Anna’s Favorite Apps, Part One

Anna and I check out her new iPad Air

Photo: Julia Ozab

We bought Anna an iPad for her birthday, and what’s an iPad without apps? I took a  look at an iPad at Anna’s elementary school while Julia searched online, and together we found a wide variety of educational games along with some just for fun. Now that a few weeks have passed, I asked Anna what some of her favorites were? She likes a lot of them, so I’ll be featuring them here each Tuesday over the next few weeks.

(Note: specs and screenshots via the App Store)

Part One: Spelling, Grammar, and Reading

scramble mode

FreeFall Spelling

  • $1.99
  • Category: Education
  • Updated: Oct 31, 2012
  • Version: 2.4
  • Size: 65.0 MB
  • Languages: English, German, Spanish
  • Seller: Merge Mobile, Inc.
  • © Merge Mobile, Inc

Compatibility: Requires iOS 4.3 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.

Fish Tank

Description: Practice spelling in three different modes—scramble, drag—and typwriter fun—and win fish and aquarium supplies to fill a virtual fish tank.

Anna’s favorite part: Feeding the fish.

Build a Word Express

Build A Word Express

  • Free (Upgradable in-app)
  • Category: Education
  • Updated: Sep 17, 2013
  • Version: 3.3
  • Size: 32.4 MB
  • Language: English
  • Seller: natasa gajic
  • © @Reks

Compatibility: Requires iOS 5.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.


Description: Spelling and phonics drills in three categories—learn, practice, and test. Vowels and consonants are color coded and sounded out as the child selects them. Includes quiz summaries to help parents track progress.

Anna’s favorite part: The cute dinosaur bubbles.

Phonics Tic Tac Toe

Phonics Tic Tac Toe

  • Free
  • Category: Education
  • Updated: Oct 06, 2011
  • Version: 1.5.1
  • Size: 9.5 MB
  • Language: English
  • Seller: Lakeshore Learning Materials
  • © 2006

Compatibility: Requires iOS 3.2 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

Description: Kids learn phonics and spelling while playing tic tac toe. Select a space and answer a phonics question. This is a two-player game.

Anna’s favorite part: Finding someone—usually me—to play tic tac toe with.

Grammar Jammers startscreen

Grammar Jammers

  • Primary Edition:Free
  • Elementary and Middle School Editions: $2.99
  • Category: Education
  • Released: Aug 18, 2010
  • Version: 1.0.0
  • Size: 25.0 MB
  • Language: English
  • Seller: Pearson Education, Inc. (Curriculum Group)
  • Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc., or its affiliates. All rights reserved.

Compatibility: Requires iOS 3.1.2 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.


Description: Teaches parts of speech, sentences, punctuation and capitalization through catchy songs and animation. A quiz follows each song.

Anna’s favorite part: The songs.

Storia shelf with free and purchased books


  • Free (books beyond the first four cost extra)
  • Category: Books
  • Updated: Aug 15, 2013
  • Version: 2.5
  • Size: 52.4 MB
  • Language: English
  • Seller: Scholastic Inc.
  • TM & © 2012 Scholastic Inc. All rights reserved

Compatibility: Requires iOS 4.3 or later. Compatible with iPad.

A page from a David Shannon picture book

An iBooks-style e-reader by Scholastic. Comes with two picture books—I Love School, and Clifford’s Good Deeds—and two chapter books—Ready Freddy: Tooth Trouble, and Classic Goosebumps: Night of the Living Dummy. Hundreds more e-books are available at the Scholastic Store via the password-protected Reading Manager.

Anna’s favorite part: Reading, of course!

Next week—Math and Science.

Does your kid have an iPad—or play with yours? Have you found any great reading, spelling, or grammar apps? Tell me in the comments.

2 thoughts on “Anna’s Favorite Apps, Part One

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