Hairy Phonics 1

The latest app from Nessy Learning

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Developer – Nessy Learning Limited

Age Range – 4 to 7 year olds

Subject – Literacy

Special Need - Dyslexia

Rating – 76/100

Price – £2.29 / $2.99

App Store Link

Play Store Link

Windows Store Link – Not available

App Review

Hairy Phonics 1 is the latest app from Nessy Learning Limited, makers of the hugely popular Hairy Letters app. Hairy Phonics takes users beyond single letters and into the tricky area of digraphs. This is where a pair of letters is used to represent one distinct sound (or phoneme).

There are nine diagraphs covered in Hairy Phonics 1. These are sh, ch, th, ck, ff, ll, ss, zz, ng and the app takes users through a structured sequence to help them learn and reinforce their understanding of these letter patterns.

Each letter pattern is introduced through a cartoon animation that links the digraph and the sound it makes to an action. Children then have the opportunity to trace the letters with their finger or a stylus pen. Assistance is given in the form of a hairy monster that shows users where to start and moves along the letter outline with the child.

Finally, children play a game where they have to rearrange the phonemes from a word into the correct order. Get it right and the little monster is able to move from one side of a chasm to the other. Get it wrong and the ice bridge collapses underneath him. As children progress through the letters they win their own monsters, or Hairies as they are known.

Hairy Phonics 1 is a nicely presented app with engaging graphics, sounds and voice work. It is also very child-friendly. Most children will find it easy to get the hang of and they will quickly be able to work on the activities without adult help. Hairy Letters 1 does not contain any advertising, in-app purchases, links to the internet or to social media.

One thing I would like to see included in future updates is the facility to add multiple users. As it stands, the app assumes that there is just one user. If a multiple user account was available it would make Hairy Letters 1 more appealing in a school setting or even just in homes where two or more children want to use it.

There are two further apps in the series: Hairy Phonics 2 which covers the phonemes ai, ay, ee, ea, ie, oa, oi, oy, oo and Hairy Phonics 3 which covers the phonemes ar, or, er, ir, ur, a-e, o-e, i-e, o-e, u-e. These are also priced at £2.29 $2.99.


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