rh, wr
  • m – m, mm, lm, mn
  • s – s, ce, cy, ss, se, si, su

Vowels, too, are presented by sounds; their graphemes are represented as below:

  • a – a, ai,au
  • e – e, ea, u, ie, ai, a, eo, ei, ae
  • i – i, e, o, u, ui, y, ie
  • o- a, ho, au, aw, ough
  • u – o, oo, u, ou

If all this sounds too overwhelming to you, don’t worry! We have curated a comprehensive list of the best phonics apps that can help you overcome all the challenges of learning or teaching phonics. Let phonics skill enhancement be more fun and result-oriented with technology-driven tools like apps and games.

Best phonics apps for young learners

1. Jolly Phonics

Jolly Phonics

Jolly Phonics is indeed a jollity-filled phonics learning app designed for budding English learners. This app offers veritable learning to students as it covers all aspects of phonics skill build-up. It emphasizes five key skills that collectively can boost the reading and writing abilities of the child.

Designed primarily for teachers, this phonics app imparts indubitable reading and learning skills. Using it, the teachers can give tests conforming to the UK Government’s standard assessment. Self-learners may find features to be fully supportive of their language coaching needs. A thorough word bank and features like word buzz, sound buzz, etc. engage children in learning all nuances of phonics.

Another likable feature is the activity pool. ‘Do an action corresponding to a letter sound’, or access songs for each letter sound; such fun-filled activities simplify the phonics learning process. Young students feel driven to turn to this app for fairly frequent repetitions and practice. Animated letter formation walks the students through letter tracing activity too.

App Link: App Store | Play Store

2. Phonics Island

Phonics Island

Board the flight to Phonics Lite and embark on a wholesome learning-to-read voyage! This captivating app can help you transform the screen time of kids into a phonics intelligence build-up hour. With lots of games and activities to do, phonics learners can soak up all the aspects of letter-sound formation, association, blending, and separating.

Make every phoneme a stop for learning to find letters that start with or contain that letter sound. You can find gamified solutions like phonics Bingo, songs starting with chosen letter sounds, and stories to read to help kids apply and check phonics proficiency.

Gulping the whole of phonics learning may be too much to swallow. That is why; you are given to start the process by choosing letters of your choice. By hovering over the parts where your desired letter is situated, you click and learn every phonics-related detail about that letter(s) and then move on to others. Reward points for doing activities successfully.

App Link: App Store

3. Phonics Sounds to Words for Beginning Readers

Phonics Sounds to Words for Beginning Readers

Small starts make a big impact cumulatively. This app resonates with this thought brilliantly. Users can build their phonics base by starting with the a,m,s, and t sounds. There is a beautiful logic behind including these letters as a starting point. While designing Morse code, the inventor found E as the most frequently used word. (Extracted from Lexico), followed by a,m,s,t which appeared maximum times in most of the words. Thus, kids get to enrich their phonics knowledge by covering all words widely used.

This app is a complete phonics learning program. it allows kids to adopt a progressive approach to learning phonics. They start with learning the sound and spelling of straight words like bat, cat, fan, mat, mug, etc., and then move further to blend words. The other facilities available in this app are:

  • reading and writing learning support as soon as letter phonics is introduced
  • upper and lower case introduction
  • reading skill check support in the form of games
  • letter recognition, blending, and segmenting practice-focused activities

The app offers gamified learning support to phonics learners. They are given rewards for strategy building and not for wild guesses. Features like immediate feedback rewards structure and progress track support ease and streamline the phonics skill development process.

App Link: App Store | Play Store

4. Hooked on Phonics

Hooked on Phonics

Ideal learning tool for preschoolers, kindergarteners, and first-graders! Hooked on Phonics has all that it takes actually to hook kids to phonics. It leverages the AV impact of engaging videos to build an initial understanding of phonics in early learners. Once the videos do their part and nurture phonics skills, kids can practice their learned concepts by doing activities and games. Finally, they move to check fluency impregnated by phonics by reading illustrative stories provided in this app.

Designed while keeping the reading proficiency standards set by federal and state, this app can act as a playful extension to phonics books for teachers. The app has a rich repertoire of e-books, reading lessons, interactive games, and well-researched videos. Teachers also get to add multiple readers to this app and track their learning progress. Hence, it can be called a digital resource, designed with enriched learning, practicing, and tracking tools, serving the needs as proposed by similar intervention materials.

App Link: Play Store | App Store

5. UptoSix Phonics

UptoSix Phonics

With this app, young learners learn the important aspects of phonics, such as learning the sounds of letters, blending letter sounds, and segmenting spellings to spell them correctly. It offers many practice opportunities to learn phonics in an easy-to-understand and step-by-step manner.

The app is a perfect choice for preschoolers, kindergarteners, and first graders. It can be used to homeschool children or at school to give an extra dose of phonics learning through a digital platform. With a colorful backdrop and a multitude of activities, this phonics app can soon become a child’s favorite!

