Apps in Storytime: 2014 Midwest Youth Services Unconference

Session Topic: Apps in Storytime

Session Facilitator: Sarah Bean

Session Recorder: Lisa Peters


Apps in storytime and apps in general

Any doing digital storytimes or apps in general

Preschool-Appiness (ages 3-5): Parents and children come together. Start with playing with crafts, etc., then non-passive screen-time giving iPads to parents to play with kids.

Each branch has an iPad: Digi-Tots 2:30 on Saturday about 5 kids at each one but hasn’t been as successful. *Didn’t know what “Digi-Tot” means* As long as incorporate digital aspect with storytime, it can be considered digi-tot.

Digi-Tot was totally digital: On Sarah’s blog. Second added a book component: Pigeon, Don’t Run this App. HDMI cable connects to the iPad and connects to the TV. Third time just used the iPad, did not work as well because children wanted to see it better. If the iPad is connected to the TV it works better. The projector on a cart was fairly cumbersome.

Allow a smaller group to each use

iPads as game stations

Aridan Books: Crayon Kiosk for iPads-put multiple apps on iPad: Timeout after 15 minutes-IT, Volume set

Two stools, Board mounted to side of endcap, the holder is mounted to that endcap. They do not have an outlet.

Curious Circus-Sounds from the Farm: Animal Sounds-Click the sound and then show the picture

Customers come with grandchildren. No screen time for below age 3 from AAP.

Apps not necessarily made for groups, more for one-on-one.

Doing workshops for parents, which would be more one-on-one.

App-visory (could be done at the end of storytime): Go down a list of apps for parents

Use app as a particular station

Little E-Lit or School Library Journal: Has great reviews for one-on-one or good for a classroom use.

“Bad” Apps:

  • Llama Llama Red Pajama
  • Press Here: **Not for storytime** Different Games-Would be good as gamestation
  • **Avoid in-app purchase apps**
  • Pete the Cat


  • Curious Circus-Sounds from the Farm: Animal Sounds-Click the sound and then show the picture
  • Singing Fingers
  • Mothergoose on the Loose
  • Smoothie Feltboard: Create own stories, take pictures, use camera roll to show the story **Less than $2.00
  • Mo Willems *$6.99*: Don’t let the Pigeon Run this App-Can let the kids use the microphone to record their voices. Can draw the pigeon with Mo.
  • Mo on the Go: Maybe not as good with storytime
  • The Very Cranky Bear-Story
  • PBS Apps
  • The Endless Alphabet
  • Drawing Stars
  • Count Down Rocket
  • Toka Boka, Monster Kitchen-Parental tips **$2-$3 highest apps**
  • Scratch Jr.
  • Fancy Nancy Dress-up**Not for storytime**
  • Rosemary Wells-Head Shoulders Knees and Toes
  • Moo, Baa, Lalala
  • Go Away Big Green Monster by Ed Emberley

Using Apps for tween/teens

Coding Apps

Do whatever feels right.

AAP usage limit-2 hours per day for younger

NPR: Digital Natives

Interaction component is really important for screentime.

Fred Rogers has good blog on screentime usage.

iPads great for music. iHome speaker or Beats Pill Speaker


Did you attend this session? Have something to add? Sound off in the comments below!


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