I will always be hugely passionate about children enjoying 'real books' but I am regularly asked for app recommendations, so what are the best reading apps for kids?
Teach Your Monster to Read
Taking children on a magical journey, meeting colourful characters along the way and collecting rewards, the game allows children to rehearse a range of essential reading skills. These include matching letters to sounds, blending, segmenting, tricky words and reading full sentences. Normally £4.99, Teach Your Monster to Read is currently free (March 2020) and there's a free web version too.
This app is a big hit in our house, with a wide range of free story books based on CBeebies characters. There are 'read to me' and 'read to myself' options available, with words highlighted as they are read. The stories encourage interactivity from children and include memory games at the end too. It's free to download to!
Jolly Phonics Letter Sounds
Jolly Phonics is a widely used reading scheme used in schools. With this app, children are given a flowerpot and have to work their way around the flowers, listening to and interacting with different letters. Children are given the phonetic words, encouraged to trace the letters and given an object that starts with that letter.
This brilliant story book maker app enables children to draw, put stock images or add their own photos in to the story book. They are then able to record their voice as they make up the story, following the design they have created. The story is then played back as a film, which can be shared with others (only with adult supervision). It will need a little more adult input than some of the other apps but produces great results! The free version only offers two books that can be created but the paid version is £2.99 and has unlimited levels of creation.
Reading Eggs’ is a colourful and interactive learning app for a wide range of areas, including phonics, spelling and vocabulary. The app is paid for but you can receive a free trial when creating a Reading Eggs account, which gives you access to all areas of the programme.
Phonics Hero is a step-by-step synthetic phonics programme that aims to take children through the 44 sounds in the English language. Children join a team to rescue a superhero and defeat a villain through more than 800 reading and spelling games.
This simple app reinforces the sounds of single letters. As children draw and design their letter, the phonemic sound is repeated over and over again. Once children are finished they are shown an item which starts with the letter they have been decorating.
Pocket Phonics Stories
Pocket Phonics Stories comes highly recommended as the letter sounds are taught in the same order as in school, with the option of a UK voice (a primary school teacher) so your child can learn the sounds as spoken in the UK, not in the US. PocketPhonics visually demonstrates how to write each letter. Children can practice their writing by tracing the letter with their finger. When signing up you can gain a free trial to Pocket Phonics but this is a subscription app after the initial period.
Don't forget to join us in the Changing the Tale Collective for more recommendations, tips and ideas.