Lively Letters  is a reading program that turns abstract letters and sounds into lively, colorful characters.

Sometimes, despite all the input, and different reading programs I use with children, they just don’t get it.   😕 

Lively Letters helps children develop phonemic awareness skills and phoneme (sound) – grapheme (letter) correspondence by using:

    • Embedded Letter Character Pictures
    • Imagery
    • Hand/Body Cues
    • Oral Kinesthetic Cues
    • Comical Mnemonic Stories
    • Songs for the Letters

What does this mean?

Flashing Activity

Every letter has a picture embedded into the letter to help the child form an image of what the letter looks like. In order to build the image, there is a story together with hand and body cues to form the letter.

There are so many children who confuse the vowel sounds, and Lively Letters is helping children finally make the connection between the letter and the sound.

One of my favourite stories is for the /u/ sound.

This is a little toddler who is only 2 years old. She is in her crib and she wants to get uh uh up! She can’t say the whole word yet so she just says “uh uh uh.” Her hands go up. Put your hands up. Look it makes the shape of the letter /u/! 

Flashing Lively Letters


The song reinforces the story and we are having such fun singing the songs.

Tapping the pencil icon at the bottom of the screen guides the student to form the letter correctly and provides kinesthetic feedback. Additional kinesthetic feedback can be integrated with this task by drawing in sand, using a chalkboard, tracing tasks, etc.

Lively Letters Kinesthetic, tracing


The tracking activity is wonderful for working on phonemic awareness together with phonics.

Up to ten phonemes can be selected. There are a number of different activities that you can do in order to build phonemic awareness skills.


I have been using this to work on syllabification. First the student claps the syllables of the word. Then, they have to find the sounds for each syllable in the word.

The student can then read and record each syllable of the word. Finally they can blend the syllables together to form the whole word.

If there are any sound patterns that the student has difficulty with, then this can be used to teach the sound patterns in the word.


Segmenting Lively Letters

Word building 

Encourage the student to build words with the letters you have selected. Then add in (or omit) sounds to change the word.

A fantastic way to reinforce the sounds, is to encourage the student to read the words they have created, even if it is a nonsense word. The app has ‘Human-Alien’ game where nonsense words are ‘credited’ as being ‘alien’ words and real words are credited as ‘human’ words.


blending, word building



Here is a link to a video showing the tracking activity.


The matching activity reinforces letter sound associations together with a fun memory matching game. Six, eight or ten pairs of letters can be used. It is also a great way to practice upper-lower case, letter matching with the sound. The game can be played as a single or 2 player game.


upper-lower case lively letters

What I like:

The story is narrated directly to the child.

The stories and songs are geared towards the child understanding the sound the letter makes, as well as the way the letter is formed.

Stories can be narrated in English or Spanish. This is wonderful for second language learners.

Lively letters can be used as a supplement for any program, or on its own. It is not only great for therapists, but for teachers too.

I would like:

The ability to pause the story or the song so that you can ensure that the student understands. Once you stop the story, you have to start from the beginning again.

I would like to be able to work with both upper and lower case letters at the same time in the flashing activity.

Although the letter formation guide indicates the correct path for letter formation, it is not sensitive enough. If the child forms the letter incorrectly by starting in the wrong place, there is no signal to let the student know that the formation is incorrect.

You can find out more about the Lively Letters program by clicking here


Lively Letters is just that – a fun way to learn about letters and reading. The app has made the letters really come to life and it has really been helpful for many of my students who just don’t get it.


Lively Letters is available on the App Store for $24.99

Even better – You can win a copy of Lively Letters by entering over here using the Rafflecopter link below

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you to Reading with TLC who provide me with a copy of this app for review. All opinions are my own.

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