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9 Best Sites for Beginning Readers

Support each student on their journey of learning to read with these helpful tools.

Ellen Holderman | January 24, 2014

It's Top-Pick List Friday! This week, we are featuring apps for beginning readers. Learning how to read is different for each child, which is why we highlight a range of techniques within these apps and websites. Work with kids on sounding out words, learning words in context, and grasping new vocabulary.

To see the most updated version of this list as well as the rating of each app, game, or website, visit the Top Picks List: 


LeapFrog Explorer Learning Game: Letter Factory
LeapFrog Explorer Learning Game: Letter Factory introduces kids to letter shapes, sounds, and word formation by offering a set of three games. In one, kids click on all the letters that match the one they're shown. As the difficulty increases, it includes upper- and lowercase letters. Read full review.

LeapFrog Explorer Learning Game: LeapSchool Reading
LeapFrog Explorer Learning Game: LeapSchool Reading is a game that helps reinforce early reading skills. The game teaches a variety of early reading skills including rhyming words, word recognition, and homonyms. Read full review.

StarFall Learn to Read
Starfall Learn to Read is a complete beginning phonics instruction and practice resource. Its colorful main menu features 15 panels; click on any one of them for an activity to engage emergent readers. You'll find instructional songs and videos, complete-the-word activities, concentration matching games, and more. Read full review.

Learn With Homer
Learn with Homer is an outstanding way to get kids excited about reading. The systematic phonics lessons here can help kids learn letter sounds, letter (capital and lowercase) and word recognition, critical thinking while reading, and reading comprehension. Read full review.

Monkey World School Adventure
Monkey Word School Adventure takes kids through six different activities to help them learn early reading skills through phonics and word groups. Kids enter or select their name, and the app guides them seamlessly through the activities led by a cute monkey in a jungle setting. Read full review.

StarFall ABCs
Starfall ABCs is a solid early-learning app with a thorough approach to presenting the alphabet to preschoolers. Kids hear the sounds of each letter repeated often and can both hear and see how each letter is used in words. Read full review.

Beck and Bo
Unlike the many preschool apps that focus on memorizing the ABCs and 123s, Beck and Bo develops creativity and logic. Beck and Bo encourages exploration and teaches cause and effect. It also develops vocabulary that occurs in the real world. Read full review.

Smartyants - This product is no longer available.
From phonological awareness to reading fluency, kids follow a sequence of lessons and activities that adapt as they go. New readers may start off with letter sounds, while more advanced readers practice word families. Read full review.


What websites or apps do you use with your young readers? Sign in to comment below.