The best reading apps to provide young children with a positive learning experience while using technology within your classroom. These learn-to-read apps are full of interactive lessons and activities to boost early reading skills.
Incorporating the use of technology in your primary classroom is a great way to support young learners academically and to also allow students to develop creativity. Interactive games and educational videos can increase engagement while helping to develop a strong foundation in math and literacy. Reading apps, specifically designed for young readers, can play a significant role in supporting reading development. Of course, there are tons of options in the world of educational apps so it is important to find developmentally appropriate apps that truly support students in their reading journey.
What are the Benefits of Using Educational Apps in a Kindergarten Classroom?
Incorporating educational apps into a kindergarten classroom can truly enhance the learning experience. Teachers can create a dynamic and supportive learning environment that aligns with the developmental needs and interests of young learners. Here are a few benefits worth noting:
- Individualized Learning: Many educational apps are designed to adapt to each child’s pace and learning style. This individualization allows students to progress at their own speed, ensuring that they grasp concepts before moving on to the next level.
- Multisensory Engagement: The multisensory approach (visuals, sounds, and touch-based interactions) can be particularly beneficial in reinforcing concepts and making learning more accessible to a diverse group of students.
- Reinforcement of Basic Skills: Apps can target specific skills, such as letter recognition, counting, and early literacy, providing focused reinforcement. This targeted practice helps solidify foundational skills that are crucial for later academic success.
- Immediate Feedback: The immediate reinforcement from educational apps helps build confidence and provides opportunities for correction and improvement.
- Data for Progress Monitoring: Many apps come with progress tracking features, enabling teachers to monitor each student’s performance and identify areas that may need additional attention. This data-driven approach can inform instructional decisions and interventions.
What Makes a Great App for Young Kids?
Although I’ve already put together a list of the best apps for kindergarten reading, you may want to add a few of your own! Here are some key factors to consider when choosing an interactive app for your students.
Ensure that the app’s content aligns with the developmental level of your kindergarten friends. Look for apps that introduce foundational reading skills, such as letter recognition, phonics, phonemic awareness, sight words, and comprehension.
Interactive and Engaging Features
The app should engage children through interactive elements like games, animations, and audio feedback. These features make learning enjoyable and will motivate your students to continue the extra practice.
If you can find apps with progress tracking, that is a plus! Many of these types of apps are subscription-based but are a great way to track student achievement over time.
Positive Reviews and Ratings
Of course, check out the feedback from other teachers or parents. Educational apps that have received positive reviews and high ratings often ensure their effectiveness and educational value.
So without further ado, let’s dive into the list of interactive activities to support your young readers!
Best Reading Apps for Kindergarten
Starfall is a widely acclaimed reading app that provides interactive activities and content for kindergarteners. It focuses on phonics, phonemic awareness, and vocabulary development. Key features of Starfall include:
- Engaging stories, songs, and games that reinforce reading skills and promote language acquisition.
- Letter recognition and sound exercises to enhance phonemic awareness in young learners.
- An extensive library of books that progressively increases in difficulty to cater to growing reading abilities.
Starfall offers both a free version and a subscription-based model with additional features and content. Plus there are different apps based on skill level. So be sure to check out all of the options:
- Starfall ABCs
- Starfall Learn to Read
- Starfall I’m Reading
#2 KHAN ACADEMY KIDS - 100% FREE!
Khan Academy Kids stands out as a fantastic program designed to captivate young minds in the realms of early literacy, reading, writing, language, and math. Crafted in partnership with learning experts from Stanford, it seamlessly aligns with the Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework and Common Core Standards. This ensures a solid foundation for your little one’s educational journey. AND it is a 100% free app!
There are some pretty cool teacher tools also included within the app. Teachers can:
- set up a class
- search for lessons by standard
- create assignments to reinforce key skills
- monitor each child’s progress with in-depth reports
Khan Academy and Khan Academy Kids are awesome apps for teachers!
#3 HOMER READING
Homer is an immersive reading app designed specifically for younger children aged 2-8. It focuses on building foundational reading skills through stories, songs, and activities. Here’s what you can expect from Homer:
- An adaptive learning program that adjusts to each child’s skill level and provides personalized recommendations.
- Engaging stories and songs that expose kindergarteners to a wide vocabulary and develop their comprehension abilities.
- Dashboard to track progress, set reading goals, and access additional resources.
Homer is a subscription-based model but does offer a free trial that gives you access to the app and the option to create up to 4 child profiles.
#4 READING RAVEN
Reading Raven is an educational app that covers the spectrum from pre-reading to tackling short sentences, employing voice-over instructions and engaging mini-games as effective teaching tools.
The Reading Raven app, with its interactive and multi-sensory approach, fosters the development of hand-eye coordination, reading, writing, and listening skills. This unique method aids children in establishing robust connections between spoken and written language, offering valuable early practice in reading comprehension.
You can create profiles for each student and track their performance and progress individually. The app can be purchased from the Apple app store for $2.99.
#5 ENDLESS READER
The Endless Reader app is a follow-up to Endless Alphabet (focuses on letter sounds) This app focuses on sight word introduction. Each included sight word features an interactive word puzzle with letters that come alive. The cute animations reinforce sight word recognition in a fun and interactive way. The app is free to download but does have in-app purchases to gain access to additional sight word packs.
