Ever since my 5-year-old started Kindergarten a few weeks ago, the written language has become pretty much the most fascinating thing in her world. She has officially started to learn how to read, and the power which comes with that skill has already bitten her. Every sign, novelty tee-shirt, car model and/or make label,  and bumper sticker is an opportunity to flex her reading muscles, and she does so, sometimes, with more enthusiasm than her 3-year-old sister and parents can stand! Though sitting through a 10-minute sounding out of SUBARU can be downright painful, I am thrilled that words are her new best friend, and I am eager to encourage her enthusiasm. If you, too, have a youngster who is enamored with words, try some of these word game apps for your iPad:

wee kids wordsearchWee Kids Wordsearch by Ebooks&kids

Made for ages 6-8, Wee Kids Wordsearch helps kids in word recognition, reading skills, and spelling memorization, all by hiding words in square grids. Features include hundreds of words, captivating and engaging sound effects, as well as no third-party advertising or in-app purchases. $1.99, 4+ rating.


Balloony Word ProBalloony Word Pro by KwiqApps Inc.

If the idea of a hanging man doesn’t appeal to you, then this app is for you. A gorilla and kangaroo are hanging on to 26 balloons in the air, with 1 letter on each balloon. For each word presented, the player has only 7 chances to make the correct guess by tapping on the balloons. A wrong tap causes a balloon to pop! Words used include Dolch sight words, animal and fruit names, grade-appropriate common words, and science terms. This app is recommended for ages 3-10. $1.99, 4+ rating.


7 little words for kids7 Little Words For Kids by Blue Ox Technologies Ltd.

This mini word puzzle app was recognized in The Oprah Magazine and received an Honorable Mention for Best Educational Game in the 2011 Best App Ever Awards. Features include 350 easy words and clues, randomly generated puzzles for infinite replay, 7 colorful worlds (scuba, safari, museum, down under, frozen fun, spacewalk, and dino world), and no ads or in-app purchases. $2.99, 4+ rating.


rhyming kidsRhyming Words by GrasshopperApps.com

Help your child become a good reader and confident speaker by engaging in rhyming activities such as this app. The player is presented with 1 to 8 pairs of items and they have to figure out which items rhyme. Features include audio reinforcements, over 100 matching pairs of rhyming words, professional images, audio hints, and the ability to customize all text, audio, and image elements. $0.99, 4+ rating.


Word PuzzlesWord Puzzles by The Zonie, LLC

This app was inspired by early childhood development word building puzzles and is geared for ages 5 and under. Your child will learn the names of letters, as well as the introductory spelling and sounds of 44 different 3-letter words. Features include 3 to 99 pieces per game, audio of each letter and word, alphabetical or random piece sorting, and skill presets (easy, medium, hard, or expert). $0.99, 4+ rating.

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