Mark Frauenfelder & Interactive Apps

storydicess2While writing Born Reading: Bringing Up Bookworms in a Digital Age, I consulted with Boing Boing co-founder and MAKE editor Mark Frauenfelder to find the best interactive apps for kids.

Frauenfelder recommended that parents try the Story Dice app. It will help anyone (from three-year-olds to high schoolers) tell better stories: “a creative writing prompt tool to come up with ideas for plot, character, and setting.”

Apps like these can be powerful tools for parents. In an essay at the Joan Ganz Cooney Center, I explained why kids need truly interactive experiences:

“We don’t need to stop using digital devices with children, but we need to make sure these experiences are truly interactive. Apps, e-books and even television time can all be improved when a caregiver participates in the process. No matter what kind of media you use with a child, ask them questions to help them process the experience.”

You can turn anything into an interactive experience by creating what I call “Born Reading Bundles.”

These are reading experiences that combine materials across media boundaries. By combining print books and multimedia activities, you can make sure the child in your life knows how to use ALL the resources available to 21st Century kids.

Another way to build interactive experiences is to use Frauenfelder’s book, Maker Dad: Lunch Box Guitars, Antigravity Jars, and 22 Other Incredibly Cool Father-Daughter DIY Projects.  It is filled with 24 projects to share with kids, from constructing skateboards to making astronaut ice cream. My personal favorite is the “Draw Bot” project.

You should also check out Frauenfelder’s Apps for Kids podcast for more app suggestions…

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