Hooked on Phonics

  • Android, iPad, iPhone
  • Free
  • age 3+

About Hooked on Phonics

Hooked on Phonics is digital reading program based on the phonics learn to read system. It promotes reading development and is suitable for children 3-7. 

Early learners enjoy songs, games, and interactive lessons in this literacy app that teaches print concepts, phonological awareness and phonics word recognition. Hooked on Phonics is available to download for iOS (iPhone and iPad) and Android devices and for desktop computers (Windows and Mac)

Hooked on Phonics Review

What is Hooked on Phonics

Hooked on Phonics is an award-winning reading program designed to help children aged 3-7 learn to read and build confidence. The app features over 250 songs, videos, interactive games, reading lessons, and ebooks, and is based on research and approved by the Children’s Reading Foundation.

If you are like many parents, you'll be searching for Hooked on Phonics reviews online to make the best choice before you spend your hard-earned money.

Hooked on Phonics contains 36 progressive lessons featuring leveled learning activities that cover key building blocks of reading: short vowels, simple plurals, simple compound words, beginning and ending consonant digraphs and blends, two-syllable words, and sight words. Each lesson concludes with a story specially written with the words just learned. Your child will read this book, proudly, on their own.

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If your child is in Pre-K, has not quite mastered the alphabet and letter sounds, or they are struggling with Step 1 of the Learn to Read program, The Big Reading Show may be a good place to start. The Big Reading Show is an exciting preschool learning program that introduces pre-readers to the alphabet and letter sounds – critical skills they’ll need to begin Step 1 of the Learn to Read program. Part variety show, part interactive game, The Big Reading Show features 13 episodes, each one an exploration of letters, words, text concepts, phonemic awareness, and vocabulary. Hooked on Phonics is also a great tool if you are looking for an additional classroom resource or doing more homeschooling. 

Does Hooked on Phonics have a free trial?

Yes! Hooked on Phonics offers a 7-day free trial that provides unlimited access to all the premium content.

How much does Hooked on Phonics cost?

After the free trial, Hooked on Phonics costs $8.99 per month or you can get a lifetime subscription for $49.99.

You can choose to subscribe directly with the Hooked on Phonics's own website or by using your device platform's own subscription service. Children's tastes vary so it is important that you consider how well Hooked on Phonics reflects what they like by making use of the 7-day free trial.  

If you are a parent, make sure that the 7 days you choose are ones where you can both use it fully so that you can see whether letting the trial convert to a monthly subscription is the right thing to do. If you are a teacher, make sure that you can use it with a group of children as you assess it. It does allow multiple user accounts and, for teachers especially, this is an important distinguishing factor from competing apps in this space.

How does Hooked on Phonics work?

Hooked on Phonics is an award-winning program filled with videos, songs, and games to teach your children to read. The songs are fun and catchy, the stories are funny and easy enough to make any child fills he/she can read it. The program is very fun, engaging, easy to use, and very effective.

With Hooked on Phonics, the learner practices phonics skills from basic to advanced. The learner progresses from blending phonemes, to reading a short story.

In many countries, phonics has emerged as the most widely used strategy for helping children learn to read. Simply put, it involves teaching the phonemes or sound that each letter and combination of letters make. There are some difficulties in this strategy caused by the English language having many sounds but only 26 letters and there being many exceptions. Despite this, though, it has proven to be an effective and useful strategy when used in a structured and consistent manner. Hooked on Phonics provides this.

One of the best things about phonics is that it can be taught using methods that are fun. Games and songs are employed in classrooms and, through the use of phonics apps like Hooked on Phonics, children can carry this on independently or with his/her parents.

How can Hooked on Phonics improve phonics development?

Hooked on Phonics delivers a huge amount of content to support children as they learn. Songs teach about letters' sounds and how they form words. These aren't just typical 'children's songs' but are in a variety of genres including some especially catchy ones in a blues/rock 'n' roll style.  Do be warned that you might find them playing in your head for some time to come even when the Hooked on Phonics is off!

The songs play over animations that are both playful and informative. The letters are matched visually as they are sounded. This is a great way of providing a lot of practice in a short time and in a way that holds the fickle attentions of young children.

Critical thinking

After the songs come simple games or challenges where letters are put into words in one of a variety of ways. It is probably a stretch to call these games, although they do use the presentational styles of games. They do, however, provide the necessary practice and require the right type of thinking. Also, being without time limits, lives and the other aspects of games that create pressure, they can be played by adults and children together joining the best of real-world support with virtual teaching resources.

Word combinations

Hooked on Phonics is aimed at children taking their first steps in learning how to combine letters into words but Hooked on Phonics also caters for those at a pre-reading stage who do not yet know the letters at all. There is a section called the Big Reading Show designed for children at this stage. Together, the main content and this section can guide your children right through the early stages of reading ability.

Tracking progress

Hooked on Phonics tracks children's progress and gives them awards to mark their success. This lets you see how they are doing and marks milestones for which children can be proud.

With the huge amount of data-hungry resources in the Hooked on Phonics it either had to take up a large amount of your device's storage or use an on-demand system. Revisiting activities has no delay but when you visit a new one for the first time there will be a short wait that will depend on your download speeds.

Each step is rounded off with one of the hundreds of included simple children's books. Each one is written to make repeated use of what has just been learned. They can also be browsed separately if you'd just like to share a book with your child. The stories are simple and each is clearly constructed to further phonics learning but the fun illustrations bring the tales to life for children.

How will parents benefit?

Hooked on Phonics is not just an app but a service. If you subscribe and register, there is a seamless flow over multiple devices. A child can make progress on their tablet at home and then pick up the same session on a parent's phone during a journey. The service has been built up from a long-established program that also includes the option of adding other resources, physical ones, to the Hooked on Phonics experience.

How will teachers benefit?

The Hooked on Phonics provides teachers with useful tools to enhance their teaching and parents with the means and confidence to become teachers to their own children. Children, of course, will do the best of all with Hooked on Phonics, as they gain a firm foundation in that most useful and life-enhancing skill of all, that of reading.

Overall Review

Hooked on Phonics is a reading program used by over five million families. It includes an app that can be synchronized across all your devices, as well as books and workbooks that can be bought separately. It’s aimed at children aged 2-8 (or children reading between a Pre-K and Second Grade level).

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Additional Information

Teacher Ratings


Android, iPad, iPhone





Academic Relevance


In-App Purchases - Yes

In-App Advertising - No


Hooked on Phonics

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