If there is one specific children's app I am most excited about at the moment, it has to be Ebookadabra - I think it's pretty brilliant.
Both of my boys are bookworms, despite their usual constant desire to be on-the-go most of the time. They both really enjoy flicking through books and being read to. I can really see Ethan's imagination coming to life now that he's nearly four. He loves hearing new stories and imagining the story come to life, he even loves non-fiction books (mostly about dinosaurs), but boy has he got a good memory!
We recently joined our local library and it's been brilliant to have so many book titles now available to us. I'm so glad we've joined - I used to love going to the library with my Mum at the weekend as a little girl myself.
I was also recently introduced to Ebookadabra after they contacted me and asked if I'd like to try their new app out with Ethan. At first I wasn't really sure what to expect with it, I wondered if I would have to pay for each book download, I wondered if it would be slow to load or if there would be a good range of book choices for us to choose from - but we've been left very very pleasantly surprised with it.
I don't think apps like these are there to replace books and bedtime stories - I personally love watching my children flick through the pages of books. But what I love about apps like Ebookadabra is that it's not just another app with videos to watch, or games to play - it's a fully educational app that encourages children who occasionally are allowed to use mobile phones or tablets to choose to spend their 'screen time' if you like, discovering new book titles, new story characters and even helping them to learn to read.
The app encourages children to read the book in full to then earn a sticker which then unlocks an educational game or an activity for the child to play should they wish. I love how encouraging this aspect of the app is - making reading even more fun!
Ebookadabra is full of fantastic book titles aimed at children between the ages of 3 and 7 and it has been designed in partnership with Disney, Harper Collins, Parragon and a range of other leading international and independent publishers. We were pleasantly surprised with how much choice of books is available - Ethan is currently dinosaur-mad and so he absolutely loved having his own dinosaur section of books to browse through and choose from.
We also loved seeing so many of our favourite story characters on the app - such as Dusty from Planes, Mickey Mouse, Elmer and many many more. The choice of stories available on the app is absolutely brilliant - we really could easily spend hours just going through book after book together.
One of my favourite features is the audio that is available on some of the stories. Ethan's too young to be able to read to himself at the moment, so it's brilliant for him to have the ability to use the app by himself if he wants to by using the audio I am also able to record myself reading the story for him to then play back, for the times when I am not able to sit and use the app with him.
Another great thing about the Ebookadabra app is the fact that when you travel you don't then need to lug multiple heavy books in your suitcase for your children to read whilst you're away.
Other brilliant features we've found include a safe and secure messaging system that allows children to talk to their parents about the progress they are making in the app, the ability to save stories to the in-app library and of course the brilliant visual search engine that has been designed especially for children.
Ethan and I have found so many new book titles that we hadn't seen before and we've really enjoyed each book that we've read together. I like having the combination of being able to go to the library to find new books to read, as well as having an app at my fingertips to browse new titles for and then read together with Ethan. We don't currently have a tablet - but with how visual the app is, I think it would look really great on a tablet-sized screen.
The whole app and the entire library of books and educational games is available for less than the price of a single book, with it's normal monthly price being £5.99 with no in-app purchases and no advertisements. Although it is currently available for just 99p for the month - which is an absolutely incredible price considering how many books are available and how well the app runs.
If you're looking for an educational app for your child, that encourages them to learn and doesnt contain in-app purchases or advertising, I cannot recommend Ebookadabra enough. You can visit their website over at www.ebookadabra.com.
Thank you for reading.
*This post is written in collaboration with Ebookadabra, however all thoughts and opinions expressed are entirely my own.