Best Free Reading Apps for Kids in 2020

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Six Apps for New Reader Fun

These free reading apps for kids make it a joy to get your children engaged in reading. I see how their captivating illustrations, graphics, and games draw beginning readers into a story. Children interact with letters, words, and illustrations in ways that aren't possible with print on paper. Some of the apps include read-along stories, which are a fantastic tool to help kids develop fluency.

 

Where to Get These Reading Apps

  • For your iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch, go to the iTunes App Store.
  • For your Kindle Fire, go to the Amazon App Store.
  • For other Android tablets and smartphones, go to the Google Play Store.

 

Khan Academy Kids

  • Available for: iOS, Android, Kindle Fire
  • Grades PreK–2

The Khan Academy Kids app offers a rich variety of beginning reader activities. All of them are beautifully illustrated and use research-proven learning techniques.

 

Preschoolers can learn their ABCs and sounds with simple read-along stories. There are games to trace letters and copy words.

 

Another section features Foundational Reading Skills. Learn about the parts of a book. Read words in the world outside of books, like labels on packages and signs on doors. Play with rhymes, count syllables and blend sounds.

 

Beginning readers in K–2 can choose from a large variety of interactive stories. Each story has options for narrated read along or read on your own.

 

I recommend that app to everyone I know with a young child. The variety of reading activities puts it at the top of my free app list.

 

Kid Mode: Play + Learn: Multiple reading skills

Available for: Android, Kindle Fire

Grades PreK–3

Kid Mode: Play + Learn is an all-inclusive award-winning app designed for use by children from ages 2–8. Familiar cartoon characters engage kids in games to help them learn the alphabet, and basic reading skills. Characters from PBS Kids, Disney, Thomas the Train, Teletubbies, Blues Clues and Winnie the Pooh help to keep the kids engaged and the learning fun. This app has lots of great activities for math skills too!

 

Unite for Literacy

Available for: All Devices (web-based)

Grades K–3

UniteforLiteracy is an award-winning website-based app for early readers. It has more than 400 non-fiction books. About a quarter of the titles are available in Spanish. Children can read with or without narration. Most of the book themes are centered on the natural world: plants, animals, people, weather.

 

ABC Letter Tracing : Alphabet

Available for: iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch

Grades PreK–K

The ABC Letter Tracing app is a colorful engaging game to help your young ones learn to recognize and write the alphabet. Each upper and lowercase letter has an accompanying picture representing its sound. And a gentle encouraging voice guides your children along as they trace the letters.

 

Sight Words List: Vocabulary

Available for: iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch

Grades K–2

Your child's teacher gives every beginning reader a list of "sight" or "Dolch" words to memorize and recall instantly when they see them. The Sight Words List app eases the task of learning to read those first frequently words. This app has 315 sight words broken down by age. You can select the words you want your child to learn and record them with your own voice. Create your own word lists as your child's skills improve.

 

ICDL Books for Children: Free Books

Available for: iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch

Grades K–5

The International Children's Digital Library offers a collection of thousands of free picture books from more than 60 countries on their ICDL Free Books app. The ICDL Foundation's goal is to help young readers become better world citizens by introducing them to stories and cultures from dozens of countries.

 

Your Library's Book App

It's often overlooked in our digital world. But most local libraries now have ebooks. And they each have their own flavor of library app you use to "check out" ebooks for you and your kids. Among the most popular apps used by libraries are OverDrive, Libby (from OverDrive), Hoopla, EBSCO eBooks, and RBdigital (for magazines).

 

So go to your library's website and see which app to download... and don't forget your library card!

 

More Free Reading Apps

  • Free epub children's picture books: Lists some of the best free classic ebooks available from Project Gutenburg.
  • Young Readers EPUB ebooks for free download | epubBooks.com: 100 Young Readers books: Both fiction and non-fiction written for children and teenagers. Read on your Apple iPad, Nook, Kobo, iPhone and others. All are public domain and include classic titles such as Pinnochio, Little Women, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Secret Garden.
  • Word Domino Free | Android: Designed with a speech therapist, this fun letter game helps children on their vocabulary and their reading skills.
  • A to Z: Mrs. Owl's Learning Tree (Free) | Android: Learn the alphabet and phonetic letter sounds with the help of Mrs. Owl. Beautiful illustrations and sound effects help to focus children's attention. This free version includes A–Z and word recognition quizzes.
  • Colorpad A–Z | Android: This coloring book app helps PreK and K children learn their alphabet while they express their creativity. It includes audio pronunciations of each letter.
  • Preschool All Words 3 Lite | Android: This app for PreK–1 includes 500 words, including sight words, with nice illustrations. It has a word-object match quiz that reads the word to the child when they get it right.
  • Monkey Match | iTunes: This pre-K pre-reading app offers lots of animated hijinx to help your young one learn the alphabet and phonemes - beginning sounds and rhymes. The app comes from WGBH's PBS Kids show, "Between the Lions".
  • ABC Magic Phonics | iTunes: For PreK–K. Simple app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. See a letter and the picture of a word that begins with that letter. Tap the letter to hear its sound. Tap the picture to listen to its word. No distractions on the screen help kids to focus on the basics.

 

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