The best predictor of success in reading is a child’s familiarity with the the alphabet. This includes knowing a letter’s name, shape, and sound. A child who can name the letters and their sounds accurately and quickly have an easier time learning how to read. These apps give young children engaging ways to practice their letter knowledge.
Many of the reviews we link to are from Common Sense Education, a trusted resource for learning about apps and other edtech tools.
Avokiddo ABC Ride continues the adventures of the sibling team Beck and Bo, this time discovering letters. Parents can customize kids' experience in the "for parents" section, choosing uppercase or lowercase letters, letter name or phonics sound, including word spelling or not, presenting letters in random order or alphabet order, and turning off narration and background music. Kids can also choose a specific letter to discover. With minimal instructions, kids discover the fun and learning on their own.
ABCmouse—Early Learning Academy
ABCmouse—Early Learning Academy is the companion app to the subscription-based ABCmouse.com. Teachers can sign up for a free account online and use the same login for the app. Kids explore different activities in a virtual world. They can go directly to the day’s featured activity or work through a learning path that features five activities for their level, which can be customized by the teacher. Kids can learn letter and number skills as well as animal facts through simple games, books, puzzles, and coloring pages.
AlphaTots Alphabet introduces the alphabet through 26 action verb ... ‘b’ is for building robots, ‘d’ is for digging for treasure, and ‘z’ is for zapping alien spaceships! Each letter of the alphabet features a fun preschool puzzle or mini-game that will teach children the letter as well as an action verb that begins with that particular letter.
Dinosaur Train A-Z
Based on the PBS KIDS show Donosaur Train, this app can help kids build reading skillwhile also encouraging the exploration of life science and natural history through discovery, play and reading. Through the letters of the alphabet, your child will learn about 26 dinosaurs by touching and feeding them, x-raying them, discovering dinosaur facts and more!
Dr. Seuss’s ABC
Dr. Seuss’s ABC has three levels, Read to Me, Read it Myself, and Auto Play, which allows children to grow with this app. Words highlighted are read out loud when tapped, and when narrated, children can follow along with the highlighted text.
Elmo Loves ABCs
From Sesame Workshop and designed by educational experts, this app features more than 80 classic Sesame Street clips, 75 coloring pages, games, music, and more, this app lets your child explore letters A-Z in a variety of ways.
Letters transform into living toys that voice their names. Children quickly learn that one letter works with others to build words and sentences. Another app in the series, Endless Spanish, is ideal spelling practice for both native English and Spanish speakers.
Interactive Alphabet offers alphabet matching for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers. Your child can hear words, letters and phonics sounds. This app also includes a "Baby Mode." It auto advances every 15 seconds. This interactive game also teaches upper- and lowercase letters.
Intro to Letters
Intro to Letters helps children read and write letters A-Z in both capital and lowercase letters through flashcards, while soundcards let your child record and listen to themselves as they practice saying each letter.
LetterSchool — Learn to Write
LetterSchool — Learn to Write is a fun and intuitive alphabet tracing and handwriting app, for preschoolers. The updated version has an option to download and switch between 12 different languages.
Starfall ABCs lets children interact with letters, showing them each letter as both upper and lowercase, and then shows how the letters are used in sentences. Children can also play letter games, such as word mazes.
SUPER WHY ABC Adventures
SUPER WHY ABC Adventures focuses on capital and lowercase letters, letter sounds, and letter writing. Each character leads a cute mini-game; kids earn a sticker to play with in the sticker activity when they finish a game. A couple of new additions are some ABC sing-along videos and a progress tracker for parents to see which letters their kids worked on.
Customizable app that helps kids practice tracing letters, numbers, and words while learning letter names and phonetic sounds.
Zebrainy ABC Wonderlands
Zebrainy is an interactive alphabet app for young children with variety of educational games around learning ABC's. This quest game will help your child to learn alphabets, letters and sounds through 26 wonderlands of English alphabet. This app helps children learn to identify letter names (uppercase and lowercase) and letter sounds, match a letter name or sound and form letter shapes.