Reading is not the most straightforward skill to teach young children. There is a great deal to it in terms of constructing sounds, understanding grammar and finally comprehending what is actually being read.
Finding relevant material can often be tough to find and many students choose to watch television and play video games over reading as it perceived as boring.
That is why the iPad is an excellent resource to help get kids enthused about reading and also offer a huge range of traditional and multimedia based texts to select.
Below I have listed some apps that will definitely appeal to younger kids and also offer a genuine learning opportunity for them to improve their reading skills.
Rock 'n Learn Phonics Easy Reader, priced at $1.99, helps children develop their reading skills through three phonics stories. The stories can be read to the child or she can sound out the words and read the story. If the child needs some extra help with figuring out a word, she can click on the word for assistance. Rock 'n Learn Phonics Easy Reader focuses on developing pronunciation of short vowel sounds, consonant-vowel-consonant combinations and words ending with ll, ss, ff, s, and plural s.
Bob Books #1 - Reading Magic is an excellent introduction to phonics for young children, or a nice companion to the printed Bob Books (a systematic method of teaching kids to read). Since you can either control the difficulty level or set it to Automatic, this app will grow with your learning child, and keep their interest as they read and re-read the sentences on each page. The artwork is simple, just as in the printed Bob Books, but the added elements of color and animation are well done and attractive.
Smiley Sight Words (Ages 4+; iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch; $0.99)
If you're seeking a set of virtual flash cards with which to drill your child on reading common words, Smiley Sight Words might be the best you can get. It's got over 1,500 words, arranged into five decks, each with multiple levels of difficulty. Kids can interact with the words, tapping to hear them aloud and marking them with either a smiley or frowny face. They can also shuffle the deck with a shake of the device. Parents have a lot of control here, with the ability to track progress, remove already-mastered words, and even create a custom deck. Up to five kids can each have his or her own profile on the app.
TouchyBooks. Quirky sounds, animation, and flip-book usability offer a realistic experience and a touch of magic for toddlers and tweens. Use the easy star voting system to rate your favorites on this multilingual platform
Do you remember all those wonderful stories we grew up with? Now they're here, retold with bags of character for your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch. But the tale is only half the story! All our titles come with bright, colourful illustrations to complete the listening and reading experience, with lots of fun along the way.
★ Stories from The Story Mouse are presented as virtual books.
Our professional presenter reads the story aloud as the text appears.
On the iPad, each page has an illustration on the left, with the text on the right. On the iPhone and iPod touch, the illustrations are displayed full screen when you hold the device vertically. Turn the device horizontally to display the text.
Sentences are highlighted as the story progresses, making the words easy to follow.
We would love to hear of any other recommendations you might have.