Parents | Raising readers & learners.

Home of Parent & Child Magazine

Scholastic Parents: Raise a Reader

7 Literacy Apps for Older Readers

Download these curated apps for your elementary and middle school kids to promote literacy and problem-solving skills.
on June 12, 2017

When selecting apps to download for my children, I like to choose ones that stretch their brains as they play, encouraging the development of their problem-solving skills and general knowledge.

These 7 literacy apps below are great for Grades 2-8 children because they combine important aspects of literacy (including spelling, vocabulary, and storytelling), with a good dose of thinking, problem solving…and a little creativity, too!

1. Bluster (Ages 7-10) A fun quest to find trios of matching words. Rhyming, prefixes, suffixes, synonyms, word roots, homophones, and adjectives are spread across three levels of play before time runs out. Games can be played solo, as a team or competitively against another player.

2. Mad Libs (Ages 7-10) Just like the original book version, players complete a previously unseen story with prompts for various parts of speech in order to create a rather hilarious tale. The game includes optional hints for choosing appropriate words.

3. Comics Head (Ages 8-13) This app makes the most of your kid's interest in graphic novels and comic strips by encouraging storytelling through their very own comic strip creation.

4. Spell Mania (Ages 8-12) Players are presented with a 4x4 grid of letters and the option to play in one of three modes — free play (unlimited time), puzzle mode (blanks for words provided), or time attack (timed). Your kids will need to find words consisting of three to seven letters.

5. SpellTower (Ages 9-13+) Much like a giant version of Boggle, the SpellTower app rewards kids for their word-making skills as they find and spell words in an enormous letter grid. The longer the word or rarer the letters used, the higher the score.

6. Word Search (Ages 8-13) A technological twist on this classic literacy brain challenge, Word Search includes themed lists of search words — everything from witty words to the zombie apocalypse! Replay lists so your kids' can beat their own time and highest score.

7. Word Dynamo (Ages 8-13+) For kids with a keen interest in developing their general knowledge, this vocabulary game quizzes them to match words in interesting lists (biology, geography, media, art, and much more) with their definitions. It includes lists appropriate for elementary school through to college level.

For most families, screen time is all about balance, and by choosing apps that get kids thinking as they play, you can ensure that they are exercising their brain as well as their fingers.

Featured Photo Credit: © JodiJacobson /iStockphoto

About this blog

In the Raise a Reader blog, get advice, tips, and resources from our expert contributors on helping your child read at every age and stage. Each week, find book recommendations, literacy activities, and more to spark your reader's interests.

Blogs We Love

Play and learning ideas for kids of all ages.
Literacy resources to reach all growing readers.

Find Just-Right Books