Phonological awareness consists of skills that typically develop gradually and sequentially through the late preschool period.  They are developed with direct training and exposure.



Syllable segmentation is one of the underlying phonological awareness skills that is necessary in order to learn to read, spell and pronounce words correctly.

Syllables Splash by Smarty Ears targets this important skill in their latest app.


How to play:

An image (for younger children) or written word is displayed on the viewing window of a submarine.

The child decides how many syllables the word has by choosing the correct number (1, 2, 3, or 4).

Syllables Splash


If the child chooses incorrectly, a mini-animation eliminates the wrong choice or the incorrect choice can be “buzzed.”





Choose the level of syllable difficulty (1-4) and the response for an incorrect answer.

At any point, the written word or the picture can be selected by touching the flip screen icon (arrows in a circle).

Syllable Splash includes a setting that will automatically adapt to fit the child’s skill level. In the beginning, the adult has the choice of the number of foils (incorrect choices) available (1-3) and to automatically increase the difficulty. If the child scores 10 correct answers in a row, the app will automatically add another foil (up to 3).

Data is easily exported via email and is compatible with Therapy Report Centre for report writing and progress monitoring.





  • The app has nearly 1000 images and words from one to four syllables in length
  • Option to turn on/off fish animation
  • Incorrect choice can either be buzzed or eliminated
  • Help button – turtle claps the words out
  • Written word or audio option
  • Words can be repeated by tapping the picture


Help Option

Help Option


Written Word Option

Written Word Option

I like:

Number of vocabulary items creates a great opportunity to work on vocabulary expansion

There is no time limit for response and this allows for teaching and practice.

The syllable numbers are not put in sequential order so it encourages the more impulsive child to stop and think.

This app could easily be used to work with children with Childhood Apraxia of Speech building from 1 syllable words upwards.


I would like:

A more neutral accent and voice. I found that the children like to copy the inflection that is present in the voice and this detracts from the task.

Even when I had selected the option to have 1, 2, 3 and 4 syllable words, the app seemed to choose predominantly 1 and 2 syllable words. I would really like it if the words were more random.

This is not an App that the children choose to play and whilst the under-sea theme is attractive,  a simple reward game may make this more engaging for children to play.


I am forever looking for pictures of multisyllabic words to work on this skill with younger children. Syllables Splash is a ready- made option that is great for tagging onto the beginning or end of a session for some extra practice. For parents, this is an easy to use App that empowers them in helping their child  develop some of the phonological awareness skills necessary.


Syllables Splash is available in the App Store for an introductory price of  $5.99 but will cost $9.99


Smarty Ears provided me with a copy of this App for Review. No other compensation was provided.


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