I love the Junior Storytellers App. I was asked to have a look at this app to get my thoughts from both a parent and educators perspective, but also from the viewpoint of counselling and working with kids and encouraging them to open up and engage.
Needless to say I think it ticks so many boxes and is one both myself and my nearly 5 year old have been having so much fun with!
Essentially this app allows kids to create their own stories using different background scenes, characters and props, move characters around the scene, change facial expressions and record their story to watch later, share with others or recreate with different endings, different characters, different emotions and different words. There is so much scope for imagination and creating, made easy with clear and concise instructions and different levels for ages and stages. There is a free form sandbox stage or more structured levels that allows kids to add together a number of scenes to form a beautifully animated story.
As a parent it is great to know that the time spent on the technology is doing something creative, educational and worthwhile. It engages them, allows them to use imagination, be funny, serious, share their stories with friends and family and get enormous joy and pride in watching something back that they have created. It can be a great activity you can do together with your child or something they can do alone. In my case my 4 year old wanted to make up the story but I had to be the voices. At one point he had to look away so we both wouldn’t keep laughing! The beauty of it is you can do as many retakes as you need!
This app has been created in consultation with teachers and educators and is based on incorporating the key learning elements from the Australian, UK and US kindergarten and primary school curriculums. The ability to work at different levels ensures it would be a great addition to classrooms with kids aged 5-9 .
This is where the app really stands out from the crowd. I love that this app allows kids to create a story and watch it back. Then we can change the story slightly, change a belief or thought the character has and make the outcome quite different. Based on some of the elements of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy a therapist (or parent or teacher) can help a child to realise through their stories that there is not only ever one response to a situation and therefore only ever one ending. By tweaking our thinking and hence our actions we can change the outcomes for good. For example, with a child suffering anxiety we may start a simple story about the giraffe not being able to cross the bridge over the waterfall for fear of falling in. We can have him with a sad face not getting to join in the other animals across the way. We can then redo the story with a friend walking over with him, showing him the strength of the bridge and the likelihood that he will make it safely. Being able to change the characters emotions with simple clicks to add a new expression is an excellent way of bringing authenticity to the story.
We know that more and more kids are using iPads for entertainment and education and they are very confident navigating their way around the device, especially with many schools taking up the BYOD program. Using storytelling on a medium they are comfortable with can open up a world of engagement that may sometimes give an adult a greater insight in to the way they view the world or may simply be a fun and vibrant way to let their creativity and imagination run wild.
The app is free for the basic version and $4.99 to unlock lots more scenes and characters. At this stage it is only available on the iPad.
Whilst this is not a sponsored post, I do have some codes to the deluxe version to giveaway to 5 readers.
Simply tell me why you think this is something your child would love?
Competition closes 9pm aest Sunday 24th May, 2014.