Apps in Storytime by Anne Hicks: Wheels on the Bus

Wheels on the Bus by Duck Duck Moose

This was a fun app to use during storytime.  It basically goes through each verse of the song with corresponding animations.  I hold the iPad facing the children and then activate the animations as we sing.  The app also lets you record your own voice and then listen to it as you go through the song again.  I recorded the kids singing a few verses and then played the app again so they could hear themselves.  According to Every Child Ready to Read singing is an important early literacy skill!

Here’s a screenshot from the app:

For more storytime ideas check out my blog at Anne’sLibaryLife

Anne Hicks
Children’s Librarian
Henrietta Public Library

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Posted on February 7, 2013, in Apps, Story Time and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Vicki Kouchnerkavich

    Anne, just curious is this your personal iPad or the library’s? If it is yours, who pays for the apps? I have my own iPad and would love to incorporate it into storytime. Do you use a projector or just have your attendees gather around?

  2. Hi Vicki! I’ve just sent an email to Anne so she can respond too; some libraries have app and device budgets, or they move money from the tech budget (which is often much bigger than the children’s collection development budget), some libraries provide the devices but are not sure how to manage buying the apps (ie credit card? iTunes cards? what about locking/syncing devices etc) and are thus restricted to free apps, and many, many children’s librarians use their own devices in storytime (me included!). Depending on what kind of program you want to do, you can wirelessly mirror the iPad with an AppleTV through a TV, Brightboard or projector, or hook your iPad directly into a projector with a cable. I’m also exploring options for mirroring the iPad through a laptop onto a screen. Depending on the size of your group, you can use the iPad hand-held, but you’d have to try it and see if it works for you. If you are doing a BYOD program, you can use your own iPad hand-held and guide caregivers and kids through apps on their own device.

  3. Hi Vicki, when I first tried the iPad in storytime, I used my own and purchased the apps myself. I was just trying it out and wanted to see how it would work. Soon my library purchased an iPad for the staff to use and I’ve been using that iPad whenever it is available. Now my director has decided to get me my very own iPad! As far as purcahsing apps, our solution was to ask our generous Friends group to donate money for itunes cards.
    I haven’t tried using a projector yet but if you have a large group that might be best. My stortimes tend to have around 20 kids so I just have them gather around me as I hold the iPad just like I do for the picture books. I would say just try it out and see what works best for you. I haven’t had a negative experience yet. Good luck and have fun!

  4. Hi Vicki, when I first tried using the iPad in storytime I used my own and purchased the apps myself. I was just trying it out and wanted to see how it would work. Soon my library purchased an iPad for staff to use and now I use that whenever it is available. My director recently told me she would get me my very own iPad specifically for Children’s services! As far as apps go, my director and I discussed it and found that the best solution for us was to ask our generous Friends group to donate money for itunes cards.
    I tend to have about 20 kids at each of my storytimes so I just ask the kids to gather around me as I hold the iPad just like I do for the picture books. It works out fine but if you have a larger group you may want to project the images. Just try things out and see what works best for you. I haven’t had a negetive experience yet. Good luck and have fun!

    • Vicki Kouchnerkavich

      Anne, sounds like you took the right steps to first seeing if using the iPad in storytime would work, having the library purchase an iPad, then following up with funding. We don’t have a friends group at our library, but I could actually see where the purchase of apps could come right out of the Youth Materials budget. I have a personal iPad too, with many fun apps that I have purchased to use with my 2-1/2 year old grandson. I know I could make use of most of them in storytime. Thanks for your comments.

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