Lakeshore LearningI (want) to know what some of the best apps (are) for a 4 year old. She’s so interested in learning to read, yet I have no idea where to begin. I think she may have a bit of photographic memory, so it’s hard to tell if she is actually reading, or just has the book memorized.

Thanks again!

Phonics mastery is a great place to start, especially if your daughter has a
photographic memory or is reading whole words—she’ll learn how to
break down harder words. Here are a few cool pre-reading and phonics apps that I would recommend. –Christina

Lakeshore Learning (shown above) has three apps that we think are very helpful in teaching phonics. While they’re no longer free, they are worth the nominal cost since they are great at building on each other as your child learns the sounds. Start with the first app and see if you like it enough to buy the others. Just know that young children will need an adult helper to guide them until they master the app on their own. 

First Letters app for kids

The FirstLetters app is pretty easy to use and you can choose to either have the letter names or letter sounds stated. While the Alphabet Song is nothing you’ll want on heavy rotation, I do appreciate that they sing it with letter sounds as well as the traditional ABC version. The full-version app is $1.99 but you can try the Lite version for free. 
Bob Books

The Bob Books series are a great way for your daughter to feel like she’s mastered a real book, and unlike some early readers that follow no rhyme or reason with their choice of words, Bob Books focuses keenly on a single concept (e.g., short “a” sounds, or blends).
Me Books reading app for kids

And while Me Books aren’t an actual phonics program, they could be a really fun addition to any reading work you are doing. You can “flip” through and hear the story read aloud OR you can record yourself (or your daughter) reading it and listen to it that way. Plus, there are hot-spots throughout the illustrations where she can record her own sound effects. Most of the titles would be pretty challenging for a typical 4-year-old, however it could be fun to play with this app together at story time. 

For even more educational apps and websites for kids, please see our archives.