There is no question that children today are surrounded by technology in a way that their parents weren’t. Games, puzzles and videos can now all be enjoyed in the palm of ones hand, and this also extends to education and learning. Learning to read is no longer limited to flash cards and dog eared library books, there is now a vast array of apps to entertain children whilst helping them gain valuable skills along the way.
Here is our top ten pick of the best.
app is a virtual library of books to share with your new reader. There’s a huge
range of stories, from traditional tales to books featuring favourite CBeebies
characters such as Mr Tumble and Sarah and Duck.
Children can choose whether to read the story by themselves, or have it read to them as they follow the words on the screen. Many of the books have interactive features that also test comprehension such as hiding Peter Rabbit and his friends from Farmer McGregor.
This app brings the classic story to life and continues the theme of helping new readers.
Children can choose to read the story themselves, or read along with the highlighted words, karaoke style. They can tap on any word to hear it spoken aloud and tap on objects in the pictures to hear their names. As they work through the book, they can look out for stars which unlock mini games that help them practice literacy skills.
BAFTA-nominated app was developed for children who are in the early stages of
learning to read. Children create their own monster, then take it on
games-based adventures that cover phonics phases two (simple letter sounds) to
five (reading short sentences).
Children are challenged through a range of reading games, with rewards to keep them motivated. By the time they’ve reached the highest level, Champion Reader, they’ll be reading short sentences using their phonics knowledge, and be tested on tricky words, too.
4. Reading Eggs
Reading Eggs is designed by literacy experts to help children learn to read, using guided reading tasks, activities and e-books. There are three different stages: Reading Eggs Junior (ages 2-4), Reading Eggs (ages 3-7) and Reading Eggspress (ages 7-13). It progresses from introducing phonics letter sounds, to sight words and building vocabulary, to reading e-books and then to reading comprehension. Using a simple placement test the app gives children access to a map with bundles of activities matched to their reading standard; these include animations, games, songs and more.
Epic! Allows your child access to around 25,000 books,
including recent and bestselling titles like Rosie Revere, Engineer and National
Geographic non-fiction books.
When you create your child’s profile, you can input their age, the categories of book they’re interested in (such as adventure, history, pets and sports), as well as the type of book they want to read – including whole collections of early readers and first chapter books.
This app offers children five different games to support understanding skills and is an open ended element for children to create their own park scene, earning more stickers to put in once they have completed games. Fun-packed activities include playing hide and seek with Duck, creating and flying your own kite, feeding the hungry ducks, helping Umbrella avoid the puddles and even building your very own park.
This app introduces phonics in the order in which they are
taught at school, starting with s, a, t, p, i and n. The phoneme appears on screen, and children are encouraged
to say it aloud then trace it with their finger.
They then gain access to an interactive story that uses the phoneme. These start with simple one-word stories, and increase in difficulty as children progress through the app.
This app is designed for readers aged 4 and up, to teach them words by sight. It’s designed to grab attention, with fluid animation and epic music. Digital flash cards occupy the screen, with fitting animation. Children have to assemble the words, or match them, while the game provides appropriate sound effects. It’s suitable entertainment for young children and parents who may need a pick-me-up.
This is a beautifully illustrated story app which covers lots of different themes, such as gardening, friendship, cooking and behaviour. It imparts a lot of information in a very friendly way which engages children throughout, building vocabulary and giving lots of opportunities for conversations. Words are highlighted as they are read, and each character has different funny voices. There are also bonus recipes from Raymond Blanc which children and parents can enjoy together!
In this app children get to look after different animals with all sorts of ailments making them poorly. Children are given different scenes which show how the animal has been made sick and are then given options for treatment to make them better, which they must match with pictures at the top of the screen. This is a really great opportunity for parents and children to discuss how to keep healthy and how to get better if you feel poorly and there is also a great game for developing empathy. Once the doctor’s waiting room has been cleared more animals come in with different illnesses.