Sunday, July 1, 2012

Best Educational App for Kids

One of my favorite childhood memories is sitting at home with my mom watching "Reading Rainbow." (Cue- "Butterfly in the sky, I can go twice as high, Take a look, It's in a book,A Reading Rainbow)
It was the show that really sparked my interest in reading. I used to love the portion of the show where the kids would give a recap of a book they just read. I wish Reading Rainbow was still on air so Harper could enjoy it too.

Growing up, I was a book worm. I stayed up late with my little book light underneath my covers and read until I fell asleep. I loved to pretend I was the characters in my book. I think I acted as "Harriet the Spy" for a good year. I am pretty sure I drove all the neighbors nuts because I liked to hide in the bushes and write down their every move. I was even convinced that one of my neighbors was a drug dealer. I had quite the imagination.

I want Harper to have the same passion for reading. I'm worried that his generation will forget about the books and will rely on television and video games for their entertainment.

When I heard about the new Reading Rainbow iPad app for children, I was thrilled! Hosted by LeVar Burton, the App offers a trusted library of books customized to your child’s interests, plus exciting video field trips to meet fascinating people and places.

All app users may select a single book and view introductory videos for free! We went ahead and did the free trial. Harper LOVED it! We downloaded "Pirate Boy" first. Harper has a new pirate hat that he  adores. He rocked the pirate hat and his diaper and played with the app for quite awhile. He seemed very engaged.

The app allows children travel to themed islands, such as Animal Kingdom, My Friends, My Family and Genius Academy, discovering quality fiction and non-fiction books. Each book comes alive with audio storytelling by celebrity actors, including spoken word Grammy winner Burton himself, and features light animations and activities to enhance the story. You can also read the book to yourself. But Harper is still too young to read so we use the storytelling option. I think that part that I was most impressed with was the amount of really incredible books that are available to download. We have a few book apps now. The only issue is eventually Harper gets tired of playing with them. This app offers 150 interactive books to read. And it will have frequent updates to expand the library.

Another great feature is the 16 video field trips. Lamar has filmed segments similar to the ones that were on Reading Rainbow.  Harper loves watching them. It also features interactive activities in every book and a reward program to motivate reading, and a parent dashboard to share a child’s reading progress.

This app works a little differently than most. To subscribe and receive unlimited access to the library, you choose either a monthly recurring subscription for $9.99 or a six-month recurring subscription for $29.99. I decided to go with the six-month subscription. Considering the fact that we have access to over 150 books, I think it is a great deal. I spent $4.99 on a single book app, so this is a much greater value for the price. Your subscription is for your iTunes account and can be used on additional iPads you own.

If you are a mom out there with an iPad be sure to check out the new Reading Rainbow app. I think it is the best educational app on the market. 


  1. Holla! A Reading Rainbow App! I too loved Reading Rainbow!

  2. I loved A Reading Rainbow! I definitely think this will be one we purchase too!

  3. I loved A Reading Rainbow! I think this is definitely one we'll be purchasing too!


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