This post is sponsored by Speakaboos, but opinions are mine. Enjoy.
My daughters just turned six and we are heading towards the end of our first homeschool year. As kindergartners we’ve been focusing a lot on reading, writing, and books. But, my daughters are still not fully reading books on their own (yet). They can read books with simple words and such, but they lack major confidence.
One of the things we are trying to do to encourage their love of books, and of reading, is to surround them with stories. I recently became an Usborne Books & More Independent Consultant and have been reading story books to them out loud. We’re currently working our way through The BFG by Roald Dahl (which is funny thanks to its potty humor), and we try to make up stories to tell them, and have them read and work on spelling and writing.
To hopefully instill some confidence and an even greater love for stories, we also downloaded an app on their iPad called Speakaboos.
Speakaboos is a story reading app for kids ages 2-6 year old with over 200 stories categorized by high-interest topics like Vehicles, Robots, Animals, Dinosaurs, Princesses, Bugs and more. It also has some of my kids’ favorite characters, like Thomas the Tank Engine, Elmo, Angelina Ballerina, and Sid the Science Kid, among others. Speakaboos even has classic stories (which my kids love) like The Three Little Pigs, Rapunzel, and Cinderella, all creatively retold and reimagined, alongside newer classics like Where the Wild Things Are.
The stories feature rich illustrations, animated characters, music, and touchscreen interactions that bring stories to life all while showing the text on the screen and highlighting it to support reading comprehension.
The reading levels go from beginner to fully independent readers, with options like Read to Me, Read & Play (where you can interact with the story, my kids favorite), and Read It Myself. My daughters have not yet attempted the “Read It Myself” but I’m hoping over the next several months they’ll gain more confidence in their reading skills and test it out. Right now they are all about the “Read & Play” because it lets them move things around, make sounds, solve puzzles, and generally explore within the context of the story.
Also, my three year old son is loving this app too. He’s totally into trains and robots, so he loves the stories in the app on those!
The Science Behind Speakaboos
Renowned educational media expert Dr. Alice Wilder — and one of the world’s leading authorities on literacy through media– worked to develop Speakaboos. Dr. Wilder had involvement in the development of series like Blue’s Clues and Super WHY! as well.
Just as Blue’s Clues transformed kids’ educational television programming, Speakaboos rethinks and approaches kids’ mobile screen time. Because it is designed to be highly engaging, when given the option, my kids are choosing Speakaboos over other apps and games on their tablet.
The Benefits of Speakaboos
Because the app is engaging and interactive, my kids greatly enjoy using it! Since they are just starting to learn how to read, and need as much exposure to words and stories as possible, it’s a total win. Here are some other benefits of Speakaboos:
- If a child is interested in what they’re reading, they’ll be motivated to read – and read more! My daughter told me she likes the app because she gets to choose the story.
- An early love of reading creates life-long readers. This is my hope!!
- Reading is the foundation of learning and sets kids up for success academically and later in life. We are working hard to get our girls reading for this reason.
- Speakaboos is both educational and encourages your child to read.
- The Speakaboos app motivates children of all reading levels become self-confident, independent readers.
Designed to motivate children to read anytime, anywhere, Speakaboos can be enjoyed on computers, tablets or mobile devices. Speakaboos is available to download for mobile devices though Speakaboos for iOS, Google Play for Android and www.Speakaboos.com for the web.
Speakaboos is free to download and offers a 7 day free trial for all users. Click here to start your free trial. After the trial you can choose from a monthly or yearly subscription for unlimited access. It is $69.99/year or $7.99/month.
Speakaboos is offering an exclusive discount for What’s up Fagans? readers. Click here to receive 30% off your monthly or yearly subscription today with code whatsupfagans. It will make it only $48.99/year!
Unlike many other entertaining apps and websites, Speakaboos is available offline! Kids can enjoy their favorite stories and read any time, anywhere. Perfect for busy, on the go families.
Speakaboos is a great value. With your subscription, you receive access to over 200 interactive stories. Plus, new stories are being added all the time.
Three of my lucky winners can enter to win a 1 year subscription to the Speakaboos app! Enter below in the rafflecopter widget. Good luck! Giveaway will end Thursday, May 26, 2016 at midnight Central Time.
Download Speakaboos today and the next time your child engages in screen time, they’ll #ChooseReading.