Curious George and the Firefighters by iRead With
available in iTunes and Google Play for $2.99
Yesterday in App Time, we looked at the app Curious George and the Firefighters. There are three ways to interact with this app. The first option is to simply listen the narrated story. The words are not highlighted as the narrator reads, so make sure you are running your finger along the text to help your child raise print awareness. The second option is why I chose to demonstrate the app. It is called Read & Talk. This option includes a parent avatar that acts as a guide while you engage in the story with your child. As you click on different colored words throughout the story, the parent avatar will pop up with a question or a prompt that requires an answer from your child. The act of asking questions helps increase reading comprehension. Statements such as talking about how characters feel or discussing why a character did something in particular helps keep your child engaged with the story. Feel free to incorporate this practice as you read other book apps and print books. In this option, you can also record your voice for specific words that are highlighted throughout the story. The app calls these words living words. When you select living words on the page, they complete an action along with the corresponding illustration. Living words help with word recognition. The third option in the Curious George and the Firefighters app is called the Theater. This option allows your child to recreate different scenes from the story with stickers. They can record their voice as they animate the scene. This is great way to boost reading comprehension and narrative skills.
Toca Nature by Toca Boca
available in iTunes for $2.99
Our activity app in App Time was called Toca Nature. This is one of my favorite apps we’ve explore in App Time, so far. It encourages open-ended play, something that is so important for children’s early literacy development. The app starts off with an empty plot of land. It’s your child’s job to create a whole new world using the options at the bottom. They can create mountains and hills, lakes, rivers, and ponds, and all kinds of different forests that contain various wildlife. Once they are happy with their creation, they can explore the landscape with the magnifying glass at the bottom. In this explore mode, your child can move forward, backward, and side to side. To turn, use the globe at the bottom left corner. You’ll come across lots of different wildlife as you explore. There are bears, bunnies, foxes, birds, and deer. Sometimes they get hungry!! A thought bubble will appear above their head with the specific food they are craving. Feed them from your food collections at the bottom. There are berries, nuts, mushrooms, and fish. If you run out of berries, for example, search the ground until you find berries. Click on them and you can add them to your collection. To exit the explorer mode, click the arrow at the top right corner. To start over and create a new world, use the axe to erase trees, the water to erode mountains, and the mountains to fill up water.
Hope to see you at App Time! This program is held at Haggard Library on Fridays, 11am.