FirstWords: Deluxe is a really great universal letters and words game for young children that includes five sections, animals or vehicles as well as shapes, colors and words around the house, making this a great app for object recognition and the building of vocabulary as well as the learning of letters and the concept of spelling. Do check out the “Options” section of this app, as it offers many ways to personalize the experience, such as the use of uppercase, lowercase or capitalized letters, or the length of the words that are to be explored.

FirstWords: Deluxe was one of the first apps we bought our son when he was not yet two. I was very taken aback by how easily he took to this app, as it was the first interactive app that he used where one needs to drag and drop objects – here letters to their rightful places. I was also struck by how great his attention span was for this game. He really enjoyed learning about all five of the areas, and I feel that this app has a lot to do with his knowledge of all his letters, shapes, colors and animals by two years, as well the other things this app teaches.

It is nice that these words can be experienced one section at a time or shuffled together for randomness. As an object is introduced on the screen, adults will appreciate how cute and colorful these drawings are, and kids will like tapping the object to hear its name. The letters that make up the name of these objects are spread out around the screen, the object being to drag and drop the corresponding letters to their place in series of shaded gray boxes, each box representing a letter that together make up the word in question.

It is unnecessary to spell in order to complete these simple word puzzles as the youngest of players can copy the letters needed to complete the words. It is especially nice that when a letter is tapped, its name is spoken, and when a letter is tapped in the shaded boxes, not only does the name sound, but the corresponding letter on the screen also wiggles, a nice touch. When the word is completed, this object’s name is repeated, and spelling is recited as well. The object in question spins around the page and fun sounds are also used to congratulate the player on a job well done.

I do wish phonic sounds were also include as an option, as these letter sounds could be spoken instead of just the names of these letters when tapped. This would go far in terms of early reading skills, not just for letter recognition, although I do think that this app is very educational and worthwhile for the toddlers and other children, increasing not only their knowledge of letters, but greatly furthering their basic vocabulary as well.

I have noticed that, like books or toys that my son played with he was younger, many of his first apps are no longer played with often. I am happy to say that this app is still something that he likes to spend time working on, even more than a year later. I really appreciate the selection of words taught here, especially the shapes which include interesting words like “arch” and “line” and “dot,” some of which may not be shapes but are important to learn as a foundation for understanding shape-related concepts.

I think that First Words Deluxe was a great investment for our son. Please note that FirstWords: Vehicles, FirstWords: Animals, FirstWords: At Home and FirstWords: Shapes can also be purchased as separate apps if one would like to try an individual subject as a iPhone or universal app. Many different languages are also available in this “First Words” style, as well as other educational apps from the developers at Learning Touch. Please check iTunes for more information.

Posted in: By Age Range, By App Feature, Just For Fun, Language, Parents and Kids, Preschool, Puzzle, Reviews, Toddlers

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