The Children's Library staff constantly comes across great apps for kids of all ages, and we realized that we usually only publicize our favorite Early Literacy Apps. There's a world of great apps available for older kids, and we would like to share our expertise and knowledge of educational (and fun!) iPad apps for kids ages 5-12. The list below is comprised of apps, games, and eBooks that we selected for their stellar content and unique presentation.
These apps all feature factual content either in educational or game form.
Bobo Explores Light: For kids reluctant to learn about science or math, this app will open their eyes to a new world of amazing science concepts with humor and whimsy. Ages 8+
Stack the States: A matching game that teaches geography about the U.S. states and their capitals. Ages 8+
AstroApp: Space Shuttle Crew: For space enthusiasts yearning to learn more about NASA's space explorations from 1981 to the present. Ages 7+
Weird but True: Based on the popular section in National Geographic Kids magazine, this app features wacky facts and images that are sure to enthrall kids and adults alike. Ages 7+
BrainPop Jr. Movie of the Week: App features short videos on different topics (think: science, social studies, reading, writing, math, health, arts and technology) to help peak interest in the processes and theories that support them. Ages 5+
Journey into the Deep: For aspiring ocean explorers interested in learning about the ocean and it's varied inhabitants. Ages 10+
Khan Academy: A great app for all kids (K-12) interested in learning about any topic! App features over 3,200 videos on a variety of subjects. Ages 6+
Ultimate Dinopedia: Another National Geographic app, this time with a focus on dinosaurs. Be forewarned: some of the dinosaurs can be a tad scary! Ages 7+
Kronopedia - Visual Arts: This app offers a chronological timeline of when and where famous artists lived. A great supplement and aid for middle- and high-schoolers learning about art, history, or artists. Ages 12+
American Presidents for iPad: This app is a great source for older students learning about presidents and presidential history. Learn about each president's policies, history during their tenure, and also view a photo gallery associated with each. Ages 12+
Zachy the Robot: Quest for the Museum Treasures: While traveling the globe with robot pals, children will discover facts about minerals, fossils, and dinosaurs. Ages 6+
Britannica Kids Apps: The creator of the famous encyclopedia sets now has apps on Dinosaurs, Solar Systems, Knights & Castles, Rainforest, Egypt, Ancient Rome, Volcanoes, Snakes, Aztecs, and Endangered species.
Dictionary.com App: Over 2,000,000 definitions, synonyms, and antonyms in this dictionary/thesaurus, also includes audio pronunciation and word origins.
Barefoot World Atlas: World atlas that allows users to explore regions, people, and animals. Provides a rich experience in learning about the natural world, history, and general facts about earth. Kid-friendly illustrations and animation of a 3D globe.
Flashcards*: Create and share flashcards to help study for tests or prepare for presentations. Cards can be organized.
Haiku Desk: Use this app to create simple slideshows. This app lets you search for copyright-free images and limits the amount of text per slide.
Brian Cox's Wonder of the Universe: Explore the universe from tiny particles to distant galaxies in 3D. Includes hundreds of articles, images, and hours of video.
IF Poems: 800x600 .
Puzzlemaster Deck: Brain teasers and word twisters created by NPR's Puzzlemaster Will Shortz. For kids who love a real challenge.
This list includes apps that encourage creative play but are more advanced than the apps on our Early Literacy iPads.
Art in Motion: This is a standout amongst apps that bridge the technology and art gap. Users select from pre-chosen themes and swirl their fingers to edit and move imagery on the screen. Ages 5+
Pirate Scribblebeard's Treasure with Oscar and Josephine: This app is a hybrid book/creativity app. Kids read a story featuring Pirate Scribblebeard, but also get to contribute their own illustrations to the tale. Intuitive, easy, and fun, the app also supports development of fine motor skills. Ages 3+
Super Hero Comic Book Maker: Created by stand-out app studio Duck Duck Moose, this app allows users to make their own comic book heroes and comic book layouts. Ages 7+
Doodlecast for Kids: Kids who like to draw (or trace!) will enjoy this app, which records your voice as you create a drawing on the screen. Play back your video drawing, and even send it to an email address to share your creations. Ages 6+
Sock Puppets: Users pick out sock puppet characters and backgrounds, and record a story using their own voice. The app warps voices to make them sound funny. Friends can create hilarious conversations between themselves and their sock puppets. Ages 8+
Photogene: This app helps older kids edit, change, and merge photos. Great for kids interesting in photography and content creation. Ages 8+
Color Uncovered: Explore the world of color with this fun app that uses illusions created by the Exploratorium museum. Ages 8+
Pic Collage: Create collages, scrapbooks, and posters using photos, stickers, and text. Easy to use.
