In this age of technology, it’s all too easy for kids to get wrapped up in their gadgets and games. Parents, one after another, are voicing their concerns: Is this hindering their children’s personal growth? Is it perhaps even getting in the way of their children’s education? The good news is, it doesn’t have to. Because with this new generation of tablets (from the Kindle to the Nook to the Nexus to the iPad and more), there also comes a new generation of technology-based education. The following apps, for example, can help kids of all ages improve their literacy.
- Kids ABC Phonics (available on Amazon and Google Play) is for children right on the cusp of learning to read. Kids get to practice their letter-recognition by matching letters to the sounds they make in a fun bubble-popping game.
- Kids Learn to Read (Amazon, Google Play) has cute characters lead children through the first few stages of learning to read. It helps kids learn to string letter-sounds together, read short words, and even form short words of their own!
- Grandma’s Garden (iPad, Android) is many games in one. It lets your child learn not just letters, but numbers, colors, and shapes, all through helping Grandma with her vegetable garden. This helps preschoolers get ready for the concepts they’ll learn in kindergarten.
- Learn With Homer (found here) takes literacy apps to a whole new level. It’s geared for children between the ages of 3 and 6, and it’s been carefully crafted by top literacy experts. It includes a phonics program, hundreds of illustrated stories, science ‘field trips’, and much more. It combines most of the top early-education apps in one place.
- Phonics Awareness is designed to give your kids a jump-start on first-grade literacy. With sound, touch, and the animation of friendly-looking bugs, this app aims to teach your child a large variety of words and sounds. Phonics Awareness also offers a lot of personalized feedback to help motivate your child, and to let you track their progress, too.
- Reading Raven (iPad exclusive) is an adventure-based reading app that caters to children of any age or reading level. It offers eleven different unique games, and progression-based games in which younger children get basic sound-recognition and letter-matching exercises and older children get to read stories aloud.
- Kidobi (found here) is essentially YouTube for kids. But rather than videos of opinionated teens or stupid stunts, Kidobi is full to the brim with educational videos of all kinds–math, science, and of course literacy skills, plus ‘extracurricular’ skills like crafting and cooking.
- Tikatok StorySpark (found here) was made by none other than the literature super-store Barnes and Noble. Through it, your kids don’t just read–they write. This app lets your kids write their own stories, complete with illustration or even pictures, and publish them on the Tikatok website. There’s nothing quite like writing to help a child learn to read!
- Bookster fulfills every child’s dream of ‘becoming a star’ by letting your child read their favorite books aloud for children everywhere to hear and follow along. They can also listen to kids from all across the country reading their own favorites. Who knows, maybe your child can help another child learn to read.
There are many more literacy and learning apps out there, some geared for even younger children and some for older kids and teens. If available, it is definitely a great idea to consult with someone who has completed a masters in leadership online for the latest tips and suggestions. In the age of technology, learning is at your fingertips–and with a little help from you, it’ll be at your child’s fingertips too.