Kids are a lot smarter than we think, and when we give them the tools to learn, they will. Not only are they eager to learn, they are ready. If you have a tot who loves to sing the alphabet and know the sounds of some of the character and is ready to take the next step toward building words, then waste no time downloading ABC Spelling Magic!
Created by Preschool University, this app presents letters in a fun and colorful way, with well designed exercises that immerse kids into the world of phonetics. After all, this is the building block of words.
The app itself is divided into two parts.
The first part focuses on recognizing a limited set of the alphabet, the sounds that each letter in this set makes, and provides games for the kids to use these letter to form words.
The second part expands on the first by providing the entire alphabet, including the different types of sounds each letter makes based on its pairing with other letters. Again, kids use these letter to mix and match and make words.
Before you get antsy about how complicated this will get, take a breath. This app focuses on words that employ just three phonetic sounds connected by short vowel sounds. So, the complications are limited – to avoid overstimulation which could lead to frustration.
The main screen gives parents lots of option on how to navigate. The Parents section of course is the first place parents go to make sure the app is setup correctly for their kids, including sound settings and such.
There is also an Instructions page which provides guidance on how the app works and how you can make it work for your child. To start, I highly recommend the Movable Alphabet area first, so kids can learn the alphabet and their sounds.
Next you would move on to the Word Building area, where kids can then use what they know about the sounds of each letter and actually start to build words.
The word building exercises are organized by type of word. Examples include words with the short a sound, short 3 sound, short i sound, short o sound, and short u sound. There is also a section for double consonant words. After the child is comfortable with these focused exercise groups, you can mix it up by going into Shuffle mode.
When kids build words, they are shown an array of letter to choose from, a picture, and empty slots into which they slide the letters. If they are correct, you get affirmation and move on to the next word. If not, you continue on the same word.
As valuable as this app is, I would love to see an expansion come soon that allows for larger words, so kids can continue using this effective tool to learn and build words.
I see lots of potential for ABC Spelling Magic and look forward to seeing where the creators take it.