It has been a little over a year since I added apps to my storytimes. They are now included as important tools for my classes along with books, music, movement, instruments and fingers plays. I keep notes on all my classes regarding what works and what needs to change. I have several books and authors I love which are my go to winners for different age groups. I am starting to feel that way about certain app creators. Nosy Crow has become one of my favorites. The apps have characteristics that work well for promoting literacy, transition smoothly, are interesting and kids have fun using them.
Nosy Crow – Rounds: Parker Penguin
Written by Barry and Emma Tranter
Recommended Ages 3 to 8
I try to use non-fiction materials as often as I can. Non-fiction can be tricky. A balance is needed between presenting facts and still keeping the audience engaged. Parker Penguin hits all those marks and then some. As the children explore Parker and his surroundings, they are being told interesting facts about penguins. Parker moves on every page. He may walk, run, dance, eat or swim depending on what is happening in the story. The user can move snowflakes around or learn about icebergs as they explore.
The life cycle of penguins story was perfect for my winter theme. This is an app that can be used with a wide range of children because of variety of settings within the app. It has text highlighting to promote word recognition which we used. The book can be read out loud to the child or they can read it by themselves. It allows the user to set their own pace by offering short, medium and long versions. Using the long version ensured every child in my sixteen person class had their turn to explore a page of the story. Parker’s world was very interesting to the class with questions and comments flowing about his tale. All eyes were on Parker as he showed us about his life and let us join in the action. Those characteristics equal a wonderful learning and literary experience. There are plenty of books and apps out there, but the well-written ones that are engaging are what makes them special.
The Three Little Pigs and Animal SnApp Farm by Nosy Crow are two other excellent apps. They offer several ways to read and play with their stories. Users can stay on each activity as long as they want and easily transition to the next which makes reading and learning a fun and captivating experience.