For parents and caregivers who want to instill the fun of learning to read in their kids, the Internet is home to countless interactive, innovative sites that teach literacy. Though additional great websites are available, here are some of the best, listed in order from beginning to advanced readers.
Scholastic: Clifford the Big Red Dog hosts his own site of fun-filled learning for beginning readers and does it with his signature personality and style. The site features interactive storybooks, games and bilingual stories.
StoryPlace offers preschoolers a virtual library experience. Kids can participate in story time, watch videos and play games. The bilingual site also provides early literacy information and a guide to children’s books for parents and caregivers.
Starfall provides opportunities for young children to have fun while learning their ABCs and reading skills through positive reinforcement in a brightly colored environment full of activities, games and songs.
PBS Kids: Between the Lions is a virtual library where lion librarians host fun-filled activities with characters like singing vowels and dancing puppets. Children can entertain themselves or involve a grown-up in the educational video games, stories and songs.
Seussville, Dr. Seuss’ website, lets children enjoy reading-based interactive games and activities featuring his classic books and characters. The site includes a character guide, book catalogue, Seuss biography, tips for parents and resources for teachers.
Math & Reading Help offers early readers interactive, enjoyable games to improve reading (and math). Parents will find an extensive online library of articles on education, notably on homework and tutoring.
Reading Rockets has lots of games and activities for kids’ pleasure and learning. And parents, teachers and other adults can access instructional videos, a blog, PBS TV programs and videos to guide them in helping children learn to read.
Reading is Fundamental, long known for providing (free) books to families who need them, presents games, interactive stories, songs and book recommendations for kids up to age 12 and their families, including bilingual activities.
Kidsreads offers book reviews, features, contests, excepts from new releases, a blog, and author profiles and interviews for young readers and their parents. (Check out Teenreads for older youth, too.)
The Stacks lets kids 8-14 play games, test skills and knowledge about books, work on writing activities and express opinions. They can connect with other readers on books, reading and authors on this well-moderated site.
Scholastic: Writing with Writers allows students of all ages to collaborate with authors, editors and illustrators in exclusive workshops designed to guide them in many forms of writing to develop their skills.
Teenreads provides book reviews, features, contests, excepts from new releases, a blog, and author profiles and interviews for older youth and their parents. (Check out Kidsreads for younger children, too.)
75 Apps (for Under a Dollar) to Promote Literacy
Families today are fortunate to have numerous resources to aid them in helping their children develop strong literacy skills. In addition to traditional books and workbooks, as well as instructional websites, thousands of apps are now available to help students with reading and writing skills. While most are (free) or cost a few dollars, a few are quite expensive. With cost and quality in mind, the Literacy is for Life campaign has prepared this list of 75 literacy-focused apps. All are either (free) or cost 99 cents and have been rated with four or five stars (out of five) by independent, expert reviewers or customers. For more information or independent reviews, we suggest commonsensemedia.com. For customer ratings or to order an app, you can go to itunes.apple.com, play.google.com or amazon.com. Be advised, however, that none of these sites list all 75 apps.
Topic: Learning the Alphabet
ABC Alphabet Phonic Sounds (free)
ABC Alphabet Phonics (free)
ABC Flashcards (free)
ABC for Kids (free)
ABC Kids - Tracing & Phonics (free)
abc PocketPhonics (Lite) (free)
ABC Wildlife (free)
ABCD for Kids (free)
Alphabet for Kids ABC Learning (free)
Endless Alphabet (free)
Handwriting, ABC Learning (free)
Kids ABC Letter Phonics (Lite) (free)
Kids ABC Letter Trains (Lite) (free)
Kids ABC Letters (Lite) (free)
Learning Letters Puppy (free)
LetterSchool: Learn to Write the ABC Alphabet (Lite) (free)
Starfall ABCs (free)
ABC Match ($0.99)
C Is for Cow ($0.99)
Flashcards Puzzles--ABC & Numbers ($0.99)
Topic: Learning to Read
Letter Sounds A to Z (free)
Starfall Learn to Read (free)
Kids Learn to Read (Lite) (free)
Sight Words List - Learn to Read Flashcards (free)
Level: Pre-/Beginning Reading
Learning to Read
ABC Spelling - Spell & Phonics (free)
Hearbuilder Phonological Awareness (free)
Reading Magic (parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5) (free)
Kids Can Spell - Writing First Words (free)
Kids Reading Sight Words (Lite) (free)
Rocket Speller (free)
Sight Words Learning Games (free)
Sight Words Pre-K to Grade 3 (free)
Word Games for Kids (free)
Word Wagon (free)
Kids Learning-Little Speller 3 Letter Words ($0.99)
Level: Beginning Reading
Learning to Read and Reading
K12 Timed Reading Practice (Lite) (free)
Mad Libs (free)
Sentence Maker (free)
Pocket Wally's Sight Words ($0.99)
Big Bird's Words ($0.99)
Clifford's BE BIG with Words ($0.99)
Smiley Sight Words ($0.99)
Level: Beginning/Basic Reading
Scholastic Reading Timer (free)
Chalk Up! ($0.99)
Crosswords with Friends (free)
Phonics Genius (free)
My Spelling Test Pro ($0.99)
Word Solitaire: Aurora ($0.99)
Level: Basic Reading
Reading Rewards (free)
Roots to Words (free)
Word Mover (free)
World's Worst Pet (free)
Scramble with Friends ($0.99)
Level: Basic/Advanced Reading
3D Bookshelf: Classic Literature Collection ($0.99)
7 Little Words (free)
Find the Word (free)
(The) (free) Dictionary (free)
SAT Vocab (free)
Spelling Master (free)
Spelling Pro (free)
Word Cookies (free)
Word Scramble (free)
Word Search Colorful (free)
Word Search Puzzles (free)
Word Search Unlimited (free)
Words Crush (free)