Updated in April 2022
How about you reduce your kids’ gaming time and replace it with fun learning time using storybook reading? Games are entertaining and fun to play which explains why they can be easily addictive. because they embed all the learning principles that keep players hooked to their screens for a prolonged period of time. Luckily, several educational apps and tools have started implementing game design mechanics into their design thus gamifying the whole learning experience and making it more motivating and entertaining. This process is known as gamification.
Storybook reading provides kids with a great learning experience to enhance their cognitive development. Developing early reading skills is an important if not essential step towards literacy development. The recommended 20 minutes of reading per day should be enough to develop language skills and boost literacy development. And yes there are some excellent storybook apps that you can use with your kids to help them get excited and motivated about reading.
The collection below features some of the best storybook apps for kids and younger minds. I meticulously curated the list and I included only those apps that I believe, based on my experience as an educator and EdTech blogger, can provide value to your kids. The apps provide access to huge collections of interactive storybooks, bedtime stories, and read-alouds. These stories are brought to life through interactive features including animated character voice and game activities.
Most of these apps offer helpful features that facilitate kids reading including word highlights, different reading modes (e.g. read-to-me, read along, read-aloud, etc), and more. The purpose is to inspire a love of reading in kids and help them become better readers.
FanFaria Stories is a storybook app that provides a wide variety of read-alouds for kids 1- to 9. The collection includes over 1000 popular kids books covering various genre such a bedtime stories, nursery rhymes, songs, educational books, and more. Some of its main features include read-to-me functionality, standards-aligned reading level badge, common core reading levels,, read along option, offline access, and more.
Little Stories app offers over 40 beautifully illustrated fairy tales. Simply select the age and gender of your kid and let the app provide custom fairy tales with pictures and beautiful melodies selected specially for your kid. You can even create your own audiobook by recording your voice and using it as a voice-over for the story.
Epic is one of the best digital reading platforms that offers reading materials for kids 12 and under. Epic’s library includes over 40.000 books, a huge collection of audiobooks, and numerous interactive learning videos. The personalized recommendations feature provides kids with reading suggestions based on their reading level and interest. Epic also includes a tracking system that enables kids and parents to keep track of reading progress. Rewards and badges are offered to keep kids motivated. Check out Epic full review to learn more about this reading app.
This app is designed with the goal of improving kids sleep through bedtime stories, lullabies, and massages. The app’s library contains over 60 massage series and bedtime stories for kids 1-12 years old. ‘Play lullabies and listen to bedtime stories together as you massage your child into a restful state of relaxation.’
Novel Effect is a good app that brings to life stories and helps promotes kids learning and imagination. Here is how it works: search the app for books to read, start reading aloud to your kid from a storybook, the app follows along and provides interactive music, sound effects, and character voices when needed. The app’s library embeds a huge collection of soundscapes to choose from. However, only premium users have unlimited access to the library.
Make Way for Books offers a wide range of educational materials including books that you can read together with your kids. There is also a section called ‘in book tips’ where you can access ideas and tips on how to improve your child’s reading skills. Use the search functionality to find educational videos and activities to work on with your child and help them build their early reading skills.
Fairy Tales is a storybook app that offers a growing library of bedtime stories. Popular titles include The Beauty and The Beast, The Three Little Pigs, The Prince and the Pea, The Tinderbox, The Wolf and Seven Kids, Aesop’s Fables, and more. Each bedtime story is further enriched with educational games, puzzles, and activities to help make reading more fun and entertaining. Other features provided by the app include: both Read-to-Me and Read-Myself modes, interactive stories with animated characters and fully narrated, offline reading , and more.
As its name suggests, Bedtime Stories app provides access to a wide collection of stories including bedtime stories, Aesop’s Fables, Fairy tales, early reading stories, moral stories, among others. The app supports both the Read-by-Me and Read-for-Me modes thus helping kids develop both reading and listening skills.
Some of the interesting features Bedtime Stories app offers include: word highlight, interactive animations, rewards for kids achievements, storybook suggestions based on kids reading interests, and more. Some popular stories included in the app are: Cinderella, Three Little Pigs, The Thirsty Crow, The Fox and The Grapes, The Boy Who Cried Wolf, among others.
Vooks is your go-to library for read-aloud stories for kids. Vooks offers kids the option to watch or read vooks anywhere with Internet connection. As kids engage with their stories, they get to develop language skills and boost their emotional learning skills. ‘Vooks inspires and motivates young readers with intentional read-along pacing and highlighting to create a visual connection with the text. The stories teach valuable life lessons that promote social-emotional development to provide readers the tools to become leaders.’
Booka is another good eBook app for kids 1 to 9 years old. The app features interactive kids books from award-winning children’s book publishers and Booka library. Books are narrated by actors and are selected based on kids age, interest, and activity. The app’s read-to-me function allows kids to listen to their favourite books anywhere they are.