A short list of some of our favorite games.
Bad Piggies: From the same creators of Angry Birds, this game allows users to make various crafts that enable the green piggies to accomplish goals like flying, jumping, or moving objects. Slightly more difficult and engaging than the original and beloved Angry Birds, but a great accompaniment app for older kids that love Angry Birds. Ages 7+
Wings Earth: A flight simulator that can be relaxing or challenging depending on settings. Great for car rides or long waits. Ages 5+
Highlights Hidden Pictures: Kids will love the app version of the classic hidden pictures puzzles from Highlights Magazine. Simple and satisfying gameplay. Ages 6+
Roxie's A-Maze-ing Vacation Adventure: This hybrid puzzle, maze, and look-and-search adventure will keep kids occupied and engaged for hours at a time. Similar to the beloved "Where's Waldo?" book series. Ages 6+
Left Right Pup: For kids learning the concept of left and right, this game will keep them on track and help to develop their concentration and focus. Ages 4+
These eBook apps feature stories that are longer and more complex than our favorite storybook eBooks.
Grimm's Sleeping Beauty is an eBook app version of the classic fairy tale, shows readers a fresh new take on a familiar story. Princess enthusiasts and story-book readers alike will delight in this fun and explorative eBook app.
The Hugless Douglas eBook app (based on the book of the same name by David Melling) includes well-thought functions and discoverable features that will keep readers of all ages engaged and amused.
Bottom of the Ninth by Ryan Woodward: A truly amazing "never-seen-before" app of an interactive graphic novel which tells a baseball story set 200 years in the future. A must for all baseball fans! Ages 8+
The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen: This retelling of the classic children's book deserves a nod on our list, simply because the interactive illustrations are astoundingly beautiful. Ages 9+
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William Joyce: An Oscar-winning short film and award-winning book, this app version intentionally blurs the line between picture books and animated films. Ages 7+
Clara Button and the Magical Hat Day by Amy de la Haye: Fashion-oriented readers and history buffs will greatly enjoy this book adventure, which features famed British museum the Victoria & Albert and it's selection of clothing and artifacts. Ages 7+-->
Is your child just starting to read? Children at this stage are known as "emerging readers" and every child emerges at a different pace. Here are a few tips to help you encourage your child and keep them motivated as they transition from pre-readers to independent readers:
- Be patient. Learning to read successfully is comprised of two major skills working together: decoding and comprehension. Simply put, these skills are the ability to recognize familiar words (and sound out unfamiliar ones) and the knowledge of what those words mean. It's a process.
- Read together often. Read to your child and let your child read to you.
- Talk about what you read. Talk about new words. Explain unfamilar vocabulary and phrases.
- Make your house a print-rich environment. Have books all over- the kitchen, the bedroom, even the bathroom (well, perhaps not library books!) You can also listen to audio books while driving around town.
- Read books that your child enjoys- even if they are gross, silly, or not to your preference. The best way to help a new reader become a lifelong reader is by taping into their interests. Don't worry, they hopefully won't find bodily functions this hilarious forever....
The children's librarians finished out their fourth year of telling stories at Tilley Pond Park on Thursday, August 9th. There were stories about dogs who swallowed various animals and bossy chickens who just wanted to read some books. The real crowd pleaser was the children's librarians' version of Pete the Cat and his Four Groovy Buttons. If you missed out on the fun the first time or you just want to relive all of the fun, check out the children's librarians in action.
Storytimes are for babies, toddlers and children up to age 6. The library offers other programs for children up to age 12. The programs are developmentally appropriate for the stated ages, though we offer a two week grace period for children on the cusp.
Registered storytimes are offered in the Fall, Winter and Spring seasons. All Summer programs are drop-in and do not require pre-registration. Younger children have offerings in the morning, Totally Preschool is in the morning and the afternoon, Bookworms is in the afternoon. Programs for older kids during the school year are held after-school, evenings and weekends. The Darien Library provides approximately 20 program a week during a registered session. Drop-in storytimes are available year-round - check the calendar of events for more information.
