Digital Literacy for Children and Apps for Learning

Here are some online resources selected by Children’s and Teen’s library staff that help support children’s digital literacy skills.

Digital Literacy

Using Apps with Children

Digital devices and new media can be effective tools in supporting a child’s learning, creativity and development. You have an important role to play as a child’s media mentor.

Tips for enjoying apps with children:

  • Enjoy apps together as a family or a group. Use them to spark conversations and stimulate creativity.
  • Find ways to build on digital experiences: read the print book associated with a story app, find books about animals you discover on screen, share a child’s digital creations with friends.
  • You know your child or the children you work with best. Choose apps that engage a child’s interests. Set limits that are appropriate for the child or your family.

Consider the 3 Cs when choosing apps for children:

CONTENT– Choose apps that let children engage, explore, express, and imagine. For example, select an app that lets a child create their own music, rather than playing pre-recorded songs. Look for high quality apps, read reviews, and ask other parents and librarians for recommendations.

CONTEXT– Think about what children will do before, during, and after using an app. For example, if you are going to a doctor’s appointment, look for an app that relates to experiences at a doctor’s office. Use the app together and then relate the activities from the app to the child’s real-life experiences.

CHILD – Choose apps that will interest the child, are within their abilities and fit with other activities in their life. For example, if a child is interested in tigers, watch videos of wild tigers, find an app story about a tiger, and draw pictures of tigers together. If a child is interested in music, math or sports, find apps that help them to tap into those passions.   Our Children’s library staff have selected some learning and entertainment apps that you can also try out on any of our tablets.  

Apps

Here are learning and entertainment apps selected by Children’s and Teen’s library staff. You can also try them out on any of our tablets.

  • Breathe, Think, Do with Sesame for AndroidHelp a Sesame Street monster friend solve a problem by taking deep breathes, thinking of a plan, and testing it. Includes helpful parent section with additional resources for emotional development. For ages up to 5 years. Free.
  • Breathe, Think, Do with Sesame for Apple iOSHelp a Sesame Street monster friend solve a problem by taking deep breathes, thinking of a plan, and testing it. Includes helpful parent section with additional resources for emotional development. For ages up to 5 years. Free.
  • Classify It! for AndroidDelve into the scientific concept of classification! Sort living things based on a shared characteristic such as habitats or scientific names. Kids can advance through different levels and earn Creature Cards which highlight specific organisms. For ages 6-12 years. Free.
  • Classify It! for Apple iOSDelve into the scientific concept of classification! Sort living things based on a shared characteristic such as habitats or scientific names. Kids can advance through different levels and earn Creature Cards which highlight specific organisms. For ages 6-12 years. Free.
  • Endless Alphabet for AndroidAn adorable crew of monsters help kids learn their ABCs and over 100 words. Short animations and interactive puzzle games help bring the words to life. For ages up to 5 years. ($)
  • Endless Alphabet for Apple iOSAn adorable crew of monsters help kids learn their ABCs and over 100 words. Short animations and interactive puzzle games help bring the words to life. For ages up to 5 years. ($)
  • Felt Board for Apple iOSA virtual felt board designed to encourage imaginative play and storytelling. Kids choose characters, backgrounds, props, and more. For ages up to 5 years ($)
  • Inventioneers for AndroidPerfect for the budding engineer in your family. Learn about science and physics while building fun and quirky inventions with the aid of tiny helpers called Inventioneers. For ages 6-12 years. Free.
  • Inventioneers for Apple iOSPerfect for the budding engineer in your family. Learn about science and physics while building fun and quirky inventions with the aid of tiny helpers called Inventioneers. For ages 6-12 years. Free.
  • Metamorphabet for AndroidTap a letter and watch it transform in a visually stunning animation. Learn over 90 new words and hear them clearly pronounced. For ages 6-12 years. ($)
  • Metamorphabet for Apple iOSTap a letter and watch it transform in a visually stunning animation. Learn over 90 new words and hear them clearly pronounced. For ages 6-12 years. ($)
  • Moo, Baa, La La La! for AndroidOne of Sandra Boynton’s favourite board books brought to life! Read it with or without narration and delight in the humorous animations. An interactive app for even the youngest tablet users. For ages up to 5 years. ($)
  • Moo, Baa, La La La! for Apple iOSOne of Sandra Boynton’s favourite board books brought to life! Read it with or without narration and delight in the humorous animations. An interactive app for even the youngest tablet users. For ages up to 5 years. ($)
  • PBS Parents Play and Learn for AndroidDesigned for caregivers, this app has ideas for games to play with your child that support literacy and math skills. Choose a location – the grocery store, kitchen, restaurant, garden, etc – and get an interactive game idea. Available in English and Spanish. For ages up to 5 years. Free.
  • PBS Parents Play and Learn for Apple iOSDesigned for caregivers, this app has ideas for games to play with your child that support literacy and math skills. Choose a location – the grocery store, kitchen, restaurant, garden, etc – and get an interactive game idea. Available in English and Spanish. For ages up to 5 years. Free.

eResources

  • Language and Literature Subject IconVPL to Go – Ereading Room for KidsA collection of popular children’s fiction and non-fiction ebooks and audiobooks.
  • Language and Literature Subject IconNoveList Kids and TeensDiscover the perfect book with NoveList Kids and Teens. Find new children’s and young adult literature by browsing booklists or searching for author readalikes.
  • Language and Literature Subject IconTumbleBook LibraryA popular collection of talking picture books for young readers. Has text, animation, music and narration.
  • Language and Literature Subject IconTumbleBookCloud JuniorA collection of ebooks, graphic novels, and audiobooks for children in grades three to eight.
  • Language and Literature Subject IconTumbleMathA comprehensive collection of math picture books with animation & narration for reluctant learners.
  • Language and Literature Subject IconAudioBookCloudFor children, teens & adults, this streaming audiobook collection offers: fiction & non-fiction, the classics, mystery & suspense, sci-fi, historical fiction and romance.

Content retrieved from: https://www.vpl.ca/kids/digital-tools-for-learning