There's an App for Learning: Apps for Reading Help

Support for children learning to read comes in many forms, such as books, tutors and educational DVDs. More and more applications for mobile devices, also known as apps, are adding to this field by providing interactive and adaptive reading tools. This list includes ten apps that can help your child develop reading skills in fun and challenging ways.

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1. Super Why!

Adapted from the PBS KIDS show, Super Why! is a reading app for both Apple and Android devices. It includes four games, such as Wonder Red's Rhyming Time and Alpha Pig's Lickety Letter Hunt. As your child wins games, he or she will receive stickers that can be used on various pictures. Super Why! uses constructive criticism to help children master reading skills without getting discouraged.

2. First Words ABC: Fill the Gap

In this Android-based app, your child helps Smudge, a cartoon dog, find the missing letters in words that are both written and spoken. The challenging app has three levels of complexity and has words missing not only single letters, but also vowel and consonant combinations. Smudge celebrates correct answers, rewarding your child with a job well done.

3. Dolch Sight Words

Created for Apple devices, Dolch Sight Words help beginning readers learn quickly by focusing on over 300 Dolch sight words. This word list was first published in 1948 by Dr. Edward William Dolch; it includes the words Dolch saw as most common and therefore essential for mastering reading. The app includes both spoken and written versions of words, facilitating independent learning.

4. Dr. Seuss's ABC

Available for both Apple and Android devices, Dr. Seuss's ABC takes his classic alphabet book and transforms it into an interactive reading app. Your child can choose from three options. First, your child can watch the story like a movie. Second, your child can listen to the narrated story while touching individual words to learn what they are. Finally, your child can read the story him or herself, turning the pages by swiping the screen.

5. Little Reader

Little Reader is the umbrella title for two Apple-based apps, Three Letter Words and Four Letter Words. These highly interactive apps combine visual, auditory and tactile learning methods to teach young children how to read. The apps are customizable, allowing you to record your own voice to make your child's learning process more engaging and personal.

6. Alphabytes

Available for the iPad, Alphabytes teaches reading, writing and more using fun games and activities. While learning the alphabet, your child will see colorful animations that encourage retention. For writing help, your child will trace both lowercase and uppercase letters on the iPad screen.

7. FirstWords: Deluxe

FirstWords: Deluxe is an Apple-based app containing nearly 200 words your child can learn. The app is targeted at toddlers with little or no reading experience. The words are taught using a simple game that incorporates pictures, sound effects and voices. FirstWords: Deluxe contains words covering animals, colors, vehicles, shapes and words from around the house.

8. Spell & Listen Cards

With 550 words, this Apple-based app uses actual photographs of objects to teach your child how to read. The volume of cards makes this app ideal for a wide range of children, whether they're in preschool or elementary school. The app uses a clean and simple interface that includes a professional voice talent reading the word aloud when your child spells it correctly.

9. Word Magic

Created by the parents of a young child, Word Magic is an app for Apple devices aimed at children between ages three and six. The app presents a series of pictures and words, with your child needing to identify the missing letter that may occur at the beginning, middle or end of the word. Word Magic uses stylized and often humorous pictures, as well as spoken encouragement, to keep children engaged.

10. Montessori Crosswords

This Apple-based app uses phonics to teach the alphabet and 300 words to your child. Each time your child touches a letter, a phonic is played that matches the display word. The app contains three levels, as defined by the Montessori method, with the middle and highest levels creating multi-word crosswords. To further challenge your child, letters can be displayed in uppercase, lowercase or cursive.

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