Best Dictionaries for Kids

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If you’re looking for a dictionary for kids, either for your classroom, library, or homeschool, here are the best dictionaries for children.

These are kid-friendly reference books that contain illustrations and definitions to help children learn to spell and learn new vocabulary words.

As an educator, I understand the ease of an online dictionary (like Merriam Webster or but I think that at an early age, it’s important to look up words in a physical dictionary. One big reason is that in a physical book, children can practice alphabetizing, in other words, looking up words in order of the alphabet. That’s a very important life skill!

Best Dictionaries for Kids

My First Dictionary

ages 5+
Each of the 1,000 words in this dictionary is accompanied by a photo or illustration with the part of speech (nouns, verbs, and adjectives). The words listed are most commonly encountered by young children.

Scholastic Children’s Dictionary
ages 6+
I highly recommend this easy-to-read dictionary with the words in red plus the parts of speech definition, a
kid-friendly pronunciation guide, sample sentences, and some illustrations. This dictionary includes a thesaurus plus guides to grammar, idioms, geography, and US presidents.

Merriam-Webster Children’s Dictionary
by DK
ages 7+
This reference dictionary contains 35,000 words and 3,000 full-color illustrations making it my top pick for classrooms and libraries. I also like that the borders are color-coded for each letter of the alphabet. The words include the definition, notes on spelling and punctuation, and examples.

Scholastic Pocket Dictionary of Synonyms, Antonyms, & Homonyms

ages 8+
Designed for upper elementary and middle school students with more than 12,000 synonyms and 10,000 antonyms at their fingertips, this thesarus book is a great reference tool. It requires some understanding of how to use it though — with the antonyms in italic font after the list of synonyms.

BEST dictionary for kids


Poetry Books for Kids

Sight Word Games

Wreck This Journal

Books to Show Point of View

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    Hi! I’m Melissa Taylor, mom, writer, & former elementary teacher & literacy trainer. I love sharing good books & fun learning resources.

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