20 iPad Apps To Teach Elementary Reading

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As anyone with a toddler knows, iPads are addictive for children. They seem to have some sort of special radar that lets them know when an iDevice is within their reach, and they’ll do anything they can to get their hands on them. Resistance is futile, but instead of lamenting excessive screen time, you can make your child’s iPad addiction a productive one with educational apps, including those that promote early reading.

With these 20 apps, children can learn how to write letters, improve phonics fluency, and even write their own books. Read on to find the very best iPad apps for developing young readers, and feel free to share your own favorites in the comments.

  1. ABC PocketPhonics

    Kids can develop skills in letter sounds, writing, and first words with ABC PocketPhonics. Independent research has shown kids using this app can learn even faster than they would in a classroom lesson. Parents and teachers alike love this app as an early childhood learning tool.

  2. Play & Sing

    Preschoolers can get interactive with this app that encourages reading, teaches colors, letters, shapes, and even animals. Children will trace numbers and letters, pick out colors, shapes, and animals, plus pick out what’s next in a sequence.

  3. Booksy

    Students in Kindergarten to second grade can learn to read on this free platform. Designed to help children practice and develop their reading skills, students can download books that help to build comprehension, give cues, and even track progress with detailed user stats.

  4. My Word Wall

    Children can develop early reading skills with the help of My Word Wall, an educational app for budding readers. Students will hear, visualize, vocally repeat, and write down letters and words to learn, plus get engaged with educational activities that are great for all learning styles. Fun games and structured learning make this app a great choice.

  5. Letter Lab

    An incredible tool for learning to write and recognize ABCs, kids will trace uppercase and lowercase letters with their fingers on this app. Letter Lab not only teaches kids to write, but also about real-world objects with an audio component.

  6. Story Patch

    Teach students about the flow of stories by helping them to create their own. Story Patch for the iPad makes it easy for children to create their very own picture books. Customizable characters, hundreds of illustrations, and built-in story themes make this a very fun and engaging reading and writing app.

  7. Learn to Read!

    Kids can get a head start on learning to read with this app, designed for kids from Kindergarten to second grade. Using a flash card deck of sight words, children will develop the building blocks of reading. Voice prompts, examples, and easy-to-read text come together in this highly educational app.

  8. Phonics Easy Reader

    With the Rock ‘N Learn Phonics Easy Reader, little ones can practice their phonics. Short vowel sounds, combinations, memory words, and more are all covered in this app. Kids can choose whether a story will be read aloud to them and highlighted, or if they’ll read by themselves, tapping words when they need help.

  9. ABC Alphabet Phonics

    An awesome phonics game app for kids, Alphabet Phonics offers a great way to teach your child their ABCs. Using sight, sound, and touch, this educational app is useful even at the infant stage.

  10. Reading Raven

    Reading Raven is a beloved reading game app for the iPad. A favorite of teachers and even Apple staff, the Reading Raven is a fun reading adventure guide offering excellent features for kids, teaching phonological awareness, full sentences, and even printing skills.

  11. SUPER WHY!

    There’s so much to love about this reading app. Featuring characters that many kids already love from the SUPER WHY! TV show, children can choose from several different activities that develop their vocabulary, reading, and writing skills. Letter hunts, tracing letters, rhyming, and completing sentences are just a few of the ways kids are engaged in active reading development in this app.

  12. K-3 Sight Words

    Children can learn “sight words” with the help of this app that focuses on words that must be memorized instead of sounded out. With five different levels, young users can gradually build their skills and word memorization.

  13. Find the Words

    Kids will have fun playing word search on this easy-to-use educational app. Several different backgrounds and themes keep things interesting and engaging.

  14. Aesop’s Quest

    In Aesop’s Quest, Aesop the Ant reads through stories, revealing clues that help him in his quest. Little readers must remember important elements of each story to help Aesop along the way, developing reading comprehension and cognitive reading skills in a really fun way.

  15. Read Me Stories

    Develop a daily reading habit with this app that delivers a brand new book every day. Fun features include text highlighting as it’s read and the ability to touch characters and explore story lines.

  16. Scholastic Reading Timer

    Encourage daily reading with this iPad reading timer that keeps track of reading minutes and monitors weekly reading goals. It works just like a real stopwatch, but it’s fun for kids to see their reading minutes add up.

  17. Kids Can Spell

    Using fun animal images, kids can learn how to spell with this app. Through Kids Can Spell, children will see many different animals with sounds and spelling lessons to back them up. They’ll check out beautiful photos, then drag letters in place to assemble words. There’s even a timed version for an added challenge!

  18. Reading for Details

    Reading for Details is a great app for helping kids build reading comprehension skills. Students read passages, then test their understanding of the who, what, why, when, and where at three different levels of reading difficulty.

  19. Word Magic

    Created by the parents of a 5-year-old, Word Magic was designed with young readers in mind. Kids find missing letters that identify photos, featuring attractive and funny pictures. Parents and kids alike love this learning app for its positive reinforcement, bright colors, and simple design.

  20. C is for Cow

    With this app, kids can have fun learning phonetics and letter recognition. Even very young children love to see the animals, repeat their sounds, and learn their names.

    This is a cross-post from content partners at onlinecollegecourses.com; image attribution flickr user apdk

  • Kristen

    You forgot about our app! Who Can Read? was developed by literacy experts at Pioneer Valley Books, a leading early literacy book publisher. http://www.whocanread.com/

  • Liz

    Hi, this is a great list. You might also want to include Learn with Homer, which was just released. My daughter loves it. It has a learn to read program, lots of great stories, and a ton of scientific/general knowledge content. It’s the most comprehensive learn to read app I’ve ever seen.

  • Dana Potishka

    Nice list! I would also recommend Z is fir Zebra ( the review on one u can find here – http://bit.ly/1aoMxqk.)

  • KathrynJHoneycu

    Those are one of the best application that you can be able to use that can help your pupils to read and be able to learn how to read effectively. It’s really nice to engage in technology especially in educational purposes.