Every so often we come across a story creation app that we just have to share. Kid in Story Book Maker is one of our current favorites. While story making takes some extra effort from an adult, you’ll find features that help make the process move a bit quicker.
Templates: You’ll find a variety of templates already created in the app, with more coming in future updates. Titles like “The Playground” and “Let’s Get a Haircut” show how you can create a simple early reader book or familiarize your child with a new experience. The great thing about the templates is you can edit pictures, text, and delete or add pages. It is nice not to have to create every story from scratch.
Picture Editing: Each story is built around pictures. You can use the pictures from stories in the community library or create your own from scratch. Instead of having to edit your pictures outside of the app to work with Kid in Story Book Maker, you can do the editing right in the app with the easy to use, move and scale tool. Our only suggestion is to be careful with your changes as there aren’t undo buttons in all areas of the app yet!
Alpha Tool*: Pictures alone don’t really put kids in the middle of the story. Being able to “add kid” does! In Kid in Story Book Maker you can choose to “add kid” into any page in any story. The trouble with most apps is that you have to find a close up of your child or fit their face into a circle cut out of the image, but not with Kid in Story Book Maker. They included an alpha tool that lets you choose any picture and remove the background from the image.
*As with any alpha tool, it is best to choose a picture with contrasting colors between your child and the background for the clearest results.
Text and Speech: Each page allows you to easily type in text and add speech. Kids can tap to hear the speech read more than once per page.
Sharing: You can read all your stories right in Kid In Story. If you don’t want to keep your story creations to yourself, LocoMotive Labs have solved this issue as well. Each story can be emailed, added to dropbox and then viewed in the free Kid in Story Book Maker app. It would be just as easy to read the book in iBooks or another tool already on our devices, but quality books don’t easily transfer to those apps. This app allows you to have a much more engaging and kid-friendly reading experience.
Overall we see a lot of value in Kid in Story Book Maker. If you have ever purchased a set of early reading books you realize how expensive it can be, and how quickly they are consumed. We highly recommend this app for parents who want to create a personal, short story library using the words their kids favorite words and subjects. What a great way to be reading at home!
Activity 1: Paint Swatch Fun!
Identifying syllable patterns in words are important for helping your child to learn to visual decode full words.
Stop off at your local home goods store and pick up some paint swatches. Try and grab the swatches that have a square cut already on the swatch. If you can find any, take a razor and cut a window in the paint swatch.
When working on your spelling lists or reading a book drag the paint swatch along the text, word by word. You’re using the paint swatch to help your child isolate individual words and the syllables in longer words. This also works great on the iPad as you can touch the screen using a paint swatch without the screen reacting!
Extend the specific syllable pattern learning by having your child rewrite the spelling words using a marker or other bright color on the specific syllable pattern to call attention to the pattern in each word.
For kids not yet decoding multi-syllable words, use the paint swatch to move from word to word while reading a books. Young kids can also lay the swatch to reveal a sight word or letter they know well.
Activity 2: Printable Books
As we mentioned earlier, keeping the just-right early readers that your child needs can get expensive! Here are a few of our favorite websites for free early readers that you can easily print, fold, color and add to your child’s home library.
• Nellie Edge Read and Sing Little Book Masters.
• Make your own mini-books with DLTK’s educational printables for kids.
• Reading A-Z has a few of their leveled reader master books free for printing.