Summer has finally begun! Before everyone puts their math and science books aside to take up summer beach reads, we here in the Children's Library wanted to share two apps that are computer science and logic oriented and aim to teach kids how to write code!

The two new Apple apps - Hopscotch (ages 6-12) and Kodable (ages 5+) - emphasize helping kids exercise the logic side of their brain and...

Check out an Early Literacy iPad to find out which great, new apps we've added!

We've been busy these past few months building and organizing the collection of apps that we have pre-loaded onto our Early Literacy iPads for pre-readers ages 2 to 6. We encourage you to check one out today! 

Please also stop by the Children's Library to pick up one of our App Chat lists of new and notable apps!  For more information about apps and more...

April is National Autism Awareness Month. We learned that hundreds of Autism-focused apps are reduced in price or even free this month in honor of Autism Awareness month, so we created a list of our top selections that families with or without children on the spectrum can enjoy.

ABA Sight Words [FREE] is a fantastic app for kindergarteners learning to read and for children on the spectrum that may need extra guidance when it comes to...

Mondays in March at 10am

Join us every Monday at 10am: March 4th,11th, 18th and 25th, for screenings of TED Talks that focus on technology and complement our 21 things for 21st Century Parents technology series.

TED Talks (Technology, Entertainment and Design), started as a one-off event but was so popular that it spawned an annual conference in 1990, in Monterey, CA.

TED Talk speakers are given a maximum of 18 minutes to present their ideas. The topics are wide ranging but some past TED Talks...

Our 21 Things for 21st Century Parents program has concluded for 2013, but the web portion of the course is available for viewing. 

Each winter Darien Children's Library offers this self-directed course for parents to learn about and engage in new and emerging technology. Each week parents receive an email about the tech topics with links to additional articles or videos. There are weekly "things" (assignments)...

As a result of the two App Chats the Children's Library hosted this past month, we have identified so many great new apps that we'd like to share more than one this month. In fact, this month we have six to pass along to our patrons. Below is a list of the top apps we have discovered, tested, and deemed noteworthy. All are available on the Early Literacy iPads for pre-readers from ages birth to five. Place a hold on one today!

...

Looking for great apps? The Children's Librarians have tested dozens of new apps to hand select the very best!

Here are our most recently updated lists:

Early Literacy Apps for ages 2 to 5

Apps for ages 5 to 12

You can also check back here each month for Miss Amy's...

Our App of the Month for February, Build and Play 3D by PronetisKids, features some of our favorite pastimes: puzzle play and machine building! Build and Play 3D features different pieces of a machine or vehicle -- like an airplane, car, truck, or train -- and allows kids to drag and drop them into place to complete each puzzle. Upon completion, each vehicle turns on!

We love that the app reinforces the concept of cause and effect, and helps children to...

This month's app recommendation is an e-book app version of acclaimed children's book The Heart and The Bottle by Oliver Jeffers, who is one of the Children's Library's favorite authors.  The app version of the book, produced by Penguin Group USA, allows users to interact, play, and create within the pages of the e-book.

The app, designed for children ages 5+, encourages discovery while telling a poignant story of love, loss, friendship, and discovery of one's self. We especially like the...

This month's app recommendation is Toca Band by Toca Boca, an innovative play studio that creates app content for childen. Toca Band features 16 musicians gearing up for a big concert -- and they need help putting on their big show! The app encourages creative play with the use of sounds, different instruments, characters, and beats. We especially love how each "song" that users compose is completely different from the next.

Learning about music through such an...

With thousands of apps available, how do we (and how can you!) choose the best ones for young children? The following are some guidelines to help choose apps geared for ages 2 to 5.

A great early literacy app should:

- Be easy and intuitive for your pre-reader to navigate. Buttons and pagination should flow without confusion.

- Encourage the development of multiple literacies (print, visual, digital, etc.)

- Inspire active, rather than passive,...

September's App of the Month is Peek-A-Zoo, created by award-winning app developer Duck Duck Moose. The app helps preschoolers identify different animals by asking a question on each page. Samples of questions are "who is on the phone?" and "who is surprised?" We especially like that kids will pick up key early literacy skills by learning new vocabulary words and directives when using Peek-A-Zoo. Additionally, children on the autism spectrum will benefit by identifying...

Librarian-Selected Apps for the Early Literacy iPad Kits

The Children's Library has six  Early Literacy iPads availble for checkout. The kits come pre-loaded with selected apps geared towards children ages 2 to 5.  The apps were specially selected for their early literacy skill-building qualities.  As we discover great new apps, we will update the iPad kits periodically.  In the meantime, here is the current list of apps you will...

January's App of the Month is DoodleCast for Kids. This App allows preschoolers to draw, create videos, and practice their Narrative Skills. DoodleCast was also recently voted the "best App for younger children" at the 2012 KAPi Awards, part of the Consumer Electronics Show. 

The App gives kids a list of images and adjectives, allowing them to draw and record voice-overs. Their descriptions are then made into short videos which can be emailed or...