Another Favorite Storytime App

The first app I ever used during storytime was an animal sounds app and I got the idea from this Storytiming blog post.

The app mentioned in the above link no longer works (there seems to be a glitch and the developer hasn’t issued an update) but I’ve found another animal sounds app the works perfectly.

iPad App:  Animal Sounds – Fun Toddler Game by Innovative Mobile Apps


This app is a lot of fun and really simple.   I’ve used it in a few storytimes and the kids never get bored with it.

I hold the iPad facing me and tell the kids to guess what animal is making the noise.  I say this rhyme:

“There’s someone in my garden,

Whoever can it be?

There’s someone in my garden,

Let’s listen, then see.”

I then tap on an animal from the homescreen.  It looks like this:

animal sounds app1

When you tap on an animal that animal’s sound will automatically be activated and the screen will change to an image of the animal. For example, if you choose the dog you will hear a bark and see this screen:

animal sounds app2

The kids will all shout out their guesses and then your can turn the iPad around to show if they guessed correctly.

This particular animal sounds app works really well in storytime because 1. It has large clear images of the animals (there are actually two images per animal so you can choose the one you like best).  2. You can repeat the animal noise by clicking on the repeat button on the upper right corner of the screen  (in case the kids want to hear it again before guessing).  3. The name of the animal is written in bold font at the bottom of the screen.


Using the iPad in Storytime – and No, I don’t read ebooks from it…

Before I post too frequently about storytimes in which I’ve used the iPad, I thought it might be helpful to explain how I use it and what I believe the benefits are.

Every time I’ve told fellow librarians that I sometimes use the iPad in storytime people assume that I read books from it.  This is not what I do!  I love “real” books (although I also believe ebooks are wonderful too).  Picture books in ebook form have a place in this world but I would much rather read a physical picture book in storytime.

icn med wob AppsToca-Robot-Lab

How I use the iPad:

I often download apps that relate to my storytime theme and find ways to incorporate the app into my storytime the same way I would use a flannel board or a puppet.  I use the app as an interactive extension of the storytime theme.

In the future you’ll see posts on this blog with examples of different apps that I’ve used but check out my Robot themed storytime for a quick example. (scroll to the bottom of the post)

The Benefits of Using Apps in Storytime:

When we read picture books in storytime, part of what we are doing as children’s librarians is modeling to caregivers how to engage with the child while we read.  We ask questions about the illustrations and the story.  We ask children to predict what will come next.  We use silly voices and try to make it an engaging experience.

You can do the same with iPad apps!  Instead of just handing a kid an iPad and sending them off,  imagine how much more fun they would have if the parent plays too! And how much more engaging the experience would be!  We can model, to the caregiver, how to engage with the child while playing.

Another benefit of using apps in storytime is that it creates an easy way for the caregiver to extend the learning experience beyond storytime.  I doubt most parents have time to go home and recreate a flannel board that I’ve used in storytime but they can (and do) go home and download a fun, educational app that I used in storytime!

Also, technology will be (and probably already is) an integral part of these kids’ lives.  We should use it with children in a way that is educational, engaging, and promotes literacy!

If you’ve used an app during storytime or if you have any questions about how I’ve done it please leave a comment!