App, Meet Storytime.

My library has been undergoing some construction that’s made our storytime space unavailable. After a month-long break from storytime, we’re back in business!

I put together a transportation storytime for this week (beep beep, vroom, etc.). I’ve been wanting to try out the use of a book app in storytime for a while…but I’ve been a bit of a chicken. Would I be mobbed by toddlers thirsty for screen time? Would they fight for turns to use the iPads? I’ve been thinking about a process for using the iPad and apps in storytime for a while (more on that below). This week I couldn’t resist using the app ‘Wheels on the Bus HD’, so I got brave and gave it a try.

I’ll admit that this isn’t the best book app ever. The later pages include silly things happening on the bus that I’m not a fan of (e.g. a fish bowl on the bus). But the first few pages are nice and have great interactive elements (moving the bus, operating the doors and wipers)–so I used the first few pages.

I saved the app for the end of storytime, just before the ‘Goodbye Song’–just in case things got nuts. I sat on the floor and the group gathered around. I told the kids that iPads are fun to play with, but let them know that I would operate it for storytime. I promised the group that I would leave it out for them to play with after storytime (based on the advice of a childcare specialist–kids are more at ease if they know the cool thing you have will be available to them later). iPads are also available for on-site checkout in our children’s room if caretakers want to give their kids more in-depth time with a device. They did as I asked, sang along, and had tons of fun!

I can’t wait to use another app with my storytime group!

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