Tales Untold Are Stories Not Just for Kids, Not Just for Bedtime

Tales Untold Are Free Audio Books for Kids to Enjoy at Bedtime…or Anytime!

Those of us of a certain generation may be old enough to have owned a record player as a child. I did. My prized albums were various children's stories, like Walt Disney's Mickey and the Beanstalk or Tale Spinners for Children's The Ugly Duckling and The Pied Piper. These were the ones that came with a story book in which you turned the page when you heard the chime. The best part was hearing how well the professional voice actors told the story along with my imagination and a sound effect or two. It felt like an adventure every time I listened, which I did over and over again.

Fun and Exciting Audiobooks

Fun and exciting audiobooks for kids were probably widely available when cassette tapes and CDs came along too, but by that time, so had Gameboys and other digital entertainment, so maybe they lost some of their magic. Tales Untold, the namesake app from Tales Untold Media, is a new digital experience that aims to bring back that magic from childhood, and introduce it to your children.

Seasons of Stories

Tales Untold is a free mobile app featuring original, episodic stories for children—and maybe even parents too. The app itself provides access to a number of stories ("tales") that are broken up into short episodes of about 10 minutes each, though some are shorter and some are longer. The first episode of each tale is free. tales-untold-storiesMore are provided via in-app purchase, either by the episode, or by the season. Purchasing the season gets you all the episodes—about 10 each. And the library is growing. Tales Untold Media will continue to add new seasons for existing tales, as well as brand new tales on a regular basis.

Adventure, Mystery, Real Life

The tales that are currently available are: Radbert, A Little About a Lot, Inspector 9, Trunk Show, and Trouble with Wishes. They're about adventure, mystery, and even real life. Inspector 9 takes the listener on a bedknobs-and-broomsticks-ish adventure with the titular Inspector and a magical bunk bed that transports the passenger to places only imagined. The story engages your child through riddles and puzzles, along with funny reactions from the Inspector. For example, one particular piece of a puzzle was "the opposite of standing, rhymes with wit." The Professor's bumbling responses—"Lying down? Napping??"—were entertaining while pulling kids in with the right answer. There are also sillier moments, such as discussing names for a pet iguana, including "Little Booger." Yep, that would get a response from my kids.

A Little About a Lot

Sure, Tales Untold is targeted for younger kids, but that doesn't mean that parents can't enjoy them too. My favorite series was A Little About a Lot. Each episode in A Little About a Lot is a self-contained dive into a fascinating area of non-fiction about the world, helping you answer all the whys and hows your curious child wants to know. For example, you can learn about Lewis & Clark, Amelia Earhart, or how a caterpillar becomes a butterfly. Yes, everybody knows that it spins a cocoon (or, more technically, a chrysalis, as Tales Untold teaches) and in a few weeks a butterfly comes out, but what actually happens inside the chrysalis during the metamorphosis? The episode tells you all about it. I won't spoil it for you, but I will tell you that I will never think of "soup" in quite the same way again.

Outstanding Voice Acting and Sound

A Little About a Lot teaches subjects like history and science—yes, what some kids might call dull or boring—but it's neither dull nor boring. The narrator is eminently listenable, varying his pitch, tone, and cadence appropriately. He pays special attention to advanced concepts, and finds ways to relate them to kids' experiences so that they can understand and relate to them better. For example, the Wolves episode compares and contrasts wolves (which kids have hopefully never seen up close) to dogs, which are probably very familiar: eyes are yellow, instead of blue or brown, heads and paws are bigger, and they both howl. In Let's Talk, the episode about how people communicate, sound effects play for the various older technologies like Morse code and rotary telephones, providing a way for kids to relate to them.

For Your Ears Only

The production values of Tales Untold are obviously high, tales-untold-iphone6-250from the charming cover art, to the professionally voiced narration, to the sound effects. All of these help draw the child into the world of Tales Untold. All in all, Tales Untold is almost entirely an aural experience. That's not a bad thing—imagination is a powerful tool, and video can be a crutch, but for those looking for something to watch will be disappointed. Also, there are no words to follow the story along with. Tales Untold is for listening pleasure only, though Tales Untold Media does provide a free coloring book on their website that you can print. Kids may enjoy coloring the characters while listening, thereby engaging in tactile and aural stimulation at the same time.
The last thing I'll tell you about Tales Untold is the last thing you hear in each episode: the jingle. It's so catchy with its acoustic guitar and whimsical lyrics. It's only a few seconds long, but if you're like me, you'll find yourself singing it at dinnertime. And then maybe you'll want another helping of Tales Untold.

