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Pam Allyn


Apps That Encourage Kids To Read

Posted: 12/02/11 06:08 PM ET

(This is one of a series of posts in the Parentlode Book Club. You can also find a list of books parents either love or hate, or suggestions about what books they might like based on what they already love, or any of the other Bookclub offerings about how to help your children love to read).

Did you hear about the eight year old boy who could lift an entire library with a single hand? I suppose you have, after all it is 2011 and e-readers have been on the market for a few years. As a tool for literacy learning they are invaluable. We know that the way to build our children's capacity as readers and writers is simple: they must read and write daily. Offering fingertip access to entire bookstores on a handheld device makes this incredibly easy. Even better, it removes access barriers, making it logistically possible to connect children in the most remote corners of the earth to thousands of stories.

While an e-reader dramatically increases the amount of literature that can be kept within the four walls of your home, it cannot force your child to sit down and read -- not yet at least. However, there are thousands of apps that offer creative avenues to create a reading and writing culture for children of all ages and abilities.

Here are some of the most engaging, effective and fun apps currently on the market categorized to meet the needs of children at every level of the reading and writing spectrum:

Learning To Read And Engage With Text
1  of  5
Bob Books #1 - Reading Magic

An interactive, user friendly introduction to the world of reading. Multi-level games encourage kids to form words and sentences as the app guides them using letter sounds and read alouds. As they progress through each level they witness a story coming to life at the touch of their finger.

Common Sense Media review

Don't Let the Pigeon Run

Using Mo Willems' wonderful series of Pigeon books, this app is a delightful combination of the read aloud and storytelling. Reading aloud is a profound gift that children should receive every day. It exposes them to new vocabulary, flexes their imagination and creates memories they will carry with them for years. There is a wonderful duality of this app whereby children input their own Pigeon storylines which can also be read aloud.

Common Sense Media review

Similar apps: Harold and the Purple Crayon, Pat the Bunny


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