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Discover the ultimate literacy and reading apps for primary school aged children recommended by The Scots College.

Children being brought up in today’s digital age are developing remarkable tech skills from a very early age. You only need to see a one or two year old playing on a smart phone or tablet device to realise how competent some children are with technology. To engage tech-savvy children, educational apps and games have advanced at a great rate to cater for this captive audience.

The best apps are structured in a way that children are motivated to play, but also learn at the same time, often without even realising they are doing so. Educational apps and games are developed with children in mind and are a far cry from traditional homework or the spelling or mathematics flash card games of days gone by.

Here are some of the best apps we have come across.

The Ultimate List of Literacy Apps for Children

Comprehension

Aesops Quest
A learning game where students must remember the elements of a story to complete a level. At the end of each level, the student is rewarded with puzzle pieces. After solving the puzzle, the story is complete and the child can move on.

Suitable for: Years 2 to 4 and above 

Learn with Homer
A learn-to-read app for kids ages 3 to 6 that incorporates drawing, voice recording, stories, songs, and more, along with more traditional phonics exercises. This app can be helpful for kids who have speech production issues and organization of language issues.

Suitable for: Pre-school and Kindergarten

Opposite Ocean
In Opposite Ocean, Luna and Leo must master the magic of words by correctly identify the antonym that is the opposite of the given keyword. Children earn pearls when they drag the correct bubble word to the enchanted clam.

Suitable for: Years 2 to 4 and above

Speech with Milo: Sequencing
Slide the three picture cards into correct order (first, next, and last), then watch the story come to life. A speech–language pathologist chose Milo's activities, such as hitting a baseball or eating a sandwich, to help kids learn to organize time, sentence, and storytelling concepts with familiar themes.

Suitable for: Pre-school to Year 4

Phonics

Monkey Word School Adventure
Monkey Word School Adventure is an app for kids who are ready to start recognizing letters and words. It is well-designed with young learners in mind, challenging kids age 4 to 7 by using technology that quickly adjusts the words to the appropriate level.

Suitable for: Pre-school to Year 1

Planet Lettra
Planet Lettra is an app for experimenting with word building and hearing what you've made. Children arrange a set of letter blocks any way they want and hear what they've built. Blocks are designed to guide your child in building the most important sight words for reading fluency and exposure to important letter blends.

Suitable for: Years 1 to 4 

Wonster Words – ABC Phonics Spelling Games for Kids
In Wonster Words, children play with silly letters and hilarious monsters. Kids first put together words through interactive spelling puzzles, ABC hide-and-seek, and other engaging letter based mini-games. Once the words are completed, children will enjoy cute, defining animations head-lined by the lovable Wonsters, further reinforcing the meaning of the words that he/she had just learnt.

Suitable for: Pre-school to Kindergarten

Word Wagon
Word Wagon helps kids learn about letters, phonics, and spelling with Word Wagon. Parents and kids can set it to one of four progressively harder levels: letters, phonics, and spelling of short and long words and also to display either upper- or lowercase letters. In the first two levels, kids can match the letters to form the words; in the latter two levels, there is no visual cue, and kids have to arrange the spelling of the word on their own.

Suitable for: Pre-school to Year 2 

Spelling

Alphabet Organiser
The Alphabet Organizer enables children to create a calendar-style alphabet chart or letter pages for an alphabet book. Younger children can print the letter pages and draw pictures of things that start with each letter. They can also use the chart to learn the order of the alphabet and which words start with which letters—an important building block for reading.

Suitable for: Kindergarten to Year 4 and above 

C is for Cow
In this app each letter of the alphabet corresponds to an animal whose name begins with that letter. Children press the letter to hear it out loud, another button repeats the letter and says the name of the animal.

Suitable for: Pre-Kindergarten

Rocket Speller
Kids join Zip the alien on an out-of-this-world spelling adventure to build a new rocket ship. They'll spell words to help him fly to three different planets and collect the rocket pieces he needs. The game ends when they launch their fancy new rocket into space and steer it through a short star-collecting mini-game.

Suitable for: Kindergarten to Year 2

Vocabulary

Bookworm
Bookworm is a spelling and vocabulary building word search game app. Children link letters left, right, up and down to build words to feed 'Lex' the animated bookworm. The longer the word the higher the score.

Suitable for: Years 2 to 4

Chicktionary
Chicktionary is a chicken themed spelling and vocabulary-building word game. Children create as many words as possible out of seven letters. Completed words can be tapped to view their definition.

Suitable for: Years 2 to 4 

Mad Libs
This app features the classic fill in the noun/verb/adverb game, but with a twist. Fill-in-the-blank sections are now interactive and hints are offered to educate 
and entertain.

Suitable for: Kindergarten to Year 4 and above 

Preposition Builder
During play, the student is presented an image and must drag a preposition to complete a sentence about the image. If the student chooses the wrong answer, the image and sentence change to show the student the proper use of the preposition they chose and how it changes the image.

Suitable for: Kindergarten to Year 4 and above 

World’s Worst Pet
Students follow the story of Snargg, possibly the world's worst pet, as they attempt to get him home. In order to get him there, they must complete a series of vocabulary challenges and watch Snargg get into various antics. The vocabulary words are organized into levels and sets. Students first select a level, and then select a specific set within the level. 

Suitable for: Year 4 and above

Writing

Book Creator One
Book Creator is ideal for making all kinds of books, including children's picture books, photo books, comic books, journals, textbooks and more. And when you're done, share your book with ease, or even publish it to the iBooks Store!

Suitable for: Year 3 and above 

iWriteWords
This app helps to teach children how to write the letters of the alphabet, numbers up to 20, and simple words using a dot-to-dot approach. It helps if children already know how to count and read numbers up to 10 in order to play this game.

Suitable for: Kindergarten to Year 1

Punctuation – End Marks
Meet Officer Period, Detective Question Mark, and Sergeant Exclamation Mark and discover everything they do to add clarity to your writing. Track your progress through our puzzle bank and test your knowledge with increasing levels of difficulty. Drag and drop the appropriate punctuation and capitalization to sentences and paragraphs!

Suitable for: Year 3 and above

Story Patch
Story Patch allows the student to create a story from a template (good for those who need some guidance) or from scratch. There is a bank of pictures to choose from to illustrate the story.

Suitable for: Kindergarten to Year 2

Superhero Comic Book Maker
Create personalized animated comic books featuring monsters and superheroes. Build comic strips and narrate the story using the self-record feature.

Suitable for: Pre-school to Kindergarten

A boy’s journey through his earliest years of education can be challenging – both for him and his parents. We recognise one of the greatest difficulties is not knowing what your son is doing. After all, you’ve recently gone from looking after him at home to watching him take his first steps into the classroom.

Our Scots Journey brochure helps parents and boys understand what to expect during a typical day at our Early Years Centre and Early Learning Centre. Download your copy today.

Download our Early Years Centre prospectus

Editors note: This blog was originally published as The top 7 literacy and reading apps for children, but has been updated with new content.

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