Best grammar and punctuation apps for kids

Best grammar and punctuation apps for kids
The current National Curriculum puts a lot of emphasis on English grammar. We've rounded up the best apps to help your child get to grips with punctuation, parts of speech, tenses and more.

Best for KS1 kids

SPaG Bronze: KS1, £3.99, Apple and Android

Although this collection of apps, written by a headteacher, is not the most flashy, it offers kids a great grounding in the grammar concepts they need to know at each stage of the curriculum.

SPaG Bronze covers sounds, parts of speech, sentences, prefixes and suffixes, spelling and punctuation with lessons and quizzes for each topic, as well as over 300 audio spelling questions and over 180 activities. The lessons are clearly presented and interactive, explaining grammar concepts in child-friendly language. The quizzes are self-marking for instant feedback, and the app uses technology to save your child’s notes, activity answers and quiz scores.

SPaG Bronze is aimed at children in KS1, but it can also be used to help KS2 children consolidate their knowledge. For Years 3, 4, and 5, download SPaG Silver. For Year 6 and lower KS3, use SPaG Gold.

Best for KS2 kids

Mr Thorne’s Grammar School, £3.99, Apple

Primary school teacher Mr Thorne has developed a whole range of educational apps for kids; in Mr Thorne’s Grammar School, he turns his attention to the demands of the SPaG (spelling, punctuation and grammar) test taken by children in Year 6.

The app features 20 aspects of English grammar, ranging from capital letters to parts of speech, synonyms and antonyms and homophones. For each grammar concept, there are four types of quiz to test your child’s knowledge: Missing Words, Odd One Out, Word Hunt and Spelling. There’s also an overall reading test designed to help your child revisit all the skills they’ve learned.

As your child completes the exercises, they collect points towards grammar awards, from Beginner to World Class.

Best for practising punctuation

Squeebles Punctuation, £2.99, Apple and Android

The Squeebles have already helped thousands of children get to grips with maths and English concepts, and their newest app, Squeebles Punctuation, doesn’t disappoint.

Designed in association with primary school teachers and suitable for children aged five to 11, it features four different game modes: Punctuation Placement (move punctuation to the correct place in a sentence), Possessive Apostrophes (drag apostrophes into the correct places), It’s or Its? and Contraction Capers (give the correct contraction for a given phrase, e.g. you have = you’ve). Your child’s task is to answer questions correctly and help save the Squeebles from the Grammar Ghost and the Punctuation Pest.

There are varying levels of difficulty to suit your child’s age and stage, and they rescue 24 Squeebles characters as they play. They also earn stars to use as credit in the Balloon Race game, incentivising their practice.

Best for daily practice

DoodleEnglish, £5.99 per month, Apple and Android

DoodleMaths is used in many schools to help children improve their maths. From the same stable comes DoodleEnglish, designed to build your child’s confidence with grammar, punctuation, spelling and comprehension.

The app is fully aligned to the KS1 and KS2 English curriculum, and begins with an assessment that works out your child’s level. They are then given a series of seven questions to help them practise their English skills, including putting verbs of the correct tense into a sentence, highlighting the compound word, and choosing the correct adverb to complete a sentence.

The idea is that your child practises little and often by completing their seven questions everyday; you can set a reminder to prompt them to do it. They can also unlock new and extra challenges by doing their daily practise. The app adapts to their progress, and there are also wordsearch and crossword games that they can play alongside their daily questions.

Best for games-based learning

Dragon Egg ELA, £3.99, Apple

Dragon Egg ELA taps into the idea that children learn better when it’s fun, with a games-based approach to teaching punctuation, grammar and vocabulary concepts.

In the app, your child is responsible for their baby dragon egg, and needs to provide it with food, fun and learning by taking it to Dragon School. There, they are challenged with a series of quizzes, each testing a particular concept such as commas, colons and semicolons, apostrophes and quotation marks. They earn gold for answering questions correctly, which can be spent on clothing and feeding their egg, and playing mini games.

