Reading books aloud to your child is a must, but screen time can be good, too, as long as it’s the right kind.

Whether you’re a teacher or a parent, check out these websites and smartphone and tablet apps that offer fun games and reading exercises. Kids won’t even know they’re learning while playing.

Reading Websites

ABCYA
www.abcya.com
Grade Level: K-5
Grade-level appropriate games that improve literacy skills
The games include arcade-style play using arrow keys, word-find games that can be played on screen or printed out, racing games against other players, typing games and more.

Arcademic Skill Builders
www.arcademicskillbuilders.com
Grade Level: 1-6
Educational language arts video games
Kids can customize game speed and difficulty level and see their correct and missed answers, an accuracy score and a per-minute response rate.

Game Classroom
www.gameclassroom.com/language-arts-games
Grade Level: K-6
Fun homework help in the form of worksheets, lessons, videos and games 

International Children’s Digital Library
en.childrenslibrary.org/
Ages: 3+
An online digital library of children’s books from more than 42 countries, in 11 languages 

IXL
www.ixl.com
Grade Level: 1-8
Language arts practice and drills that feel like play
The "Trouble Spot" report quickly identifies where kids are having a hard time and where they need extra help. The site helps to build confidence so children can advance to more difficult language arts concepts.

Learning Games for Kids
www.learninggamesforkids.com
Grade Level: Pre-K-5
Spelling, vocabulary and alphabet games

Mr. Nussbaum
mrnussbaum.com
Grade Level: K-8
Interactive language arts games, stories, activities and more
A color-coding system helps children determine which games and activities are appropriate for their age and grade level, and most games are customizable by skill level. They can also progress from easier to harder rounds.

Skybrary
www.readingrainbow.com/skybrary-family
Ages: 2+
An interactive digital library of curated children’s books 

Spelling City
www.spellingcity.com
Ages: 5+
Games to help children learn spelling and vocabulary words using any word list

Starfall
www.starfall.com
Grade Level: Pre-K-2
A free learn-to-read site intended for early readers
The activities build on each other, starting with learning the alphabet and its associated sounds, followed by reading simple online books and then more advanced reading activities.

Storyline Online
www.storylineonline.net
Ages: 3+
Well-known actors read aloud children’s books set to animated illustrations.

READ_to_Succeed_Logo.pngDownload Reading  Apps & Websites

 

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The more types of reading materials there are in the home, the higher students are in reading proficiency, according to the Educational Testing Service.

 

Education_-reading.jpg

 

The more students read for fun on their own time, the higher their reading scores, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

Reading Apps for Smartphones and Tablets

Titles marked with an asterisk (*) are rated four stars or above.


Comprehension
The ultimate goal of reading is good comprehension: understanding the story or information and thinking beyond it. We've gathered a list of apps that offer practice for specific comprehension skills, including sequencing, differentiating between fact and opinion and developing word awareness through antonyms, synonyms and homophones.

Aesop's Quest
Price: $0.99apps_aesopsquest.png
Grade Level: 2-4 and above
Skill: Comprehension
Device: iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
Based on “Aesop's Fables,” this learning game requires that students remember elements of a story to complete a level. At the end of each story segment or level, the student is rewarded with puzzle pieces. After solving the puzzle, the child can continue to the next story. (Developed in association with the Virginia Department of Education)

Grammaropolis
Price: Free - $12.99grammar.jpg
Ages: 8+
In this app, the parts of speech come to life as animated characters whose personalities are based on the roles they play in the sentence. The free download includes access to the Noun neighborhood. You can upgrade with in-app purchases to access the seven additional parts of speech.

Homer - #1 Learn-to-Read Program
Price: Free (first month); $7.99/month subscriptionLearnWithHomer-Featured.jpg
Grade Level: Pre-K and kindergarten
Skills: Comprehension, Phonics
Device: iPad
This learn-to-read app for kids ages 3 to 6 incorporates drawing, voice recording, stories, songs and more, along with more traditional phonics exercises. This app can be especially helpful for kids who have speech production issues and organization of language issues.

