10 iPhone apps for kids learning to read
Many parents are currently trying to work out how to limit kids’ screen time and use of technology. However mashable.com recently reported that some kids may actually benefit from tech-heavy learning environments. For children that are just beginning to learn the fundamentals of reading, well put together iPhone apps may be a simple and effective way to help these kids along. Apps tend to combine interactive play with structured content keeping kids engaged as they learn. “Gamification” has well and truly entered the world of education and smart devices are the media of choice to deliver this learning experience.
Here’s a list of useful apps for early readers:
- Sight Words List – Make your own cards and record the sound of your own voice reading them to personalize the sight word experience for your beginning reader with the free Sight Words List – Learn to Read Flash Cards & Games app. Parents can also create new lists and change font sizes and color for a customized, personalized experience. The application also features an infant mode for children who are under 12 months, which is ideal for parents who wish to share a love of reading and learning with their babies.
- Bob Books #1 – Reading Magic – this app brings the beloved Bob Books to the iPhone (the app costs $1.99). The phonics-based approach to helping kids learn to read has been successful for millions of kids; now your child can have the power of Bob Books at her fingertips!
- Read Me Stories – This free app allows users to access an entire library of children’s books, inspiring a love of reading in the smallest new readers. Free sample books are available, in addition to the scads that can be purchased through the app to keep your child occupied and entertained as she learns the fundamentals of reading.
- First Letters and Phonics – Learning letter shapes, names, and the sounds that they make is an exciting and entertaining prospect, thanks to Learning Touch’s First Letters and Phonics app. For $1.99 in the App Store, First Letters and Phonics includes two versions of the Alphabet Song, and will help build a foundation and give kids the basic skills they need to start the exciting journey that is reading.
- Alpha Writer – Based on Montessori principles like Moveable Alphabet, Alpha Writer helps kids learn to read and write by doing. The app also allows youngsters to create their own stories with illustrations, letters, and phonetic sounds, which encourages learning in a self-directed environment.
- Word BINGO – Based on the Dolch Word List, Word BINGO offers four different educational games (for $0.99). Kids can play Word BINGO, Spelling Practice, Word it Up, and Fling It at a pre-primer through third grade level, and parents are able to review their progress through the My Report Card function.
- Spell Blocks with Sight Words – Interactive play is educational for little ones with Spelling Blocks, which uses a virtual version of the ever-popular alphabet blocks to help kids learn to spell more than 200 of the Dolch Sight Words. The Word Proficiency scale allows you to review his progress and determine where he needs help. The app is $1.99
- Learn Sight Words – Ad-free and designed with little fingers in mind, Learn Sight Words helps kids learn and commit to memory 300 different sight words. Sounds can be turned on or off, allowing kids to hear the word as they look at it, or to focus on reading words quietly. Words are clearly pronounced and displayed in large, bold letters that are easy for kids to make out, and you’re given the option of flagging words that need more practice.
- Interactive Alphabet – ABC Flash Cards – Interactive Alphabet is a universal app that helps kids develop the basic skills they need to learn to read, with an entertaining and immersive lesson on letters A to Z. The app even has a “baby mode,” which advances flash cards at 15 second intervals, perfect for keeping pint-sized scholars occupied while you’re driving or otherwise engaged.
- Learn to Read! – Designed for kids in pre-school through second grade, Learn to Read! features voice prompts and example usage of sight words, and comes highly recommended by educators. Learn to Read! almost replaces the physical deck of flash cards that teachers distribute, keeping your home free of clutter and allowing your little ones to access their list at home or on the go.
One things to bear in mind with all these Apps though – even the best application is useless if you’re not actively involved in the learning process of your children. So spend some time with your kids to play these apps and support the learning process.
By Tina Marconi