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Best reading apps and programmes for children

Just because school’s out doesn’t mean the kids have to put the books away. If your child struggles with reading and writing, these holidays may be a great time for them to hone these skills. We have compiled a list of helpful reading apps that can turn reading into a fun activity rather a grim experience for you and your child.

1. Voice Dream Writer

Voice Dream Writer was designed with people with reading disabilities in mind, however just about anyone can use this app. It turns text to speech and can proofread any errors. This app is also able to improve your writing skills as it assists with proofreading your written work by reading it out to you. This app also assists you with finding the right words to use through phonetic and meaning search. For example: if you were to search "jumping Australian animal" by meaning, the app will to find "Kangaroo". The app is also able to export and import your written documents to your dropbox, iCloud and Google Drive.

This app is currently only available for iOS, however, Android users can download the sister app: Voice Dream Reader (R159.99, Google Play).

R149,99, iTunes store

2. Dyslexic Like Me

There is a lot of shame surrounding dyslexia, which can leave your child feeling incompetent when it comes to their school work. This interactive e-book aims to erase the shameful stigma surrounding dyslexia by helping them feeling empowered to overcome this learning disability. It provides learning aids that specialise in helping individuals with dyslexia on all levels of reading and writing.

Price: $4.55 on Amazon. Download the Kindle app for free from Google Play and iTunes.

3. Easy Spelling Aid + Translator & Dyslexia Support

By tapping the microphone feature, this app will spell words for the user. It puts the word on your child's screen in upper and lower case and offers a variety of special fonts for dyslexia/ dysgraphia. It also has an accurate speech recognition in multiple languages.

$3.99 - iTunes store

R50.99 - Google Play

4. First Words Sampler

This app is perfect for pre-schoolers and Grade 1s. Disguised as a game, the app teaches younger children about letters and how to pronounce them, which in turn teaches them how to spell. It includes wonderful illustrations of animals and inanimate objects that are matched with sounds and recordings of the words and the letters. The app is free and very user friendly for your child’s tiny fingers. The app is also available in Spanish, Japanese, German and French so if you want your young one to learn a new language from an early age, this may just be the app for you.

Free - iTunes.

5. Read&Write

With the use of text to sound, picture dictionaries and summary highlighters this app can be used from preschool to high school. Learners can trace letters, learn sounds and text predictions. It makes reading and writing a simple and quick task for anyone who struggles with literacy.

Free - Google chrome, Google play and iTunes store.

6. MeeGenius Children's Books

With the use of illustrations and highlighted words, this app helps boost your child’s confidence when it comes to reading. It provides a combination of classic children’s tales with interactive tools that help nurture your child’s reading skills.

Free - Google Play and iTunes store

7. AppWriter 

AppWriter features a text-to-speech function, integrated PDF-reader and custom keyboard and special dyslexie-font. It offers four different read-out-loud strategies each for a different function. It provides beautiful visuals and even highlights the words as it reads them out aloud.

Free - Google chrome

R329.95 - Google Play

$39.95 - iTunes store

8. Reader Trainer

This app was designed to help learners increase their reading speed. It’s great to for children who feel discouraged to read because of their short attention span or learning disabilities. It will also help students who turn back the page because they didn't get what they'd just read or have difficulty recalling what they have read.

R39.99 - Google Play

$2.99 - iTunes store

9. Sentence Builder

This app is best for children aged 5-12. It helps them build grammatically correct sentences with words that make up 80% of the English language. It’s designed like a game, offering 3 levels of intensity. Animations encourage the player throughout the game to achieve the best results. The app also tracks the player’s progress, helping parents know if their child’s spelling is improving.

$5.99 - iTunes store

10. StoryBuilder

Made by the same developers who made Sentencebuilder, this app takes your child's literacy to the next level. Once they have mastered the skill of spelling, they’ll be ready to build their own stories! It helps children improve paragraph formation and the integration of ideas. This app also uses audio clips and animation helping with children with sensory processing disorders. Children can also build these stories using their own voice on the app. Once your child has written their bestselling novel, they’re able to email it to family and friends!

$7.99 - iTunes store

Also read:

Let us know if any tech, programmes or apps have helped improve your child's reading and writing at chatback@parent.com and we could publish your letter. 

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