Famous Children’s Authors Apps

Check out these literature apps, to get your children back into reading before school starts.

KinderTown can’t think of a better way to prepare for school than to dive back into reading books. Books are always a favorite experience at my house. My children love to sit on my lap and enjoy a story – I’m sure your children to do too! Take a beach towel outside and find a shade tree; you and your children are sure to enjoy the last moments of summer together. Check out these literature apps, to get your children back into reading before school starts.

 

Don’t Let the Pigeon Run this App

Don't Let the Pigeon Run this App!

Don’t Let the Pigeon Run This App, is a personal favorite of mine. The app is based on the famous book “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!” By Mo Willems. The app is cleverly titled “Don’t let the Pigeon Run this App”, which plays on Mo Willems famous books Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay up Late and many more. Check them out at your local library. In this app,appropriate for children ages 3-6, your child brings a new Pigeon story to life when the bus driver asks for ideas. The app is narrated by the author Mo Willems, as himself and the Pigeon. When opened, the app awakens with the happy cheering voices of children. Choose Create Your Own Story to begin. This app offers three different options for creating your own pigeon story depending on your child’s level; egg, chick or big pigeon. The egg level creates a new pigeon story for your child to listen to and invites them to read along. We recommend leaving the reading tab open so your child can see the words as the story is told. The chick level gives your child picture choices in order to customize the story. In the Big Pigeon level, your child then uses their own voice to add their ideas…a definite parent favorite. Once you make choices for the story you must shake the pigeon in order for the story to be created. Finally, listen to your story and laugh with your child and enjoy literature, storytelling and the experience of loving a book character. The app saves all your child’s creations under Favorite Stories and includes an area where your child can learn to draw the pigeon himself. This is an app to be enjoyed alongside your child and is sure to be loved by children of all ages. Pair this app with Mo Williams’ books from your local library for a rich learning experience. The app is $5.99 and is appropriate for children ages 3-6.

 

The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Friends Play and Explore

The Very

This app is based on Eric Carle’s famous book The Very Hungry Caterpillar. The app opens with Eric Carle’s famous artwork and a book to open. Inside the book, the narrator explains non-fiction concepts about caterpillars, butterflies and other informational topics that coordinate with The Very Hungry Caterpillar book. After listening to brief age appropriate explanations about nature, children are given a goal. For example, one goal is to win a Healthy Eater Badge and try to avoid all the sweet treats. After each activity, another brief informational text is read with a new goal given. From the main home page, children can also choose to complete puzzles, spot the differences or create a sticker scene with Eric Carle’s artwork. Parents please be aware that the app does include additional in-app purchases to unlock all the content in the Spot the Difference, Jigsaw and 3D Sticker book areas. The app is $3.99 and is appropriate for children ages 3-5. This app would best be paired with an author study on Eric Carle. An author study is simply a detailed look at an author and noticing their style and craft of writing. Your local library would be a great place to discover all of Eric Carle’s books.

 

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Literacy, Length and Letter Apps

Read KinderTown's reviews of these educational apps.

Curious Ruler

Read KinderTown's review of Curious Ruler

Curious Ruler is a uniquely designed app to encourage exploration with objects and measurement. This app would be best used with a child the first few times to aid in understanding how to use the app and how to understand the information the app is providing to your child. When you open the app, a menu of basic household objects is presented. Your child is to choose an appropriate reference object that will serve as the comparison object to whichever other items you would like to measure. For example, I chose a baseball. Next snap a picture of the baseball and whichever other object you would like to measure such as a cup. This works best if you line the reference object and the object to be measure up on a tabletop. Then, slide the rulers provided to align with the objects in the picture. Now, tap the “Compare” button. The app then tells me that the large cup was 3.5 times longer than the baseball and provides you with a visual of 3.5 baseballs. This app is a good aide in the exploration of measurement and would compliment a conversation or study on measurement. Curious Ruler is $.99 and is appropriate for children ages 4-8.

