Endless Alphabet from Callaway Digital Arts is one of those children's apps that you know is going to be a hit with your kids as soon as you open it. It has bouncy, eye-catching graphics and fantastic sound effects that grab your child's attention and hold it long enough for them to learn their letters and some new words.
The home screen in the app is a large, smiling cartoon character whose mouth holds the words for each letter in the alphabet. Each letter has at least one word, and the words are challenging for the pre-K crowd that is targeted in this app. Most words in the app are common, but complex words like sticky, tangle and umbrella. This is not a Run, Spot, Run type of app, which is a bonus as it teaches letters and enhances your child's vocabulary at the same time.
After your child selects a word, the word is spoken and all of the letters in the word are scattered on the screen. Children must then select a letter and drag it to its position in the word. When a child taps on a letter, the letter begins to shake, animations appear and the app repeats the sound of the letter. When the letter is dropped into its correct position in the word, the app then says the name of the letter. I love the combo of animation, phonetics and letter-learning provided by Endless Alphabet -- it's entertaining and educational at the same time.
After your child spells the word, the app speaks the word out loud and then explains what the word means on a level that a young child would understand. There's also a cute animation that accompanies this explanation. Just like everything else in Endless Alphabet, the vocabulary lesson is well-crafted.
Endless Alphabet launched with one word per letter, and the developer is regularly adding new words to the app. Parents will appreciate that there are no ads in the app and the settings are locked down from tap-happy children. Settings are minimal and only contain the contact information for the developer. To access the settings, parents have to enter the numbers spelled out in an easy word-based captcha.
Endless Alphabet is available for free from the iOS App Store.