Keeping our children away from their phones and encouraging them to bury themselves in the pages of a book seems to be one of the biggest challenges we face as parents.
While it’s easy to understand why smartphones and mobile devices, in general, have such an impact on their lives even from early years, considering how every single app and social platform is specially designed to keep us engaged for as long as possible, the issue still remains, and it’s a worrying one.
Our kids read too little and spend too much time looking at their screens. But instead of fighting this phenomenon, why not embrace it?
Let’s find out together what the best reading apps for kids are and how the best book apps for kids can help get them to read more.
What are reading apps for kids?
A book reading app for kids is defined as an app that can be installed on smartphones or tablets, which encourages your child to read, provides them with age appropriate reading material and attempts to combine the pleasure of using a mobile device with the benefits of reading.
Why is it recommended for kids to use a reading app?
As parents, we might have the instinct to dismiss the concept of reading apps at first thinking that the last thing we need is another reason for our child to spend more time looking at a smartphone’s screen.
But, as recent statistics have shown us in the past couple of years, we seem to be fighting a losing battle. Despite our best efforts, the average screen time for teens and children keeps increasing year after year.
So instead of fighting them, why not try to make the best of the situation we are in?
Reading app benefits for children
Let’s try to forget about the downsides of mobile use in our children and have a look at some of the benefits of reading apps for children.
- Your kid will likely read more: good reading apps for kids provide children with age appropriate reading material that is easy and fun to go through
- Your kid will have access to extensive libraries: book reading apps for kids hold thousands of titles in their collection, allowing your child to select the ones they are most attracted to
- Game-based learning: kids will have access to an educational tool that wraps learning and reading in an attractive experience very similar to actual gaming
- Interactive experience: children using reading apps will be able to practice their reading skills and extend their vocabulary through interactive exercises and educational mini-games
That being said, as you can see, reading apps for children don’t sound like such a bad idea, do they?
Mixing business with pleasure
Recent statistics I even quoted above show that children spend between 1-2 hours in early years using their phones up to even 9 hours per day in pre-teens and teens.
While that sounds worrying (and it really is), imagine what children can achieve if they spent at least a portion of that time reading on their phones instead of watching Youtube videos or scrolling social media posts.
With average reading speeds close to 200 words per minute (for children in grades 7-8), one hour of reading per day would mean your kid would read 12,000 words every single day. That’s the equivalent of 40 pages per day if we relate to paperback books.
The best reading apps for kids
Now, if your mind’s made up and you want to give them a chance, let’s see some of the best options out there when it comes to the best educational reading apps for kids so you can make an informed decision.
Please note that our list of apps is in completely random order.
Probably one of the best book apps for kids available at the moment, FarFaria is free to download, but requires a paid subscription for unlimited reading. It is ideal for children even before kindergarten and until the 4th grade. It features an interactive dashboard like a map that guides the user on the reading path, with over 1000 titles in its library.
Optimized for children between kindergarten and the 12th grade, this app takes a different approach to reading, holding over 10,000 audiobooks in its library. Even though kids don’t actually read using the app, the audiobooks will spark an interest in stories, novels, getting them closer to developing healthy reading habits.
This app is ideal for children before kindergarten up to 3rd grade and it is a great tool for learning how to read. The app is built on the concept of game-based learning and has many educational mini games that are very engaging and useful. The app and some activities are free, and unlocking all the available content is possible through a yearly subscription.
Free for students from schools that are participating in the program, this app is ideal for children from kindergarten to the 5th grade and includes hundreds of titles available to read and associated quizzes. It includes some features that are ideal for children that are still learning to read.
Providing an alternative to traditional reading, Vooks provides children with animated storybooks that will project a love for stories which will later help your kid develop reading habits. It is free for 7 days and available on a monthly or yearly subscription after that.
One of the apps on this list with the highest range, children can use IXL from before kindergarten all the way until the 12th grade. IXL is a learning tool that covers more subjects than just reading and a perfect choice for home-schooled children.
A great choice for children from ages 2 to 9, this represents another app that takes a different approach when it comes to reading. An extensive collection of animated stories and audiobooks is made available for free for 30 days and then for a paid subscription.
Best suited for children aged 3 to 7, this is a phonics based reading app for kids with a great step by step action plan for learning how to read. This is one of the few apps that are not made available for free, but it comes at a very low price.
Probably one of the best free reading apps for kids, Epic is a beloved choice among children and parents as well. It has the most extensive collection of books (over 40,000) and offers a gamification structure for your child’s reading that will keep them engaged for extended periods of time.
10. Amazon Kids+
Great for children before kindergarten until 6th grade, this Amazon product gives children access to a huge library containing thousands of books, educational videos and interactive game based learning activities. Parents have access to important statistics about the childrens’ reading habits and interests.
A product from the Overdrive family, Libby is a product that targets people of all ages. It is completely free with a card from a library that is enrolled in the program and the titles available are curated by librarians and adjusted to your preferences or age restrictions.
12. Reading Eggs
A wonderful solution for children aged 2 to 13, this app has a multi-purpose structure, allowing users both to learn how to read and to read some of the titles in its huge library. From songs, to animations and actual books that can be read, Reading Eggs seems to have it all. Parents can track their childrens’ evolution throughout the years as well.
13. Reading Racer
Another great free reading app for children, Reading Racer focuses more on building confidence in out loud reading than anything else. Using speech recognition and a high performance algorithm, it will guide your child through over 200 stories, helping them read better and pronounce complicated words more correctly.
Yet another app from the Overdrive family, Sora is also free for students from enrolled schools. It is a wonderful platform for kids from kindergarten all the way to the 12th grade and on top of allowing children to read books in a library-style manner, it includes a couple of great features for those who struggle with their reading: read aloud option, audiobook features and even dyslexic font.
While these are only the very best reading apps for kids, you should know that there are a lot of other ones you can choose from.
Depending on your child’s age, preferences, reading level and your common goals, feel free to do your own research on the topic and find the best solution for you and your kid.
Reading is an absolutely essential part of our education, so no compromises are small enough when it comes to this.
What about your reading needs?
And since we’re on the topic of reading importance in our lives, adults are no exception. You’ve now seen a couple of great choices for your kid, but what about you?
In case you’re also on the fence about introducing reading apps in your reading routine, allow me to present the best book tracking app for late teens and adults.
Basmo is a user-friendly platform in the form of an app that is available both for iOS and Android users and includes some exciting features guaranteed to make you a more effective, organized and dedicated reader.
Here are some of those features:
- Note taking feature in reading sessions
- Journaling feature to keep your emotions in check with every book you read
- Reading session scheduling with reminders
- Quote saving
- Page scanning and text extracting capabilities
- Extensive collection of titles for your reading tracking
- Reading goals setting
- Predefined and customizable reading lists.
There are thousands of reasons for you to use Basmo, while your child uses one of the best book apps for kids in the list above.
Reading is fun, healthy and incredibly important in our lives.
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Finding the best reading app for your child’s needs may seem like an overwhelming task at first.
Use the list above as a starting point for your research and try to find that one app that can make a difference in your child’s education, mental development and that can spark an interest for reading in general.
And, of course, don’t forget about you: use Basmo to keep a close eye on your reading habits and boost your motivation to read more and more and be an example for your kid.