Are you looking for the best reading programs for kids so your child can become an avid reader?
With so many options out there it can be difficult to know which one is right for your family.
Some reading programs are good for younger kids, while others are better for older children.
Others may be online, while some require physical materials.
The good news is that there’s a reading program out there to suit every child’s needs and interests.
To help you find the perfect program for your child, we have compiled our list of the 14 best reading programs for kids, ranking them based on a variety of factors like affordability, ease of use, and effectiveness.
This guide has been updated for 2023 to include the latest information on all of the top learning to read programs. Some new picks have been added as we’re always testing out new programs, so you can be sure you’re getting the most up-to-date information.
Disclosure: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost for you, we might get a commission if you click the link and purchase.
What are the Best Reading Programs for Kids?
Here are our picks for the top kids reading programs worth trying…
Lou Adventures is an interactive learning story for kids that helps them improve their reading skills through a fun, adventurous game.
Have a kid who’s obsessed with playing games? Lou Adventures can become the perfect reading partner for you and your child!
Lou Adventures is an interactive story app designed to make children avid readers. It keeps the children engaged through interactive and immersive games, which helps maintain their attention span.
This reading game consists of 12 interactive chapters brimming with information on the Mystery at the Lakehouse. As your child reads through the story, the talking dog, Lou, will lead them through a series of exciting adventures.
Lou Adventures is integrated with speech recognition technology and provides children with prompts. It works like a virtual tutor, helping kids improve their reading and pronunciation.
The challenging adventures bridge the gap between learning and fun, making Lou Adventures our top pick.
You also don’t have to worry about things getting too techy because the app is easy to navigate.
Check out our Lou Adventures review for a full look at the app.
- Teaches problem-solving skills
- Improves reading and comprehension abilities
- Identifies the pronunciation mistakes by making the child read aloud
- Makes the text easy to understand
- User-friendly interface
- Attractive graphics
Noggin is one of the best overall educational apps out there, helping kids learn everything from reading to math to creative thinking and more.
With fun games, interactive lessons, and personalized lessons featuring kids’ favorite Nick Jr. characters, Noggin helps kids ages 2 to 7 build critical reading skills.
In addition to hundreds of lessons and games to help children build essential reading skills, the online reading program also includes a ton of eBooks featuring Nick Jr. characters from shows like Blues Clues, Dora the Explorer, Paw Patrol, Bubble Guppies, and more.
The online reading program can help your kid learn the alphabet, sight words, basic phonics, letter sounds, and more through eBooks, interactive games, and personalized lessons.
New books and educational resources are added every month to encourage children to keep reading regularly.
You can see our Noggin review for a full look at the app.
- Features your kids’ favorite Nick Jr. characters
- Personalized learning to your child’s reading level
- Tons of activities and games to improve your child’s reading ability
- Always-growing collection of eBooks
- Free trial period
- Annually Plan: $59.99 per year
- Lifetime Plan: $99.99 one-time fee
If your child hates learning, Homer will be his best reading partner.
This reading program takes a slightly different approach to attracting children towards reading. The app offers custom lesson plans and allows the children to choose what to study. It gives them confidence and eradicates the feeling of being bossed around.
Homer identifies your child’s interests and designs plans accordingly. From almost 20 topics, your child can choose what appeals to him and begin his journey right away. This helps motivate children and keep them engaged as they work through the online program.
The basic layout is game-like which means our kid will be excited to play and learn.
Children can either work their way through the lesson plan or choose the practice mode, where they can put their skills to the test.
- Lifetime membership
- Covers a wide range of skills, including math, ESL, and creative thinking
- Identifying letters and numbers
- Highly economical
- Online App: $7/mo
- Premium plan: $16/mo
Have an intuitive toddler who refuses to read? Choose Hooked On Phonics as your reading program, and watch him become a confident reader! This reading program is probably one of the oldest options.
It started as a father trying various ways to make his son read and became a well-known brand for worksheets, flashcards, and books. The company has been promoting successful reading methodologies way before apps were a thing, so you can be sure of its performance.
The app uses multiple concepts, such as prints, phonological awareness, and phonics word recognition. With more than 30 reading lessons, it has various engaging activities to keep the children engaged. Reading activities are seemingly just for fun but aim to teach the primary building blocks of reading, such as short vowels, simple plurals, simple compound words, etc.
- Available offline
- Explains concepts through videos and songs
- Built-in reward system
5. Reading Eggs
- Monthly subscription: $9.99/month (4 children)
- Yearly subscription: $69.99/year (4 children)
- Schools: Custom quotes
If you have a dyslexic kid, Reading Eggs will be a perfect choice. This reading program has won many awards and is known to inculcate reading skills efficiently. The lessons are specifically structured to cater to children with spelling difficulties.