MiniMod Fact or Opinion Lite
Price: $3.99
Grade Level: 2-4 and above
Skill: Comprehension
Device: iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
This bingo-style game asks students to determine whether a passage is factually accurate or the writer's opinion. A correct answer allows the student to place a marker on a bingo-style card. Five markers in a row win. Kids can play levels in single-player mode against the computer or multiplayer mode against a friend.

MiniMod Reading for Details Lite
Price: $3.99
Grade level: 2-4 and above
Skill: Comprehension
Device: iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
This app asks students to identify the five Ws of reading: who, what, where, when and why. After reading a short story, the student answers a questions about the story; a correct answer allows the student to place on marker on a bingo-style card. Five markers in a row win. Kids can play levels in single-player mode against the computer or multiplayer mode against a friend.

News-O-Matic, Daily Reading for Kids*
Price: $4.99-5.99news-300x225.png
Grade Level: 2-4 and above
Skill: Comprehension
Device: Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
Whether your child enjoys reading about sports, science, world news, or wacky events, News-O-Matic delivers what’s making the news today. This reading comprehension app publishes five news stories each weekday. The stories range in length and difficulty to create opportunities for differentiated instruction.

Opposite Ocean
Price: $0.99screen640x640.jpeg
Grade Level: 2-4 and above
Skill: Vocabulary, Comprehension
Device: iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
In Opposite Ocean, Luna and Leo must master the magic of words by correctly identifying the antonym of the given keyword. Children earn pearls when they drag the correct bubble word to the enchanted clam. (Developed in association with the Virginia Department of Education)

Popplet
Price: $4.99photo2.jpg
Grade Level: 3-4 and above
Skill: Comprehension
Device: iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
This productivity app also works as a mind-mapping tool. Use the app to begin structuring the writing process. The app can also be used to create graphic organizers and classroom visuals; organize material according to text structures (list, sequence, compare/contrast, cause/effect); and facilitate complex sentence creation by connecting individual “Popples.” Not ready to commit to the price tag? Try out Popplet Lite for free.

Professor Garfield Fact or Opinion*hqdefault.jpg
Grade Level: K-2
Skill: Comprehension
Device: iPad
This app is part story, part game and part online safety lesson. When Garfield's friend receives an F on his report about goats because he used opinions instead of facts, Professor Garfield steps in to explain the differences between a fact and an opinion (particularly with regard to the Internet), how to read with a questioning mind and how a fact can be verified. (Developed by the Virginia Department of Education)

Same Meaning Magic
Price: $0.99same_meaning.jpeg
Grade Level: 2-4 and above
Skills: Vocabulary, Comprehension
Device: iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
Students help Luna and Leo, young magicians at magic school, toss word stones into the wishing well to earn gold coins and jewels by choosing the best synonym. (Developed in association with the Virginia Department of Education)

Same Sound Spellbound
Price: $0.99screen480x480.jpeg
Grade Level: 2-4 and above
Skills: Vocabulary, Comprehension
Device: iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
This app is an adventure game designed to help the player understand homophones—words that are pronounced the same but have different meanings. Luna and Leo, young magicians at Magic School, must use their spell book to bring animal statues to life. In the game, students must correctly identify the homophone that best completes the puzzle sentence. If the word is correct, the animal statue comes to life. If it's incorrect, the statue crumbles. (Developed in association with the Virginia Department of Education)

SimpleMind*
Price: $4.00- $6.99unnamed.png
Grade Level: 3-4 and above
Skill: Comprehension
Device: Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
This basic mind-mapping tool turns a smartphone or table into a brainstorming, idea-collection and thought-structuring device. The limited options make the app a good tool for students that are new to mind mapping. Not ready to commit to the price tag? Try out SimpleMind Lite for free.

Speech with Milo: Sequencing*milo.jpeg
Price: $2.99
Grade Level: Pre-K-4
Skill: Comprehension
Device: Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
This app is a sequencing and storytelling game. Slide the three picture cards into the correct order, then watch the story come to life. Milo’s different activities help kids learn to organize time, sentence and storytelling concepts with familiar themes. (Also available in Spanish)

Tell About Thistell.jpeg
Price: $2.99
Grade Level: Pre-K-1
Skills: Comprehension, Multimedia Composition, Writing
Device: iPad
Photo and word prompts inspire storytelling; the app records the results.

