With summer in full swing, most kids are enjoying their time swimming, playing outside, and building sand castles on the beach. For many students, regular reading time has fallen to the back burner. Help your child reinforce this key skill while having fun with the five reading apps detailed below.
Starfall Learn to Read
This is a great multi-sensory app that helps students develop their reading skills while enjoying the process. The app begins with letters, then moves onto sounds, blending, and reading comprehension. Students identify letters and sounds, touch letters and words, and practice blending sounds together to develop fundamental reading and spelling skills. The app also contains 15 animated books for kids to read, each of which emphasizes a different sound pattern. Kids enjoy the characters, songs, and animated videos.
This app helps students develop their phonics and spelling skills by encouraging them to create words with different sound patterns. Players start by forming basic three letter words and then move onto more complex word patterns, including words with blends, vowel digraphs, silent e, and multi-syllabic words. Players are given a picture and use a series of letters and letter combinations at the bottom of the screen to spell words that correspond to a given picture.
This is a great app for helping students develop their reading comprehension skills. In each version of the app (one for grades 2-3 and one for grades 4-5), players embark on a “journey” through a jungle, answering comprehension questions along the way. Sequencing and cause-and-effect skills–areas that become increasingly important as students progress through school–are specifically emphasized. Children can play against the computer or against other players, and the app includes an adjustable timer to help students improve their response time. The app is played like a board game, where players “throw” dice to determine how many spaces to move around the game board. It’s exciting and educational!
Spellyfish is a great app for helping preschool and Kindergarten students develop both reading and spelling skills. The app emphasizes basic words that contain short vowel sounds, like cat, fan, and log. It contains eight lessons, each with a different theme, and includes words with patterns such as “at,” “an,” “am,” and “ag”. Kids enjoy the engaging images and sounds, while building their core reading and spelling skills.
Short Vowel Word Study
Your child will have loads of fun with this app, which contains various games to reinforce reading. Players start by choosing words from one of three sections: word families, short vowels, and longer words. They can then choose from different games, like “Sort It,” where they sort a word into the correct vowel category–either i, u, or a. They can also play the game “Find It,” where they need to find the one word that doesn’t belong in the same vowel family as the others, then move it to the bottom of the screen. Kids also love the “Spell It” game, which reinforces spelling by showing an image, such as a picture of a cat or dog, and the child must move letters to correctly spell the word.
Summer is a time for play and relaxation, but it’s also a big gap of time without continued academic instruction. Help your child continue to develop her reading skills and prevent academic regression with these apps, and she will be well on her way to school success!
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!