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Literacy App-y Hour


What’s ‘appening Kenosha?!
Are you working on literacy skills with your child?
Or would you like their screen time to be a bit more educational?
Try some of the following apps yourself, or with your child, to help improve their literacy skills!

You may have heard of our Grow a Reader program at the Kenosha Public Library. It’s based on the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten model that encourages parents and children to read together. Studies have shown that reading to and with your child is great bonding time and creates lifelong memories. Also, children who develop their literacy skills early in life have a much easier time learning in school. As you read to your child, their vocabulary expands, their visual literacy improves when they look at the pictures, and you instill a love of reading. 

The Calgary Public Library and Mid-Continent Public Library have taken this program and translated it into an app that helps you explore the Five Practices of Early Literacy: Talking, Singing, Reading, Writing, and Playing. In the app, you can find books broken down by those categories (both picture and board books) that you can check out at your local library. The app is linked to the Mid-Continent Public Library’s catalog, but you can use the title and author’s name to find them at the Kenosha Public Library. You can also watch videos that teach lap bounces, face and body rhymes, lullabies, and more, explaining why each are important for literacy development and how you can use them to bond with your child. This app is great for parents and is available on iOS and Android.

"The Monster At the End of This Book” is an animated storybook app that parents can use to help teach their child literacy skills. It is also good for teaching emotions and emotional expression. Sesame Street’s Grover is the narrator of the app who tries to prevent the reader from getting to the end of the “book.” As Grover tries to stop the reader, your child makes decisions, uses their listening skills, and roams through the app, trying to get to the monster at the end of the book. Your child may mistake this as playtime, but it is jam-packed with educational experiences. It does cost $4.99, but is well worth the investment. Available for iOS and Android. Best for Ages 3+. There is a sequel app, “Another Monster at the End of this Book.”

"Duck, Duck, Moose Reading” is a literacy app focused on beginning phonics skills. The game focuses heavily on letter sounds and recognizing letter-sound correspondence. It works with a lot of consonant-vowel-consonant words (ex: had, mad, bat), and teaches beginning readers to isolate and pronounce those sounds. The app was developed with educational researchers and teachers, and was tested extensively in schools. Also, it was made so it is difficult to randomly push buttons to get the correct answers (thanks, developers who understand children!). Users feed the different animals letter sounds, words that begin with them, or words that sound like pictures of objects that start with the sound/letter to complete each level. After completing levels, parents can review which sounds their child has completed. Available on both iOS and Android. Best for ages 3-8.

Have any apps you love and want to shout out? Tell us at any of our Youth Service desks!

Jake Bowen
Youth Services Programming Librarian
Youth and Family Services
Kenosha Public Library