Best apps for 1st grade reading

Teaching reading isn’t easy, but our list of best apps to help 1st-grade reading will certainly make your life easier.

There are a lot of basic skills that children need to develop in order to be able to read well. These skills will help children to break down words, read confidently, and even read literature above their age’s standard level.

If you’re looking for some apps that can help your child develop these skills then look no further! We have compiled a list of the best apps that can help your child with their reading skills.

Right here on Quyasoft you are privy to a litany of relevant information on and so much more. Take out time to surf through our catalog for more information on related topics. You don’t want to miss this!

Top Tips to Help a 1st Grade Reader

Reading requires certain thought processes and mental abilities. Breaking down words, recognizing words by sight, and retelling stories are all skills that can be turned into fun activities.

  1. Repetition – Just because they have finished reading a book for the first time, doesn’t mean that the story is no longer useful or interesting. Re-reading helps considerably at this age. So, encourage them to re-read stories they like. This can also be more fun by getting them (or the family) to act out parts of the book with unique character voices and all.
  2. Sight Words – Word games are a great way to increase sight word skills, from splat the word to snap, there are plenty of games that require children (and adults) to quickly recognize words in order to win.
  3. Decoding – This is a skill that is great for mixing into word games that they’ll love playing. Games such as Hide-and-Seek Words, drawing words, word scramble, air words, writing activities and more are good ways to practice.
  4. Phonemic Awareness – This is the ability to recognize the sound of letters and combinations of letters. Word family games can be a good activity for this, as can word splat and other phonemic focused activities.
  5. Comprehension – Largely this part comes in as the child’s vocabulary expands. However, there are a lot of useful skills that can complement their understanding. Comprehension can be improved through retelling activities, such as making a comic book, drawing a storyboard, or retelling the story from another character’s perspective. Day-to-day conversations also help greatly, especially questions about books they have read and enjoyed.
  6. Speed – This one is a little trickier to make into games, but it is possible. Timed reading can add pressure to complete a story quickly, as can speed reading competitions (even against oneself). However, speed is no use unless it is read properly, so penalties or re-reads need to be added to encourage accurate and fast reading.
  7. Pronunciation – Although reading is often done “in your head”, it is vital that we are understanding how the words should be read out loud. It is possible for someone to understand a written word, but have totally the wrong pronunciation of it. Gentle and non-judgemental correction of pronunciation is needed. Parents could even set a number of candies aside for a book or page of reading, where if the learner makes it through the page with no mistakes, they get a bigger reward.

Best apps for 1st grade reading

Teaching reading isn’t easy, but our list of best apps to help 1st-grade reading will certainly make your life easier.

There are a lot of basic skills that children need to develop in order to be able to read well. These skills will help children to break down words, read confidently, and even read literature above their age’s standard level.

First, let’s talk about word recognition. Children must learn how to recognize words and the sounds they make before they can learn how to decode them. The best way to do this is through repeated exposure with visuals. Reading aloud with your child every day is one of the best ways to help them become better at word recognition. But if you’re not able to do this as much as you’d like, there are several great apps on our list that can help children learn these skills without ever leaving home!

Second, children need practice decoding so they can master the rules of reading English before moving on from basic books into more complex works such as novels or poetry–and again, there are several apps that can help with this!

Finally, once children have mastered all these skills (which may take some time), their next challenge will be learning how to apply them


Epic! gives access to tons of books.

Epic! gives access to tons of books.Epic!

It’s all in the name. This app, which give access to 25,000 books with read-along technology, games and more, is truly epic.

Kids will have so much to do, they’ll never get bored reading stories of all kinds, learning phonics and just playing, as kids should.

Want to help kids reduce screen time and develop their imagination and creativity? Download Animopus from the App Store. Animopus is a drawing app for kids (ages 2 and up) that turns cartoon consumers into cartoon creators.


ABCmouse offers games, books, songs and puzzles.

ABCmouse offers games, books, songs and puzzles.Age of Learning Inc.