App Link: Playstore

6. ABC – Phonics and Tracing from Dave and Ava

ABC – Phonics and Tracing from Dave and Ava

Alphabet tracing? Check! Phonics learning? Check! Fine motor skills development? Check!

This app is a multi-utility learning and teaching support aimed at making young kids a reading nerd. The kid’s early English literacy development needs may find a quintessential answer in this app. It allows kids to be the master of all concepts required for attaining phonics intelligence.

You may find in this app phonics basics to reinforce letter-sound relationships in mind. Also, you can combine phonics with other activities here, aimed at providing you a resourceful option for vocabulary boost, etc. A section is provided to learn farm animals’ names or other names children encounter daily or see around often. Thus, they can learn to identify, and match letters with sounds and pronounce names correctly.

App Link: Play Store | App Store

7. Phonics – Fun for Kids

Phonics - Fun for Kids

A visually engaging app for kids who need extra support for learning phonics minus all associated pains. From start to finish, every screen of this app has something interesting to offer to kids. While they match the letter with the sounds, they also get to match the letter with the corresponding picture having the same initial sound as the letters.

More than 200 bright pictures are provided to kids to give ample practice on picture association, letter-sound matching, spelling practice, etc Best phonics-boosting exercises possible to do with this app are:

  • learn phonics sounds by clicking on the Phonics button. Embrace Jolly phonics study way to learn s,i,t,p,c sounds, etc.
  • start playing phonics games once the basics are mastered
  • do alphabet-sound recognition
  • blend the sounds to make the words
  • move to learn three-letter and then longer word spellings by applying breaking and blending of sounds.

App Link: Play Store

8. Learn Letter Sounds with Carnival Kids

Learn Letter Sounds with Carnival Kids

A carnival theme traverses young kids to an engaging interface where learning and fun amalgamate beautifully. Children can do several engaging activities to touch the concept of phonics at various levels. Its amazing qualities are interface seamlessness and the ease of using props to achieve the learning objectives.

This phonics app for kids who want to master letter-sound matching skills provides awesome support for:

  • Learning letter-sound combination: Kids touch the block having a letter, and the corresponding sound emerges from it.
  • Building word families: kids can sort and arrange blocks with letters using the drag-and-drop method; it increases their motor skills and introduces them to the word family concept.
  • blend sounds: By doing the fun-filled activity of popping bubbles, the kids learn the letter and their corresponding sounds by heart

App Link: Play Store

9. Wonster Words: ABC Phonics

Wonster Words: ABC Phonics

Wonster Words is an award-winning phonics app that has been downloaded over a million times! Parents find it to be one of the best apps for their kids to learn to read. 

It introduces kids to letters and letter sounds through short, interactive puzzles. As kids drag puzzle pieces to form the word, they hear the letter and its sounds, which helps in memorization and retention.

To give you some other details, this ad-free app includes 44 phonemes, digraphs, consonant blends, and more. Kids also learn CVC words, see silly animations, and play games to test their phonics skills. Overall, Wonster Words is a fun app to teach kids to read and prepare them for their educational journey.

App Link: Playstore

10. Read with Phonics

Read with Phonics

Let your kids embark upon the journey of phonics and reading by providing them with the best resource as offered by the Read with Phonics App! This app has multiple gamified activities, which add more fun to their effort of learning to read. This app has a plethora of motivating factors that compel learners to try harder, more consistently, and repeatedly. Gaining points and moving to higher levels motivate kids to be more fluent, and correct in letter-sound identification activities.

This app is unique in the sense that it does not force children to rote memorize hundreds of words; instead, it focuses on teaching the letters and their corresponding sounds. A premise designed to offer best-suited conditions for blending, segmenting, and isolating sounds, this app helps kids internalize phonics or letter sounds in a way deeper manner. Top benefits include:

  • Practice anywhere, anytime
  • Thousands of pictures to associate with words or the starting sound of words
  • An interesting anchor that guides kids through all levels of the games and apps’ sections.

App Link: App Store | Play Store

11. Phonics for Kids

Phonics for Kids

Try this effective phonics app by the Buddy Company. Named the Word Buddy, it is an educational flashcard tool that has been loved by teachers worldwide. As phonemic awareness is the most efficient method for teaching children to read, practicing just 10 minutes a day regularly on this app can help most children develop impressive reading skills.

The app has around 2,000 flashcards covering initial sounds, word families, and sight words. Monitoring your child’s progress is also a breeze with Word Buddy, as it enables you to track their growth and share areas of improvement. Simply put, this phonics app can serve as a useful tool in helping preschoolers and those belonging to higher grades improve their reading skills.

App link: Playstore

Wrapping up,

Phonics apps offer anytime, anywhere, and tailored-to-needs solutions for students who look for self-paced learning solutions. The kids can entertain and learn independently with little intervention and achieve their early literacy development goals. Besides, teachers and home tutors can employ these as breakthrough solutions to supplement books and phonics activities to provide wholesome learning elucidation support to young learners.

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