Close to 35% of kids between the age of 5 and 15 use tablets on a regular basis. Even among younger children (i.e., the preschoolers), gadget-usage is at an all-time high. The enhanced interest in devices, backed by the approval of parents – has stemmed from a) the sheer engaging nature of the games and apps for kids that are currently available for download, and b) smartphones and tablets have become integral elements of preliminary education technology, particularly in the West. We would here try to fork out some of the advantages that mobile reading apps for kids has on offer:
- They don’t cost a thing – At least most of them don’t. Both at iTunes as well as Google Play Store, there is a host of free apps for kids (some with freemium features). Free storybooks in digital format are also downloadable at any time. Now compare that with traditional printed books – which can be rather expensive, can get misplaced, or simply go out-of-print. If a few seconds of tapping makes a plethora of reading material available, why bother going out and buying books?
- They come with kid-friendly features – One of the high points about the best Android and iPhone apps for kids is that, they give children an early taste of self-sufficiency. Developers and UI/UX designers make it a point to keep the app controls, navigation options and overall screen layouts user-friendly. Kids can read stories on these apps, without needing their mommies or daddies to sit by their side.
- New stories come along all the time – Mobile app companies who develop children’s applications invariably release new stories and other digital content over time. That way, the ‘newness’ of the reading apps for kids is never lost. In most cases, notifications are sent via the app regarding these free (or paid) additional download options. A printed book can get old after a couple of reads, but a mobile app definitely cannot!
- Advance preparation for classes – Oh well, a kid of, say, 3 or 4 years, does not have much to study for his/her kindergarten classes the next day. Even so, it gives the little one’s confidence a boost, to look up the topics that would be taught at school over the next few days. In fact, primary teachers worldwide are in favor of increased usage of mobile learning apps for kids, as a complement of classroom activities.
- Facilitates in-depth learning – If there is one book any child finds boring, that would be a big, fat dictionary. While reading a good ol’ printed book, there is a general tendency to simply skip over the seemingly ‘difficult’ words in the stories. That, in turn, hampers the growth of vocabulary pool. On the other hand, in educational apps for kids, there are on-tap features, for learning the meaning as well as listening to the correct pronunciation of every word. In digital storybooks, children find it easier to understand every word, and pick up new words.
- Interactivity is stressed upon – Unlike printed material, kids’ apps are all about two-way communication. In addition to the stories, most of these applications are bundled with interesting games and fun activities for children – like coloring games, word puzzles and treasure-hunts. Those with a more creative streak can opt for apps that come with origami, mask-making and card designer challenges. Boredom can never set in when a child is using a good mobile app for kids. Can that be really said about printed books?
- Does away with TV-addiction – The last thing any parent wants for their children is for the latter to become television-addicts. Getting them a nice mobile reading application is a smart way of thwarting that risk. Right from checking out stories and playing games, to checking sports scores and watching live TV – everything can be done via a well-conceived children’s app. Not surprisingly, the urge to stay for hours in front of the TV is lesser among present-generation toddlers. The charm of apps is way more.
- Apps offer colorful simulations – At any leading mobile app development company, there are specialized graphic designers whose responsibility is to make the kids’ apps as creative and colorful as possible. The screens of reading apps are often life-like, and the games they come with are extremely well-simulated as well. Many of these applications have automatic text-highlighting features too – and kids have the option to choose their favorite highlight color too.
- Keeps children engaged for hours – And no, using a tablet for prolonged hours is not harmful for the eyes of children. In the present-day world, parents (at least most of them) have busy professional lives, and it is not possible for them to spend the entire day by their little one’s side. Whenever they are not around, the kid can be kept in the care of a babysitter, and with a tablet with pre-installed apps in hand. Rest assured, the child won’t have any reason to fidget around. Of course, apps are NOT a substitute for the companionship of parents.
- Fosters imagination – Another great thing about mobile storytelling apps for kids is that – they offer digital storybooks of diverse genres for the little ones to enjoy. There are classic fairytales (often in a revamped format), original short stories, fable-like stories, travelogues and even sets of jokes. A child can easily pick the type of reading (s)he wants to do at any time. Since all downloaded books can be securely stored in the apps, losing them is not a possibility.
- Multiple options to read – The best iPhone reading apps for kids boast of HQ audio features. Instead of reading books on their own, children can go for the audio storybook option – under which, the story will be read out aloud to them. An extra advantage of opting for this feature is that, kids can listen to the correct pronunciations as well, apart from enjoying the fun of the story itself. While relaxing, a child can happily listen to his/her favorite tales.
- Parental locks are present – By now, parents might be wondering that their children might get ‘addicted’ to these reading apps (much like an unhealthy TV-addiction). There is no reason to feel apprehensive on this count though – for all kids’ apps come with parental controls and supervisory locks. Moms and dads can easily rule out the chance of their kids staying up till late at night, reading stories.
- Smart way for shared learning – Naysayers point at the growing popularity of video games and mobile apps as the chief cause of the gradually worsening social skills of kids. However, the truth is, a fun app for kids can easily stimulate bonding among siblings, relatives, and/or neighboring kids. Stories can be read in a group, and the various games and challenges in these apps can be tried simultaneously. Last but not the least, a good collection of children’s apps is definitely something to show off. And let’s face it, who does not love a bit of good-hearted showing off?
- Supports faster reading – Surveys have confirmed that kids read stories at a quicker pace on mobile apps, than they do on printed books. The biggest reason for this is the range of interactive features of the former – which keeps little kids hooked all along. Teachers from top play schools across the world have also confirmed that the early academic performance of kids who regularly use educational apps tend to be better.
- A cool way to become tech-savvy – Sophisticated gadgets and gizmos are already an integral part of our daily lives, and their usage is sure to go up even further over the next couple of decades. Using mobile reading apps for kids is one of the best ways for today’s children to get familiar with tablets and smartphones at an early age. While making sure that no important document gets deleted accidentally, parents can also have the luxury of knowing that their children are getting a hang of how to use these devices.
During long journeys, a good storytelling app for kids can keep children happily occupied. Nearly all of these reading apps are ad-free, and paid downloads can be done only by parents. Given their multifarious advantages, it is only natural that the usage of mobile applications for children is rapidly going up all over. Printed books are certainly not out-of-fashion or anything – it’s just that li’l kids generally find digital reading just that bit more interesting!
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