Word Mover*
Price: Freeunnamed.jpg
Ages: 8+
Device: iPad
This app allows children and teens to create "found poetry" by choosing from word banks and existing famous works. Additionally, students can add new words to create a piece of poetry by moving or manipulating the text.


Phonics

Phonics instruction helps children learn the relationships between the letters of written language and the sounds of spoken language. We've found great apps that provide practice with basic phonics skills, including recognizing the letters of the alphabet, learning uppercase and lowercase letters, alphabet matching and word building. These apps help kids work on listening skills while also practicing their spelling and building their vocabulary.

ABCmouse.com - Early Learning Academy*
Price: Free (first month); $7.95/month subscriptionABC.png
Grade Level: Pre-K and kindergarten
Skills: Phonics, Spelling
Device: Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Other
This is the companion app to the subscription-based ABCmouse.com. Teachers can sign up for a free account online and use the same login for the app. Kids explore different activities in a virtual world. They can go directly to the day’s featured activity or work through a learning path that features five activities for their level, which can be customized by the teacher. Kids learn letter and number skills, as well as animal facts, through simple games, books, puzzles and coloring pages.

Alpha Writer, by Montessorium
Price: $4.99mzl.kkixcjgp.320x480-75.jpg
Grade Level: Pre-K-1
Skills: Phonics, Spelling
Device: iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
This Montessori-style learning app helps teach kids letter sounds and how to combine them. Kids can physically manipulate the letters onscreen. They'll hear the sound of each letter as they touch it and can position them in any order they please to form words. In the first section, kids spell words after seeing a picture of the word and hearing it spoken. In the second, kids use letter and images to write their own stories, which can be saved as photo files on your device.

Alphabytesscreen480x480-2.jpeg
Price: $3.99
Skill: Phonics
Device: iPad
This app helps kids learn letters, the sounds letters make, how to write both uppercase and lowercase letters and how to spell a few words. The game has four sections: Alphabet, Trace, Spell and Play.

AlphaTots*alphatots-letters.jpg
Price: $2.99
Grade Level: Pre-K and kindergarten
Skill: Phonics
Device: Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Other
Filled with creative and clever interactive elements, the app reinforces letters with fun activities that match the sound each letter makes.

Articulation Station*
Price: Free
Grade Level: K-2
Skills: Dyslexia and Learning Disabilities, Phonics
Device: iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
This app provides speech professionals, teachers and parents with ways to help kids improve pronunciation and articulation. It uses very specific exercises, games and stories that focus on one of 22 English language sounds at a time. Adults have easy ways to track progress of up to six kids at once. Note: To get full use of this app, you have to purchase the Pro version or buy individual letters with an in-app purchase option.

Avokiddo ABC Ride02_artic_station_home.jpg
Price: $2.99
Grade Level: Pre-K-2
Skill: Phonics
Device: Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Other
This app follows the adventures of the sibling team Beck and Bo as they discover letters. Parents can customize kids' experience in the "for parents" section, choosing what their child focuses on.

Bob Books #1 - Reading Magic HD*Avokiddo-ABC-Ride-kids-apps-18.jpg
Grade Level: Pre-K-4 and above
Skills: Dyslexia and Learning Disabilities, Phonics, Spelling
Device: Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
This educational experience teaches young children early phonics—the sounds that letters make and how to combine them to make short words. Kids drag the letters for the given word to the proper place below the picture, while the app sounds out the letters and reads the word aloud.

Bob Books #2 - Reading Magic HDunnamed-1.png
Price: $3.99
Grade Level: Pre-K-2
Skils: Dyslexia and Learning Disabilities, Phonics, Spelling
Device: Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
This interactive book app uses spelling, repetition and phonics to build beginning reading skills. Each 12-page book can be played at four different difficulty levels.

