Reading independently is one of the most important academic milestones for children. But the way kids achieve that milestone and then improve their reading skills has drastically changed over the years. Students are expected to learn vastly more and faster than ever before to keep up with today’s rapidly advancing technology.
In 1997, the Rocketbook was first introduced as an innovative way for avid readers to carry and explore multiple books at once. Now, e-readers have advanced to include multiple learning tools. Children can explore mathematics, music, foreign languages and much more with the aid of easy-to-use e-readers and tablets. The e-readers and tablets listed below have been deemed the most beneficial for young learners for grade levels ranging from kindergarten through 12th. Great readers make great spellers, and we recommend giving kids choices in both what they read and how they read.
If you have ever worried about your child spending too much screen time on screens, the Fire HD 8 Kids Edition tablet is your new best friend. Specially designed parental controls allow you to easily monitor kids’ screen time through the Amazon Free Time app. Children can learn responsible time management by completing educational tasks before entertainment and parents can customize exactly how much time the tablets are allowed to be active in each category. They can even lock the screen remotely from their Amazon account. Kids ages 3 to 12 can find all of their favorite characters and apps on the tablet, including thousands of titles in Spanish. In addition to all of the Kindle eBooks that are available, children can also learn through Khan Academy Kids, Music Lab, ST Math, ABC Mouse and other popular learning apps. The Kindle 8 HD is the go-to option for parents looking for a safe way to allow their children to learn online.
Simple and sweet is the best way to describe Amazon’s newest Kindle Paperwhite. It is the perfect fit for smaller hands and has an adjustable backlight that is easier on the eyes. Children can easily carry it with them to school or to outdoor activities. When learning to read, they can choose to have the device read aloud to them, highlighting the words as they come up to encourage word recognition. The Audible app is also available through the Paperwhite. There is no recommended age group for this device, but children all the way through 12 years old will be able to find interesting book titles on it, from “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” to “Judy Moody” and “Diary of a Wimpy Kid.”
The Apple iPad Mini is a terrific option for any parent who wants their little one to stay connected, while also ensuring they’re protected. One of the best features of this tablet is the touch-ID fingerprint sensor. Adults can set their child’s tablet up so only they and their child can access the iPad. The battery life is excellent, lasting up to 10 hours with a full charge. Wi-Fi is also available for quick online connectivity. The Apple iPad Mini is great for taking photos, has a webcam for speaking online to friends and relatives, and can even be used for sketching. It is recommended for kids ages 5 and up.
The BOOX Nova Pro 7.8 E-Reader has plenty of features that make it stand out as a great choice for readers ages 5 and up. The high-resolution screen shows little glare and a front light enables reading in the dark. However, that’s not all this e-reader has to offer. You also have the option to connect to Google Play for fun activities and learning options. This e-reader comes with a stylus, and the dual-touchscreen can also be manipulated with the touch of a finger.
The Kobo Clara HD 6” E Ink Touchscreen E-Reader has plenty of options that make it a top choice, especially considering its affordable price. In addition to the touchscreen, this e-reader has a built-in comfort light that lets kids read wherever they choose. As an added bonus, the light in this e-reader reduces blue-light exposure gradually, which makes for even more comfortable reading in dim conditions. This device can go weeks without needing a charge, and it’s possible to store upwards of 6,000 books on it. This option is recommended for kids ages 5 and up.
“Kids will learn at a young age how to operate tablets and e-readers; this is a skill that’s valuable for general learning and for developing an interest in reading. The best tablets will provide parental control options and plenty of apps related to learning. When on the hunt for an e-reader for your child, consider the size and your child’s interest level in reading.”
Our Expert Consultant
Emily Watts is a mother of three (she has two adopted children and one foster child). She also is a licensed teacher with experience educating children in complex life situations. Emily has over seven years of experience in alternative education. She is passionate about children and specializes in helping those who may need a little extra attention or special care.