Common Sense


Favorite Phonics Games, Apps, and Websites

Phonics is a foundational early reading and writing skill, and that's why there's no shortage of phonics apps, games, and websites out there in the market. With this list, we've narrowed the field down to some phonics favorites, both free and paid, that help students navigate the world of words through building phonemic awareness and spelling skills. All of these tools are well-suited to students and classrooms, offering engaging experiences that will delight kids and encourage them to explore words and build literacy. They also leverage the interactivity and audio-visuality of digital media, helping kids play and experiment with and listen to letter sounds. 

Continue reading

Top Picks


PrintPrint | Save as PDF

Free Phonics Games, Apps, and Websites

Starfall ABCs

ABCs and phonics integrate with fun images, animations, and activities

Bottom line: Great -- and free -- way to give students clear, engaging examples of the ABCs in action.

Teach Your Monster to Read

Phonics adventure oozes charm, has limited learning potential

Bottom line: Great style and character that'll get young children exploring letter sounds and sentences, but games could grow old quickly.


K-2 literacy program offers comprehensive, adaptive activities

Bottom line: An easy-to-recommend tool thanks to its broad coverage of key skills and nice balance of student-driven and teacher-differentiated learning.

Phonics Genius

Quality flashcard-style phonics app missing some basics

Bottom line: Phonics Genius is a great resource for building phonemic awareness and a library of sight words.

Paid Phonics Games, Apps, and Websites

Kids ABC Phonics

Good intro for students new to phonics or apps -- or both

Bottom line: Colorful pictures, clear voices and easy interactivity build basic letter sound and recognition skills.

Endless Wordplay: School Edition

Rhymes, phonetic approach, silly animations help kids construct words

Bottom line: Good, holistic approach to the nitty gritty of constructing words.

Wonster Words (Pro Edition) - spelling with ABC phonics by Puzzling

Word construction and silly animations stress phonics and vocab

Bottom line: Silly graphics and some odd defining sentences sometimes distract from a respectable teaching approach.

PocketPhonics (Stories as IAP)

Strong phoneme development activities; good practice

Bottom line: An effective tool for phoneme-directed reading, although pictures of words often don't help kids understand word meanings.

Montessorium: Intro to Words

Well-crafted app lets emerging readers and writers develop reading skills through word building

Bottom line: Basic reading skills are developed through word building, word play, and letter-sound recognition.

Beginning Sounds Interactive Game

Cute sorting games help kids learn 18 initial sounds

Bottom line: Kids can build a good base of beginning letter sounds and related words but will need opportunities to expand their knowledge.

Hooked on Phonics

Well-known curriculum adapts well to fun, easy-to-use app

Bottom line: Thorough phonics program offers a nice mixture of learning, practicing, and reading.

Montessori Early Reading - Phonics & Rhyme games

Fun with simple words, language sounds best for emerging readers

Bottom line: This app may be best for quick learners who need little help to push them over the reading horizon.

Montessori Letter Sounds - Phonics in English, Spanish, French & Italian

Thoughtfully designed, self-paced games bring letters, sounds to life

Bottom line: A warm, wonderful tool for teaching prereaders and young language learners solid literacy skills.

Touch and Write Phonics

Dig into unique writing textures for letter tracing and phonics fun

Bottom line: Provides a creative way to make phonics practice and letter tracing more fun.

Endless Alphabet

Adorable animated monsters teach sophisticated vocabulary

Bottom line: Animated words and definitions grab kids' attention and introduce challenging and unique vocabulary.

PocketPhonics Stories

Comprehensive, serious phonics program has great supports, some fun

Bottom line: Though it’s effective, this straightforward phonics review and practice tool could offer more fun.

Montessori Crosswords

Gently ease kids into phonics with superb Montessori-inspired puzzles

Bottom line: The surprisingly great combo of Montessori principles and technology helps kids learn phonics without overstimulation.

Starfall Learn to Read

Delight emergent readers with lively phonics lessons

Bottom line: Easy-to-use, plentiful phonics activities keep emergent readers engaged.

Get tips for using these tools in the classroom

See related resources