What Are the Best Apps to Get Your Preschooler Reading?

Learn to Read Apps

With these learn-to-read apps, parents on the go can help their kids enter the world of independent reading.

1. Bob Books #1 - Reading Magic
Parents need to know that Bob Books #1 - Reading Magic is an educational experience that will gently teach your young children early phonics by teaching the sounds that letters make and how to combine them to make short words. Your children will 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. There are twelve pages and each one has four levels. You can customize the settings to suit your child's current phonics knowledge and reading level.

2. Kids Learn to Read
Parents need to know that Kids Learn to Read is the third in a series of pre-reading and reading apps created by Intellijoy. Cute character Tommy Turtle leads kids into blending letter sounds to form words. There's also a game that encourages kids to build words, and a game that teaches kids to recognize a completed word by sounding it out or by sight.

3. Martha Speaks Dog Party
Parents need to know that Martha Speaks Dog Party is an educational app tied into the popular PBS television show. The four mini-games in the app give kids different opportunities to learn new words like "amble" and "fabulous." Parents should also know that even though preschoolers might enjoy the TV show, the vocabulary games in this app are best for kids in the 4-7 range.

4. Smiley Sight Words
Parents need to know that Smiley Sight Words can be used to drill children on over 1,500 common English words. Parents can check progress reports after each play session. Kids (or parents) can mark each word with a smiley or frowny face as they work through the flash cards (be aware that kids super sensitive to negative feedback might not like the frowny face as a motivating tool). There are several different decks of virtual flash cards here, arranged in up to 40 levels of difficulty. One of the decks features UK spellings, so be aware of that. Parents can also create custom decks.

5. Word Wagon - by Duck Duck Moose
Parents need to know that Word Wagon - by Duck Duck Moose is a phonics and spelling app designed for beginning readers. As the little mouse and bird bop along, kids can tap any item they pass and try to spell it. Depending on the level you choose, you can either see the silhouettes of the letters in place, or try to spell it without any such hints. For each word they spell, kids will win an animated sticker for their virtual sticker book. And every three correct spellings earn them a chance to play a connect-the-stars constellation game.