Posted: Aug 16, 2013 8:00 AM
Life changes when your child learns how to read. No longer do you have to read their favorite bedtime stories. Instead, they can read them to you while you listen. Help them learn this invaluable skill and gain confidence with these top reading apps for kids.

Reading Raven

Reading Raven appFor children ages 3 to 7, learning to read is an adventure with the Reading Raven app. Broken into three age groups, children will slowly learn new letters using a phonics-based approach, gradually building their way to reading and writing words. I love that the app teaches everything from letter recognition and sounds to reading aloud and word tracing. The games are fun for kids and also build their confidence in reading. I'm not a fan of the background music but headphones can easily solve that problem.

Get it^Reading Raven HD app is available for $4 in iTunes.

abc PocketPhonics

abc PocketPhonics appBoth of my children have really enjoyed the learn to read app, abc PocketPhonics. The app teaches letter sounds for every letter in the alphabet along with other letter sounds such as “sh” and “ch” which are commonly used in words. It also teaches children how to write the letters and to make words using the sounds. Designed for ages 3 to 6, I love how easy to use this reading app is for children and that each child can have their own profile. My kids have never complained about the app and I can't find anything wrong with it either.

Get it^Download abc PocketPhonics Lite for free or purchase the abc PocketPhonics app for $4 in iTunes.

Bob Books Reading Magic

Bob Books Reading Magic appIf you love Bob Books, then you'll really want to get the Bob Books Reading Magic app for teaching your youngsters how to read. This app is slightly different from most of the other reading apps in that it shows the whole word first and then the individual letters with their sounds. It has four different levels so kids can begin in the appropriate section. It doesn't teach handwriting and it's a little slow to navigate back to the beginning, but other than that, it's a great app for kids.

Get it^Download Bob Books Reading Magic Lite for free or purchase Bob Books #1 – Reading Magic and Bob Books #2 – Reading Magic for $2 each in iTunes.

Word Magic

Word Magic appInstead of teaching letter sounds and handwriting, Word Magic focuses on teaching kids how to spell words. Words are shown with a letter missing from either the beginning, middle or end and the child has to select the correct letter to complete the word. It's perfect for kids who are learning to spell and read words. I like that it shows images for each word and that it gives positive reinforcement for correct answers. I do wish it gave letter sounds for the missing letter to help kids figure out the right choice.

Get it^Download Word Magic Lite for free or purchase the full Word Magic app for $1 in iTunes or Google Play for $2.

Montessori Crosswords

Montessori Crosswords appBased on the Montessori learning method, Montessori Crosswords is a phonics-based reading app for kids. The first level is for beginners, focusing on simple words with three sounds such as “cat” and “hug.” Levels two and three focus on harder words with the options to do one word at a time or more words in a crossword puzzle. I like that there are images for the words and if you tap on a letter or an empty square it will tell the letter sound. Once the word is spelled correctly, interactive animations appear as a reward. Since the app keeps track of words completed, it would be nice if it had options for setting up different players.

Get it^Purchase Montessori Crosswords for $3 in iTunes or Google Play.

Dr. Seuss's ABC

Dr. Seuss's ABC appDr. Seuss's ABC book has made its way to the digital world with the Dr. Seuss's ABC app. Children ages 2 to 6 will be entertained with the bright illustrations and the funny words. The read to me option is perfect for the young ones who are still learning their letter sounds. For kids who have started to learn how to read already, they can do the read it myself option. If they get stuck on a word, tapping on it will tell them what it is. If you want to show off their reading skills, do the voice record as they read aloud. It's a good app for kids learning to read books. For the price however, I think it should have more than one book to read.

Get it^Download Dr. Seuss's ABC Lite for free or purchase the full Dr. Seuss's ABC app for $4 in iTunes or Google Play.

More on teaching young children

Best apps for preschoolers
Teaching independence through play
How to teach your child manners