Looking for new ways to get your kids engaged with reading at home? Try these websites and apps to discover great new books, learn essential reading skills or find fun new ways to supplement their reading routine!
Wonderopolis taps into kids’ innate curiosity through the “Wonders of the Day." Students from around the world submit curiosities they’d like to learn more about (i.e., “wonders”), then they are voted on by other students. The wonders that receive the most votes are explored in-depth by the Wonderopolis team and could be featured as a future “Wonder of the Day.” With over 1,800 wonders and counting, it’s a great platform to engage kids with reading content that they find most interesting, all while learning something new about the world around them.
Bookopolis provides a fun way for kids to find new book ideas through curated, student reviewed book lists based on age, interest and reading level. Students earn points, badges and rewards for activities on the Bookopolis site, such as adding books or writing reviews. If your kids are struggling to find books that interest them, or are just looking for fun, new subjects to read about, give Bookopolis a try.
Starfall Learn to Read is a mobile version of the “Learn to Read” content from Starfall’s website. It provides an introduction to phonics and sight words in a fun and engaging way. The features in this app are perfect for early readers: highlighted words in read-alongs, a variety of interactive games to reinforce concepts and visual cues that provide a guided experience.
Mad Libs are so much fun that your child won’t even realize that they’re learning at the same time! It’s the interactive version of the same Mad Libs you remember from school. Your kids can complete funny, quirky stories while practicing their parts of speech and spelling, and ultimately reading their creation. Get everyone in on the action and add the Mad Libs app to your family’s rotation for family game night.
Best fit for grades 2-6.
Digital Resources at Your Local Library
Many libraries provide free access to vast repositories of ebooks, including many kids’ titles. Mix things up by having your kids reach their reading goals by reading online, as well as with paper books. Your local library may provide an easy, free way to keep the ebooks flowing!
Best fit for all ages.
Using Digital Storytelling Tools to Foster a Love of Reading
The process of storytelling can help instill a greater sense of self-esteem in early readers. It can also translate into a love for reading and increased reading comprehension skills. Here are a few digital storytelling tools that can help foster your child’s love of reading.
Storyline Online is provided by the SAG-AFTRA Foundation (the nonprofit organization of by the Screen Actors Guild & American Federation of Television and Radio Artists). They spotlight award-winning children’s literacy, read aloud by famous actors and actresses. Find your kid’s favorite book or a favorite family celebrity, and hear a cherished book in an entirely new way!
Storybird turns creative content into tangible books (picture books, chapter books or poems) that can be viewed online or printed (for a fee). Storybird is a visual storytelling platform. Your child begins with selecting beautiful, inspiring artwork and then adds text to build their story. There are even monthly story prompts for those that need a little help getting started. Storybird also has a subscription service where badges can be earned for creating content and the Storybird staff provides personalized feedback on submitted stories. The process of creating their own, visually rich stories may inspire your child to read more or to try a new genre! Plus, the option to print their completed books is a wonderful way to motivate and reward.
Best fit for grades K-1 with assistance or grades 2-6 independently.
Toontastic 3D is a storytelling app created by Google where kids draw, animate and narrate their own adventures. Toontastic guides kids through the entire story creation experience from designing characters to storyboarding, animating, narrating and building a soundtrack. Grab the popcorn and have a family movie night featuring your child’s brand new cartoon!