Free and Fun Online Games That Teach Kids to Read

by Dagmar Bleasdale on June 11, 2012

As the youngest boy in his kindergarten class, Landon is still at the beginning of learning how to read and write.

He has made great progress throughout his year in kindergarten, but I want to keep working with him over the summer so he is ready for first grade.

It’s a bit of a challenge to keep L’s attention with schoolwork, so I have to be creative so he doesn’t get frustrated. I want learning to read to be exciting, not a struggle, for him and me.

I’ve bought many workbook, flash cards, and early reader books for our summer homeschooling work, but I also wanted to find him online games to make learning to read more fun.

It’s no secret that I’m not a fan of apps or online games for kids, and sure enough I couldn’t find any games on the Nick Jr. or Disney websites that weren’t cheesy, boring, or simply annoying.

But PBS Kids has a great selection of online games for kindergarten kids. I like the fact that you can choose between Easy, Medium, or Hard, that way we can keep playing a game that L likes once his skills get more solid.

Here is a list of free online games I found that would hold L’s interest and would actually help him with his letter recognition, letter sounds, spelling, and rhyming:

PBS Kids Kindergarten Online Letter Games also seems an excellent resource for homeschooling work. Here are just a few games I liked: Kindergarten Online Games

I think this list is a good start. Once I see that L has mastered these games, we’ll move on to more difficult ones.

We have enough workbooks, but if you need worksheets, here is a site with all kinds of free kindergarten worksheets.

I’ll keep you updated about L’s progress. I plan to write another post with more advanced spelling and rhyming games in the middle of the summer, and another one that focuses on online games for math skills. Come on back for that. For now, happy learning!

Do you know of online spelling or rhyming games that teach kids how to read? Leave a comment and share them with us!

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Sue Steinhofer October 6, 2014 at 5:27 PM

Just wondering if you have any suggestions for FREE books to help children with Downs Syndrome learn.


Kathy Morelli, LPC (@KathyAMorelli) June 12, 2012 at 9:48 AM

Thanks for suggestion for a valid & reliable site for kids….!


PragmaticMom June 11, 2012 at 10:35 PM

The best phonics books hands down are Explode the Code. Get the short vowel book for L. It’s book 1 and just do it this summer. You can skip around if he likes a particular format better than others. He can color the pictures for fun (it’s black and white).

But this is the best phonics system recommended to me over and over my mom friends with an ECE background and ECE teachers. I tried a bunch over the years and I’m still convinced it’s the most effective and systematic approach. Also my kids like doing it.

I also like reading together using You Read to Me and I’ll Read to You.


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