Apps for early literacy and fine motor skills

I was recently asked for the names of some apps to support literacy and letter awareness. Of course there are many ways to help children develop these skills and the iPad is just one method but it is an engaging tool in the toolbox for literacy learning.
My criteria in choosing the list below were:
  • evidence based theory behind the methods   256px-Child_with_Apple_iPad
  • engaging but not over-stimulating
Early Phonics
  • Hairy Letters (Nessy Learning Ltd) –  $5.99  (Anything by Nessy is great!)
  • Phonics Under the Big Top (Celeste Musgrave ) – $2.99
Sight Words
  • Phonics Read CVC (Joe Scrivens) – $2.99 or in a bundle with other apps for $5.99
  • Hairy Words (Nessy Learning Ltd) – $5.99
There are two bundles of phonics and sight word apps which are excellent.
  • Tools for Teaching Reading (Reading Doctor) – $129.99 for the bundle of 6, $24.99 each
  • OzPhonics (DSP Learning Pty Ltd) – $7.99 for the bundle, $1.99 or $2.99 each.
Tracing letters
  • School Writing (demografix pty ltd) – $7.99 (Uses Australian states’ handwriting fonts)
  • iWriteWords (gdiplus) – lite or $4.49
  • Little Writer Pro (Innovative) – $2.99
  • Ready to Print (Essare LLC) – $14.99
Most of these have an Australian or English voice which is probably less confusing for Australian children than an American voice.
Photo credit: By Intel Free Press [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

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Good-bye Bris Vegas and hello Orlando!













This time next week I will be in Orlando, Florida for the ATIA (Assistive Technology Industry Association) conference and you could say I’m excited!

Before the conference proper begins I’ll be attending a 2 day boot camp.  Here’s what the description tells me to expect:

Participants receive an intensive emersion into all new apps, adaptations, accessories, resources and research. Participants will learn awesome new apps, adaptations, and accessories that benefit individuals who experiences impairments related to vision, hearing, cognition, communication, learning, remembering, executive function, neurobehavioral, and physical disabilities.

It’s going to be an intense couple of days but I am going to learn as much as I can and bring home lots of information and ideas.

Photo credits:

“Brisbane CBDandSB” by Stuart Edwards. – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons –

“Orlando Skyline” by U.S. Department of Energy. Original uploader was A3RO at en.wikipedia – Transferred from en.wikipedia; transferred to Commons by User:Xnatedawgx using CommonsHelper.(Original text : Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons –

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