With the help of outstanding early literacy apps in the App Store and Google Play, even pre-readers can work on literacy skills and enjoy reading fun on smartphones and tablets.
These seven apps are ideal for building confidence in budding bookworms at every stage of learning to read, from pronouncing letter sounds to recognizing (and slicing) common sight words.
A vibrant app designed to grow with young pre-readers, Reading Raven offers different levels of entertaining reading games for kids ages 3 to 5. Letter matching, letter and word tracing, rhyming exercises, and reading aloud with the device’s microphone can all help budding readers who prefer to learn at their own pace.
Little learners can even continue practicing in Reading Raven Vol. 2 for more lessons and fun as they build their reading skills.
Developed by a parent who wanted to combine the slicing-and-dicing fun of Fruit Ninja with the benefits of an educational game, Sight Words Ninja sneaks in learning sight words while kids happily swipe and slash.
With several options to change the game difficulty and grade-level of sight words for kids at all stages of reading readiness, Sight Words Ninja can be customized to be the perfect game for young readers up to third grade. Add to that no cost to download and you’ve got one completely guilt-free game for your kid’s screen time.
This charming app emphasizes phonics and rhyming skills with the help of a good-natured monster. Preschoolers and kindergarteners identify letter sounds, including long vowels and hard and soft letters, and feed them to the enthusiastic monster waiting below.
Clear narration, amusing rewards, and an overall peaceful feel make Word Grab Phonetics an invaluable app if you like to combine quiet time and screen time.
A cast of colorful characters introduces new sight words to preschoolers and kindergarteners in Endless Reader. As young kids complete animated letter and sentence puzzles, the sounds are repeated to support phonics skills.
After each puzzle is completed, quirky and memorable monsters take the stage to boisterously help little learners recognize the words and sentences. Additional word packs for purchase continue to add new sight words to early readers’ vocabularies.
Free (with in-app purchases), iPhone/iPad
Bob Books are almost essential for preschoolers and kindergartners learning how to read. Kids who could use some practice sounding out basic words can supplement their beloved books with the Reading Magic apps from Bob Books.
Reading Magic 1 uses familiar characters and scenes from the classic Bob Books in drag-and-drop letter games. Pre-readers can explore four different levels as they choose the right letter sounds to put together each word. Reading Magic 2 offers new stories, words and letter sounds.
Letter recognition and phonics are the names of the Froggy Phonics game. Recommended for kids in pre-K to second grade, players navigate Froggy from lily pad to lily pad as he looks for the right letter to complete each word shown on the screen.
Bold cartoon graphics, upbeat music, and silly sound effects keep kids entertained as they practice fundamental early literacy skills.
Tommy the Turtle literally walks preschoolers through reading some of their first words in Kids Learn to Read (Preschool). As Tommy walks over each word, the letter sounds blend together to help pre-readers understand how letter sounds form words.
Once they get the hang of sounding out words, they can play matching games to read and match simple words, and fill in missing letters to make words on their own.