Reading Books for 5-Year-Olds: Free Apps and the Best Book Choices

September 5, 2023

Reading Books for 5-Year-Olds

Children who are five-years-old are either still in preschool or starting kindergarten. At this age, children are starting to read very basic text, and they are grasping phonics concepts that allow them to understand letter blends and patterns. Phonetically, they learn the sounds of these letters and blends, too.

Parents of five-year-olds should read to their child often, and they should help guide children as they learn to sound out words in books. What are the best reading books for 5-year-olds? Parents can find great book choices at the library and via apps, too. Here are the best apps and books for this age.

Best Apps for 5-Year-Olds: Use Apps to Gain Phonics Fluency

Use apps as a tool to help five-year-olds master letters and sounds. Both Google Play and the App Store offer an extensive list of free apps that provide interactive and immersive phonics practice for kids.

Some apps feature a gamified design that lets children play matching games or puzzle games. Explore apps with fun characters, or just find an app that lets children practice letters with flashcards.

When downloading free apps, pay attention to both the age recommendation and any notes related to in-app purchases. Many free apps let players make purchases within a game or program, and this can result in an unwanted and expensive bill. The Tech Edvocate explains how to disable this feature on phones and tablets.

Reading for 5-Year-Olds Free

The best place for parents to find free books for children is at their local library. Many libraries also host storytime events for young children, summer reading programs, and other activities.

Take children to visit the library and let them explore the children’s section. Parents should resist the urge to choose books for children. Giving children the power of book choice helps them find books that they like and discover favorite authors, too. Step back, let children explore, and see what books interest them.

Reading Books for 5-Year-Olds

Reading for 5-Year-Olds: What is the Ideal Reading Level

How can parents find out their child’s reading level? At age five, not all children will have their reading level assessed. However, children in kindergarten will begin to take reading assessments to help teachers understand their reading proficiency and to watch reading gains throughout the year.

According to Scholastic, kindergarteners might end the year at a reading level of D. In elementary school, many assessments denote reading levels with a letter (A to Z). Parents who are concerned about their child’s reading level should contact their child’s teacher. In addition, many teachers send reading assessment reports home for parents to review.

Not all five-year-olds read at the same level. Again, some five-year-olds might attend preschool and are emerging readers. Others attend kindergarten and have a precocious reading ability. Talk to educators about the expected reading benchmarks throughout the school year to determine if a child is falling behind.

Books for 5-Year-Olds to Read: What are the Best Choices?

Every child has a unique personality and interests. The best books for a five-year-old are titles, characters, and authors that appeal to them. Young children love storytime with parents; let children choose books for parents to read to them

As parents read aloud, they can ask children questions about the story. See if the child can predict what happens next in the story. Talk about the characters, too. 

Parents can choose books at a child’s reading level and encourage them to sound out the words. It’s ok if children make mistakes; help them learn the sounds of letters and blends. At the end of the book, ask them if they liked it. Can they explain why or why not?

Books for 5-Year-Olds to Read Themselves

Not all five-year-olds are ready to read books independently. Children who are learning to read can practice reading aloud to parents or by themselves. Help children choose books that are at their reading level (or a level below). When browsing the library, books in the children’s section should include a reading level. If parents have questions about books that are most appropriate for their child, they can ask the librarian.

Remember to step back and give children the power of book choice. This is how a child learns to develop their reading interests.  

First Reading Books for 5-Year-Olds

Children who are emerging readers need to start with very basic books. These books are labeled for early or emerging readers. Some books also include basic levels like 1, 2, or 3. Parents should look for books with very basic text that is easy for their child to learn to decode. 

Books by Dr. Seuss are popular for early readers. These books include simple words, rhyming patterns, and a fun cadence. The characters also are iconic; parents probably love reading Seuss as much as their children!

The best books for early readers should feature colorful pictures. The illustrations help break up the text so the book doesn’t feel too overwhelming. Try not to let children use the imagery to guess words, though. This can cause issues with learning to properly decode.

Reading Books for 5-Year-Olds

Beginning Reading Books for 5-Year-Olds

Believe it or not, some five-year-olds read chapter books. These readers might exhibit a precocious ability that can pose a challenge for parents. What are the best beginning reading books for 5-year-olds that include chapters?

For kindergarteners ready to delve into chapter books, look for books with short chapters and text that isn’t too small. There are many chapter books designed for younger readers, and parents might need to let children explore their options and find the books that interest them.

Make sure that the maturity level of the child aligns with the maturity level of the book. While some children can read text far beyond their years, they might not be ready to read it. Parents can use their judgment to determine the best books for their child.

The Best Book Library in an App

Children who like to read ebooks via a tablet or ebook reader might enjoy using an app filled with these virtual books. Some apps are designed to help children improve their reading proficiency, too.

Readability is a reading app that can be used by children in kindergarten through sixth grade. The program helps children who need enrichment with reading fluency and/or reading comprehension skills. However, parents also can use this app to encourage their child to read regularly–especially if their child likes to read ebooks.

Children start the Readability program one level below their current reading level; this helps them build confidence as they use the app. Readability includes a Stars and Badges rewards system; as the child completes reading tasks, they earn stars that can unlock badges.

At each reading level, children access a library of books. They read these books aloud; as they read, a built-in AI tutor provides help. The tutor is programmed to recognize each child’s voice, and it intuitively understands if a child struggles to read a word. The tutor also assesses the child’s reading fluency (measured in words read per minute) and reading comprehension (via an end-of-book reading quiz).

Readability also includes a unique feature that lets younger users listen to Readability books. Storytime can be used anywhere; children will enjoy hearing their favorite stories read aloud.

Every Readability reading level includes a library featuring fiction and nonfiction titles. Books are designed to appeal to the child’s age to ensure that older children with reading struggles have access to books that interest them. 

Parents can explore the Readability app with their child. Sign up today for a free seven-day trial period and let children explore a library of ebooks, enjoy Storytime, and work with the AI tutor.