Early reading, pre-reading, call it what you want. Either way, it is an exciting and quite often difficult time. Fortunately, apps work beautifully to offer simple learning tools to encourage letter sense and writing and sight word practice. We list some of our favorites here.
You might find your kids wanting to use and re-use an Alphabet phonics app that you consider too simple. Remember, feeling successful is especially critical for early readers, so allow them to continue to review the things they know already as it just cements the knowledge, and makes them feel good. This learning is the cornerstone for all the rest!
iWriteWords is a good letter forming tool for preschoolers and kindergartners. Your kid will practice spotting and writing letters, making use of their little finger to trace each letter. You can select upper as well as lower case. We like that it demonstrates correct directionality for forming each letter.
EARLIEST PHONETIC READING
2. Bob Books #1
We have been fans of the hard copy version of these books since our kids just started learning to read. They are a series of very short books which advance step by step (i.e. the 1st book allows your pre-reader to read a whole book of words composed only with the letters M, A, T, and S). In this app, when your child clicks on a moving shape they are taken to an activity that supports them in spelling the name of the shape. It's a great, simple, and easy, effective app.
3. Pocket Phonics
We Phonics can be really good to practice hearing letter Alphabet phonics sounds, writing letters and sounding out short words. This isn't a gorgeous app, but it is helpful. You may need to show your son or daughter the button which says Play Sound, so they can listen to the actual letter sound once again before they select the actual corresponding letter. The graphic and spoken reinforcement is good
BASIC SIGHT WORDS
4. Teach Me Kindergarten
Teach Me Kindergarten offers strong practicing opportunity for sight words and spelling, and kids in particular like the rewards (you earn coins and may spend them to "buy" stickers to put on screen backdrops). This app keeps track of the progress of multiple players, and you've got the choice to decide on which subjects to work on.
5. Sight Word Bingo
Plenty of sight word and spelling opportunities here. This Alphabet phonics app consists of a spelling practice section, sight-word bingo (all Dolch sight words), and a couple of other sight-word games - each with fun incentives to earn a Bingo bug. There are grade level options (PK-3rd), and progress is tracked.
You can see a sampling of early reading apps and other language arts apps for preschoolers on Mind Leap:
Preschool language arts apps
Liza Sanchez, Educator and Co-Founder of Mind Leap: Education Apps for Kids
If you're like us, you see an explosion of cool iPhones and iPads and Android phones. You see a dizzying variety of apps to download, lots of which claim to be educational. And you know that kids LOVE these new technologies.