Reading Together, While Apart
Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good for him. —Maya Angelou
Having come from the world of education, I know it is important is to read to young children. Reading opens the imagination and creates conversation and connections. It is a favorite joy for many grandparents to have their grandchild on their lap and read a great picture book together!
During the pandemic I haven’t been able to be with my grandchildren as much as I would like, but I still want to be able to read with them. So awhile back I did some research on reading apps that let you share a book remotely: I looked at both Readeo and Caribu. Both focus on grandparents staying in touch with their grandchildren.
Caribu has features both for reading and playing games with your grandchildren. While playing games together may be a nice fit for some, my main focus was to provide a positive and interactive reading experience with my grandchildren. Readeo is focused on virtual story time and works great for us.
With Readeo you can see the book pages on-screen and share the screen with your grandchild, and you can also see each other (sort of like FaceTime) while you are reading to them. You can choose from more than 1,000 books and can use a PC, laptop, tablet, or mobile device. As you are reading together you can “book chat” and talk about what they are noticing: the pictures on the page, how the characters are feeling, or anything else. That can provide rich conversation as you move through the book together.
Another great feature is the ability to create a library for each grandchild, which is very helpful when you have grands of different ages and interests. They can also help build their own library, which is helpful when you are choosing books with them in real time.
There is a monthly fee, but you can start with a free trial to make sure it works for you and your grands.
I have read to my grandchildren with Readeo many times now and, for the most part, it has been a positive experience. Each of my 3-year-old grandchildren have asked to “read with Gigi”!
Do you like to read to your grandchildren? Have you found any apps or other creative ways to do so during COVID? Do you have any great books to recommend—please share!
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