(Anden is six years old and growing up in a world where mobile apps are omnipresent. In this column, his mother explores apps that are up his alley.)
The App: A Story Before Bed
The Device: iPad or iPhone
Price: Free to Download, in App Purchase Plans
The Review: A Story Before Bed is an app that lets you record a children’s book online with audio and video turning bedtime stories into treasured memories. You will get the opportunity to read and record several books for free, but you can also purchase a subscription where you can choose from their growing library and share and watch the recordings from multiple devices (iPad, iPhone, Mac & PC).
While we are aware this app wasn’t primarily intended for education purposes, we use it for reading practice. Since school started this week (first grade!), we are dedicating at least 15 minutes every night to reading practice. Anden chooses his own book and he reads to me for 15 minutes. We have been using A Story Before Bed to record Anden’s homework and it’s been a huge help for his reading development.
Once you’ve registered and logged in, you have access to a variety of books to read from and record. Anden likes “My Shadow,” a Poem turned into a Children’s book. When we launched the book, we were taken to a screen with the book cover and a window where we could see ourselves reading the book. Once we hit the record button we could type in who it was read by and who it was read for. Watching ourselves read the story was a blast. When we were done with the book we could review it, re-record it or save it. Anden saves these and then we listen to the stories together at bedtime, going over the words he had trouble with and praising him on his success!
Watch this video for a tutorial on how it works:
Moms Notes: Not only is this a great tool for teaching and learning to read, but it is a great tool for having special recordings of bedtime stories for kids to watch and listen at any time. This would be special for children who have parents that are deployed or grandparents living in another state. Being able to have a book read to you by a Grandma who lives in California is what makes this app extra special!