Top 10 free reading apps for kids

by Antonella Dési
Free reading apps for kids
Reading Time: 5 minutes
Today’s kids are spending increasingly more time on laptops, cell phones and other electronic devices. Contrary to popular belief however, instead of being used purely for entertainment, with the right app, this time can be leveraged and used to supplement their education. Learn-to-read apps can be a fun way to help your child improve on their reading skills and build their confidence. By Antonella Dési


We went in search for the best free reading apps for young kids that offered child-friendly and educational content in manageable bite-size portions.

We were particularly interested in those apps that managed to infuse the learning process with games and entertainment, to make it a fun experience. These are our top 10 picks:

  1. Khan Academy Kids: The Khan Academy Kids app is designed for young children from the age of 2 to 7 years old. It offers a wide range of interactive activities, games and lessons to support early leaning in various subjects, including reading, maths, social-emotional development, and more. It features a colourful and engaging interface, and provides a personalised learning experience by adapting to each child’s unique skill level and progress. The content covers a wide range of foundational skills, such as letter recognition, phonics, counting, shapes and colours.
  2. Relay Reader: Developed by the Educational Testing Service, this app sets itself apart by immersing children in full-length books instead of short exercises for practice. This interactive platform presents books where every other page is read aloud by a skilled narrator, and readers can record themselves and reflect on how they sound to improve their pronunciation and word recognition. It also provides an end-of-book assessment, which evaluates the reader’s comprehension of the story.
  3. Starfall Learn To Read: Featuring 15 mini-books, each of which focuses on a particular vowel, this app will help kids master the pronunciation and spelling of words. It also features engaging videos and activities that are designed to further enhance literacy learning. The beloved Zac the Rat character takes the lead in guiding children through each section of the app. Zac teaches children the sounds and spelling associated with each vowel through a variety of activities, movies, songs. The app is free and includes some free activities, or you can unlock all content for a fee.
  4. ABC Kids: Tracing & Phonics: Designed to teach phonics and the alphabet to pre-schoolers and toddlers, this app offers engaging tracing games that help with the recognition of both upper and lower case letter shapes, while also associating them with corresponding phonic sounds. The app personalises the learning experience by incorporating any existing alphabet knowledge the child may have. This knowledge is utilised in letter matching exercises, allowing them to build on their existing skills. To add an element of fun, stickers and rewards are awarded upon completion of tracing games.
  5. Spark Reading for Kids: Designed to enhance the reading skills of students from age 6 to 16 years of age, Spark Reading for Kids features a vast collection of stories on a wide variety of topics. With each captivating story, your child will delve into critical thinking exercises, which will help enhance their reading and comprehension skills. The app is intelligently designed to identify the best stories suited to your child’s reading level and interests, and it is this personalised approach helps them select stories that resonate with their personal preferences, ensuring maximum engagements and learning. It also allows you to track student progress. Free to try with limited stories, or pay and subscribe for full access.
  6. Word Domino Lite, letter games: Suitable for the entire family, the objective of the game is to construct words using the given syllables. Each game focuses on words belonging to a specific category, adding an additional element of interest and challenge. Children aged 6 and above can enhance their vocabulary and reading skills while playing, and it provides an opportunity to improve mental organisation and scanning abilities. For adults, the game offers a chance to enhance mental alertness and cognitive agility. The app is available in multiple languages, including English, Spanish, Frenchand German.
  7. Epic – Kid’s Books & Reading: The world’s largest digital library for kids, Epic is a fun, kid-safe, interactive reading app that stimulates curiosity and reading confidence. You can download books to read offline, and over and above of traditional ebooks, the app offers a huge collection of read-to-me books and audiobooks. Most of the books on the app are in English, however, it also offers some in Spanish, French and Chinese. Reading Buddies, badges and quizzes will help keep your child motivated. The app also features Spotlight Words and an audio-enabled dictionary to improve vocabulary and help with pronunciation. The basic subscription is free, with a limited library and access to one book a day, every day, or you can pay for unlimited access.
  8. WORD Force Reading Adventures: This app transforms the learning-to-read journey into a n exciting “save the world” adventure for your child. Offering an array of 15 interactive games, this app is designed for children aged from 5 to 8 years of age, empowering them as commanders of the WORD Force superhero team. Alongside their zany sidekicks, your child will embark on explorations of new worlds and in the process, discover key reading concepts including phonological awareness, phonics skills, spelling words, vocabulary, and reading comprehension.
  9. FarFaria: Designed for kids aged 1 to 9 years old, FarFaria features thousands of beautifully illustrated fiction and nonfiction books, bedtime stories, picture books, audiobooks, nursery rhymes, and songs to keep your child entertained and make them fall in love with reading. Every book featured on the app has been reviewed by a reading specialist and tagged with an easy-to use A-to-Z Reading Level Badge. Farfaria helps children develop their reading confidence, and foster literacy skills, reading fluency, and comprehension. It is free to download, but requires a paid subscription for unlimited reading.
  10. Reading Racer: If your child lacks confidence when reading aloud, then this app is for you. It utilises speech recognition to listen to your child’s reading and provides assistance with challenging words. As your child’s reading skills improve, they earn points and unlock new and exciting content. It offers an extensive collection of over 200 stories, and your child can tailor the difficulty level of the content to suit their level. Whether you choose a thrilling reading race or create a low-stress practice mode, Reading Racer will provide a supportive and engaging environment for your child to improve their reading fluency and comprehension.

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