This summer, keep your kid sharp while she’s plugged in. Discover the best digital reading tools, from video games to virtual reading trackers.
Bookmark the best free online reading games
During the summer, even the most active kids will want to spend a little time at the computer. Make that screen time educational by encouraging your child to play free online reading games. Up until a certain age, kids will be oblivious to whether or not a game is for learning or for fun. Make the most of that sweet spot while your kids are little.
- Try the online reading games at PBS Kids and Nick Jr. letters and spelling games.
- Learning Planet has a huge variety of games. If you don’t want your kids viewing banner ads, Learning Planet has an option to subscribe and remove them.
- For preschoolers, try the Super WHY games at PBS Kids Sprout.
Download the best reading apps
If you own a Kindle Fire, consider subscribing to Kindle FreeTime Unlimited. This service allows parents to create a kid-friendly dashboard for children ages 3 to 8. You choose whether or not your child has access to games or videos. During the summer, allow access to reading games and ebooks to help your child stay sharp.
- Feeling nostalgic? Old school goes digital with the Reading Rainbow app for iPad.
- Little Mo Willems fans will love Don’t Let the Pigeon Run This App.
- Encourage readers to dive deeper into books with reading apps that create interactive experiences, such as The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore app.
Encourage video games that involve reading
Encourage your child to play kid-friendly RPGs. If you don’t know what RPG stands for, don’t worry. Your kid probably doesn’t either. The term has become so ubiquitous it’s rarely spelled out as role-playing game. If your child loves video games but you don’t love all that screen time, encourage her to try a game that involves a lot of reading.
- Kingdom Hearts 3-D Dream Drop Distance, rated for ages 10 and up, is a Disney-themed fighting RPG that involves problem solving and reading.
- For a free online RPG, try Kung Fu Panda: Tales of Po.
Discover fun letter learning games >>
Help your child use an online reading minutes tracker
For kids who enjoy competing and prizes, you can’t beat the Scholastic Summer Challenge 2013. This free online program lets kids log reading minutes. The site lets kids choose what they want to read, whether that’s the latest young adult romance or a comic book. Kids can log in and track their progress, see how their school measures up and win virtual prizes for reading. This is a great option for kids who already have an interest in reading. Chances are your child already loves a Scholastic title, making the themed areas of the Summer Challenge especially exciting to your young reader.