(Written by Martina Keyhell ) Learning to read is a major milestone in a child’s life. Until the advent of tablets, smartphones and electronic reading devices, however, it was one that required books, flashcards and other learning aides. With the widespread popularity of Apple’s iPhone and the wide array of applications available in the App Store, today’s child can learn to read while using a parent’s phone, rather than books or physical flashcards. These 10 apps are among the best and brightest for helping little ones learn to read, and are all available in the vast marketplace that is the App Store.
- Bob Books #1 – Reading Magic – This interactive, phonics-based game helps kids learn to read with the familiar characters of Bob Books and colorful animations. Using Bob Books’ app gives your child access to 12 scenes and 32 words, with four game levels of increasing difficulty kids can play as their abilities progress. Because this app is the first in a series, your kids can continue to learn with the Bob Books app family even after completing the lessons available here.
- iLearn to Read– Developed by a teacher who’s also a parent, this app is a great choice for kids that are just learning the fundamentals of reading. Toddlers also enjoy simply pushing buttons and looking at the brightly-colored backgrounds, making iLearn to Read a great choice for kids that aren’t yet ready to read, but are on their way.
- Spell & Listen Cards – Rather than carrying around sheaves of flashcards everywhere you go, simply download this app that helps kids learn to spell, pronounce and recognize more than 500 words to expand their vocabulary. Great for parents on the go, older kids that are a bit more autonomous can reap the benefits of the app without requiring parental assistance.
- Sight Words List – The Dolch Word List is a cornerstone of many early reading curricula, consisting of 315 words for children beginning the process of learning to read. This free app gives parents and kids access to the Sight Words list wherever they are, making it easy to work on reading skills anytime.
- Learn to Read! – Designed for kids in kindergarten, first or second grade, Learn to Read is an app that provides a list of sight words for kids that are learning to read or honing their existing skills. Learn to Read! also uses voice prompts and example usages to boost kids’ comprehension as well as build fundamental reading skills.
- iWriteWords – Learning to read goes hand-in-hand with learning to write, something that this app aims to teach. Tracing letters with the tip of a finger helps kids learn their shapes and the ways to create them on their own, which is perfect for little ones that are just beginning to read and write.
- First Letters and Phonics – Recognizing letters and learning their names and the sounds that they make are all essential first steps on the path of learning to read. First Letters and Phonics helps small children master those skills so that they can move on to more complex concepts. First Letters and Phonics also features the music and voice of Debi Derryberry, a popular kids’ entertainer that your little one is sure to recognize.
- Alpha Writer – Featured in the New & Noteworthy, What’s Hot, and Staff Favorite sections of the App Store, this app is a big hit with parents, teachers and journalists alike. Kids can practice their reading and writing skills, then create their own story with illustrations, sounds and letters.
- Interactive Alphabet – This great developmental tool helps kids build the foundation for a future love of reading by teaching the alphabet with interactive flash cards that keep kids engaged and entertained. The Baby Mode option also allows little ones to use the app before they master iPhone navigation, as it automatically advances each card every 15 seconds.
- Free Books – When your child masters the ability to read, she’ll need books to show her new talent off! This app gives you access to more than 23,000 free books for you or your child to read on your iPhone. There are a variety of children’s classics for your little reader, and there are also more adult works to keep you occupied in waiting rooms and during a mass-transit morning commute.
Learning to read is always more fun with a friend, so make an effort to use these iPhone apps with your child whenever possible. While most of them are designed to be easily navigated by little fingers, no electronic device can stand in for the attention of a devoted parent or caregiver.
About the author: Martina Keyhell who is a guest blogger regularly writes. She is a graduate in English literature and currently pursuing her masters in Online Journalism. She can be reached via email at:[email protected].
* The article, 10 iPhone Apps That Promote Early Reading has been published on Becomeananny.com Blog.