I cancelled cable about a year ago because I was so frustrated with the kids always expecting to be able to watch tv, then they’d turn into zombies when they were allowed to watch something, then they turned into evil little monsters when I told them to do something while they were watching tv. Since I cancelled cable, I’ve had to come up with ways, creative ways, to occupy my 7-year-old. My 14-year-old occupies himself by doing stuff outside, but my daughter has a difficult time finding things to do even though she has a gazzilion toys. I was told about an iPad app called Bookboard recently that encourages children to read. I’ve tried dozens of reading apps with my daughter but she never stuck with any of them. I purposely didn’t right this post until she had been using the app for a month to be sure that it really was different and she still enjoyed it after that long.
For children who are inundated with fast-paced video games and television shows, reading has become a chore rather than a delight. The myriad benefits of reading–increased vocabulary, more developed analytical and critical reasoning, improved memory and focus–are useless if a child never picks up a book. Fortunately, not all electronic devices are detrimental to the habit of reading: one iOS app, Bookboard, has reimagined the concept to enchant and encourage young readers to explore the infinite world of reading.
Bookboard is especially appealing to children who have not yet fostered a love for reading. The gaming features (collecting new ebooks and unlocking items) provide an incentive for kids who are struggling with reading to continue to practice. And, of course, children who are already avid readers will enjoy using their skills to earn new titles to explore.
Bookboard is designed for readers up to age 12, and includes over 400 ebooks that are unlocked gradually the more a child reads. My daughter responds well to incentives and the Bookboard app offers just that.
You can download a 30-day free trial of Bookboard to explore its features and test out its unique motivational approach to reading. If you like the app, the pricing options for a full subscription are pleasingly affordable. A monthly subscription runs just $8.99 per month. A six-month subscription costs only $29.94, which works out to less than $5 a month. Considering many hardcover books run $30 or over, accessing Bookboard’s extensive library for the same price is a great deal.
Gift subscriptions to Bookboard can also be purchased for friends or family whose children will appreciate the gift of unlimited reading. A full year’s subscription only costs $54.99.
Bookboard subscribers enjoy other features of the app, including offline reading capabilities. Bookboard allows you to download up to twenty books at a time for your child to read at their leisure, no matter how far they are from a WiFi hotspot. Subscribers also have access to audio books which allow children to tap words or blocks of text to hear them read aloud.
If you are looking for a new way to encourage your child to read, give Bookboard a try. Its goal-based approach might just transform your reluctant reader into a bona fide bookworm.