Beginner Readers Resources

Are you just getting started at teaching/supporting your child in his/her learn-to-read journey?

In this page, you’ll find different tools, resources and materials that will help your kid build those first key literacy kills!

The resources are classified by the stage he/she is at (for instance – learning letters and sounds, or developing blending skills), and by the specific needs you or your child may have (kinetic learner, play-based learning, structured lessons, struggling readers, etc.)

In this page you’ll find apps, beginner readers books, literacy curriculums, posters and flashcards, awesome word lists…! We’ve got you covered!

We haven’t just put everything that it’s available out there. We know there are way too many options, and many of them are not even good or based on the right principles for learning to read!

Unfortunately, there are still many learn-to-read materials that are based upon ineffective principles for teaching reading, that can be extremely confusing for your child, and, sometimes, can do more harm than good!

We stand by a phonics-based approach to teaching reading, that focuses on the development of Phonemic Awareness, learning letter sounds and letters in a systematic way, and prompting children to blend the sounds as the strategy to go when they are reading (not looking for cues in the pictures or the context).

Why do we stand by this? This is what research tells gives the best results, will set the right foundational skills to set your child for success, and will avoid a life of struggle with reading!

Many of these skills are taught in kindergarten , but we don’t like to classify them by age group so much, as every child is different!

Also, don’t forget to have a look at our “free learn-to-read materials” page, as we also have many beginner readers materials in there.


*Affiliate Disclosure: Some links lead to Amazon marketplace. As an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases, at no additional cost to you. This helps keep the information on the blog free and available to everyone. There may be other affiliate links on the article.

1. Learning the letters and letter sounds


This is a selection of recommended materials to help you at the stage of teaching letters and their sounds to your child or students.

As you can see,  there isn’t anything too fancy or extravagant here. Just simple (but powerful) tools! That’s all!

You may even have some of these things already at home!

If you just want the bare minimum, then maybe just go for the alphabet cards and something to write with and on!

 Apart from pencil and paper (by the way, check our recommendation for good-grip pencils!), we really like using whiteboards as well! 

Children LOVE them and REALLY help them learn!

The rest of the materials (especially letter magnets!) are a great addition to your array of tools for teaching letter names and letter sounds. Pick the ones that you think will be more suitable for your child’s learning style (for instance, play-dough letters for kinetic learners).

Alphabet cards

When getting alphabet cards, make sure that there is at least one side with the letters standing alone by themselves, like it is the case on these alphabet flashcards. This way your child won’t be able to rely on visuals. 

Letter magnets

Possibilities are endless with them letter magnets. 
Besides,  letter magnets allow children manipulate and touch the actual shape of the letters, which helps them learn kinetically.



Working on a whiteboard engages multiple senses (visual, semantic, sensory, motor) for a more holistic learning experience.  They’ll also help your child develop physical dexterity and control. 

Magnetic Letter Tiles

Possibilities are also endless with letter tiles. At the beginning use them for letter recognition and identification. Later on: practice spelling, letter manipulation,  word-building, and much more!

Letter mat

Learn while having fun! You will be able to play lots of different literacy games with a letter mat, like this one. Besides, it will create safe play area for children and toddlers.

Kinetic Experiences

A great kinetic activity to learn about the letters. Young children will learn about letters and practice letter formation using play foam. Beautiful/ colorful with really good reviews.

Good-grip pencil for beginner writers

These fat triangle-shaped pencil are fantastic for achieving correct pencil-grip. If your child struggles with holding the pen correctly, give these pencils are try!

Interactive poster to learn the letters

Interactive poster to learn letter names and sounds. Touch the letters to hear the letter name, the letter sound, words starting with that letter and little songs, for extra fun. 

Play dough letter shape

This is another kinetic set (this time using play dough, instead of play foam) to use manipulate and experience letter shapes with our own hands. Very popular and lots of fun.

Stickers incentive chart

It is always good to reward your child for his/her accomplishments! 

Apart from for words of encouragement, children get extremely motivated by stickers! Don’t give away stickers away so easily though! Set some clear objectives (with a young child it can be as “simple” as  listening to you throughout the entire lesson) and reward him/her when they truly make an effort! 

VTech ABC Learning Apple 

Interactive learning take-along toy to introduce preschoolers to letters, letter sounds, phonics, memory skills and time concepts. 

Music, lights and songs make it fun for children! Not too loud for parents (also has a turn on/turn off button) as children will probably be playing for a while with this toy. Don’t worry, they will be learning at the same time!

Alphabet Bingo Games

A classic game that still works! This is a sneaky way to introduce more literacy time  while having fun. I like this simple version of the bingo game because it actually focuses on the letter recognition, rather than on picture + letter recognition.  In other versions, you don’t know whether children are recognizing the letter A or the apple, the letter E or the elephant, etc. You could also build your own bingo! 