The basic version of the app provides free access to the punctuation suite of questions. You can unlock other quizzes, such as grammar and vocabulary, for £1.99 each, or the entire package for £3.99, where your child can practise skills such as finding synonyms, using prefixes and suffixes and changing tenses.

Best for learning parts of speech

Grammar Pop, £1.99, Apple

Being able to identify parts of speech (for example, article, noun, verb, adjective) is a key skill for KS2 kids and features prominently in Year 6 SATs. Grammar Pop is a fun word game that’ll help your child become familiar with parts of speech.

In the game, a sentence appears on screen, with each word written on a separate cloud. Your child has to pop the clouds by correctly matching each word with its part of speech: for instance, ‘Change the tune’ = verb, article, noun. They earn points for each word matched correctly, and lose them for incorrect answers.

The sentences become more difficult as your child progresses, introducing more parts of speech, from nouns and verbs to gerunds and participles, and the time allowed gets shorter, presenting an extra challenge; they can, however, play in learning mode without a timer if they want to practise with less pressure. There’s also a comprehensive guide to parts of speech in the How to Play area, with clear definitions and examples.

Best all-round app

Grammaropolis, £5.99, Apple and Android

Although Grammaropolis is an American app, so you need to be aware that some spellings are different from British English, it’s a fun introduction to grammar for kids, using music and animation to make grammar concepts stick.

It focuses on eight different parts of speech (nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, pronouns, prepositions, conjunctions and interjections), each of which is presented as an animated character with its own personality. There are catchy music videos and digital books to help your child understand how each part of speech works, and over 400 quiz questions for each to test your child’s knowledge.

As your child follows the map through Grammaropolis and learns about new parts of speech, they earn badges for progress, and the app records their attainment on each quiz so you can see where they’re doing well and what they need to focus on.

Best for building speed

Johnny Grammar Word Challenge, free, Apple and Android

The British Council is the UK’s leading international culture and education organisation, and is behind this app that aims to help native English speakers and learners improve their grammar, spelling and vocabulary.

The app has three distinct areas – spelling, vocabulary and grammar – with the grammar section covering concepts including prepositions, irregular verbs, adjectives and adverbs, and adverbial clauses. Your child’s goal is to beat the clock and answer as many questions as they can in 60 seconds by selecting the correct word to fill the gap in a sentence.

Each quiz is ranked by difficulty level (easy, medium or hard), with your child winning badges for their achievements. They can also see where they are on the global leaderboard: ideal for competitive kids who like to improve on past scores. It’s a great app for children aged eight and over who need to practise answering quick-fire grammar questions in preparation for KS2 SATs.

Best for practising tenses

Grammar Express: Tenses, £4.99, Apple and Android

One important area of grammar for primary school children to master is verb tenses and how they operate. This app, ideal for kids in upper KS2, will give their understanding of tenses a good workout.

Grammar Express: Tenses includes notes explaining how each English tense works, including the various forms of present, past and future tense, irregular verbs, and the verb ‘be.’ These notes are quite technical, so be prepared to help your child read through them. They can then test their understanding with comprehensive 50-question quizzes, which require them to identify the tense being used, or choose the correct tense of a verb to complete a sentence. They can choose whether to be timed or not. At the end of each test, your child can review their answers and see which ones they got wrong.

The app includes over 1000 examples of using tenses, and over 750 questions, with a progress meter so you can see how your child is doing. There are also Grammar Express apps for parts of speech, prepositions, nouns, and more.

Best for grammar practice on the go

Complete the Sentence for Kids, £1.99, Apple

This app is ideal for squeezing grammar practice into those brief windows of time in between your child’s daily activities, with a selection of quick 10-question quizzes aimed at kids aged seven to 13.

The app involves your child choosing the correct word to complete a sentence from three possibilities, with questions covering tenses, male/female gender, singular/plural words, participles, degrees of comparison, adjectives, verbs, and more. There’s lots of positive reinforcement, with a cheerful crocodile character who dances when your child gets an answer right, and makes funny faces if they’re wrong.

There are five levels of increasing difficulty, with 200 sentences per level. To progress to the next level, your child has to get at least seven out of 10 answers right. Level one is free to access, but you can unlock all five levels for £1.99.