14 Apps That Actually Help Kids Learn to Read
When it comes to learning to read, some kids need extra support — and, luckily, there are several reading apps for kids to help get the job done.
14 Reading Apps for Kids
These days, practically as soon as kids enter traditional kindergarten, they’re expected to be reading. Reading levels in school are deemed extremely important from the get-go, and the push for more academic early education has led to more kids underperforming in the earliest years of school. Because some kids may not be developmentally ready to read, have shorter attention spans or, in some cases, have learning differences that prevent them from reading, it can be a stressful experience.
As a mom who was told her daughter was falling behind in reading at the young age of five, I know the feeling well. While I didn’t exactly agree that my daughter needed to be a seasoned reader at five or even six, I worried most about how her confidence would be affected if she was falling behind her peers.
I tried to support her the best I could and found that a low-pressure approach worked best. We spent time reading together and practicing sounding out words, but playing reading games on an iPhone and tablet felt more like fun and less like work. I realized that when my kid was relaxed and playing games, rather than stressed or frustrated, she could absorb the information easier. Here are some of the best reading apps for kids that she still enjoys learning from and playing.
It’s all in the name. This app, which give access to 25,000 books with read-along technology, games and more, is truly epic.
Kids will have so much to do, they’ll never get bored reading stories of all kinds, learning phonics and just playing, as kids should.
Another absolute favorite app is ABCmouse. The step-by-step learning path lets kids track their progress and earn rewards for their work.
While there’s tons of reading work to be done at various skill levels, there are more than 850 lessons overall. Those include digital books, puzzles, games, songs and animations that create a very interactive reading experience.
Popular among homeschool families for its planning and tracking features, VocabularySpellingCity is not only filled with fun games, but is a quality reading tool to help kids learn to read.
Parents can set up year-long word study playlists and activities to keep kids busy, focused and constantly learning to read.
The creators of this app truly understood that fun makes learning easy, which is why it's filled with fun games that kids can choose based on their interests.
It’s designed for kids ages two to eight with age appropriate tasks for each level and grows with your child so they can start early as toddlers and keep the learning going into elementary school (and beyond).
The Starfall app offers multiple levels to encourage even the earliest readers to play along.
Beginning with ABCs to “I’m reading,” it lets kids practice with fun read-alongs, letter matching games and much more.
While not just for kids, this app is great for them. It allows you to download audiobooks from the local library instantly and listen on demand. Studies have shown that audiobooks are great for important reading skills, such as listening to sounds, as well as comprehension.
Even more, listening to stories is fun for timid readers, and with a world of books at their fingertips, Hoopla makes it easy.
Kids love monsters, and with Endless Reader, they get to play with them.
The adorable creators will help them learn to recognize important sight words that are crucial to early reading with puzzles and letters that come alive and show them exactly what word they spelled. It's a good way to make the reading lessons memorable.
Hooked on Phonics
While Hooked on Phonics may be an oldie, the technology of the app is definitely a goodie. With more than 275 phonics activities, kids have tons to choose from, and it’s easy to find something that’s right for everyone.
The interactive games let kids practice essential reading skills while earning fun incentives at the same time. Plus, the app correlates to federal and state reading proficiency standards through first grade.
The best part about this app is the colorful and beautiful world of stories kids can choose from when playing. The narration brings each story to life and keeps kids engaged.
It’s been shown that kids read for longer periods of time when using it, and the read-along features make it easy to follow.
With access to tons of awesome and unique kids books, there is no shortage of reading time on this app.
And the best part? The parent dashboard feature makes it a unique experience, allowing you to set up educational goals and track your child’s reading from your own device.
This app strikes the right note with kids because the experience is so personalized — something missing from most educational opportunities.
With Kids Academy’s engaging and adaptive experience, kids will get just what they need and find the learning course that engages them the most. With more than 5,000 activities, that could include educational games, interactive and printable worksheets, songs, puzzles and flashcards.
Dr. Seuss Treasury
Nobody does reading quite like Dr. Seuss, and the app is no exception.
With 55 Dr. Seuss books all in one place, kids can sort and search books, finding all their favorite characters, including the Cat in the Hat, the Grinch and the Lorax. It also allows them to record their own voice reading and learn new vocabulary with tappable words.
This popular app for four- to eight-year-olds helps kids to read with its learning adventure guide.
It’s multi-sensory, has step-by-step lessons and hundreds of activities for kids to enjoy. The highly engaging content helps build confidence and reading skills at the same time.
Monkey Word School Adventure
This creative and intuitive app takes kids through phonics exercises to help their early reading skills begin to develop. They can trace letters, practice rhyming with a fun maze, practice spelling and more.
After every round, the game gives a reward — a plant or animal to add to a terrarium — making it even more fun to play, learn and earn!