Mnemonic Alphabet Animal Cutouts

Studies have shown that children will learn  letter names and sounds faster when the letter are embedded within pictures. Attention: not a letter with a picture below it – the typical approach you’ll find in most  flashcards in the market today! These cute animal cutouts use embedded animal shapes for each letter of the alphabet (upper case). 

Mnemonic Alphabet Animal Magnets

These embedded mnemonic alphabet magnets include upper case and lower case letters.

 The embedded animals will help your child link the letter shape and letter sound in a fun and engaging way. Magnets are always a good tool to add to your repertoire, as they are extremely versatile.

Alphabet Letters Sensory Toy

This is another way to add multi-sensory experiences to alphabet instruction. 

Apart from being fun and engaging, these kinetic activities help your child learn the alphabet. This set was created with autistic children in mind, so they can squeeze the letters and release frustrations.

Montessori Sand Trays

Sand trays are a fantastic way to incorporate kinetic/multi-sensory activities into your learn-to-read routine. Writing in combination with phonological and visual training is more effective than phonological and visual training alone. 

This sand tray is beautifully designed, but, most importantly, comes with a lid and alphabet flashcards (lower and upper case).

Sandpaper Letters with Boxes

In Montessori classrooms, children are introduced to the sandpaper Letters to help them connect letter sounds with their corresponding shapes. 
These letters are specially crafted using rough sandpaper, engaging the sense of touch. Young learners are encouraged to repeatedly trace the symbol of each letter, allowing the shape to be ingrained in their muscle memory. You can do the same at home!

Short vowels reading blocks

As your child learns the letter sounds, show him/her how they “come alive” in words with this good-quality CVC word construction set.  This set includes 50 CVC phonics word flashcards with picture illustrations, which should be plenty for practice when you are starting out. 

This is an awesome way to put what he/she is learning about sounds and letters practice!



Learn with HOMER is a great app for learning to read with the synthetic phonics approach. Especially recommended when you are building up your Phonemic Awareness skills, and learning about the letters and their sounds. 

They offer a 30-day free trial!

More details in this article.


This app has a preschool learning program that introduces children to the alphabet and letter sounds in a fun way. 

Later on, your child can move on to STEP 1 (36 progressive phonics lessons).

You can try for just $1 for the first month! No lock-in contracts.


READING.COM is an amazing literacy app that will take your child from letter recognition to fluent reader.
It is based on  the Direct Instruction model to teaching reading, and offers an engaging and immersive co-play experience between parents, teachers, and children. 

They offer a 7-day free trial!

More details in this article.



For even more app ideas, check this article out!

2. First steps at reading


Congratulations! Your child already has developed an automatic recognition of letter names and sounds. 

Now it is time to practice his / her blending skills reading books, text passages and words that are in line with his/ her phonics level. Beginner readers’ books play a crucial role here. 

As you may have read on our Guide or throughout the blog, we recommend phonetically decodable books (also called phonics books or decodable books) at this stage. 

Below you’ll find a few suggestions of good-quality decodable books and word lists created by us that are appropriate for your child at this stage.

Bob Books

BOB Books are a classic, but… They surely still work!  Clean design, short and simple stories, as well as simple phonics, that advances as your child’s level of phonics does as well.

Dog on a log

DOG ON A LOG books are popular  for students with dyslexia /struggling readers. I think they can be great for any child learning to read. Extremely controlled text. They offer lots of opportunities for review and practice. 

Primary Phonics

Again, PRIMARY PHONICS readers offer lots of practice before moving on to the next set of rules! The sequence is really well-thought-out. 6 sets of phonics books with 10 story books each.

For even more decodable books, check out this exhaustive list of the best decodable books!

Explore our entire range of affordable and effective learn-to-read materials here

Designed to gain mastery at reading following our signature approach

For free resources, you can always visit our library of free learn-to-read materials.

Did you know that with the right phonics sequence (order of introduction of sounds) and a great word list to match that sequence, you can have amazing results? 


That is exactly what this EPIC compilation of word lists includes! An extraordinary resource so you can put the phonics approach into practice!

It also includes: The sequence of introduction of High-Frequency Words + LOTS of comments, tricks and teaching tips! 

Not sure yet? See a sample before purchasing!

Plus download our Phonics Sequence and Scope for free.


This list is ideal for children transitioning from reading simple CVC words (Consonant / Vowel / Consonant: cat, dog, log) to more complex words, such us CCVC (stop, grab) and even CCVCC words (brand, stomp).

Children need a lot of practice at sounding out words with blends.

They do NOT need to memorize the actual blends, though.

Why do you want to use this list?

> No overwhelm: words are introduced gradually! > Avoid cognitive overload > No guessing, no memorization… Just decoding!

A breakthrough in sight words instruction! Align phonics lessons with sight words instruction with our color-coded flashcards! 

