Though weather and mayhem may not stop the postal service from carrying out the duties of delivering mail to your address, my cold and Reina’s flu put the breaks on my educational apps series. But have no fear, fever abated, sniffles snuffed and coughs nearly cured, I’ve got some reading related apps that are sure to please a variety of age groups for those long flights home, school breaks or the never ending pursuit of getting our children more literafied, er, educamated.
In our house, the number one ABC app is far and away Charles Peattie’s Animal Alphabet from Tapisodes Ltd. This clever app has three ways to enjoy the alphabet so that kids can watch it, chose their favorite animated letters or take the quiz. The animation and drawings are creative and fun to watch for all ages, even moms and dads.
Once your tiny tot has mastered the letters of the alphabet, Montessori Crosswords by L’Escapadou is ready to take kids to the next level by helping to reinforce their literacy skills with the phonetic sounds the letters make. From a phonetic alphabet that kids can interact with to crosswords that start simple and get steadily more complex as your child’s writing skills advance, this is one application that will grow with your child. Their website has lots of helpful advice for using the app and the developers continue to add content to help children grow and develop.
Another great tool to encourage reading skills are storybooks. There are many favorites, old and new, to choose from at the app store. Author David Kirk’s Miss Spider’s Tea Party not only lets you choose to turn the pages or just watch the story in video style, but also has a match game, puzzles and painting activities to keep the child’s attention. It’s a quality app, but at $8, it’s a pricey one. They do have a free lite version to check it out.
Reina’s current favorite is PicPocket Books title Wednesday is Spaghetti Day by Maryann Cocca-Leffier. The application developers have managed to give the story a nice feel with pages the reader flicks to turn, music and hidden sounds that children can find on the pages. The option to highlight the text while the narrator reads is great too. Breezy Bunnies and Best Friends Sleep Over are two more titles from PicPocket Books that younger kids will cherish while Papa Gatto will appeal to older kids.
Finally, special props to the story Who Will Rule from the website PunFlay for using a child to narrate this story by Meena Raghunathan of how the fish, birds, animals, reptiles and insects tried to decide who should rule the world; a story roughly based on an Australian Aboriginal tale.
So there you have it, 8 apps that are sure to have your child reading and writing in no time; give or a take a few years.