Online Literacy for Ages 3-5

Build technology and reading skills with your preschooler.
By Zoë Kashner



Online Literacy for Ages 3-5

Using your computer, smart phone, or tablet computer is a special treat for your child. Try some of these literacy-building activities to turn your child’s fun time into an educational opportunity.

Reading on Your Phone or Tablet
There are many classic books that your child can either read or have read to him as apps on your phone. Look for these popular titles:

Plus, you might want to look into “Tales to Go,” a subscription-based app that streams over 900 stories for kids ages 3-11 with constant updates (iPhone and iPad).

Word and Letter Games on Your Phone or Tablet
To build the sound-letter connection and practice sight words and spelling, try these apps:

  • Scholastic's Books and Games Apps are based on popular characters and series that kids love. Your preschooler might especially like Go, Clifford, Go
  • Scribble Press (and the Scribble Press app on iTunes) is a multimedia creativity platform for creating, sharing and publishing stories.
  • “Build a Word” by WordWorld: Based on the PBS Kids television show, users can select letters to build words to identify images of ducks, sheep, pigs, and more. (iPad, iPod Touch, and iPhone). 
  • FirstWords: Animals: You can use phonics rather than letter names to spell animal names, plus choose upper- or lower-case letters. (iPad, iPod Touch, and iPhone).
  • Interactive Alphabet—ABC Flashcards :An interactive image brings each letter to life. For example, with X, your child can “play” a screen image of a xylophone. (iPad, iPod Touch, and iPhone)

Children’s Learning and Gaming Systems
The two big names in children’s computer games are Leapfrog and VTech. Each offers a variety of options depending on the interests of your child.

From Leapfrog, you can get spelling, letter and word identification, vowel and consonant practice, and spelling games. The games are themed to feature Disney characters, Sesame Street characters, Dora, Thomas the Tank Engine, and more. Their popular products include LeapPad, Leapster, Tag, and Tag Junior.

VTech also offers similar games and products. Their platforms include “laptop” computers and the MobiGo products, which are handheld options.

Developing Reading Skills
Technology Skills
Age 5
Age 4
Age 3
Technology and Society
Computer and Video Games