Tales Untold is available for iOS (iPad and iPhone). You can download it from iTunes and the Apple App Store. An Android version is in the works. (This review is based on the iPad version, though the experience should be very much the same on any compatible device.)

 

 

 

6 Fun Spelling Apps for Kids

Six Fun Kids Spelling Apps

Are you looking for some fun kids Spelling Apps? Spelling apps are fun, easy ways to introduce people of all ages to literacy and spelling. The apps are available on all three major operating systems and for a wide range of ages and skill levels. Whether you are looking for iOS, Android or Windows, we have you covered. Here are some of our favorites!

iOS

Pogg $0.99 This spelling game has two modes: picture mode and spelling mode. Spelling mode allows children who are already reading and spelling to enter words into the “What should Pogg do now?” box, then watch as he acts out that word if they have spelled it correctly. Picture mode is for children who are not yet reading, allowing them to select from a series of words, hear that word read aloud, and then watch as Pogg acts it out. There are 300 words in the game's dictionary thus far and the developer plans to release more as free updates.

Bob Books $3.99 iTunes brings classic Bob Books to life with an interactive app! Each book consists of 12 pages with 4 levels of difficulty, utilizing spelling, repetition, and phonics to help beginning readers build their reading skills. As the children play through the books, the black and white illustrations are filled in with vibrant colors.

Android

Super WHY $2.99 Alpha Pig, Princess Presto, Wonder Red, and Super Why take your child on a literacy adventure! Four interactive games teach your child the magic of spelling, writing, reading and the alphabet. Bring your child's favorite characters to life and introduce them to the fun of reading with this Android game.

Spelling Bee $0.99 A fun, competitive spelling bee game for Android users, this app challenges spellers with over 2,300 words in various levels of difficulties.

Windows

Spelling Millionaire Premium $0.99
Try to win the “Million Dollar” prize by correctly spelling 15 words in a row! The prize may not be real, but the challenge is.

Spell It Free!
This free Windows game is a multiplayer, digital version of the classic Scrabble game. Play with up to four online players, or try out pass-and-play mode for friends who don't have a smartphone.

If you have an app that you would like to submit, please contact us. We hope these spelling app suggestions help inspire a fun spelling app for you. Please bookmark www.KidsDesk.net and share on your favorite social media account. We couldn't do it without you!

9 Free Kids Learning Apps

Free Learning Apps for Kids

 

The Kids App market continues to grow and today kids have more devices than can be imagined. More and more developers are stepping up to the plate in an effort to create fun and engaging applications for children to use. It isn’t all games though, there is an increasing amount of apps are geared for use by parents and teachers to foster cognitive development in children of all ages. We have selected 9 fun, exciting (and FREE!) learning apps just for kids.


For iOS

• Farm 123
This app, geared towards preschool age children, is like a digital pop-up book. The child learns to count by touching each individual item in a group (such as 4 bales of hay) and, since the book doesn’t allow any one item to be touched or counted twice, it helps children understand the one to one correspondence piece that is so integral to learning to count.

• Duolingo
For older children, this amazing app is a free resource for children (or anyone) to learn another language. English speakers can currently learn Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, Irish, Danish and Swedish. Duolingo is available online and for Windows and Android as well.

• Little Writer
This tracing app is fantastic on your iPad and is popular with parents and teachers everywhere. This app includes both capital and lower case letters, encouraging your child to learn the shapes of each in a fun way. Learning to trace and recognize the shapes of letters is the first step in learning to read!

For Android:

• Hooked on Phonics-
A classic goes digital!  The award winning Hooked on Phonics program that we all know and love, which has helped millions of children learn to read is now available in the Google Play store.

• Dictionary.com Flashcards
Whether they are just trying to improve their vocabulary or studying for a specific test, this flashcard app is a great resource for children of several grade levels to improve their language skills. Available for iPhone and iPad as well.

• Endless Alphabet – This charmingly illustrated app is brought to you by the creative minds behind Sesame Street!  It features fun puzzles for kids to solve while learning their ABCs and expanding their vocabulary.

