Interactive Apps & eBooks for Kids
December 18, 2014
When was the last time you shared an app with the kids in your life? Below, I’ve created a long list of great apps that parents and caregivers can use with kids.
Born Reading: Bringing Up Bookworms in a Digital Age illustrates the art of “interactive reading,” simple techniques developed by experts over the last 25 years to maximize the benefits of reading aloud to a child. Nothing can replace the experience of a child reading with a parent or caregiver—not even the best “interactive” digital materials.
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.
Best Interactive Apps & eBooks for Kids
Mother Goose on the Loose: Kids can steer digital characters from nursery rhymes around the page, singing, tapping and playing along with the app.
Story Kit: Your child can take smartphone pictures and arrange them into a simple digital book to share. Your child can draw, write and record their voice with the app.
OverDrive: This free app helps you check out digital books and audiobooks at your local library—reading them across all your devices.
International Children’s Digital Library: A vast collection of free digital books for kids. It features more than 4,600 books in over 60 languages.
Alien Assignment: Kids use a smartphone as a scientific device, taking pictures and exploring the backyard as part of a cosmic scavenger hunt.
CarTOON Makers: A free online tool that lets your kid make three-panel cartoons using characters from TOON Books—printing, saving, or emailing the final product.
Reading Rainbow: A collection of 500+ digital books, all narrated by professional readers. It also includes video field trips around the world.
Toontastic: This app lets kids use digital puppets to tell a story. With the help of a parent, they can record voices and move the puppets—recording their own movie.
My Story Book Maker for Kids: Kids can draw, color, add photographs or record audio for digital books that they can share with friends and family.
Sesame Street Family Play: Instead of letting your kid play passively on your smartphone, this app will teach both the adult and child a new game to play TOGETHER.
Klikaklu: An easy app to design digital scavenger hunts around the house (or neighborhood). Children can discover and photograph clues with your device.
Felt Board: Kids can customize figures on a virtual felt board, telling simple stories and sharing pictures.
Pigeon Presents: Mo on the Go: This app encourages your kid to dance, scribble and create photo stories—all using beloved characters created by Mo Willems.
Draw and Tell: A drawing app that lets your kid color, draw, or illustrate photographs. Your child can also record narration about the picture, preserving the creative moment.
Story Dice: A simple app that will help anyone (from three-year-olds to high schoolers) tell better stories. The dice randomly chooses plot, character and other story pieces.
Image via Laura Strickland. Thanks to Allison Tran for sharing the art.