Top 3 Sight Words Apps for iPad and iPhone.

Your child just brought home a list of sight words, and you’re not sure what to do with them. The sight words (or Dolch words) are 220 of the most common words, plus an additional 95 nouns. Instead of going old school and reviewing the word lists (these are divided into pre-primer, primer, 1st, 2nd and 3rd grades) by reading and repeating, you can get in some edutainment with an app.

Check out three of the most popular free iOS apps that teach kids sight words!

#1: Sight Words List

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Ads: No

In-app purchases: No

Educational value: 4/5

Graphics quality: 3/5

Easy rules: 5/5

Separate levels: Yes

Most recent version: 5.0 (Oct 29, 2013)

Game play: Basic as can be, this app lets you choose from preschool, kindergarten, 1st, 2nd or 3rd grade lists (along with a noun list). Your child presses the list and the words flash on the screen, accompanied with a voice reading. Star favorites or shuffle the decks.

Feedback: There’s not much in this game. The app says the words first, making it a read and repeat format.

Pros: It’s super-simple to use and offers a grade-by-grade breakdown of the sight words. The favorites options allows kids to select words that they need to work on and save them in a separate section, making individualized lists. The three-finger parent touch gate provides a layer of safety against children accidentally selecting other apps.

Cons: The electronic set of black and white flashcards (you can change the font) may have a voice-over, but aren’t exactly uber-exciting for kids to use. If you’re looking for a game, this isn’t it.

#2: Sight Words Learning Games & Flash cards for Reading and Spelling Success

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Ads: No

In-app purchases: $2.99

Educational value: 5/5

Graphics quality: 5/5

Easy rules: 5/5

Separate levels: Yes

Most recent version: 2.0.4 (May 22, 2014)

Game play: Children create their own avatar, choosing gender and combining a head, body and legs. There are five different games to play and one flash cards section. The games use age-graded sight words, are interactive and provide verbal encouragement. Your child can earn points by clicking on the correct word, and then move on to the next level – making the words progressively more challenging.

Feedback: This app provides just the right kind of feedback that your child needs to succeed. Correct answers are met with verbal praise and a fanfare of points. Incorrect responses get a simple, “uh-oh.”

Pros: Each game includes multiple levels, allowing your child to learn an array of sight words. The games are kid-friendly and provide encouragement galore. Think of this app as a cheerleader for child’s reading!

Cons: There isn’t enough free content. If you want to unlock the kindergarten through 3rd grade games and flash card section, you must pay. Fortunately, the app sets up a parental protection – requiring the user to answer a simple math question – to keep younger children from getting to the paid page.

#3: Sight Words by Photo Touch

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Ads: No

In-app purchases: No.

Educational value: 4.5/5

Graphics: 3.5/5

Easy rules: 5/5

Separate levels: Yes.

Most recent version: 2.9 (Jan 11, 2012)

Game play: The app uses a voice-over to give your child the word. It then offers your child up to 10 words to choose from. Touch the word and it lights up in a circle. You can customized the number of sight words, the grade level and add a hint (this displays the word on the top of the screen). You can pick and choose which words from each grade level to include, creating your own list.

Feedback: Each right answer gets a gleefully positive remark. You can customize what the app tells your child, choosing from a list of praises such as sweet and awesome.

Pros: The amazing array of custom options! From the specific sight words to the responses, you can pick and choose what you want (and don’t want) to include.

Cons: The ‘hints’ take away any challenge that the game has. There isn’t any variety, making it seem repetitive after a few tries.


The reviewed apps offer an alternative to a regular flashcard set – something that the parent could switch out for. Moreover, they are more convenient than the typical flashcard set. The parent can take out her phone when on vacation or out at dinner and let the child practice the sight words, without having to take anything extra with her.

Whether your child learns best through simple electronic flashcards or she needs more of a full-on game, these apps cover all of the bases. Regardless of the pros and cons (and each has both) these top sight word apps will get your child reading!

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