It follows the five essential components of reading: phonics, phonemic awareness, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension.
The best part about this reading program is that you can monitor your child’s progress, which helps you immediately identify any deficiencies.
With over 2000 digital storybooks, Reading Eggs also has numerous guided reading lessons. It uses an interactive methodology that keeps children engaged in the activity.
- Option to choose between different types of English: British English, Australian English, or American English.
- Introduces new words to children, along with their varying contexts
- Pre-reading activities make the child keen on reading
Have a hyperactive kid who just won’t sit in one place? Give this reading program a chance, and you’d find him finishing book after book! Teach Your Monster, as the name suggests, is a fun reading tool for the little monsters in your home. Sourced by The USBORNE Foundation, this reading program is a non-profit reading program that helps your child delve into the world of reading.
The layout is based on various games where children create their own monsters and get through different challenges. The most beneficial part of this program is the age range. From teaching your kid letters and sounds to reading full-length sentences, Monsters has it all. The phonics game inculcates crucial reading skills while being a fun activity for your child.
- Teaches tricky words and synonyms
- Three basic-level games which focus on letters and sounds
- Improves sound recognition in toddlers
- Complements the concepts taught in school
$35 per year
Starfall is your answer if you’re looking for a reading program that does much more than reading. This program introduces educational concepts like color identification, counting basics, and reading skills all in one place. The basic version is free to use, so you can always test it thoroughly before investing.
Starfall features a shepherd who guides your child through the lesson. If reading lessons get a bit boring, there’s always a fun game to make your child stay attentive. These games, although fun and immersive, aim to reinforce the concepts taught in the lessons. This way, the concepts become crystal clear in your child’s mind.
Starfall is a good option if you want a long-term solution. It nurtures your child from a preschool level up until he’s ten years old.
- Basic interface
- Each lesson teaches different skills
- Introduces different genres of literature
ABCya pricing for premium plans is as follows:
- $9.99 per month
- $69.99 per year
ABCya! is another great reading program among many. It has games organized according to the child’s grade. It means your child can develop his reading skills gradually without getting too overwhelmed. The interactive and colorful website makes reading a fun activity for kids.
The games cover a range of concepts and subjects, including letters, numbers, holiday games, and much more. These are mostly arcade games that always end up attracting children.
The website has all the game tiles displayed so your kid can spot his favorite in seconds.
Moreover, this reading program provides a perfect opportunity for children to test their skills. All the things they learn at school come in handy when getting through the game.
- More than 300 games
- Activities are designed by educators
- Simple navigation
- Wide range of subjects
$63 per year
If your child faces difficulty in reading, consider consulting a doctor. No, not the physician, head to the Reading Doctor’s website! This reading program can help your struggling child become an avid reader.
Using engaging methodologies, Reading Doctor aims to teach skills such as blending, segmentation, and sight word knowledge.
The patented system used by the Reading Doctor helps your child associate sounds and words. It increases proficiency and enables the child to read complex sentences without difficulty.
Reading Doctor also uses a systematic synthetic phonics sequence that helps your child construct words. The portal also gives you access to a parent dashboard where you can monitor your child’s progress.
- Self-explanatory for children
- Concept of letter-sound relationships to identify unfamiliar words
- Phonemic awareness
- Developing spelling abilities
- Vocabulary skills and reading fluency
10. Reading Raven
- Vol 1: $3
- Vol 2: $2
Have a kid who doesn’t fall for flashy stuff? Reading Raven will be the right option for you!
Reading Raven aims to strengthen your kid’s reading skills with each passing day. The curriculum is based on phonics, giving your child an excellent start to the reading journey. In this way, children will have a strong foundation of pronunciation, helping them maintain their reading habits for a lifetime.
Reading Raven can also be customized according to your child’s needs. Toddlers can have a go at word matching and identifying sounds, while older kids can practice how to put together words.
It makes the program ever-evolving and a long-term investment. Reading Raven also uses multi-sensory features to improve hand-eye coordination, listening, and reading skills.
- Focuses on building a fondness for reading
- Builds a strong foundation
- Improves comprehension skills
- Teaches how to recognize and trace letters
- Monthly subscription: $5
- Yearly subscription: $40
Want a reading program bursting with features? Skybrary is your best bet! Previously known as Reading Rainbow, this reading program is associated with a non-profit organization, Reading Is Fundamental, solely meant to facilitate young readers.
