Best Free Reading Apps for Kids
Six Apps for New Reader Fun
These free reading apps for kids make it a joy to get your children engaged in reading. I see how their captivating illustrations, graphics, and games draw beginning readers in, and let them interact with letters and books in ways that aren't possible with print on paper. Some include read-along stories, which are a fantastic tool to help kids develop fluency.
It's not to late for your child to become a Reading Superhero with Scholastic's Summer Reading Challenge 2016, with the opportunity to win prizes.
Where to Get These Reading Apps
Read Me Stories
Books Tailored to Your Child's Reading Level
The Read Me Stories: Learn to Read app asks you a series of questions about your child's reading abilities and if you will be reading with him. It then downloads four free books targeted to his reading level, with options for read along out loud.
The more advanced Read Me Stories app provides a library of titles organized into series with topics such as Animals, Tales of Life, and Tales of Adventure. You can download the first title in each series for free. Then your child get options to listen to the book being read to her or to read the book on her own.
The stories are all in picture book format suitable for early pre-K to grade 3. Learn more from the Read Me Stories website.
StoryKit - Reading & Writing
iPad iPhone, iPod Touch
The StoryKit app has four beautifully illustrated classic stories for young readers to use as a launching point for their own creative writing skills.
After reading the books, kids can alter the stories to fit their own narratives, or provide their own illustrations and pics. The app is a favorite of many classroom teachers, as well as children, because of its versatility.
Kid Mode: Play + Learn - Multiple reading skills
Android, Kindle Fire
Kid Mode: Play + Learn is an all-inclusive award-winning app designed for use by children from age 2-8. Familiar cartoon characters engage kids in games to help them learn the alphabet, and basic reading skills. Characters from PBS Kids, Disney, Thomas the Train, Teletubbies, Blues Clues and Winnie the Pooh help to keep the kids engaged and the learning fun. This app has lots of great activities for math skills too!
Getting Started with Kid Mode
Chicktionary Lite - Spelling and Vocabulary
Chicktionary for iPad is an award-winning app to help your children hone their spelling skills. Make as many words as you can from the seven letters on the chickens. Clucking chickens encourage you, and squawk when you make a mistake. This free version has 12 games. If you get stuck making words, give your device a shake to shuffle the hens. The Android version is available on the Android Market.
ABC Letter Tracing - Alphabet
iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
The ABC Letter Tracing app is a colorful engaging game to help your young ones learn to recognize and write the alphabet. Each upper and lowercase letter has an accompanying picture representing its sound. And a gentle encouraging voice guides your children along as they trace the letters.
Sight Words List - Vocabulary
iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
Your child's teacher gives every beginning reader a list of "sight" or "Dolch" words to memorize and recall instantly when they see them. The Sight Words List app eases the task of learning to read those first frequently words. This app has 315 sight words broken down by age. You can select the words you want your child to learn and record them with your own voice. Create your own word lists as your child's skills improve.
ICDL Books for Children - Free Books
iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
The International Children's Digital Library offers a collection of thousands of free picture books from more than 60 countries on their ICDL Free Books app. The ICDL Foundation's goal is help young readers become better world citizens by introducing them to stories and cultures from dozens of countries.
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore
Although it's not free, I feel compelled to write about a recent discovery of mine - The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore app for iPad. It is based on William Joyce's book of the same title. It's the story of a man who has lost all of his books, and then starts caring for the worn books in a forgotten library. He is inspired to write from the books he reads. The books, in turn, take care of him.
Every child I have read this with is captivated by both the story and the animation. They ask for repeated readings or read it again themselves. Kids love the interactive animation and Humpty Dumpty.
Starfall Learn to Read app - for the Kindle Fire
Although it's not free, it's very inexpensive. Starfall online reading games have been very popular with children and parents for years.
Zac the Rat provides tons of fun activities for beginning readers in this Android and Kindle fire app. The animations, movies and interactive help kids learn to blend sounds, identify letters, and read beginning reader stories.
More Free Reading Apps
Lists some of the best free classic ebooks available from Project Gutenburg.
100 Young Readers books: Both fiction and non-fiction written for children and teenagers. Read on your Apple iPad, Nook, Kobo, iPhone and others. All are public domain and include classic titles such asÂ Pinnochio, Little Women, Adventures of Huckleberry FinnÂ andÂ The Secret Garden.
Word Domino Free | Android
Designed with a speech therapist, this fun letter game helps children on their vocabulary and their reading skills.
A to Z - Mrs. Owl's Learning Tree - Free | Android
Learn the alphabet and phonetic letter sounds with the help of Mrs. Owl. Beautiful illustrations and sound effects help to focus children's attention. This free version includes A-Z and word recognition quizzes.
Colorpad A-Z | Android
This coloring book app helps PreK and K children learn their alphabet while they express their creativity. It includes audio pronunciations of each letter.
Preschool All Words 3 Lite | Android
This app for PreK-1 includes 500 words, including sight words, with nice illustrations. It has a word - object match quiz that reads the word to the child when they get it right.
Monkey Match | iTunes
This pre-K pre-reading app offers lots of animated hijinx to help your young one learn the alphabet and phonemes - beginning sounds and rhymes. The app comes from WGBH's PBS Kids show,Â "Between the Lions".
ABC Magic Phonics | iTunes
For preK-K. Simple app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. See a letter and the picture of a word that begins with that letter. Tap the letter to hear its sound. Tap the picture to listen to its word. No distractions on the screen help kids to focus on the basics.