Early reading, pre-reading, call it what you want. Either way, it is an exciting and often challenging time. Luckily, apps work beautifully to provide simple learning tools to promote letter sense and writing and sight word practice. We list some of our favorites below.
You may find your child wanting to use and re-use an app that you deem too easy. Remember, feeling successful is especially important for early readers, so let them continue to review what they already know as it just cements the knowledge, and makes them feel good. This learning is the foundation for all the rest!
1. iWrite Words
iWriteWords is a great letter forming tool for preschoolers and kindergartners. Your child will practice recognizing and writing letters, using their finger to trace each letter. You can choose upper or lower case. We like that it shows correct directionality for forming each letter. Also check out iWriteWords in Spanish/En Español.
EARLIEST PHONETIC READING
2. Bob Books #1
We were fans of the hard copy version of these books when our kids were just starting to read. They are a series of very short books that advance step by step (i.e. the first book enables your pre-reader to read an entire book of words written only with the letters M, A, T and S). In this app when your child clicks on a moving figure they are taken to an activity that supports them in spelling the name of the figure. It’s a fun, simple and effective app.
3. Pocket Phonics
Pocket Phonics is very good to practice hearing letter sounds, writing letters and sounding out short words. This isn’t a beautiful app, but it is useful. You may need to show your child the button that says Play Sound, so that they can hear the letter sound again before they choose the corresponding letter. The visual and verbal reinforcement is good.
BASIC SIGHT WORDS
4. Teach Me Kindergarten
Teach Me provides strong practicing opportunity for sight words and spelling, and kids particularly like the rewards (you earn coins and can spend them to “buy” stickers to put on screen backdrops). This app keeps track of the progress of multiple players, and you have the option to choose which subjects to work on.
MORE SIGHT WORDS
5. Word Bingo
Lots of sight word and spelling opportunities here. This app includes a spelling practice section, sight-word bingo (all Dolch sight words), and two other sight-word games – each with fun incentives to earn a Bingo bug. There are grade level options (PK-3rd), and progress is tracked.