One of the most frequently asked questions in our Facebook group is, “which laptop, Chromebook or tablet should I get for my kids?” After speaking with tons of parents, tech experts and teachers, I put together this list of the Best Chromebook, Laptop & Tablet for Kids. Once your kids get a device though, what educational apps and websites should you use? We put together a list of teacher recommended Math Apps & Websites, but what about the best reading apps and websites for kids? Don’t worry, I have you covered with the epic list below! I even included some of my favorite reading games, for when you want to limit the screen time, but still work on reading skills!
Table of Contents
- Reading Apps for Kids
- Free Reading Apps for Kids
- Reading Games for Kids
- Free Reading Websites for Kids
- How to Prepare for Distance Learning & Virtual Online School
Reading Apps for Kids
The following are some of my favorite reading apps for kids!
1. Teach Your Monster to Read
My kids LOVE the Teach Your Monster to Read app. It is worth every penny, as the glowing reviews agree! Your child will work on letter / sound recognition, blending and segmenting, and ultimately reading sentences and little books. The graphics are fantastic and the magical journey that your child takes their monster on keeps them engaged. My kids beg to play this game!
2. Super Why! Power to Read
Do your kids love PBS Kids’ Super Why? Then, they will be so excited to play the Super Why! Power to Read app. I love that this app includes a fun game to teach kids how to write their letters, as well as reading and rhyming. There is even a built-in reward system with over 100 stickers to collect, which really helps to motivate the kids!
3. Reading Eggs Sight Words
The Reading Eggs Sight Words app helps your child to learn how to read 250 of the most common, high frequency words. It is a super fun and engaging game that is especially perfect for preschoolers and Kindergartners. I am using this with one of my incoming 1st graders as a fun review to help fight the “summer slide”!
4. Bob Books Reading Magic
The first set of books that many of our kids (mine included!) learn how to read with is Bob Books. The Bob Books Reading Magic #1 and Bob Books Reading Magic #2 apps are such a fun extension to the Bob Books Set that our kids love!
5. Square Panda Multisensory Phonics Playset
I love how the Square Panda Multisensory Phonics Playset uses your tablet, along with tactile smart letters, to create a multisensory approach to teaching kids how to read. It comes with a whole library of learning games too!
Free Reading Apps for Kids
Are you on a super tight budget and only want free reading apps for kids? Here are some great options!
Most of the free reading apps for kids are for younger kids, but the IXL app covers Kindergarten through 12th grade!!! It also includes over 8,000 skills, including language arts, math, social studies, science and Spanish! While it is not as “fun” as some of the other apps, and definitely is less visually “exciting,” the content is absolutely top notch!
2. Wonster Words: ABC, Phonics & Spelling for Kids
The free app Wonster Words: ABC, Phonics & Spelling for Kids is a great way to work on spelling words, phonics and word families. It uses fun animations and mini-games, which are great for keeping kids engaged.
3. HOMER Reading: Learn to Read Program for Kids (2-8 Years Old)
There are over a thousand interactive lessons, including phonics, sight words and rhyming, on the HOMER Reading App. They claim that if your child uses the app for just 15 minutes every day, they can increase early reading scores by 74%. There are hundreds of stories to pick from, ranging from Thomas the Train to fairy tales like Little Red Riding Hood.
4. Starfall Learn to Read
The Starfall Learn to Read app is broken into sections for short vowels, long vowels, phonics and chunking. This app is perfect for beginner readers who are working on recognizing the connection between written words and the spoken language.
5. Endless Reader
Wait until you see the stellar reviews for the Endless Reader app! There is one downside with this app, which is that only some of the content is available for free. I included it anyway though, because the interactive sight word puzzles and games are fun and engaging!
6. Khan Academy Kids: Free Educational Games & Books
I love the Khan Academy app! If you have a younger child and only want to download one free, educational app… THIS IS IT!!! Khan Academy’s app has won numerous awards for their amazing curriculum which includes reading, literacy, spelling, writing, phonics, math, logic, problem solving and memory skills!
Reading Games for Kids
Looking for some fun reading games for kids that do NOT require any electronics or screen time? Here are my top picks!
1. Zingo Sight Words
Do you have a preschool through 1st grade child who is a new reader? Zingo Sight Words is a fun. bingo-style game to learn some of the most important sight words. This award winning game has insanely amazing reviews, and was highly recommended by several preschool teachers in our Facebook group.
2. Boggle Junior
I love that kids as young as three years old can play Boggle Junior by matching large letter cubes to picture or word cards. Then, when they outgrow Boggle Junior, they will be ready to play Big Boggle with you! It is hard to find a fun game that can be played in just 3 minutes like Big Boggle. I use it as an incentive to get my kids to not drag their feet. “If you put your clothes away in five minutes, we can play a round of boggle!”
3. Scrabble Junior
Another fantastic “junior version” game is Scrabble Junior. It actually has a double sided game board, so you can make it more challenging as your kids get older.
If you are looking for the perfect travel game, Bananagrams is for you! Although we play it at home all the time too. It is a fun way to practice spelling words, as you race to create crossword grids.
5. Sentence Building Dominoes
Educational Insights has a bunch of different sets of reading dominoes. Sentence Building Dominoes contains 228 words and punctuation marks to create hundreds of sentences. Here are some of their other reading domino sets as well.
Free Reading Websites for Kids
If you are looking for free reading websites for kids, you will love exploring the options on this list! Some of the websites will help your kids learn how to read, while others are great resources for hearing or watching stories online.
1. ABC Mouse
Not only is ABC Mouse a fun way to learn how to read, but it also covers math, science and art! My kids starting using the website when they were three years old and it was a big hit! You can try ABC Mouse for free for one month through this link.
2. Teach Your Monster To Read
Kids love the graphics and the fun reading adventure game of Teach Your Monster To Read. The levels begin with learning your letters and the sounds they make and goes through reading complete sentences!
3. Storytime Online
The Screen Actors Guild Foundation put together Storytime Online and it is an incredible resource! Your children can listen to children’s books being read by famous actors and actresses. Definitely a fun twist on storytime!
4. Amazon’s Audible
My kids get so excited when I tell them that they can listen to a story on Amazon’s Audible (it is my secret trick for buying myself an hour of quiet time to work or to jump on a conference call!) The best news is that you can get a free Audible trial! Here’s more information about the Audible free trial!
How to Prepare for Distance Learning & Virtual Online School
You guys and gals send me the best messages (thank you! I LOVE getting to know you!!!) You’ve made it clear that you want help getting organized for whatever this school year may bring. Whether you are starting your school year off this fall with distance learning or not, you want to be prepared for if / when our schools go virtual again. Distance learning is not easy. Virtual online school is a challenge for kids, parents, teachers… EVERYONE! Therefore, this week we will be focusing on what you can do to get your kids (and home) ready for “back to school” (whatever that may look like this year!) Here are the posts for this week so far, but keep checking back as there will be a new one every day!
In addition, here are all of our previous (free!) virtual camps, in case you missed any:
- “Back to Basics” Life Skills Camp
- DIY Craft Camp
- Cooking Classes for Kids
- Science Experiments for Kids
- Kids Entrepreneurship
- World Traveler (Kids Geography Camp)
Don’t forget to join our Facebook group to see our live classes and follow us on Pinterest, so you won’t miss a thing! You definitely need to follow Hannah at Inspired Sparks too, because she is posting all kinds of awesome videos to teach kids about science, crafts and cooking.
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