Another absolute favorite app is ABCmouse. The step-by-step learning path lets kids track their progress and earn rewards for their work.

While there’s tons of reading work to be done at various skill levels, there are more than 850 lessons overall. Those include digital books, puzzles, games, songs and animations that create a very interactive reading experience.


Word games abound in the VocabularySpellingCity app.

Word games abound in the VocabularySpellingCity app.VocabularySpellingCity

Popular among homeschool families for its planning and tracking features, VocabularySpellingCity is not only filled with fun games, but is a quality reading tool to help kids learn to read.

Parents can set up year-long word study playlists and activities to keep kids busy, focused and constantly learning to read.


Interactive stories and songs from Homer make story-telling easy for kids.

Interactive stories and songs from Homer make story-telling easy for kids.Homer

The creators of this app truly understood that fun makes learning easy, which is why it’s filled with fun games that kids can choose based on their interests.

It’s designed for kids ages two to eight with age appropriate tasks for each level and grows with your child so they can start early as toddlers and keep the learning going into elementary school (and beyond).


Starfall helps kids learn reading skills from the very beginning.

Starfall helps kids learn reading skills from the very beginning.Starfall

The Starfall app offers multiple levels to encourage even the earliest readers to play along.

Beginning with ABCs to “I’m reading,” it lets kids practice with fun read-alongs, letter matching games and much more.


Hoopla gives kids access to local library titles.

Hoopla gives kids access to local library titles.Hoopla/iTunes

While not just for kids, this app is great for them. It allows you to download audiobooks from the local library instantly and listen on demand. Studies have shown that audiobooks are great for important reading skills, such as listening to sounds, as well as comprehension.

Even more, listening to stories is fun for timid readers, and with a world of books at their fingertips, Hoopla makes it easy.

Endless Reader

Monsters make Endless Reader a ton of fun.

Monsters make Endless Reader a ton of fun.Originator Inc./iTunes

Kids love monsters, and with Endless Reader, they get to play with them.

The adorable creators will help them learn to recognize important sight words that are crucial to early reading with puzzles and letters that come alive and show them exactly what word they spelled. It’s a good way to make the reading lessons memorable.

Hooked on Phonics

Hooked on Phonics has stood the test of time as a reading tool.

Hooked on Phonics has stood the test of time as a reading tool.Hooked on Phonics/iTunes

While Hooked on Phonics may be an oldie, the technology of the app is definitely a goodie. With more than 275 phonics activities, kids have tons to choose from, and it’s easy to find something that’s right for everyone.

The interactive games let kids practice essential reading skills while earning fun incentives at the same time. Plus, the app correlates to federal and state reading proficiency standards through first grade.


FarFaria takes kids into a world of storytelling.

FarFaria takes kids into a world of storytelling.FarFaria

The best part about this app is the colorful and beautiful world of stories kids can choose from when playing. The narration brings each story to life and keeps kids engaged.

It’s been shown that kids read for longer periods of time when using it, and the read-along features make it easy to follow.

Amazon FreeTime

Amazon FreeTime offers an unlimited amount of reading materials.

Amazon FreeTime offers an unlimited amount of reading materials.Amazon

With access to tons of awesome and unique kids books, there is no shortage of reading time on this app.

And the best part? The parent dashboard feature makes it a unique experience, allowing you to set up educational goals and track your child’s reading from your own device.

Kids Academy

Kids Academy offers an excellent personalized experience.

Kids Academy offers an excellent personalized experience.Kids Academy/iTunes

This app strikes the right note with kids because the experience is so personalized — something missing from most educational opportunities.

With Kids Academy’s engaging and adaptive experience, kids will get just what they need and find the learning course that engages them the most. With more than 5,000 activities, that could include educational games, interactive and printable worksheets, songs, puzzles and flashcards.

Dr. Seuss Treasury

Dr. Seuss enthusiasts will love this app.

Dr. Seuss enthusiasts will love this app.Dr. Seuss Treasury/iTunes

Nobody does reading quite like Dr. Seuss, and the app is no exception.

