What’s the Best Reading App for Kids?

by | May 1, 2021 | Education, Reading, Technology

It can be tough to find the best reading practise app…

Want your stir-crazy child to practise their reading?

Then you’ve plenty of (perhaps too much?) choice. Indeed the Guardian reviewed 20 educational apps!

So this comparison of traditional books versus the various technologies out there, aims to help you make an informed choice.

And the best bit?

There’s a free bonus at the end…

Free stories to read in the educational app we’re sure is the best way for children to practise reading at home and at school.

Introducing Fonetti – the reading practise app

Fonetti makes reading fun!

It’s a great way to help a primary school child practise reading because Fonetti is:

  1. Portable
  2. Digital and easy-to-use
  3. Has the major bonus of interactive reading
  4. Being increasingly adopted by primary schools (schools can optionally assign kids books to read at home or in school and track their progress)

Fonetti actually listens to your child read.

So, how does Fonetti work?

Think reverse Karaoke, but for speech more than song.


It’s actually more intuitive than you think.

Think of training the speech recognition app in your phone to listen to a whole story as your child reads aloud.

Fonetti’s proprietary speech recognition engine does just that and changes the colour of each word (black to green) when each word is pronounced correctly.  

Fonetti works like this:

Children choose a story and start reading aloud.

When they finish a book, they win rewards, stars and fanfares!

When children say the words correctly, the words turn green.

If they get stuck, they double-tap the ‘tricky’ word to hear it spoken aloud.

Sounds more complicated than it is – and kids pick it up in a moment. 

Check out Fonetti in the brief video below: 

Fonetti helps children:

  • perfect their pronunciation
  • boost their literacy
  • build their confidence

with every page they turn.

Which is why we’re sure Fonetti is the best educational app for primary school kids!

Sounds good right?

But does it support the National Curriculum?

Does it provide good educational value?

Do the books on Fonetti meet the UK National Curriculum?

There’s an easy way to tell which reading practise app is best. 

And it’s as simple as looking for a logo:

The UK Government’s Department for Education’s Hungry Little Minds programme provides a quality mark to apps that an independent educational panel believe have good educational value.

Where you see their logo, you know a learning app has been endorsed by them and is an approved platform.

DfE logo - standard jpg
Hungry Little Mind Elements_2020 (Fonetti and DfE) NS (300w)

Approved educational apps – do they help a child learn to read?

Both phonics heroes for early readers of learning sounds, and Fonetti, for readers of all levels and abilities – are approved educational apps for children to practise their reading. 

Fonetti helps a child build confidence with independent reading.

But what about the different formats like eBooks or audiobooks?  

What are the different reading formats for kids aged 4-8 years?

Picture books and early readers are the most popular books for this age group.

These span a variety of genres from fairy-tales and fantasy to horror and sci-fi.

Although all are fiction, there are several formats for you to choose from:

Listening Books™

Listening books™ are a new, refreshing alternative in the world of learning apps.

Offering all the magic of printed books combined with the flexible functionality of audio and eBooks. We think Listening books™ are the best reading app for kids because they take interactive reading to a whole new level.

Paperback books (including board and hardbacks).

Traditionally, print is the most popular format of books for children. Although times are rapidly changing and Covid has posed a number of challenges to the printed book market.

Books are no longer as easy to ‘borrow’ safely, which most libraries recognise through their continued loan extensions and closed doors.

Despite printed books being relatively accessible in discount book shops like The Works and supermarkets, economics is still having a huge effect as 1 in 9 children in the UK don’t own their own book.

eBooks and audio books

eBooks and audio books are growing in popularity as an alternative to print and a more flexible solution. Most reading apps offer a library of books and popular titles for a small subscription fee.

These books are downloaded via a tablet, phone or electronic device and can be read or played wherever your kids may be. But they rely solely on technology to keep kids focussed.

Fonetti’s clever Listening books™ ignite imagination because each child’s voice brings the story to life in front of their eyes.

Using speech-recognition technology Fonetti listens as your child reads – helping them turn the page with their phonetic pronunciation.

Fonetti builds a child’s confidence as they read aloud – something they probably do often in school, but may need more practise with at home and outside of school hours.

Reading confidently aloud can take time – and what if your child has a different learning style or has special educational needs?

Every child has different learning styles

They may be visual, audial or kinaesthetic (a learning style that requires touch to learn) learners so you’ll need an app that suits their preferred way of learning.

You may also be searching for an educational app that helps children with dyslexia or those that need SEN support.

When investing in screen-time resources it’s important to find a reading app that’s fun, one that will hold your children’s attention – keep them entertained as well as engaged.

And, more importantly one that’s:

  • value for money
  • regularly updated
  • has a library full of books

You get all of these things with Fonetti!

But are your kids spending too much time on screens?

Do you feel guilty?

Reading on a tablet – Fonetti provides guilt-free screen time

If you’ve had an ounce of guilt (over screen time) while looking for a reading app – let it go.

There’s no need to feel guilty when screen time enhances a child’s development.

And Fonetti does exactly that!

What’s more, Fonetti does so responsibly.

Although some reading apps are available on smart phones, Fonetti chose to launch solely on tablets to make sure children can read their listening books™ just as they would a printed book at the





Fonetti is available on iPad and Android tablet too.

But how does it compare to other learning apps for kids?

How is Fonetti better than other learning apps for kids?

Fonetti supports every reader individually and allows them to read at their own pace.

It never gets frustrated with them. 

Sharing and comparing?

Yes, you can have four users per app, so siblings can share stories as they would if they chose them from a library. 

Fonetti keeps you informed with what your children are reading:

You’ll receive regular updates that tell you:

  • how long they read for
  • which stories they’ve read
  • the number of times a book has been chosen
  • and what words they’ve struggled with

It will also tell you if they’ve reached a new reading level. (Tick!)

Designed by linguistic professors at the University of Edinburgh, UK.

Fonetti can recognise readers speaking English as an additional language, those with dyslexia and SEN.

 You want that BONUS right?

Good news!

It’s FREE to sign-up for Fonetti (payment card needed on sign-up) and there are always free books available (tick!)


Get free stories for your kids! 

Sign up is free!

And there are always free stories to read on Fonetti – the best reading practise app for kids!

Download on the App Store
Buy a Fonetti Giftcard
Always FREE stories