The curators have designed a digital library for your children. The library includes tons of options to choose from and has numerous videos and read-along narrations to go along with the books. The vast choice available helps young readers to identify their areas of interest early on, so the rest of the path is based on interest.
Skybrary also has various features to keep the readers hooked, such as book-related stickers, matching games, and building their own story game.
- Easy to navigate
- Parent dashboard helps track the child’s progress
- Interactive animations hold your child’s interests
- Real-world video explorations
- Monthly subscription: $5
- Yearly subscription: $50
- Lifetime: $100
Farfaria might sound like a magical land, which is exactly what it is! This reading tool allows children to read the story themselves or have an animated narration that makes the story come to life!
Taking a different approach from game-centric reading programs, Farfaria automatically becomes a child’s favorite reading option because of its magical graphics. The animated narration improves a child’s imagination and helps him understand the story better.
New stories are added every week to the content available on Farfaria, meaning your child will never get bored! These stories are also available online, which helps your child tune in to another chapter regardless of where he is!
- Numerous themes
- Expands imaginative capabilities
- Interactive maps help in choosing a story
- Stimulates an interest in reading
- Encourages family time
Monthly subscription: $9.99
Yearly subscription: $79.99
This reading program will be the right choice if you want an ‘epic’ solution to improve your child’s reading skills! With over 35000 books, Epic is a safe space for children to learn and explore.
The best part about this reading program is that it awards children with badges and recognition at every step! It keeps the children motivated throughout their reading journey.
Every book in Epic’s digital library is hand-picked by the curators to suit children of all ages. You can also play with your child’s profile settings so that he cannot access the content meant for older kids.
Epic aims to provide children with easy access to books, making reading an effortless activity for everyone.
- High-quality books
- Allows up to four individual accounts
- Regular reports
- Affordably priced
14. Read Works
If you need a reading program for classroom setups, Read Works is your one-stop solution. This tool allows you to work professionally on reading projects and present them in the form of worksheets or presentations. A perfect choice for teachers and home-schoolers, ReadWorks can help you inculcate effective reading methodologies.
Readworks can also integrate with Google Classroom, where teachers can track and track the student’s progress. From demo videos to classroom tips, ReadWorks will help you excitingly nurture future readers.
This reading program also includes various fiction and non-fiction texts, activities, and assessments to help develop children’s reading skills.
Students also have access to various tools, such as research and annotations, which help them interact with their teachers.
- Human-voiced narration
- High-interest passages
- Support via articles and videos
- Assessments can be graded automatically
15. Oxford Owl
Powered by the Oxford University Press, this reading program has thousands of resources available to help your child improve his reading skills.
From reading for pleasure to learning how to get past challenging levels, the Oxford Owl is your all-rounding solution when it comes to reading. This reading program caters to children and teachers, making it a must-have for everyone.
If your child struggles with identifying words, Oxford Owl has a suitable game for you. The site will ask your child to identify a word from a few other options and guide him thoroughly until he can get it right without help or supervision. Children will also receive feedback on their performance, motivating them to do better!
- Helps children recognize letters, sounds, and words.
- Helps children recognize letter patterns and sound combinations
- Improves reading proficiency and vocabulary
- Unmatched resource materials
Features To Look For When Choosing A Reading Program For Your Kids
To help you further, here’s what you need to look out for when choosing the best reading programs for kids.
Starting with phonics is the best way to inculcate reading habits in a child. Make sure that your reading program has phonics and phonemic awareness as part of its curriculum.
2. Interactive And Fun
Remember to choose a reading program that is not boring. Game-based programs and attractive graphics go a long way.
Don’t forget to check out the program reviews you’re buying. Do your homework and analyze all the reviews left on other websites. The program’s official site often only hosts positive feedback, so surfing the internet might result in unearthing some cons.
4. Difficulty Level
Your child’s age primarily impacts the difficulty level of the reading program you’re buying. Look for options that go up to an advanced level so your child doesn’t outgrow the platform in just a few months.
A Final Word on Choosing the Best Kids Reading Program
Learning to read is incredibly important, regardless of the age of your child.
To ensure that they have a fighting chance when it comes to reading competency, make sure you invest in reputable and high-quality programs like the ones mentioned above. Not only do these help your child develop their reading skills but also show them how enjoyable learning can be!
Remember, every child is different, and what works well for someone may not always work the same way for your child. So, keep experimenting until you find the right reading program! Good luck!
Have any questions about our guide to the best reading programs for kids? Let us know by commenting below.