Peekaboo Barn in Storytime at the Shaker Heights Public Library by Nicki Petrone
After reading about the use of apps in story time for months I finally gave one a try this morning connecting the iPad to our HDTV with the Apple 30-pin Digital AV Adapter. Peekaboo Barn from Night & Day Studios was a hit. My first app experience got off to an auspicious start when, while I was testing the equipment in our empty program room, a young customer heard the music and ran in to watch.
I do a program called Nestlings for children from birth to 15 months and Fledglings for children from 15 to 24 months. Today’s theme was peekaboo so the app was a perfect fit. I was undecided about whether to use Peekaboo Barn with the younger group but gave it a go when I saw that my attendees this morning were closer to the 15 month end of the spectrum.
I like the crisp, bright graphics and how the word for the animal appears once the barn doors open on each one. The animal sounds are authentic (except for the squeaking bunny) and the customizable voice is a nice option though I stuck with the cute kid voice today. I also like the flexibility of timing- I was able to encourage guesses while we watched the barn shake and listened to the sound of the next hidden animal and take as much or as little time as I wanted.
We do some signing in our groups so I was able to reinforce some signs as we watched the animals and I saw one young participant excitedly flapping her wings as soon as she heard the duck sound. I did wish there was a way to skip over some animals without losing the sweet bedtime ending. My younger group started to lose interest before we made it through all thirteen animals but the older group was entranced throughout and one not-yet-verbal little girl continued to point to the TV after I had turned it off. I now feel more comfortable with the equipment and will definitely explore more apps to use with the little ones in story time.
Youth Services, Shaker Heights Public Library
Nicki Petrone is a Children’s Services Associate at Shaker Heights Public Library where she specializes in programming for children birth to 24 months and creating book displays. She can often be found singing, playing the ukulele, standing on a ladder, or talking about books but has never attempted all those things at the same time.