10 iPhone Applications for Early Readers

August 27th, 2012 by admin

Despite a rising trend in the parenting world that aims to limit kids’ screen time and use of technology, Mashable.com recently reported that a California charter school’s heavy use of technology indicated that some kids may actually benefit from a tech-immersive learning experience. For children that are just beginning to learn the fundamentals of reading, well-designed and executed iPhone apps may be the wave of the educational future; these apps blend interactive play with valuable lessons, keeping kids engaged while they learn.

  1. Sight Words List – Learn to Read Flash Cards & Games – Make your own cards and record the sound of your own voice reading them to personalize the sight word experience for your beginning reader with the free Sight Words List – Learn to Read Flash Cards & Games app. Parents can also create new lists and change font sizes and color for a customized, personalized experience. The application also features an infant mode for children who are under 12 months, which is ideal for parents who wish to share a love of reading and learning with their babies.
  2. Bob Books #1 – Reading Magic – Winner of the 2011 Editors’ Choice Award by Children’s Technology Review, and named one of the 15 Great Apps for Kids by Babble.com, Bob Books #1 – Reading Magic brings beloved Bob Books to the iPhone for only $1.99 in the App Store. The phonics-based approach to helping kids learn to read has been successful for millions of kids; now your child can have the power of Bob Books at her fingertips!
  3. Read Me Stories – Children’s Books – This free app allows users to access an entire library of children’s books, inspiring a love of reading in the smallest new readers. Free sample books are available, in addition to the scads that can be purchased through the app to keep your child occupied and entertained as she learns the fundamentals of reading.
  4. First Letters and Phonics – Learning letter shapes, names, and the sounds that they make is an exciting and entertaining prospect, thanks to Learning Touch’s First Letters and Phonics app. For $1.99 in the App Store, First Letters and Phonics includes two versions of the Alphabet Song, and will help build a foundation and give kids the basic skills they need to start the exciting journey that is reading.
  5. Alpha Writer – Based on Montessori principles like Moveable Alphabet, Alpha Writer helps kids learn to read and write by doing. The app also allows youngsters to create their own stories with illustrations, letters, and phonetic sounds, which encourages learning in a self-directed environment.
  6. Word BINGO – Based on the Dolch Word List, Word BINGO offers four different educational games for the low price of $0.99. Kids can play Word BINGO, Spelling Practice, Word it Up, and Fling It at a pre-primer through third grade level, and parents are able to review their progress through the My Report Card function.
  7. Spell Blocks with Sight Words – Interactive play is educational for little ones with Spelling Blocks, which uses a virtual version of the ever-popular alphabet blocks to help kids learn to spell more than 200 of the Dolch Sight Words. The Word Proficiency scale allows you to review his progress and determine where he needs help, a feature that’s well worth the $1.99 fee.
  8. Learn Sight Words – Ad-free and designed with little fingers in mind, Learn Sight Words helps kids learn and commit to memory 300 different sight words. Sounds can be turned on or off, allowing kids to hear the word as they look at it, or to focus on reading words quietly. Words are clearly pronounced and displayed in large, bold letters that are easy for kids to make out, and you’re given the option of flagging words that need more practice.
  9. Interactive Alphabet – ABC Flash Cards – Interactive Alphabet is a universal app that helps kids develop the basic skills they need to learn to read, with an entertaining and immersive lesson on letters A to Z. The app even has a “baby mode,” which advances flash cards at 15 second intervals, perfect for keeping pint-sized scholars occupied while you’re driving or otherwise engaged.
  10. Learn to Read! – Designed for kids in pre-school through second grade, Learn to Read! features voice prompts and example usage of sight words, and comes highly recommended by educators. Learn to Read! almost replaces the physical deck of flash cards that teachers distribute, keeping your home free of clutter and allowing your little ones to access their list at home or on the go.

The current academic culture requires that even preschoolers compete to acquire with and surpass the skills of their peers; with these interactive applications and a bit of patience you can help your child learn the skills he’ll need to keep up in a fairly high-pressure environment. Remember, even the best application is useless if you’re not actively involved in your child’s learning process, so take time to work with him and discuss what he’s learned from these applications each day.

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