Interactive Reading, Creating Stories

For Provider Appreciation Day we interviewed and featured a few of providers in the childcareinfo.com community.  One of the questions asked was, "what is your favorite activity to do with the children?"  Reading to the children and sparking imagination was a common answer.  With this in mind I am curious how providers might or might not be using interactive books.  I have recently found a couple of interesting initiatives in this area and wanted to share with you and hear from you.  Do you use any of these?  Do you find them useful?  Do the children like them?  If you haven't done it yet, is it something you are interested in exploring?  Keep these questions in mind while we go over these two different books and ideas and COMMENT! 

Story Time For Me

This company provides online children's stories for free.  They also sell personalized stories, inserting the children into the interactive book.  Their mission statement, Story Time For Me, explains that the goal here is not to replace traditional reading but to provide an alternative for other media such as television and playing video games.

"Our goal is not simply to turn kids onto reading, but to stimulate their imagination and creativity through the unique activities that accompany each story.  Our stories were developed to teach wholesome values through positive, moral themes.  All the Story Time For Me stories focus on socially relevant and family oriented issues, and the post-story prompts promote discussion between child and parent."

Slim The Ogre, Interactive

Slim the Ogre is targeted toward the older child, 7 to 14 years of age.  Published by Bongo Publishing, you can purchase the "interactive story builder" as well as the print book.  With the interactive story builder the child has a chance to create the story him or herself.  You can print out and laminate the books that the children created too.

Their website states: "Slim the Vegetarian Ogre provides a page by page structure which is easy to follow. It has been devised using considerable research and consultation on how stories are constructed and how children learn. It is aimed at all skill levels. Each page contains help and ideas on what to write. The story of Slim the Ogre is one which as been tested on children and found to motivate them to use their imaginations."

The story line of this particular book is about a vegetarian ogre in search of a diet that is a good balance for him.

Do you see yourself using any of these interactive reading tools with your children or the children in your care?  These are specific to computer usage but what about reading on things like Leap Pad etc.? Let's talk about the new ways you might be using interactive reading to spur your children's imaginations!

**Please note we are not endorsing these products but providing information and spurring conversation.  You decide whether you want to endorse them to your peers and express it through the comments.  Let's chat!

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Samantha Marshall, M.A.

Samantha is, just like you, excited to make a difference in our community and our world. With a Master of Arts degree in English Literature, you might ask how she found herself building and writing for a website focused on child care. From 1995 through 2001, Samantha started her career working for Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) sponsors which introduced her to the importance of non-profits, community and quality child care. Her experience with Sponsors, State Officials, and Family Child Care Providers left a great and lasting impression. Later in her career and her most recent position at SAGE Publications, an academic publisher, was as a product manager for a new online resource! During this time many of Samantha's passions collided. A love for the written word, children and the proliferation of knowledge as well as a fascination with the resources the internet gives us, building a community for child care on ChildCareInfo.com is the perfect way to make the difference she wanted to. Needless to say, she is very excited to be an active part of creating and building ChildCareInfo.com.