Most first graders are learning the fundamentals of reading. In first grade, books and stories may be more simplistic and focused on basic plots and character development. While some precocious readers may have moved up to chapter books, others might simply be enjoying books that are short but engaging.
At this age, parents also can take advantage of reading apps to keep children reading consistently. Reading apps can keep literacy assignments exciting, and the best reading apps for 1st graders combine colorful illustrations and interactive features with compelling content.
Not all reading apps are ideal for 1st graders, and parents may want to research the best options for their child . Reading levels may vary among 1st graders, and the right app should provide content that is challenging but entertaining, too. To ensure that kids don’t clock too much screen time, parents can encourage kids to alternate between reading page-turning books and virtual books powered by technology.
The Best Reading Apps for 1st Graders Include E-Book Readers
Parents shouldn’t assume that reading apps always equate to games. Reading apps for first graders also include e-book apps that allow children to download books and read them virtually. Many phones and tablets may already feature e-book readers, but parents also can download these apps.
E-book readers allow users to access a whole library of books. Some of these books are free, others are not. Prices per book may vary. On Apple devices, the virtual book store allows parents to browse from a variety of titles. One option includes free books, and parents also can select a kid’s option to search for all titles for children. Some kids’ books also are less than $1.
When parents download books via an e-reader, the books will appear like a real book (albeit a digital one)…complete with virtual pages that kids can turn. Virtual books—or e-books—can be an ideal option for kids who love technology.
Reading Apps & Games
There are many reading apps that are designed as games. These apps may focus on phonics, sight words or another literacy goal. Parents can use these apps to help first graders memorize and recognize sight words or, perhaps, to strengthen their phonetic awareness. Common Sense Media provides a list of reading apps, websites and games for each age.
Before parents download any app, they should check out the reviews which can provide an indication of an app’s popularity and also give insight about glitches or other issues. Again, prices per app may vary. Some may be free! Just be sure to also understand if these ‘free’ apps include in-app purchases; kids may unknowingly charge up a parent’s account with these types of fees. Devices should let parents disable in-app purchases, and parents should do this if they don’t want any surprise charges!
What reading game app should parents choose? Parents should look for the app that focuses on skills their child needs to develop. First graders who struggle to memorize sight words might benefit from games that require them to match sight words to pictures. The app should be fun, but, for a child who may struggle with an aspect of reading, that app also should be beneficial and help boost skills and proficiency.
Subscription Reading Apps
Apps like Readability may require that parents sign up for a monthly subscription to access all the features and benefits. Subscription apps can vary in cost, and parents will want to be diligent in researching their options as subscription apps do require a financial investment each month. Parents will want to look for an app that addresses their child’s particular reading struggles; teachers may be able to provide parents with recommendations on reading apps that would best address a child’s individualized reading struggles.
Readability provides leveled content for struggling readers, and the app helps children with both phonetic awareness and comprehension skills. Readability includes an integrated AI-tutor that helps correct any pronunciation errors throughout the reading journey. The virtual tutor also asks questions related to the story to help gauge understanding and comprehension. As a child masters each reading level, the content becomes a bit more difficult. However, children will only level-up until when they are able to demonstrate proficiency.
The books on Readability include colorful illustrations and interactive features, and this helps engage young readers. Parents can follow their child’s reading progress via the Parent Dashboard, which displays the child’s reading level and updates parents on how long their child engaged with the app.
While Readability does require a monthly subscription (the per month price is $19.99), parents can sign up for a free seven-day trial to better understand the features and benefits of the app. The free trial allows kids full access to books and all the app’s features.
Ready to try Readability? Sign up for a free seven-day trial today!