Kindergarteners are learning the basics of reading. They may be sounding out easy words and reading simple stories. In kindergarten, students also are required to master a list of sight words.
Parents who want to help their kindergartener read can download different types of apps to encourage reading and word exploration, too. What are the best apps to help kindergarteners read? There are apps to help children work on all types of reading lessons; parents can find apps that focus on:
- Letters and sounds
- Read aloud practice
- Sight word identification
- Story narration
Parents can search for apps via the App Store or Google Play. Some apps must be purchased, others are free and some types of apps require a subscription to access features and benefits. There are thousands of reading apps available, and the choices can be overwhelming.
To find the best app options, parents can review the content description and read some of the user reviews, too. When sorting through free apps, parents might elect to download a few to let their child explore the games and content.
However, free apps might offer in-app purchases; to avoid any surprise charges, parents should disable the in-app purchase option. Insider offers a tutorial on how to disable in-app purchases on both Android and Apple devices.
Apps to Help Children Practice Letters and Sounds
Some kindergarteners might have difficulty with identifying upper and lowercase letters. There are apps that can help children with letter identification and the sounds they make, too.
Many of these apps offer game-based instruction. Using app games can help children master these skills without feeling as though they are back in school. Some games might have children match upper and lowercase letters. Others can include different formats.
When children are struggling with letters and sounds, parents can search for “alphabet games” or “letter matching.” Choose a search keyword that fits the needs of the child; using specific keywords also helps narrow down the selection.
Read Aloud Practice
Some reading apps help children with reading through read aloud instruction. Readability is an app-based program that requires children to read stories aloud. The program features a built-in AI tutor that recognizes the child’s voice and understands when they are struggling.
As the child reads stories aloud, the tutor also is measuring fluency (denoted in words per minute) and comprehension, too. At the end of each story, the tutor gauges a child’s understanding of the story by asking questions about what the child read.
Readability is designed for children in preschool through fifth grade. Children in kindergarten can use the program throughout their elementary school years to gain confidence and proficiency.
Sight Word Identification
Kindergarteners will typically need to memorize and master a list of sight words. These are simple words that are commonly used in books and stories; children must be able to identify them immediately. Parents can use apps and activities to help their child gain mastery of their sight word list.
Look for apps that focus on the Dolch Sight Words. The lists are often broken up by grade-level. Parents also should have their child’s specific sight word list on hand to help find the best sight word apps.
Parents can download apps that focus on sight word games. Apps also could include sight word flash cards, too. If apps are free, parents might download a few different options and let their child practice sight words on different app designs.
Story Narration Apps
Children of all ages love to hear stories. When parents are too busy for storytime, they can use apps that read stories to their children. Audiobooks are narrated stories, and parents can find these books via apps/services like Audible, via book apps on their phone, and reading programs can offer audiobooks, too.
Android and Apple devices typically include an ereader app. When this is opened, parents can access a virtual bookstore to purchase ebooks and audiobooks, too. There are many different titles available, and some audiobooks could be free to download.
The app Audible requires a subscription. Through Audible, parents can purchase audiobooks and listen to podcasts, too.
For those on a budget, a local library might offer an app that has access to audiobooks. Parents might be able to access different audio books and other materials for a virtual storytime.
Reading programs like Readability also include narrated stories. Readability lets children listen to their favorite Readability books through a new feature called Storytime. Children can enjoy narrated stories anywhere.
Apps Used by Schools
Parents might wonder if they can access apps or programs that their child uses in the classroom. Some schools provide students with the passwords to certain sites and apps. However, not all districts allow access to programs outside of the classroom.
If a child loves a particular classroom app or program, though, parents can reach out to the child’s teacher to inquire if the program is accessible at home. Teachers also could offer other app or reading program recommendations, too.
Practice Reading the Old-Fashioned Way!
While apps and online games can provide children with a fun way to practice reading and boost their understanding of letters and sight words, parents shouldn’t forget that one of the best ways to help children is to simply by encouraging them to read.
Most kindergartners will be required to read a specific number of minutes each day. Some children might unfortunately start to equate reading minutes to homework, and this negative association can strip the joy out of the stories.
Read Somewhere Unique
Parents can help make reading enjoyable for their child by making reading time special. Create a reading den or nook for children out of pillows and blankets and read with them by flashlight. If it’s warm outside, take books outdoors. Spread out a quilt or blanket and read out in nature.
Give Children the Power of Choice
Let children read the books they want to read. This can help them find books that appeal to them. Take children to the library and let them look at the different options on the shelves. Parents can help children find books that are at their reading level, though.
Let Children Listen to More Difficult Stories
If a child chooses a book that is beyond their level, parents can read it to them or with them. Audiobooks are another great way to introduce children to more difficult stories and books. More difficult books can introduce children to new vocabulary and ideas, too.
Read and Re-Read
Some children love reading the same book over and over again and might keep insisting on checking it out at the library. Re-reading books can help children find new details or just feel more confident in their reading. Mix in old favorites with new titles. However, library books remind children that others might want to read their favorite book, too.
Introduce the Movie
If a kindergartener is reading a book that has been adapted to the big screen, let them watch the movie after reading the book. Ask children to point out any differences. Talk about what they liked about the book or what they liked about the movie. Was the book better than the movie?
Using apps to help kindergartners read can transform the lesson into a fun game or even just provide them with positive screen time. There are thousands of reading apps available via Google Play and the App Store, and parents might want to focus on specific keywords related to their child’s reading needs in order to find the best reading apps.
While apps can be used to help kindergarteners master sight words, recognize letters and sounds and even practice reading aloud, parents shouldn’t forget that the best way to help a child read is by encouraging them to read consistently.