Wonster Words: Spelling with ABC and Phonics by Puzzingo uses entertaining, silly videos to introduce young readers to pattern words and word families by having them match letters to their outlines to spell the words on the list. Each list contains eight words that have the same ending pattern or a matching phonic element such as th, sh or ch sounds.
- Includes word lists as well as mini-games
- Letters make their sounds as they are being put into place
- Each word includes a silly animation to teach its meaning
- No stressful quizzing or scoring
- Play each level repeatedly (replay value)
Wonster Words is a high-quality app that is intuitively designed. Players will have no trouble understanding what to do for each game. The animations begin immediately after a word is correctly spelled. The app includes a wide array of words that will challenge and entertain students at a range of skill levels.
This app does a good job of reinforcing many different phonetic elements, including word families, rhymes, consonant digraphs, dipthongs and more. Each element is demonstrated with a list of eight words. Students spell the words on the list by dragging letter “ghosts” to the outlines of the letter. The app developers incorporated a clue that two letters are making one sound by decorating them differently and causing them to respond as a unit when the child puts the letters into their proper places. The single letters have two eyes, and the letter groups share a set of eyes peering through eyeglasses. It makes a nice subtle method of helping the kids realize that the letters work together to make a single sound.
Once the letters are in place for the word, the app shows a quick animation and sentence that explain the word’s meaning. This is great, because the words on the list are at different reading levels. For example, the list for –ap family words includes the expected “map” and “nap,” but also includes “clap” and “trap,” and even “giftwrap” and “madcap.” Younger students will be expanding their vocabularies as well as learning to read and spell the words. The app also includes “stories” that allow kids to play some mini-games and follow a plot.
One minor concern is how the app handles words that have letters that do not make their usual sounds. When the children move the letters into place, each one makes its primary sound. This is great when the H in “hike” says /huhhuhhuh/, but could be confusing when the E at the end of the word announces “eheheh” as it is being dragged into place. The problem also cropped up with some words having AW and AL combinations where the A makes more of a short O sound, but the child will hear the short A sound as the letter is being moved.
Wonster Words is entertaining for young children. The characters are all friendly-looking monsters, and they star in funny animations in the defining sentences and also in the stories. Kids will want to play again and again, and are sure to find their own favorite characters in the cast. The stories contain mini-games, as well, that students will enjoy. These play like various arcade games, and will be quite engaging for players.
This app is free to download, and comes with 2 packs of 8 words and one story. There is also a “Word of the Day” feature that can be accessed. Additional packs of words and stories are available for purchase. Word packs are 99 cents each, and users can purchase various bundles ranging up to an “all-access pass” for $14.99 that opens up all of the content. There are currently 11 packs of words and 2 stories. Developers note that more words, word packs and stories are coming.
This app is child-friendly. The parents’ area and purchase areas are well-protected.
- Protected parent area (can contain external links and social media)
- NO external links
- NO social media
- NO 3rd party ads
- YES in-app purchases (protected, but visible)