In this digital age, it’s nearly impossible to keep young children away from electronic devices. However, we can make the most out of their screen time by taking advantage of the many benefits of advanced technology. One way we can leverage hi-tech gadgets is by taking storytelling to the next level and enhancing the educational value of books using AR apps.
Benefits of Interactive and Immersive Storytelling
A study on the correlation of a home reading environment and brain activation shows that exposure to reading at home stimulates brain functions. Moreover, the study indicates that parent-child reading activates brain areas that support narrative comprehension and mental imagery.
However, it can be quite challenging for parents to grab and keep the attention of young children. Also, not everyone has the innate skill of changing voices and contorting faces to animate stories. This is where technology comes very useful. Augmented reality makes storytelling interactive and immersive.
AR apps provide a multisensory experience that makes storytelling time fun and exciting. These apps increase sensory development as they enhance the mental and physical dexterity of children. As they interact with the characters, the children become not just mere observers or listeners but part of the story. As they actively take part in the story, they gain a deeper understanding of the narrative. Aside from these benefits, animating stories boosts the imagination of children and instills in them a strong passion for reading.
AR Apps for Storytelling
Today, there are hundreds of augmented reality apps available for download on a wide range of devices. Parents of young children are likely to have a couple of these apps on their smartphones and tablets. Here are some of the most popular ones that both parents and kids love:
- WizarKids — This app works with a print book. Kids can freely color the pictures on the book and watch their characters come to life using the app. As they interact with their own creation, they improve their reading, speaking, and listening skills.
- AR Reads — Bring the Dragon Brothers books to life with this app. Watch magical 3D landscapes appear as you read the stories. Be a sleuth and eavesdrop on the conversations of the characters. Go on an adventure and peek inside a giant ship.
- Bookful — This has the widest collection of books in its virtual library. They have almost everything from classics to character books. The app does not require a physical book. Just point the device on a surface and the book appears along with the animations.
- 3D Color Magic and Magic Color AR for Kids — These two apps take coloring books to a whole new level. Kids can color the pages and use the app to bring the images to life. Apps such as these help build concentration skills, develop eye-hand coordination, and stimulate creative thinking as kids come up with their own stories based on the projected images.
- AR Book Apps by Red Frog Digital — Red Frog Digital developed several apps that feature characters from print books. Download the app and use it along with the books about Transformers, My Little Pony, and Thomas the Train.
Enhance, Not Replace
Augmented reality apps for storytelling are not meant to replace traditional learning. Instead, they should be used to enhance children’s reading experience and maximize the value they can gain. Just keep in mind that reading physical books still brings plenty of benefits to young children and no app can replace the presence of a parent during storytelling time.