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Free online games your kids will love (but will actually teach them to read!)

Michelle Maffei is a freelance copywriter covering a variety of topics both online and in print, from parenting to beauty and more. Combining her two favorite loves, writing and motherhood, she has found joy in even the most challenging ...

Online reading games for kids

Whether you're looking to fight summer brain drain or are just looking for a way to sneak in learning when you give your kids screen time, these online reading games tackle phonics, sharpen vocabulary use and encourage reading. From free online games from well-known sources of education like PBS Kids to games featuring your child's favorite Looney Tunes characters, check out these free online games your kids will love (but will actually teach them to read)!

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Preschool reading games

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PBSKids.org stars like Caillou and Jay Jay the Jet Plane make reading fun with free online games that use phonics and spelling, geared towards refining your children's reading skills. The site also features games by the electric company that are geared towards kids six to nine years old.

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Kaboose.com reading games for kids ages three to six years old. Phonics, spelling and vocabulary are the focus in these fun games for your youngest learner.

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iTunes.com offers educational iPhone apps like Preschool: 15 in 1, sightwords and ABC Magic Phonics to make it easy to keep your preschoolers occupied on your iPhone or iPad on the go -- and get them on the track to learning.

>> Discover 7 ways to foster reading skills in baby

Online reading games for kids

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Scholastic, the trusted source for books and educational materials, isn't all about books. The company's website offers free online reading games for kids, like the I Can Read game.

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PrimaryReadingGames.com offers games focused on language arts skills, including reading, writing and typing. You can keep kids occupied on the go, too, with the website's mobile version on your cell phone.

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Learningtoday.com was created as an online learning took for kids grades K to five, focused on the at-risk student. Games are designed to not only help kids sharpen their reading skills, but have fun in the process to keep their interest.

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Kaboose.com isn't just for preschoolers. The site also has free online reading games that focus on reading for older kids.

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LooneyTunesPhonics.com is the perfect way to give your kids from Kindergarten through third grade face time with Bugs Bunny and the entire Looney Tunes gang while encouraging them to read. Focused on phonics, this online environment is free to try, but requires a monthly, six-month or annual subscription.

>> Before your kiddo hits the classroom, learn how to get a head start on Kindergarten reading

Reading games for tweens and teens

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Facebook.com isn't just for social butterflies. With Facebook apps, you won't mind if your tween or teen gets addicted to reading games like Scramble and Word Twist.

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Bing.com isn't only good for searching -- it's a portal for fun. Tweens and teens will love what they learn when tackling word game challenges like Text Twist and Scrabble-style games like Paradise Island.

In addition to letting your children play online reading games for kids, reading every night with your youngster is the best way to help him brush up on his reading skills. Can't get to the library or bookstore? Head online to your child's favorite author's website, like Beverly Cleary, author of Ramona books, Percy Jackson, author Rick Riordan, or the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series to read digital books, excerpts and play free online games featuring the author's famous characters. Because when you uncover free online games your kids will love (but will teach them to read!), your kids will be so focused on fun they won't realize they're learning!

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