As a parent of a child who is just finishing First Grade, I can tell you with a surety that some of the “hairiest” words out there are High Frequency Sight Words. Those darn buggers can be brutal for kids who are just learning to read! What’s worse, the only way to help your kids learn them is to practice over and OVER AND OVER! This is not fun for parents or kids! Enter “Hairy Words 1” an ingenious app that combines these sight words with fun yeti characters and an even more fun game that will keep your kids coming back for more sight word practice.
To begin, tap the hairy yeti at the bottom of the first mountain. A list of words will appear on the screen. Tap a word to select it and you are directed to another screen. Here the word is repeated aloud and shown again on the screen. After a moment, the word disappears and a keyboard appears. Now, you must spell the word by tapping the correct letters on the keyboard. If you need a reminder, simply tap the yeti on the right of the screen and the word will appear again and be repeated aloud. If you spell the word correctly, you win a little hairy creature to play try to “save” in the next round. If the word is spelled incorrectly, you are given another try to get it right. Play continues until you earn enough “hairies” to try and save. At this point you tap the “hairy” in the bottom corner and you are taken to an obstacle-type game where you must tap the moving “hairies” at the appropriate time to jump them over the gap to safety. Once you have saved enough “hairies”, you progress to the next level. Both the words and the obstacle games get increasingly challenging as you move up through the levels.
I found this app surprisingly fun and actually quite addicting! Spelling the sight words can be a bit boring (maybe just because I’m an adult, because my preschooler LOVED it), but the obstacle games with the “hairies” is pretty darn fun and was challenging even for me! I was so determined to save those hairy little buggers that I kept returning to the spelling words to earn more! My preschooler instantly fell in love with this game, and even though he isn’t reading yet, he still loves playing the game. If he can’t remember all of the letters, he uses the yeti helper to remind him and is able to spell the words eventually. I love that this app is exposing him to these words at an early age, and I have no doubt that he will go into reading knowing and recognizing most of these words which will give him a leg up on the other kids in his class. This app is one of the more pricey apps I’ve reviewed, however, it is also one of those apps that I feel is well worth the price for what your child will gain from playing it.