Here are three more apps to keep your child entertained and learning all at the same time. Today’s apps are appropriate for children in preschool through about fifth grade, depending on their development.
StoriesAlive – The Library App of Interactive and Award Winning Children Stories – Auryn Inc.
Ages: 3 to 6
Cost: Free with in-app purchases
Purpose: The free version comes with six stories and dozens more samples of stories to purchase. The stories can be read to the child with the words highlighted. Children can read it on their own or have it auto play for them. The app also features object identification as children press on different parts of the illustrations.
News-O-Matic, Daily Reading for Kids – Press4Kids
Ages: 5 to 9
Purpose: Features daily news stories written for children with many bonus features. Each page features a map of the globe to identify where the story is taking place, how far away it is, and a fun fact about the story or city. There are other features including ways to act on the story’s theme, photos and videos, extra facts about the story and ways to say “hello” in the language of the main person or setting of the story. The app also features three games: a puzzle using a photograph from one of the main stories, a hangman-like game called Mystery Word, and a guess the date game using a timeline.
BrainPOP Featured Movie – BrainPOP®
Ages: 5 to 10
Cost: Free with in-app subscription purchase available!
Purpose: Each week a new feature movie is added. Three movies are always available to teach topics in Science, English, Social Studies, Arts and Music, Math, Health, and Engineering and Technology. The animated short movies are based on questions students send in. Following the movie, a quiz to test what you know is also available. Subscriptions also give access to other features like encyclopedia references, photos, and more.
*Links take you to the Apple iTunes App Store.
Electronic books (or eBooks) are increasing in popularity with every age group. The Stark County District Library has expanded its own collection to include a Digital Reading Room for children. However, reading eBooks does make the experience of reading with your child just a little different than reading a paper version of the book.
The very nature of a tablet or eReader with its touch screen, colorful display, games, and sounds make it a very appealing object for younger readers. You’ll want to keep in mind a few things as you begin reading eBooks together:
Don’t stress too much the first time you try to read together on the eReader or tablet and very little reading actually gets down. Explore the different features of the book, app or site you are viewing together. This “newness” will eventually wear off and children will be more focused on the book.
Don’t forget about the story! Take your time to enjoy the different features, but remember the reason you downloaded the book in the first place.
Don’t let the eReader or tablet become a babysitter. Enjoy the experience together!
For more information, check out this article by Reading Rockets: http://www.readingrockets.org/article/56082
Why I Love Ally Carter…
By: Rebecca Baldwin, librarian and manager at the East Canton Branch
Recommending books to kids is the best part of my job.
Your eight year old son wants a book about dogs? We’ve got that! Your fifteen year old daughter wants a series about a girl in love with a werewolf? We’ve got that, too! Snowboarding, dragons, French cooking, and time travel? We can get that for you! Your 10 year old is reading on a high school level and needs a book with a Lexile level over 900 and please make sure there aren’t any questionable themes or language? We have that too, but it is a little more difficult.
In a world where many fourth graders are on the same reading level as their middle school age siblings it is often difficult to find a book that is the perfect balance between reading level and content. As a librarian, I have developed an appreciation for authors who create stories filled with action, romance, and aghast that appeal to the older reader while keeping the content tween friendly. Ally Carter is my favorite author for just this case as she is able to walk the tightrope between reading level and recommended ages with her popular series Gallagher Girls and Heist Society.
Readers will devour the five Gallagher Girls books that tell the story of Cammie Morgan as she and her friends navigate their teen years filled with parent issues and boy troubles while attending an elite academy where they learn the ins and outs of the spy business. The series is filled with the perfect mix of espionage and drama to appeal to even the most reluctant readers while never giving into the dark side of YA lit.
The same appeal can be found in Carter’s Heist Society series where the reader is drawn into the lives of Katarina Bishop and her ragtag group of teens thieves who banned together planning art heists around the world. The series, composed of three books and counting, is a fun fast read that blends intrigue, suspense, with just a dash of growing pains without ever venturing into the scary or salacious.
Carter’s books are a treasure trove of action, adventure, and mystery with high Lexile scores appropriate for the youngest precious reader.
Click the calendar for a larger, printable version. Don’t forget to visit your local library and let the librarians know which activity was your favorite!