With 55 Dr. Seuss books all in one place, kids can sort and search books, finding all their favorite characters, including the Cat in the Hat, the Grinch and the Lorax. It also allows them to record their own voice reading and learn new vocabulary with tappable words.

Reading Raven

This app makes reading an adventure.

This app makes reading an adventure.Reading Raven/iTunes

This popular app for four- to eight-year-olds helps kids to read with its learning adventure guide.

It’s multi-sensory, has step-by-step lessons and hundreds of activities for kids to enjoy. The highly engaging content helps build confidence and reading skills at the same time.

Monkey Word School Adventure

Word games galore make this app very enticing for kids.

Word games galore make this app very enticing for kids.Monkey Word School Adventure/iTunes

This creative and intuitive app takes kids through phonics exercises to help their early reading skills begin to develop. They can trace letters, practice rhyming with a fun maze, practice spelling and more.

After every round, the game gives a reward — a plant or animal to add to a terrarium — making it even more fun to play, learn and earn!

The Best Reading Apps for 1st Graders Include E-Book Readers

Parents shouldn’t assume that reading apps always equate to games. Reading apps for first graders also include e-book apps that allow children to download books and read them virtually. Many phones and tablets may already feature e-book readers, but parents also can download these apps.

E-book readers allow users to access a whole library of books. Some of these books are free, others are not. Prices per book may vary. On Apple devices, the virtual book store allows parents to browse from a variety of titles. One option includes free books, and parents also can select a kid’s option to search for all titles for children. Some kids’ books also are less than $1.

When parents download books via an e-reader, the books will appear like a real book (albeit a digital one)…complete with virtual pages that kids can turn. Virtual books—or e-books—can be an ideal option for kids who love technology.

Best Reading Apps for 1st Graders

Reading Apps & Games

There are many reading apps that are designed as games. These apps may focus on phonics, sight words or another literacy goal. Parents can use these apps to help first graders memorize and recognize sight words or, perhaps, to strengthen their phonetic awareness. Common Sense Media provides a list of reading apps, websites and games for each age.

Before parents download any app, they should check out the reviews which can provide an indication of an app’s popularity and also give insight about glitches or other issues. Again, prices per app may vary. Some may be free! Just be sure to also understand if these ‘free’ apps include in-app purchases; kids may unknowingly charge up a parent’s account with these types of fees. Devices should let parents disable in-app purchases, and parents should do this if they don’t want any surprise charges!

What reading game app should parents choose? Parents should look for the app that focuses on skills their child needs to develop. First graders who struggle to memorize sight words might benefit from games that require them to match sight words to pictures. The app should be fun, but, for a child who may struggle with an aspect of reading, that app also should be beneficial and help boost skills and proficiency.

Subscription Reading Apps

Apps like Readability may require that parents sign up for a monthly subscription to access all the features and benefits. Subscription apps can vary in cost, and parents will want to be diligent in researching their options as subscription apps do require a financial investment each month. Parents will want to look for an app that addresses their child’s particular reading struggles; teachers may be able to provide parents with recommendations on reading apps that would best address a child’s individualized reading struggles.

Readability provides leveled content for struggling readers, and the app helps children with both phonetic awareness and comprehension skills. Readability includes an integrated AI-tutor that helps correct any pronunciation errors throughout the reading journey. The virtual tutor also asks questions related to the story to help gauge understanding and comprehension. As a child masters each reading level, the content becomes a bit more difficult. However, children will only level-up until when they are able to demonstrate proficiency.

The books on Readability include colorful illustrations and interactive features, and this helps engage young readers. Parents can follow their child’s reading progress via the Parent Dashboard, which displays the child’s reading level and updates parents on how long their child engaged with the app.

While Readability does require a monthly subscription (the per month price is $19.99), parents can sign up for a free seven-day trial to better understand the features and benefits of the app. The free trial allows kids full access to books and all the app’s features.

Ready to try Readability? Sign up for a free seven-day trial today!

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