Parents/caregivers may register online during the specified registration period. Registered storytimes are for children whose parents are Darien residents, employed full-time in Darien, or Friends of the Darien Library who contribute annually at the $300 level. Parents will need a Library card to register.
Register: March 4 to March 18 Session runs: March 25 to May 3
Pre-walking babies and a parent/caregiver. Join us for fingerplays, songs, rhymes, and movement.Born to Read
Walkers (up to 24 months) and a parent/caregiver. This fast-paced storytime for lively toddlers includes books, songs, fingerplays, and movement.Side by Side
2-year-olds and 3-year-olds with a parent/caregiver. This introduction to storytime features books, rhymes, and movement activities.Totally Preschool
4-year-olds and 5-year-olds. Join us for stories, act-outs, and songs.Libros y Cuentos
3-year-olds to 5-year-olds. This bilingual storytime introduces children to Spanish vocabulary, books, rhymes, and songs.
Preschool Time Mondays at 1:30 p.m.
3-year-olds to 5-year-olds. Wiggle your fingers and stomp your feet in this lively storytime. Preschoolers will enjoy read-alouds, act-outs, plus music and movement.Sleepytime Tuesdays at 6 p.m.
2-year-olds to 6-year-olds. Stories and songs await in this pajama storytime that's sure to be fun for the entire family.Toddler Tales Wednesdays at 9:30 a.m.
Walkers (up to 36 months) and a parent/caregiver. This fast-paced storytime for lively toddlers includes books, songs, fingerplays, and movement.Baby Laptime Thursdays at 9:30 a.m.
Pre-walking babies and a parent/caregiver. Join us for fingerplays, songs, and bounce rhymes in this lapsit storytime.
The Randolph Caldecott award is "awarded annually to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children" (the American Library Association). The award is now in its 75th year and still remains the highest honor given to illustrators in the United States.
We're pleased to announce that Darien Library now has all the Caldecott Award winning books in one section - a new section of F5 Favorites!
In the previous home of F5 Concepts, you'll find all the Caldecott winning books from 1938 through the present. We can't wait to share these forever classics with you and your family!
The world lost a revered author of children's literature when Russell Hoban passed away last Tueday at the age of 86. Although he wrote more than 50 books for children and was the author of several popular adult novels, here in the children's library he is best known for his Frances books. Bread and Jam for Frances remains one of the definitive books about picky eaters, and the entire series is worth revisiting for its gentle, funny look at the life of a young badger. Check out our collection of Hoban titles at the link below.
Oliver Jeffers' new book, Stuck, starts out simply and gets out of hand very quickly, with very funny and unexpected twists.
Poor Floyd's kite gets stuck in a tree behind his house. To get it out, he throws his shoe...which also gets caught in the tree. He throws his other shoe (it gets stuck), then his cat Mitch (he gets stuck), then goes to get a ladder...and hurls it into the tree (yep, it gets stuck, too). By the end of the story, a fire engine (and its firemen), a lighthouse, the house across the street, and a whale are all stuck in the tree. How does it all end? Does Floyd get everything out of the tree? You'll get a kick out of the surprise ending.
Kids with big imaginations, who like big stories and silly ideas, will love this story, and the grown-ups who read it to them will like it, too.
If you and your children have been enjoying the Early Literacy iPad Kits along with the iPad mounted in the Children's Library, we have great news! We recently revamped our kits to include newly acquired apps for you and your children to enjoy! We've also organized the apps, old and new, into convenient folders.
Is your child Disney-obessed? Good news! You can channel that obession into a learning experience. You can get your child our book adapatations of popular Disney movies like Beauty and the Beast. Just type in Disney as a keyword in our catalog and you will find that we have a plethora of Disney-related books! Still not enough Disney? You can order Disney books and print Disney coloring pages from this website-- www.randomhouse.com/kids/disney/.
But, have you ever thought about what scares sharks?? According to I'm A Shark by Bob Shea, the title character, a very tough-guy Great White, isn't afraid of anything. Except, maybe....spiders.
But he's not scared of a big mean bear, as long as it isn't holding a creepy spider, near a creepy spider, thinking about a creepy spider, or reading a book about a creepy spider. "A big, mean, spiderless bear? Don't make me laugh!" the shark says. Yes, he's a very brave shark indeed.
Come in and check out I'm A Shark by Bob Shea.
If you like I'm A Shark and want to read more from Bob Shea, take a look here.