Early readers can benefit from time spent on apps. They 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 brief list of apps for your early reader.
• 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.
• 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 Words & Phonics helps kids develop their reading, writing and spelling skills by building words from a set of 320 word-image-audio-phonics combinations using a phonics-enabled Movable Alphabet.
• Pocket 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, and will help your child learn the 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.