One of the greatest joys of being a kid is learning how to read. It can be exciting for the children as they discover new words and stories and it can also be thrilling for parents to see their child learn. In the modern world of the 21st century, there are endless aides to teach reading or improve reading skills, and it can be difficult to determine which are the most educational and fun to use.
Some are for kids with little to no reading experience, while others are for slightly older children who want to advance further. Some engage parents quite a bit, while others allow them to observe more than participate. This can affect what a family is looking for in an app. In this article, we have compiled 13 best apps and games to improve your child’s reading skills. Read on to find out what those apps and games are:
Top 13 Apps & Games for Improving your Child’s Reading Ability
Bookster is a storytelling app that will not only read to children but will also allow them to record their reading and to pay it back. Their goal is to teach vocabulary at any level of reader. Pictures, as well as words, will engage the new readers and will allow the less experienced kids to connect. Interactive features, such as flipping pages and words that can be tapped on the screen, keep the child involved in the learning process. As the child progresses, levels of content will adjust to meet their increasing abilities and help them to improve further. This allows for a no-pressure atmosphere as the children learn at their own pace and are encouraged to continue.
Montessori Letter Sounds
This program is much more straightforward than many of the other programs featured here and is more simply designed. That being said, the minimal flourish and lack of pizzazz put the focus back on the content of the app. This will increase their skills from auditor and shape guides into the alphabet, then to words and sentences. This allows for younger participants who are not yet reading to work through self-lead activities and to learn independently.
Encyclopedia Brittanica Kids
For the kids who have a handle on basic reading and are now looking to expand their knowledge while gaining a higher reading ability, Encyclopedia Britannica is a perfect fit. It puts their reading skills to the test, as the child can read content that utilizes phonics rules, while they also learn about other topics, such as science or history related topics. The best part for the child is they can choose the topics they review and what they learn about while improving their reading abilities and enjoying the experience.
Super Why Phonics Fair
For a game with bright colors and sounds, Super Why Phonics Fair is a great option. It allows the participant to play games where they are learning about letters and sounds without the awareness of effort being required. The setting is in carnival games, which allow for variety and fun throughout. As the child works through the games, their spelling abilities are enhanced, and they’ll want to keep playing to learn more.
Elmo Loves Abcs
Capitalizing on an old classic with a modern twist, Elmo is here to teach the new round of youngsters how to read. Various levels ensure the needs of infants to children and every skill level in between as they learn the alphabet. The interactivity of videos and images keep the younger kids connected and learning while also entertained. Though the game can become repetitive and a bit boring for adults monitoring their children, the presence of Elmo connects parent to child and child to the building blocks of reading. This is a good starting point, but challenging materials can be found in other applications.
For families that want to expand beyond English, there are apps that offer foreign language for young children. PlayTales offers storytelling that is similar to some of the other apps listed here with creative images but takes it to the next level by providing the content in eight different languages. Participation from the reader is available via the reading and other interactive options. Out of all of the apps on the list, this one has the largest age range of compatibility and is the unique in what it offers for education.
The Sight Word Adventure
The Sight Word Adventure app is a thorough and comprehensive practice system for some of the most important early-reading words that every child must master to gain fluency. Children can learn to recognise, read and write up to 320 words.
The Land of Me – Story Time
The BAFTA nominated Land of Me Storytime app is a beautiful picture book world, where the characters are alive and where every choice you make has dramatic results. What’s the story? You decide! Join Eric the raccoon, Buddy Boo the bear and Willow the owl on an epic journey through your child’s imagination.
Starfall Learn to Read
Learn to read with Zac the Rat. Each numbered section features a vowel sound and its related spelling. Your child will hear, touch, read and eventually master this sound-spelling through a variety of engaging activities, movies, and songs. Encourage your child to play and explore. It is a perfect app for emerging readers and English language learners.
Billy Possum’s Interactive Comprehension
Created as part of a PhD research project, The Adventures of Billy Possum is a beautifully illustrated children’s story adapted from the book ‘The Adventures of Unc’ Billy Possum’. Throughout each of the 25 chapters, emphasis is placed on ‘making meaning’ at the sentence and text level achieved. Software can be switched on, to help educator/parent understand the child’s reading comprehension, and how many times hints etc. required. This is a great app for kids who love to read and is best suited for 9-11 year olds.
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Tika Tok Story Spark
This app encourages a higher level of reading and writing development. Once the child has a basic understanding of reading, they can advance to this app, which allows them to write and illustrate their own books. Before they get started on their writings, lessons are available to expand their knowledge. Colorful images and easy to follow instructions encourage children to move forward in this program. Once their product is complete, they can even print the completed product, which leaves them with their first published work. Not bad for someone who is only in the single digits of age.
Martha Speaks Dog Party
Lessons are disguised as mini-games for kids who are developing their skills from more basic ABC’s and words toward understanding the actual content. What makes it so engaging for children is the characters, such as Martha, the talking dog, and the selection of games that all teach valuable lessons. This is best for kids who are expanding their vocabulary and love some fun.
While many reading apps have books for children to read, few apps have as large of a collection as MeeGenius. With over 700 stories to choose from, including well-known children’s authors, to up-and-comers, children can choose titles based on their interest and skill level. To help them improve their reading ability, the app has a function that can play the story out loud that is paired with highlighting of the words read. This improves the child’s recognition of the words, how they are said, what they mean and how they are used.
Therefore, to conclude, these apps are an excellent way to improve the reading skills of your child. However, we would advise you to encourage your child to read age-appropriate books more and write too, for no app can replace that.