 

Lola’s ABC Party

Read KinderTown's review of Lola's ABC Party

Lola’s ABC Party is an app to practice letter sounds, letter formation, memory skills and beginning word recognition. The app starts with the short vowel sounds which are foundational to learning to read. Lola, a friendly panda, asks “Can you find all the letters that sound like “A?” Your child must select the letters from the screen that make that sound. This activity is developing phonemic awareness skills that are critical to the success of beginning readers. When your child answers the question correctly a paw is earned at the bottom of the screen. After ten paws are earned, your child can play with Lola and fill balloons, or decorate hats in order to prepare for a party. Parents can subscribe to receive a parent progress report to their email address.This app is well constructed for the child learning their letter sounds or reviewing them in order to prepare to learn to read. Lola’s ABC Party is appropriate for children ages 4-6 and is $4.99

 

Stories Alive

Read KinderTown's review of Stories Alive

Stories Alive is a digital library of children’s books contained in one app. Stories Alive provides well crafted digital books for enjoying with your child, on the go or at home. Each story has beautiful graphics and provides interactivity for your child to enjoy. There is a dictionary included in the app as well to reference as needed. In addition, your child can read and record their own voice as part of the story. The app is free to download and many story samples are available to preview. A subscription fee of .99 per week is available as an in-app purchase for access to the Stories Alive collection of books. Stories Alive is appropriate for children ages 3-8.

 

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Just Plain Fun! Educational Apps for the Summer

Read KinderTown's reviews of these fun summer apps.

Busy Shapes

Busy Shapes

Busy Shapes encourages children to use their logic and problem solving skills to maneuver shapes and objects into the correct holes in order to advance to the next screen. Busy Shapes is an app inspired by the work of Jean Piaget who proposed that children construct their own knowledge through play, in this case digital play. Busy shapes has 38 levels of play and continues to advance and challenge children as it adapts to their level of learning. It includes an area to set up multiple logins per household. The app does not teach the names of the shapes but encourages free play and cognitive development through experimenting with the shapes. Busy Shapes is $1.99 and is appropriate for children ages 2-6. The app is colorfully made and includes basic tools along the way to help  children explore the effects of the tools on the shapes.  As the levels become more difficult, multiple tools are presented.  The app is very intuitive for children who are familiar with the iPad. They start dragging the shapes and they are off to solve the problems presented. Parents, you may need to assist when your child reaches a challenging area they can not solve on their own, but generally this app is one your child will be able to navigate independently.

 

Care Bears Love to Learn

Care Bears Love to Learn

Care Bears Love to Learn grabbed my attention, because I can distinctively remember my purple Care Bear that I loved!  The Care Bears are back because, we grew up with them and they remind of us of our own childhood.  I like this app a lot because it is simple, yet presents easy to understand questions in a randomized fashion which kept the attention of our youngest child testers. The app works on a mix of basic Preschool skills such as colors, shapes, letters, memory skills and counting.  The app also rewards children with digital stickers when they answer the questions correctly. The app is free and appropriate for children ages 2-4.

 

Grandma Loves Bugs

Grandma Loves Bugs

Grandma Loves Bugs is an app that practices different types of skills that are appropriate for children ages 3-5.  The app includes 10 mini-games and 8 educational videos for children to enjoy.  The app works on skills such as matching letters, memory skills, identifying groups and looking for differences. Grandma is charming as always and dances, and needs help finding the bugs in her hair.  This app offers great basic skills practice for the summer. Children can also catch fireflies, draw a spider web and eat caterpillar leaves with Grandma. The app is $1.99.

 

How I Became a Pirate!

How I Became a Pirate!

This app by OceanHouse Media is a digital book sure to be loved by your kids.  I know many boys who love to pretend to be pirates, and I often observe large playground toys, or backyard tree-houses imagined into pirate ships. The How I became a Pirate book was a New York Times bestseller and is sure to be a favorite digital book as well. It has two options for reading: Read to Me, and Read by Myself.  The book has several different interactive options. When reading, your child can have the words read again by tapping them or tap the wrapping on one of the pirates heads and hear the word bandanna. This story is perfect for summer because the story begins with a boy using his imagination at the beach spying a pirate ship in the ocean. The pirates come upon the shore and interact with the boy. The boy in the story board the pirate ship and has an adventure. I really like the recording feature on each page.  Beginning readers can read and record their voice. Save the recording and your child can listen to themselves read the story.  This is a great learning activity for children ages 6-8.  It develops fluency and expression while reading and will become a parent favorite as well. The app is $3.99 and appropriate to read with children ages 3-8.

 

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FarFaria App Review

FarFaria is an app I can't stop thinking about, and one I downloaded instantly; this digital library is one of the best I have seen.

