Updated: Jan 17
With the abundance of children’s apps available nowadays, it is no wonder that most parents face difficulty choosing the appropriate apps for their child that are both educational and fun. After all, parents only want the best for their children, especially when it comes to the devices that could help with their development.
If you’ve come across this article, we’re assuming that you share this concern. Worry no more, we’re here to tell you how to determine if an app is appropriate for your child. More specifically, we’re here to introduce you to the National Literacy Trust (NLT), an organisation that will help you accomplish this mission and whose endorsements of children’s app you should look out for.
What is the National Literacy Trust (NLT) and why are they relevant?
The NLT is an independent charity from the United Kingdom (UK) promoting literacy in children, especially those growing up in disadvantaged conditions or from disadvantaged backgrounds. Since 1993, the organisation has worked on various approaches to help raise children’s literacy skills so that they can succeed in life.
The main approaches of the NLT are supporting schools and teachers, establishing literacy projects for the poorest communities in the UK, as well as campaigning to make literacy a priority for both parents and politicians. The charity also conducts research investigating how to raise literacy attitudes, habits, and skills across the UK, besides being the basis for their programmes, campaigns and policy work.
The focus of NLT’s efforts include adults, youngsters, and children as they believe that literacy learning is intergenerational. As mentioned above, they work with people across all occupations; including parents, teachers, academicians, politicians, students, and others in the community so that literacy is achievable for every child regardless of their background.
So, how does this relate to choosing the best and most suitable app for your child’s development?
Literacy Apps: the new way to literacy
As part of their continuing journey to promote literacy, the NLT collaborated with partners and academic advisors to create Literacy Apps, a guide to the best literacy and language apps for the development of children.
Literacy Apps has rated and reviewed approximately 100 apps which are suitable for language and literacy development; explaining how each app works, the features available in the apps, as well as the development milestone the app will assist in.
Did you know? Me Books App is one of the 100 brilliant apps recommended by the LiteracyApps guide!
They have also recommended these apps based on their suitability and preference for different children based on three aspects: age, learning area, or app features.
The guide allows parents to choose their preferred apps based on the age of your child. Because children at different ages have different capabilities, the suitable app for each child may differ based on their needs and development stages.
Literacy Apps filters apps based on their suitability for different children of different ages; ranging from 1 to 5 years old. It should be noted, however, that the age recommendation for the apps are a rough guideline by Literacy Apps and may not be the same for every child.
For example, while Literacy Apps recommends the Me Books App for children aged 3 and above, the app also provides books that are suitable for children between 2 to 9 years old.
By learning area
You can also choose to focus on apps that cater to specific learning areas for the benefit of your child. There are five to choose from, namely: listening and attention, understanding, speaking, reading, and writing.
The guide helps parents to decide on suitable apps for their children by giving information on the learning area milestones that a child should be able to achieve at a certain age.
To illustrate this point, as seen in the picture below, at 3 years old, the reading milestones include being able to listen and join in on stories, having interest in illustrations, and being interested in environmental print.
The different apps recommended by The Literacy Apps Guide have different learning areas that they specialise in. The Me Books App is useful for the learning areas of listening and attention as well as reading.
According to their review, Me Books App is suitable for those who have reached certain learning area milestones, especially children who:
1. can follow longer stories and focus for longer periods, 2. are able to anticipate key events in stories, 3. enjoys listening to stories, joining in with stories, and suggesting how the stories might end, 4. have an interest in illustrations.
By app features
Finally, Literacy Apps is also able to filter the recommended apps by the features in the app. They focus on 6 prominent criteria of the apps and rate them on a scale of 1 to 5 stars.
1. Lots of fun An app is highly rated in this criteria if it is deemed fun, other than making children feel included and empowered by encouraging the response of the screen such as touches, tapping, or swiping. 2. Play together A great app allows the child to play with others either in person or virtually.
3. Interactive The Literacy Apps Guide considers an app interactive if it gives clear feedback or encouragement during a child’s engagement with it. In addition, it should have goals and rules, which can be adjusted to suit the child.
4. Loads to do This app feature refers to the ability of the app to give children different activities, characters and stories to be involved with.
5. Creative A creative app is an app that allows children to use their imagination, make new stories or change what is happening.
6. Make it your own Another great app feature is the ability to make the app into your own. Some of the ways to make an app your own is by adding voices, pictures, or creating new characters so that the child can relate to the app even better.
This criteria in particular is very relevant to our Me Books App as our app offers a recording feature, which allows children or parents to re-record the narration in our available audio books. In fact, our app was rated 5 stars by Literacy Apps in this app feature!
The Me Books App has been reviewed and is recommended by the National Literacy Trust Literacy Apps Guide due to its astounding features that assist the language and literacy development in children aged 3 and above.
Download the Me Books App today: https://apple.co/2S3iKzk (iOS) or http://bit.ly/2S7TFmY (Android) to enjoy a fun and educational way of enhancing your child’s literacy, as recommended by the National Literacy Trust!