We have also included other symbols and signals to help beginning students make sense of phonics rules instinctively!

Not sure yet? See a sample before buying!


Children Learning Reading

  • Great program for young readers and for reinforcing reading instruction at home, if your child goes to school.
  • Lessons don’t take too long to complete or require complicated materials.
  • It uses a combination of Phonemic Awareness and Synthetic Phonics principles.
  • Effective, solid and easy-to-implement program.
  • Read our full review of this program here.
Hooked on Phonics Readers

Hooked on Phonics

  • Great for children that thrive on having a very clear routine when it comes to learning, and appreciate the use of audio-visuals (video lessons).
  • The system used is a sequential, systematic synthetic phonics approach.
  • Hooked on Phonics also offers a pretty good literacy app.
  • If you were to buy Hooked on Phonics,  you can get a bundle with all the levels + plus 1 year access to the app for a little bit more

All About Reading

  • Great for children that learn best through multi-sensory experiences.
  • It uses the Orton-Gillingham Approach.
  • This could be a great option if you are after: A multi-sensory program which also offers very explicit instruction. A very popular curriculum for home schooling. It is also a very popular program for struggling readers / dyslexic children. 

Logic of English

  • It also uses the Orton-Gillingham Approach to teaching reading.
  • Great if you are after a multi-sensory program, that also goes really deep into rules (into the ‘logic of English’). Very appropriate approach for dyslexic/struggling readers. Tackles spelling, writing and reading all together. Another very popular curriculum for home schooling.

To discover more about these programs and to understand the differences among them, we recommend you check this post.

Learning to read can be a different journey for every child, and some may require more practice than others. That’s perfectly normal, and what’s important is that you keep pushing forward and learning, no matter how long it takes.

For struggling readers, dyslexic children, or those at risk of reading difficulty, using a system that prioritizes the development of Phonemic Awareness can be especially helpful. This approach is highly structured and systematic, but there are many other tools available to struggling readers.

One exciting trend in this area is the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to support struggling readers. However, it’s important to note that these tools are not meant to replace the hard work and effort that goes into learning to read. Rather, they can serve as an additional resource to aid in the learning process.

Often, what struggling readers need is a strong foundation in phonics, a more holistic approach to learning, and lots of practice. Below, you’ll find some suggestions for children who face challenges and difficulties when it comes to learning to read.


Struggling readers often benefit from having someone by their side while reading. But if you’re short on time or can’t always be there, consider checking out this app for smartphones and tablets.

Using Artificial Intelligence and Advanced Voice Recognition Technology, the app can detect the words your child is reading and correct any mistakes they make, just like you would if you were reading with them yourself.

The app also provides detailed reports on your child’s progress, including the amount of time spent reading, accuracy, and comprehension. This allows you to keep track of your child’s development and see how they’re improving over time.

Reading Horizons software  is comprehensive literacy software designed to improve reading skills, particularly for students with learning difficulties, dyslexia, or those learning English as a second language. 

The program incorporates various instructional methods based on the Science of Reading, and the principles of the Orton-Gillingham approach to teaching reading.

Reading Horizons is also used as an Intervention Program at schools. 

The at-home version is self-directed, and has two levels: “Discover” (to develop foundational skills) and “Elevate” (that fills the gaps of previous reading instruction)


If you want to know more about the differences between these two apps and see which one may be a better fit for your child, check this post!


Struggling readers and dyslexic children can often benefit greatly from programs that use the Orton-Gillingham Approach to teaching reading.

The approach is systematic, explicit, sequential, and multi-sensory, meaning it is structured and utilizes multiple senses to help students learn to read.

If you’re looking for quality learn-to-read curriculums that follow the Orton-Gillingham Approach, these are two options to consider. Check out this one and this one to see which might be the best fit for your child.

If your child is not a kinetic learner, also look into Direct Instruction reading curriculums.

Direct Instruction (DI) is a teacher-driven structured approach. You follow a (normally, very detailed!) script, and only move on to the next set of skills, until the previous ones have truly become automatic (that is, until stored in your child’s long term memory). 

The most well-known DI curriculum is the extremely popular Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons reading program. It’s not the only one, though. 

DI has been scientifically tested, achieving excellent results in at-risk students. However, it also faces criticism, as some people say it is boring, repetitive and too rigid. However, some learners really thrive with this super-structured approach.

Another popular alternative (way less scripted) is Alpha Phonics. You can check an article where we compare Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons vs. Alpha Phonics here.

Finally, if the problem is that your child has difficulties blending the sounds, we’d suggest you look into successive blending strategies. This can be a game-changer for kids that struggle with blending. In that case, Phonics Pathways is your go-to curriculum!

If you want to know even more about these curriculums, check this article out!



Dog on a log

Primary Phonics

For even more decodable books, check out this exhaustive list of the best decodable books!

FREE Learn-to-Read Materials!