Wonster Words is an app for iOS which teaches kids words using word families, phonics, vocabulary words and digraphs in a fun interactive way using monsters as the underlying theme. For example, the word families for “at” include “splat”, “cat”, “rat”, “bat”. First you make the word with letters then you see a variety of ways it is illustrated “baseball bat” or “bat” the animal. After completing the word, you move on to see it illustrated and then used in a “real world” setting. The app is targeted at older preschool and early elementary aged children as it captures a number of sight words and can be used by pre-reading children as well as those working on sight words.
I loved when you were making words that the letters are sounded out individually as that helped my son clearly understand each of the words and the sounds that they made as well a describing what the word did. For example, “hike” showed the word and then a nature hike. There’s a nice carry over of skills here that encourages kids to engage in a fun way and continue using the app. I also liked that you could scroll through the app and look for specific word families to practice on – my son in particular struggles with the “th” since it’s silent at times and he did well with this lesson and was able to practice the words in real time. My son also commented that the monsters “were not scary” and he liked that.
In terms of improvements, I would like to see the word spelling required to be done in order rather than just dragging the letters in as it encourages kids to sound out the word. I also wish that there were instructions for some of the games, the one with the monster falling where you need to capture the lightening bugs took a bit for my son to figure out – although he loved the obstacles and trying to catch all of them. The price point for the app is a bit high, but you do get a lot of content for the dollar. I would also like to see a stronger parental gate, perhaps one that includes a math problem rather than a “press and hold” model.
Overall, this app is a good one for teaching emerging readers. It did a nice job of practicing phonics and word families and helped my son understand the concepts of reading. The price tag is a bit high so I encourage you to try it and if you like it, then you can purchase it either via in-app purchases or by purchasing the pro version of the app.
Wonster Words Learning
by 77Sparx Studio, Inc.
• Award-winning ABC, phonics, and spelling app!
Full version (no IAP)
Wonster Words (Pro Edition)
by 77Sparx Studio, Inc.
Price: $54.99 USD
• Multiple-awards winning app from the maker of Puzzingo Puzzles!
NOTE: A fee was received to expedite this review to the top of our waiting list but this payment has not influenced the objectivity of the review and all opinions have been offered honestly.