Dr. Seuss's ABC*seuss.png
Price: $3.99
Grade Level: Pre-K
Skills: Phonics, Print awareness, Vocabulary
Device: Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Other
This app has three levels—Read to Me, Read It Myself and Auto Play—which allows children to grow with this app. Words highlighted are read out loud when tapped. During narration, children can follow along with the highlighted text.

Elkonin Boxeselkonincover-400x300.png
Price: $0.99
Grade Level: K-2
Skill: Phonics
Device: iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch

This app helps beginning readers of all ages practice an important foundational reading readiness skill: the ability to segment and blend the sounds that make up words. The app also helps students understand that some letters are silent and that others work as a team to make a single sound.

Elmo Loves ABCs*screen480x480-3.jpeg
Price: $4.99
Ages: 3+
Device: iPad, Kindle Fire, Android
In this a multifaceted app for learning the alphabet, children are instructed and encouraged by Elmo from “Sesame Street” in various games. In one mode of play, children choose a letter, trace it, watch three video clips about items that start with that letter, color in pictures of those items and play a hide-and-seek game.

Endless Alphabet*
Price: $4.99-$6.99endless.png
Grade Level: Pre-K-4
Skills: Phonics, Print awareness, Spelling, Vocabulary
Device: Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
In this app, letters transform into living toys that voice their names. Children quickly learn that one letter works with others to build words and sentences. Another app in the series, Endless Spanish, is ideal spelling practice for both native English and Spanish speakers. Note: This app requires an internet connection and a lot of storage space for full functionality.

FirstWords Deluxe
Price: $4.99screen640x640-1.jpeg
Grade Level: Pre-K-3
Skills: Phonics, Spelling
Device: iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
This app helps kids learn to spell words in five categories: Animals, At Home, Colors, Shapes and Vehicles. Parents can add more categories with in-app purchases. As kids drag and drop letters into boxes to spell the featured object, they can practice sounding out letters with the phonics feature or hear the actual letter names as they’re placed. 

Interactive Alphabet ABC’s*
Price: $2.99screen520x924.jpeg
Grade Level: Pre-K-2
Skill: Phonics
Device: iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
This app offers alphabet matching for babies, toddlers and preschoolers. Your child hears words, letters and phonics sounds. Baby Mode auto advances every 15 seconds.

iSpy Phonics
Price: $1.99icon175x175.jpeg
Skill: Phonics
Device: iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
While playing the game I Spy, kids match phonic sounds with letters through colorful illustrations, pictures and accurate pronunciation. The app allows children to match phonic sounds with letters through illustrations, pictures and accurate pronunciation.

MeeGenius*Screen-Shot-2012-04-25-at-2-4.48.49-PM.png
Price: Free; more books can be accessed with $4.99 subscription fee
Ages: 4+
Device: iPad, iPhone, Android, Kindle Fire
This award-winning reading app features over 800 stories. The read-along technology highlights each word as a narrator reads the story aloud. There is also a read-to-myself option without narration. The books include text, audio and illustrations, but there is no interactivity or animation beyond the highlighted text.

Metamorphabet*maxresdefault.jpg
Price: $3.99
Ages: 3+
Device: iPad, iTouch, iPhone, Android
As kids tap through the alphabet, letters magically transform into various things that start with that target letter. With each new transformation, children see the written word and hear it pronounced aloud.

Monkey Word School Adventure*
Price: $1.99monkey.png
Grade Level: Pre-K-1
Skills: Phonics, Spelling
Device: Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
This early-reading app is for preschoolers and young elementary-age kids who are ready to start recognizing letters and words. Lessons range from letter recognition and writing to spelling and phonics. There is also a special focus on sight words, the vital building blocks of reading and writing.

Montessori Crosswords*
Price: $2.996a010534998f56970b017eeaeb109c970d-200wi.png
Grade Level: Pre-K-4 and above
Skills: Dyslexia and Learning Disabilities, Phonics, Spelling, Vocabulary
Device: Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
In this app, kids develop literacy skills by dragging and dropping letters into a crossword grid to form words that correspond to the given pictures. With three difficulty levels, young children can drag letters around in the moveable alphabet and practice linking phonetic sounds to letters, while older kids can expand their vocabularies.