There is also a Endless Wordplay app that provides little kids with spelling, word building, and rhyming activities. Check out video on YouTube:
#6 READING EGGS
Crafted by seasoned educators boasting over three decades of experience, Reading Eggs stands as a multi-award-winning app and early learning resource. This valuable tool supports your child’s journey to learn how to read through thoughtfully designed online reading games and activities. The program is not only easy to follow and self-paced but also highly engaging, catering specifically to the developmental needs of young children.
This reading program uses the five essential keys to reading success: phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, reading comprehension, and fluency.
Reading eggs is used by teachers nationwide. Here is why they love it!
- Supports core literacy teaching based on the five essential pillars of reading
- Explicitly teaches letters and sounds with scaffolded lessons and repetition
- Placement tests that allow students to begin working at the appropriate reading level to meet each child’s needs.
- A comprehensive online library with a wide range of leveled books to cater to different reading abilities.
- Progress tracking and assessment tools to monitor student growth and identify areas for improvement.
- Early readers love the fun games and are excited about learning and improving their reading fluency.
#7 TEACH YOUR MONSTER TO READ - FREE COMPUTER ACCESS!
Teach Your Monster to Read is a highly interactive app that makes learning to read a playful adventure. It focuses on basic phonics, sight words, and blending sounds through a variety of games.
This interactive app is an excellent choice for classrooms because you can access the games for free when using a computer. Your reluctant readers will be excited to customize their monster avatar for their reading journey and you will love the structured progression that aligns with systematic phonics instruction.
#8 ABC MOUSE - FREE FOR TEACHERS!
ABC Mouse has a comprehensive curriculum with a wide range of subjects for preschool through second grade. This app provides kids at an early age a fun way to develop math, science, social studies, literacy skills, and more! There are over 850 lessons across 10 different levels. Students can work at their own pace and are motivated by the tickets and reward system with the platform.
Another great thing is the personalized progress tracking to monitor students’ growth and identify areas of improvement.
#9 EPIC! FREE FOR SCHOOLS
Epic! is a digital library that provides access to a vast collection of books, audiobooks, and educational videos. Check out these features and benefits:
- Personalized reading recommendations based on students’ interest and reading level.
- Read-to-Me feature that highlights words as they are narrated – promoting fluency and comprehension!
- Progress tracking and reading logs to monitor students’ reading habits and achievements.
This resource could work for kids of all ages but it seems to be mostly targeted for sixth grade and below.
#10 SPLASH LEARN - FREE FOR TEACHERS!
This learning app is full of learning games and worksheets. From PreK to the fifth grade level, you will find games to practice language arts and math skills.
With personalized learning plans, you can provide specific practice based on each student’s unique needs. Their platform guides you through grouping your students and accessing learning gaps to differentiate your instruction.
You can also enable the complimentary remote access for students to have additional practice that you can assign to be done at home.
#11 PBS KIDS APPS
There are tons of apps available through PBS Kids plus some great reading apps, too! Here are a couple that I found:
Super Why Phonics Fair
This app is full of word-building and phonics practice, including 30 word families! Your little learners play carnival-themed games and earn stickers that can be decorated the the Phonics Fair Prize Booth.
There are also some phonics-themed music videos! So fun!
Super Why Power to Read
This one has fun literacy games for students to practice the alphabet, rhyming, spelling, writing, and reading.
#12 DUCK DUCK MOOSE READING
Milo the Meerkat and his sidekick Puffs go on a phonics learning adventure through 9 different word and letter activities. Students review the letter name and sounds for all consonants, short vowels, and long vowels and practice building CVC words.
This app is free with no monthly subscription in the Google Play store and also through the Apple App store.
#13 BOB BOOKS READING MAGIC
Bob Books Reading Magic is an ideal app for 4 to 6 year old learners as it introduces phonics and early reading skills through a series of interactive stories.
A few great features to highlight:
- The difficulty level gradually increases to cater to kindergarteners’ reading abilities
- There are interactive elements and audio feedback
- It includes positive reinforcement and rewards to celebrate progress and motivate your young readers.
Tips for Using Reading Apps with Kindergarteners
While reading apps can be valuable tools for learning, it’s important to use them effectively to maximize their benefits. Here are some tips to keep in mind while implementing the use of technology with your early readers, whether in the classroom or at home:
- Set screen time limits
- Establish guidelines for screen time to ensure a balanced approach to learning. Always provide other forms of offline reading instruction and practice. Children need hands-on literacy experiences, too!
- Engage with your learners during app usage. Ask questions, provide guidance, and discuss stories or activities to promote comprehension and critical thinking skills.
Reading apps can enhance the learning experience and develop reading skills and fluency for kindergarten students. The best apps are those that align with your students’ needs, provide engaging content, and support overall literacy development. I hope some of the apps above are a great fit for your early learners or older children, too!
Check out these other reading resources to support young readers!
- Using Decodable Books – Printable Readers with a Free File
- How to Teach Letters and Words – Free Activities!
- The Best Early Education and Kindergarten Assessments
- Science of Reading: What is Word Mapping and How Do I Teach It?
- How to Teach Blending Sounds and Words in Kindergarten
- 13 Decoding Words Activities and Strategies | Free File