For Windows:


• ABC Letters and Phonics-
Preschool children will have a blast learning their letters and learning to read using this eye catching phonics, colors, shapes, letters and numbers app for Windows.

• Khan Academy
This incredible tool can be used by children and adults alike. Khan Academy offers courses in nearly all subjects and of nearly all levels. Whether you are using it to teach a child a new skill, or to bolster knowledge in a subject they already know, Khan Academy is a fantastic resource for both parents and teachers. Available also for iPhone, iPad and Android, as well as online.

• My Study Life – This app, for older children, is the school planner of the future. Combining all classes, assignments, exams, etc. all into a personalized calendar, your child is guaranteed to be on schedule and on track, never needing to blame the dog for a missing assignment again.

If you like these suggestions, please bookmark our site & share this article on social media to help us spread the word. We couldn't do it without you. Thanks for visiting www.KidsDesk.net.

Ten Spelling Apps Just for Kids

10 Spelling Apps for Kids

Written and verbal communication are indispensable tools that will permeate every facet of your child’s future. They will continually be evaluated by their communicative abilities, whether they are taking an exam, applying for college, writing a research paper, or applying for a job. The communication skills that you bestow your child with early on will impact them down the line. One of the building blocks for effective communication is spelling. Today there are so many fun and exciting ways that you can use to help your child learn to spell.

Technology, however, can create and fun and unique learning experience. There are many smartphone, tablet and computer apps that can make your child’s learning experience even more exciting. In this article, we highlight 10 spelling apps for your child that we found helpful. This can be an effective approach to boosting their communication skills because it is presented in the form of a fun game. Spelling can be complex for beginning learners, especially since children must first understand phonemes, or the individual units that form words. They should also become well versed in morphemes, or word combinations. By understanding the effects produced by various word placements and word combinations, they can effectively learn how to spell and write. You may consider some of the apps below.

1. Alpha Writer
Alpha Writer, by Montessorium, teaches kids letters and sounds that they must know in order to understand the composition of words. They essentially see the word, hear the sound, and can manipulate the position of the letter in a word. The possibilities are endless, as you learn to read, write and spell phonetically. Compose words and create stories with fun illustrations and dynamic interactions.

2. Bob Books
Employs the use of phonics, repetitions and spelling to build communicative skill. Winner of the 2011 Editor's Choice Award, Children's Technology Review and "Best App for Kids" by Parenting Magazine.

3. C is for Cow
This is an app designed to develop spelling abilities through the use of alphabet games. “C is for Cow,” the new app by A Modern Eden, playfully teaches kids recognition and phonetics of each letter in the alphabet, along with a corresponding animal for reinforcement.

4. Clifford’s BE Big With Words
Parent's Choice Recommended app specifically designed to help children practice spelling and reading.

5. The Electric Company Wordball
This is an app where kids can learn how to spell with video clips. Break out your word skills! Look out for wordballs and catch them if you can as you groove to 9 game-enhanced videos

6. Licking Letters
This is an app that helps kids identify letters and use them in various words. Jump into the pond and help your lovable friend, Hoppy the Frog, lick letters to spell words! Your child will have a blast with this exciting and fun spelling adventure! (Ages 3-7)

7. Montessori Crosswords
This is another app designed to help kids with spelling. New-York Times - "The 3-year-old has learned to spell words through an app called Montessori Crosswords." Children's Technology Review - "Editor's Choice Award for Excellence in Design"

8. Pogg Spelling and Verbs
This kids app teaches spelling through the use of pictures. Pogg is a fun iPhone and iPad educational game for young children, as well as a proven useful tool in kids' language development. It stars Pogg, a little green alien who can do all sorts of things.

9. TeachMe
This app is designed to teach spelling to those in kindergarten or first grade. New letter writing topic teaches how to write letters a-z, A-Z. It also teaches how to write numbers 0-9. Animated strokes show the child exactly how to write each letter or number

10. Word Magic
Is an excellent game app that uses brilliant visuals to teach spelling. Word Magic is nominated for Best Educational App by 2009 Best App Ever awards and also featured in "Apps for kids" by Apple.

If you have a favorite spelling app that you love, please share in the comments. Thanks for visiting www.KidsDesk.net! Please bookmark us and share our articles on social media. Without you we couldn't do it. If you are an app developer or marketer, and you would like to highligh your app. Please email us  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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