Planet Lettra Word Building Playground*build_en.png
Price: $1.99
Grade Level: 1-4
Skill: Phonics
Device: iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
In this app, children arrange a set of letter blocks any way they want and hear what they’ve built. Blocks are designed to guide children in building the most important sight words for reading fluency and to expose them to important letter blends.

Reading Raven*
Price: Free-$2.99reading-raven.png
Ages: 3+
Device: iPhone, iPad
This app is designed to teach young kids reading skills using voiceover instructions and mini-games. Parents are able to customize by age group or ability. With the Reading Raven companion as a guide, children experience fun-filled adventures where they will encounter fly-eating frogs, caterpillars that turn into butterflies, circus acrobats, ball balancing seals, underwater sea creatures, snow monsters, flying penguins, space robots, rhyming rockets and more.

Simplex Spelling with Reverse Phonics: Lite
Price: Freescreen640x640-3.jpeg
Grade Level: Pre-K-3
Skill: Phonics
Device: iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
This app is designed to improve spelling and reading skills in a fun and interactive way by using "reverse phonics." It contains over 50 high-frequency English words; it also enables students to build on each word, going above and beyond the sheer memorization of words. Simplex is a great tool for kids learning to spell, remedial students or those learning English as a second language.

Sky Fish Phonics*sky.jpeg
Price: Free
Grade Level: Pre-K-1
Skill: Phonics
Device: iPad
This app combines logical problem-solving puzzles with multiple-choice, basic reading-skills questions. Kids choose a costume and tap a succession of machines to launch a fish through an increasingly complex obstacle course, answering phonics questions and collecting stars along the way.

SpellingCityspellingcity.jpg
Price: Free
Ages: 7+
Device: iPad, iPhone, iTouch, Android, Kindle
This app helps children learn spelling and vocabulary words using any word list. Games such as Spelling Test Me, HangMouse and other vocabulary and phonics games are available to Premium Members. The free app includes 10 of the most popular learning activities and 10 of the app’s most popular word lists.

Starfall Learn to Read
Price: $2.9971HP4pIU1zL.png
Grade Level: K-2
Skill: Phonics
Device: Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Other
This is an app version of the stellar learn-to-read website, Starfall. The app has the same content as the Learn to Read section of the site. There are 15 mini-books, each focusing on a specific vowel, along with videos and activities to enhance literacy learning. As with other Starfall apps, the thorough and careful design keeps kids focused on learning.

SUPER WHY ABC Adventures: Alphabet
Price: $2.99maxresdefault.jpg
Grade Level: Pre-K and kindergarten
Skill: Phonics
Device: Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Other
Similar to the original SUPER WHY! app, the activities center solely on the alphabet: uppercase and lowercase letters, letter sounds and letter writing. Each character leads a cute mini-game; kids earn a sticker to play with in the sticker activity when they finish a game. An iPad-only version is also available for a dollar more.

uKloo*
Price: Freeukloo.jpg
Ages: 4+
Device: iPhone, iPad
This app for early readers is a fun seek-and-find literacy game. Based on a board game of the same name, the app encourages children to look up word clues, search the play screen and discover surprises along the way. There’s even a picture helper to look up words when kids get stuck. Ukloo progressively builds visual word recognition, provides the basics of sentence structure, introduces research skills and builds confident readers.

Wonster Words*
Price: Freewonster-words.png
Grade Level: Pre-K and kindergarten
Skill: Phonics
Device: iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
This app uses entertaining, silly videos to introduce young readers to pattern words and word families by having them match letters to their outlines to spell the words on the list. Each list contains eight words that have the same ending pattern or a matching phonic element, such as “th,” “sh” or “ch” sounds.

Word Wagon by Duck Duck Moose
Price: $1.99WW_vidstill.png
Grade Level: Pre-K-2
Skills: Phonics, Spelling
Device: iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
This app helps kids learn about letters, phonics and spelling. Parents and kids can set it to one of four progressively harder levels: letters, phonics and the spelling of short and long words. The level of customization makes Word Wagon a good fit for kids at different skill levels.