Since November I have added Apps to my storytime classes. My youngest group is 12 to 24 months. Last session I used Flannel Animals by Kate the Librarian. I have a song we sing to introduce the App to the tune the Wheels on the Bus. We sing, “The cow on the farm goes moo moo moo all day long” which I got from the blog http://sunflowerstorytime.com. I slide the picture across, show the animal and sing the song according to the animal. It has worked well with this group. This session I decided to change things and use the Itsy Bitsy Spider App by Duck Duck Moose. Though it is a cute and I thought it would work well when preparing for the session, it did not keep their interest. When I hit the screen for the scenes to progress, it did not transition to the next page smoothly. The spider was too small and the action too slow. I still like this App. It is cute, musical, and has several things to explore, but I think it is better for one on one.
My next group is 2 and 3 year olds. I have used Flannel Animals with them too. They liked it, but sometimes I have the same children in both classes because siblings are allowed to come. Furthermore this group was ready to identify a larger group of pictures and sounds. Now I am using I Can Hear Ewe by Claireware Software. This App has 24 animals and 12 vehicle sounds to choose. We sing a song called Can You Tell Me which goes like this, “Can you tell me, Can you tell me, What’s that sound” to the tune of Frere Jacques. I press a picture, it makes a sound and they guess. If we have extra time, I let a few of the kids come up and choose the next picture.
The oldest group is the 3 1/2, 4 and 5 year olds. It is a smaller group of kids, about 15 to 20, because they attend on their own while the caregivers stay upstairs. I try to give each one a chance to use the iPad in the limited time we have together. We use two Apps for this class. Kandoobi Animals by Kandoobi which has 4 parts: letters, coloring, scratch and fill and matching. We use the matching part. There are 3 animals presented and the child gets to match a set of animals. This works well for the class. The additional parts would be something I would use for a class devoted to Apps or for one on one play. SnApp animals by Nosy Crow is the other App we are using this session. When you match an animal correctly it goes to a story about that animal. The children take turns making the animals move, make sounds and find missing items as we read the story. The stories keep all of their attention. The whole class loves this App and I do too!