Back by popular demand - the Jolly Phonics Letter Sounds app has been restored.
Start your child’s journey in reading and writing. Join Bee and her friends as they explore the enchanting letter-sounds garden and discover the main 42 letter sounds of English through a series of captivating games.
This beautifully animated app enables your child to learn the letter sounds (including digraphs), letter formation, blending the sounds for reading and identifying letter sounds in words for spelling and writing. Together these skills give your child the best possible start as they learn to read and write.
· Suitable for children aged 3+
· Choice of British or American English Audio
· Choice of print or precursive letters
· Allows multiple and personalized profiles
· Activities for learning the main sounds in English. The children learn to:
o hear the letter sounds
o recognize the letter sounds
o see letter formation
o write the letters themselves
o blend sounds in words for reading
o identify sounds in words for spelling
Ratings and Reviews
As a primary school teacher who has used Jolly Phonics successfully in the classroom I was hoping for a much better app. It appears at first glance that you can use all 42 sounds and select sets of letters to practise, but this is not the case.
You seem to have to start again with SATPIN every time and follow a very limited blending and segmenting game. I haven't yet managed to move on to find the next set of letters and my 3 year old even said, "This is boring!"
Also, the "ladybirds game" doesn't work and nothing appears on the screen so we now appear to be stuck on that set of letters.
It's a good idea with potential but needs a lot more work and flexibility in selecting sets of letters. I agree with other reviews saying that the handwriting recognition is also very loose. It would be good to have an option of cursive script too as most schools teach this now from Reception.
And yes, the squeaky voice is intensely irritating!!!!!
Fun but some issues
Overall I like it so far (only just started using with my daughter). Some big improvements on the old app particularly in the letter formation which is much more responsive, and nice listening activities. A few issues though...
- The movement of the balloon between tasks is really slow - not sure why?
- My daughter knows all the single phonemes/graphemes but although it asked when I set up the profile it still made her start at the beginning (satpin) rather than with digraphs.
- Most annoyingly there is a lot of confusion between phonemes and letters which is unforgivable for an app teaching phonics! Eg it thinks there is a short a sound in asleep and zebra (the letter a in these makes a schwa not an a sound) and it thinks exit has no s sound (there is an s sound even though no letter S because x is used). So children who are good at phonics (but don’t yet know how to spell beyond sound-letter correspondence) are confused when told their correct answers are wrong!
- It would be nice to have the option of cursive letter formation
Developer Response ,
As you say, the phonics points you mention should not be there. The app has been updated (February 2022) to restore the previous app. The games you mention will now be available in the Jolly Phonics Lessons app (and with the phonics points updated too).
I used this for my older children some years ago. Now with the youngest I returned to the app to find it’s had a major overhaul.
The design, sound and process of teaching is great but it is let down by a major flaw, some lessons just don’t complete and the child is left frustrated with a blank screen of floating bubbly things that don’t do anything.
Turning to support- there’s no link to the developers website from the App Store, found it after a search only to find their webpage has notes for the older app only, and that is also buried under reams of information for use by school teachers.
Jolly phonics has been very good for my older children, but if the teaching method can’t be matched with good support and reliability then it’s not going to fulfil its intended purpose.
Developer Response ,
Very sorry to hear you had these problems. The app has now been restored (February 2022) to the original version you had, and updated so it work well with the latest operating systems. (The Jolly Adventures games you saw are now available on the Jolly Phonics Lessons app).
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- JOLLY LEARNING LIMITED
- 330.8 MB
- Requires iOS 9.0 or later.
- Requires iPadOS 9.0 or later.
- iPod touch
- Requires iOS 9.0 or later.
- Requires macOS 10.15 or later.
English, Dutch, Filipino, French, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Portuguese, Spanish, Thai
- Age Rating
- 4+, Made for Ages 0 to 5
- © Jolly Learning Ltd 2021
Up to six family members can use this app with Family Sharing enabled.