Some kids love the thrill of turning the pages of paper book. They enjoy visually gauging their reading progress and find reading on a comfortable chair or couch simply relaxing. Many children, however, gravitate to tech tools. They jump on any opportunity to swipe, press, or share, and are easily engaged by digital content. Tap into this “tech savvy-ness” with the reading apps below for kids ages 4-11 to help your child build critical reading skills while still having fun.
Starfall Learn to Read
With this engaging app, kids can practice their decoding skills using 15 mini multi-sensory books, each of which focus on an individual sound, including short vowels, long vowels, vowel teams, and r-controlled vowels. When reading each book, your child can click on the word if she has trouble decoding it and the app will vocalize its correct pronunciation, and if she clicks on the image on each book page, the characters and objects will “come alive” with movements and sounds, providing humor and loads of fun.
Bob Books Reading Magic
This app helps emerging readers learn to blend sounds together to both read and spell words. It contains four levels, starting with basic consonant-vowel-consonant words and progressing into longer, more challenging words, and serves as a great supplement to Orton Gillingham reading lessons. Players must spell basic words first by matching letter tiles to ones already provided as visual hints. Once they have done so, the app sounds out the word and the images become colorful and animated. Later, “visual hints” are not provided and players must drag letters in order to spell words, providing higher level reading and spelling practice.
Homer-Kids Learn to Read
This app helps kids develop their early reading skills, along with other basic skills such as shapes, numbers, and color identification. It also integrates reading comprehension and critical thinking practice, skills that become increasingly important as students move through school. To play, students follow a “wickle avatar” around a map containing various activities, through four different levels. Kids enjoy learning about a variety of topics, including animals, transportation, music, and more, through both listening and reading. The app contains enjoyable worksheets to practice specific skills and 60 books to read.
This app is a great one for curious kids who love learning about zany, interesting topics. It contains a variety of e-books on various fascinating topics including animals, natural disasters, the universe, and many more. Players learn new information provided in simple terms, enjoy the engaging visuals, and can click on links if they are interested in learning more about a topic. It’s great for kids who love learning new facts and information about the world.
National Geographic Kids
This is a great app for kids who love seeing amazing, hard-to-capture photographs and are inspired by reading new information about fascinating topics. The app contains stories, “weird but true” facts, jokes, photo games, puzzles, and quizzes on topics such as history, science, technology, wildlife, and worldwide cultures. Kids love the engaging, eye opening content and have fun learning loads of new information.
As students move through school, the reading requirements will increase rapidly. Help your child develop key reading skills while enjoying the process, and she will be well on her well to excelling in school!
Dr. Emily Levy is the founder of EBL Coaching, a local tutoring program that specializes in one-on-one home and on-site instruction for students in grades pre-K-12. She is also the author of the workbook series Strategies for Study Success and Flags and Stars. To learn more about Emily Levy and EBL Coaching, visit eblcoaching.com!