STOP Summer Brain Drain with Literacy Apps
Tablets and phones can be utilized as valuable teaching tools for your children, and their mobility means they can go anywhere a child does. Apps are a great way to encourage your children to be tech savvy as well. And of course, the visual aspect is great for your visual learner. Amidst some of the silly, useless apps out, there are some that can make the difference in your child’s reading and vocabulary development. There are lots of apps out there that teach the basics like, letter recognition, phonics and sentence sequencing. Since, there are so many different options it can be hard to figure out which ones are the best. With the help of CommonsenseMedia.org and some other resources, we’ve curated a list for you.
Here are 7 of my favorite literacy apps.
Starfall (preK- 2) is an app version of a free public service that teaches children to read with phonics. Their systematic approach, in conjunction with phonemic awareness practice, is perfect for preschool, kindergarten, first grade, second grade, special education, homeschool, and English language development (ELD, ELL, ESL). Starfall is an educational alternative to other entertainment choices for children.
Monkey Word School Adventure (preK-2) is an early-reading app for preschoolers and young elementary-school-age kids. It’s the next step up from THUP’s Monkey Preschool Lunchbox, which focuses on colors and sorting. Monkey Word School Adventure is for kids who are ready to start recognizing letters and words. It is well-designed with young learners in mind, challenging kids age 4 to 7 by using technology that quickly adjusts the words to the appropriate level.
Sight Word Adventure (K-3) is a fun app that provides vital practice on high-frequency words that all young readers need to memorize. These very common words often do not follow phonics patterns, so memorizing them builds a lot of fluency.
Speech with Milo: Sequencing (K-2) is a sequencing and storytelling game for young children. Slide the three picture cards into correct order (first, next, and last), then watch the story you’ve sequenced come to life in a brief animated cartoon. The 36 common activities found here, such as hitting a baseball or eating a sandwich, were chosen by a speech-language pathologist to help kids learn to organize time, sentence, and storytelling concepts with familiar themes.
BOB Books Reading Magic (K-2) is an educational experience that will teach your young children early phonics. This app teaches the sounds that letters make and how to combine them to make short words. Drag the letters for the given word to the proper place below the picture, while the app sounds out the letters and reads the word aloud. Children’s efforts will be rewarded when the black and white screen transforms to color and the drawings become animated.
Montessori Crosswords (preK-4) helps kids develop literacy skills by dragging and dropping letters into a crossword grid to form words that correspond to the given pictures. Very young kids can practice linking phonetic sounds to letters (one of the fundamentals of Montessori), while older kids can expand their vocabularies in the higher of three difficulty levels. The menu contains a link to the publisher’s site with tips for parents. Also try Montessori Words & Phonics for Android devices
Mad Libs (ages 10-99) is just how you remember the classic fill-in-the-noun/verb/adverb game, but with a twist! Fill-in-the-blank sections are now interactive, and hints are offered to educate and entertain. Or, you can try Pocket Mad Libs for Android devices. Both will help your child learnt he parts of speech while creating silly stories that are sure to have them rolling on the floor giggling.
If your child spends just 20-30 minutes per day on these educational apps, you will be amazed at the difference in their reading and vocabulary understanding. Check back later this week for a list of some of my favorite STEM apps to keep your child’s math and science skills limber.
Take a look at some of my previous app lists, 8 Great iPad Apps for Children and 12 Great iPad Apps for Elementary Children, for some more inspiration.
Come back later in the week for a list of math and science apps to help engage both the analytical and the visual children in your life.
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