What is it
Hairy Phonics 1, from Nessy, helps children who already know the letters of the alphabet start on their journey to reading; it develops phonemic awareness.
Children chose a phoneme/ sound (there are 9 to choose from): sh, ch, th, ck, ff, ll, ss, zz, ng.– Learn 9 phonemes (sounds). They are then given various ways to see, hear and write them.
Each phoneme has an engaging animation which introduces the sound in context. Children are then given the opportunity to trace the letters that make the phoneme; there are helpful hints to make sure they are successful in this. There is then a game where children are presented with a word containing their chosen phoneme, the word is broken up and they have to rebuild it (if they are struggling they can click on the yeti who will say the word aloud again.)
Each time a sound is completed, the children earn fire to melt the ice cubes that contain Hairies…at the end there is a Hairy dance to watch!
Tested on an iPad
What our team of testers said
"The dancing snowman is happy that I'm learning letters" - Boy aged 4
"You collect cookies to get a fire gem" - Boy aged 5
- Develops phonemic awareness
- Encourages children to write letters accurately
- Encourages children to segment and rebuild words
What our experts think
Hairy Phonics is a brilliant app for developing phonemic awareness; we love the way children can see, hear and write the phonemes (sounds) and the way in which they are clearly put into context for them. Our testers loved the animations and found the app engaging and fun to use. The game play was simple enough for them to complete it without adult support.
The Hairy characters made for a motivational element as the children wanted to carry on playing so that they could release all of them (and watch them dance!)
It would be even better if...
Whilst there are no external links, no links to more Hairy apps (other Hairy apps are mentioned but there are no links to them), adverts or in-app purchases to worry about, children can reset their progress without a parent’s help. It would be great to see a parent gate on this to prevent accidental resets.
It would also have been better if you can set up multiple user profiles so different family members could play.
Although for those new to phonemes this provided a good level of challenge, some of our testers worked through the 9 sounds quickly, more phonemes would make it even better – although we know there are more within Hairy Phonics 2 and 3.
- Brands: Nessy
- British English
- Made in the UK
- No 3rd party adverts
- No in-app purchasing
- No internet access required for core features
- Child Restrictions: Partly - some unrestricted links
- Languages available:
- Apple version: iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
Requires iOS 6.0 or later
- Android version: 2.3 and up
- App Types: Educational Apps
- Types of skills developed: English
Learning to read
Learning to write
Speech, language and communication skills