Top Five Reading and Pre-reading App for Kids
Here is a roundup of some of the excellent apps available to help kids learn to read. Starting with their ABCs and moving to beginning reading. As you can imagine, this area covers a lot of ground. What’s best for your tyke will depend on where they are on the road to reading and what mood are they in. We think it’s probably a good idea to change things up a bit and use more than one app. Adults get bored and so do kids, only faster.
We have five suggestions that range from learning the alphabet by playing a game to activities involved in beginning to read. Whether you’re in the car or sitting on the couch, you can feel good about putting these apps in front of your little one.
One note we’d like to make here is that many good apps that are free make their revenue by showing ads. We’d like to caution parents that the ads shown are not necessarily vetted to always be “rated PG”, and may not always be appropriate for very young children. Consider free apps to be demos and, if you decide you like them, it’s worth it to opt for the paid version, as long as it is “ad free”.
Kids ABC Letters Tiny – Free
With bright colors, cartoon-ish graphics and big, easy to tap buttons, this game app, from Kid Tiny, is sure to be a favorite of your toddler. It will appeal to any child learning their letters and keep them busy for hours. Parents will love the fact that there are no ads or surprise pop-ups. Kids will learn their letter names through real sounds and human pronunciations. They will also learn how to form them.
We like how this game is focused on teaching pre-school kids their letters so it doesn’t go into related areas such as phonics. This focus, we think, makes the game more effective.
ABC Alphabet Singer Free – Free
One thing we all remember are songs. We’ll forget a lot over the years but I’ll bet the theme song of a show you used to watch can be called up pretty easily. It’s no secret that when something you want to learn is put to a melody the likelyhood of it being remembered is much greater. That is exactly the premise of this app, from MakeStuff, and it does a terrific job of it.
It’s not a complex app, it simply speaks each letter name and sings the ABC song, although with a different ending than what you may remember.
While it tends to appeal to kids on the younger side of those learning their letters, older children too are sure to enjoy the musical aspect of this app.
Lola’s ABC Party – $4.99
Lola’s ABC Party, from BeiZ, is an excellent teaching app that offers terrific cartoon graphics, sounds, and activities that are sure to delight your little one. It covers learning the ABCs but also goes well beyond basic letter recognition to matching letter to their spoken names, a task often referred to as “phonemic awareness”. It covers upper and lower case letters, word construction and beginning reading and writing skills.
While this app is a bit on the pricey side, as with most things in life you get what you pay for. This app has no in-app purchases or third-party advertising, and also features progress tracking so you can see how your child is moving along.
Alphabets & Numbers for Kids – Free
This fun app, from Evergreen Songs, teaches kids the alphabet using fun cartoon images along with presenting a letter, a word that begins with it, and then speaking the letter and the word. Featuring a “slide show” option, it’s particularly suited for any situation where manual control of moving from letter to letter may not be optimal. And, as the name suggests, it also offer training on learning numbers.
Besides the auto “slide show” mode it also provides manual control of moving forwards and backwards through the letters so it works well with parental supervision too.
Alphabet Car 2 – $2.99
The developer of this app, Baby Cortex, had very good success with their original app, Alphabet Car, and has released a follow up version that considerably expands the content of the app. This app starts to move kids from just letter recognition to actual word recognition using familiar animals, colors and shapes. The app is fully interactive and the device your child is using can even be turned as if it is the steering wheel of a bus.
We especially appreciate how this app makes learning letters and words a fun multi-sensory activity. This is definitely an app that you can have fun with while teaching your child to read.