FarFaria

FarFaria is an app I can’t stop thinking about, and one I downloaded instantly. I have my master’s degree in reading, so I get excited about books for the iPad. This digital library is one of the best I have seen. It’s creatively crafted and offers something for every interest and age level. When the app launches an enchanting map of different islands appears which correlate with the different types of digital books offered in the app. For example: Adventure Island, Classics Grove, or Animal Kingdom. Choose a location and a selection of books appear.

 

Read KinderTown's review of FarFaria Stories To Read Along.

Here are some of FarFaria’s great features:

 

• It houses over 600 stories.
• 5 new stories are added each week.
• Offline access to your favorite books.
• Highlights the words read to your child.
• Has an option to read myself, autoplay or read to me.
• $3.99 a month or $39.99 a year.

 

I know I am keeping this handy for use with my kids this summer. It would be great for travel and could be used for your bedtime or nap time routine if you are away or on the go. I always lug a few favorite books when we go away, but I’d love to replace it with FarFaria. I especially love Sing Along City. These are books that correlate to your child’s favorite songs. My daughter loves The Wheels on the Bus, so that was her first choice. Explore all the different locations to find out which is your child’s favorite.

 

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3 Creative and Educational Apps for Kids

Read KinderTown's reviews of these creative, educational apps.

“Creativity now is as important in education as literacy, and we should treat it with the same status.” — Ken Robinson

 

Wreck this App

Screenshot 2014-05-12 21.53.36

Wreck this App, as the name implies, invites children to make a mess with the pages in this virtual journal. Each page gives the user a prompt in order to think as an artist or start into an artistic direction with their own thoughts and ideas. Wreck This App is based on the book Wreck This Journal by Keri Smith. The app is intentionally created in black and white and has a simple interface that children ages 4 and up can easily use. The journal does not read the prompts to you, but younger children are able to navigate the tools once the prompts are read aloud to them. This would be an engaging app to take on a trip, to use while waiting in an airport, or on a rainy or snowy day inside. Some examples of the prompts included on the pages are: Add a photo of dirt, garbage or stains, trace your toes, or document a boring event in detail. This app makes your child think in many different directions and they can use words, photos, or drawing tools to express their answers. If your child doesn’t like the creation they’ve made, they can erase it and create another one. The app does have options for easily sharing to social media so parents will want to monitor their children when using the app or disable these features on your iPad. Wreck this App is available for $4.99 for iphone and iPad and uses creative prompts and ideas to make a digital journal your child can enjoy coming back to again and again.

 

PlayArt

Screenshot 2014-05-12 21.54.14

PlayArt makes you feel like you’ve stepped into an interactive Art Museum. Add a background of Monet’s and add artistic elements of Van Gogh and empower your child to take on the feeling of famous painters to create their own pieces. The app has an area where kids can save their masterpieces in the My Museum section. Within the app, children can decide which painter’s elements are their favorite’s and save them to their own personal pallet. Children can also add their own paint to the background of notorious painters or start with an empty canvas. The app includes 160 elements and 48 canvases from 8 famous painters. The app is completely kid safe and does have options for sharing to social media but they are locked. We wish that the app contained more information about the well-known artists themselves, so parents may have to supply the information once children are exposed to the painters. This app is sure to pique their interest in prominent painters work and enjoy the process of creating their own unique paintings.

 

Don’t Let the Pigeon Run This App

Screenshot 2014-05-12 21.57.24

The app is based on the famous book Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! By Mo Willems. The app is cleverly titled “Don’t let the Pigeon Run this App.” In this app, appropriate for children ages 3-6, your child brings a new Pigeon story to life when the bus driver asks for ideas. The app is narrated by the author, Mo Willems, as himself and the Pigeon. When opened, the app awakens with the happy cheering voices of children. Choose create your own story to begin. This app offers three different options for creating your own pigeon story depending on your child’s level; egg, chick or big pigeon. The egg level creates a new pigeon story for your child to listen to and invites them to read along. We recommend leaving the reading tab open so your child can see the words as the story is told. The chick level gives your child picture choices in order to customize the story. In the Big Pigeon level, your child then uses their own voice to add their own ideas…a definite parent favorite. Once you make choices for the story you must shake the pigeon in order for the story to be created. Finally, listen to your story and laugh with your child and enjoy literature, storytelling and the experience of loving a book character. The app saves all your child’s creations under Favorite Stories and includes an area where your child can learn to draw the pigeon himself. This is an app to be enjoyed alongside your child and is sure to be loved by children of all ages. To find out more about, Don’t Let the Pigeon Run this App, download the free KinderTown App, the Educational App Store for engaged parents.

 

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