Sunday, April 26, 2015

Apps You Can Use to Inspire Children to Read

I have to be honest. I love to read but it seems like a lot of kids today don’t. A little piece of me dies every single time a child says, “I don’t like reading” or “I hate it when they make us read.” As someone who was raised by at least one reader, and who chose books over other activities, children not wanting to read is a hard concept to swallow. Thankfully, I’m finding there are a lot of great apps out there that appeal to a child’s desire for technology while encouraging a love of the written word.

Reading Rainbow

The Reading Rainbow app is hosted by none other than LeVar Burton, and I’m a huge fan considering I spent so much time watching the show as a kid. The app allows the story to be read to your child or lets the child read himself, making this a great choice for children of different reading levels. Reading Rainbow is geared towards children ages 6-8 and is currently available for the iPad.


SUPERWHY was based on the PBS show and is designed with the earliest of readers in mind. Your child can play with one of the main characters, identifying letters, sounds, rhyming words, and more. It focuses on phonics, phenomes, and skills critical to reading and development. This app is perfect for preschool aged children from 3-6 and is available both in the Apple store and on Amazon.


BookBoard ranges from $4.99 to $8.99 per month depending on the plan you choose, but includes a parent portal and up to 4 child accounts. The membership gives children access to unlimited books and includes more than 500 books your child can “unlock” through continued reading progress. The app is great for kids up to age 12, including everything from picture books to chapter books. Combine your unique reading goals with some games and a bit of healthy competition and your child will be motivated to grab the tablet each night (Psssst – there’s a free trial available).

Please don’t let the love of reading die at the hands of video games and television shows. Help your child cultivate an early love of reading with a balanced schedule of screen-time, games, and reading and the future (and his imagination) will truly blossom!

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