Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting kids working together and motivating them, the teacher is the most important. ~ Bill Gates

We are currently in an era where technology is a tool. It can’t be denied. Therefore, I searched to find popular apps for kids that encourage reading. I still advocate that parents snuggled up with their children and a book is the best teacher, but these apps for kids are sure to get them engaged in activities that are fun and promote reading.

1. Jigsaw Wonder Puppies Puzzles for Kids

Putting together puzzles is a visual discrimination skill which is a precursor to reading well. This puzzle app helps develop visual discrimination, and you can change the puzzles for many options.

“They’re too adorable and ready to play! Carefully designed to be playable for everyone, Jigsaw Wonder puzzles allow you to customize each puzzle by choosing the number of pieces, background designs, and choosing hint options like piece outlines and background visibility. Optional hints allow you to see the background and outlines of each piece. Plus, the place preview feature shows which slot you are hovering over so you can make sure it fits!” (1)

  1. Prancing Dancing Lily apps for kids

Named as a top 20 book app by Book Alliance in 2014. This App made me smile. I like the theme to the story. Additionally, I like the option of reading along with the story and the puzzle which develops visual discrimination skills. Ages 4 +

A delightful, kid-friendly, super-fun interactive children’s storybook app with puzzles, Prancing Dancing Lily tells the tale of a spirited cow who doesn’t fit in with the herd.” (2)

Learn more here:

For a free activity guide for teachers and parents, to go along with this book, click here. (I like the writing a rhyme with Lily and puppet activities.)


  1. Roxie’s a-MAZE-ing Vacation Adventure apps for kids

An interactive animated game app for up to five players. Solve the maze, find and count objects. The maze is a great skill for developing visual discrimination and problem solving skills which are important skills needed to read well.



  1. Blackfish Children’s Books and Story Creator apps for kids

Blackfish Children’s Books is a children’s book library, store, and story creation tool. Access all of your books, including both purchases and books you create yourself, in one convenient location.

  1. Skybrary by Reading Rainbow

Introducing an interactive children’s library of books & videos available NOW for the Web, iPad, Kindle Fire and Android Tablets. New books released every Friday. Voyage to 7 themed reading islands with 500+ books. Engage with interactive animations that make every book come to life.


  1. ABC Mouse

Stories, puzzles, printables, reading, songs, and so much more. ages 2 – 7  Received Mom’s Choice Award, Parent Choice Award, and Teacher’s Choice Award.



  1. Monkey School Word Adventure apps for kids

For ages 3 to 7.

Monkey Word School Adventure is an entertaining and captivating way to introduce your child to the fundamental concepts behind reading and writing. The lessons range from letter recognition and writing to spelling and phonics introducing word components such as consonant blends, digraphs, irregular vowels and more! There is also a special focus on sight words, the vital building blocks of reading and writing.

8. AlphaTots Alphabet apps for kids

I like this because children learn the sounds of the letters not just letter names.

Comes with an ABC sing-along song, so you can have fun singing the ABCs with your toddler, or test them by having them sing their ABCs alone.

Great for kids in preschool or pre-k, AlphaTots Alphabet is the perfect way for your kids to build the foundation they need so they can learn to read. Your kids will find that learning is fun and you’ll feel happy knowing that they’ll love learning in the years to come.

9. Starfall Learn To Read apps for kids

Although it’s not free, it’s very inexpensive. Starfall online reading games have been very popular with children and parents for years.

Zac the Rat provides tons of fun activities for beginning readers in this Android and Kindle fire app. The animations, movies and interactive help kids learn to blend sounds, identify letters, and read beginning reader stories.

10. The Sight Word Adventure apps for kids

Help your child learn to recognize, read, and write up to 320 sight words. By tapping into every kid’s love of hide-and-seek, your child will practice the cognitive skills necessary to remember sight words — like visual attention, active listening, and visual memorization. (ages 8 and under; $1.99; iPhone, iPad)

What would you add to this list?

Let’s make a positive difference~ one word at a time.


Please share this article with others that you think would benefit from these tips. Also, please ask any questions that you may have about teaching children reading or writing. Leave your questions in the comments. I’ll answer.

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(I am not affiliated with any of these products.)

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