When we are using apps with our youngest kids, it is always more fun and educational if we can take the app experience and bring it into the real world. As awesome children’s librarians, we are already doing this in storytime. We read a story and then we tell it again using props, puppets, or the flannel board. So why not extend the fun with apps.
Recently I did one of my favorite storytime themes of all time, Tools! As I read the book I Love Tools! by Philemon Sturges, I had the kids pretend to use the tools to help build a bird house. Then I shared the app Sago Mini Toolbox, where kids can use various tools to help the animals build. We even helped a dog build a doghouse, which the kids loved. Just like the book, I had the kids pretend to saw the wooden planks and hammer the nails. After storytime, the kids went into the playroom next door and were able to build with our big block set that you often find in preschool and kindergarten classrooms. Here they were able to actually build their own creations.
My tip to parents was whenever you have the opportunity to take what you learned in a story or an app and bring it into the real world with extension activities, your child will absorb more on the topic. Also, it just makes the activity more fun!