by Lori Cunningham (@wellconnectdmom)
I remember one of my favorite gifts I received for my new baby (9 years ago!) was the Beginner’s Bible by ZonderKidz. I loved its illustrations and stories. I read these great stories to my daughter often, hoping to make her familiar with her Christian heritage. As she grew, we enjoyed counting the animals in the illustrations and anticipating the next story. Today, at age 9, she knows the stories very well. I read the same Beginner’s Bible with my son too. He’s now six years old. When I heard that the Beginner’s Bible is becoming available for the iPad, I jumped at the chance to review it*. The Beginner’s Bible app is geared towards children six and younger, but I had a feeling my kids would still enjoy the stories. There’s something about moving books to an iPad that just adds to the excitement.
The Beginner’s Bible app is based on the bestselling kids Bible of all time, the Beginner’s Bible, which sold over 6 million copies since it first published in 1989. The app is free to download and includes six interactive Bible stories, six coloring pages, and a game. You can download additional story packs for $1.99 which include six more stories, coloring pages, and games.
In this post, I reviewed the original six stories and one additional story pack, so the pictures here will depict both.
The Beginner’s Bible app can be read by your child or yourself or you can have the stories read to you. I love this option because 1.) my six-year-old can learn to read the bible with my help 2.) if I’m not around, he can still hear the stories by himself, and 3.) honestly, sometimes I’m lazy and don’t feel like reading. I want to be entertained too with the kids!
Like the book, the app’s stories are well illustrated. They are fun and colorful.
The illustrations are interactive. You can move the sheep, cats, birds, and Noah around to hear sounds. Although the Beginner’s Bible app does not contain over the top interactivity, it is still entertaining.
When stories are read to you, the word is highlighted to help children understand the reading process and where they are on the page.
The Beginner’s Bible app contains a number of interactive games that go along with certain stories.
The six coloring pages can be “painted” with your finger and desired colors or you can click on the rainbow palette and as you “paint” the picture, the right color paints just the right spot.
There are also puzzles kids can play with. Within a couple of stories kids can press the game button to try the puzzle or they can access the games from the “Play” menu. The puzzles are easy enough for kids under six.
One fun game, which may be a part of the extra play pack, is a “Fruit Ninja” type of game where you need to slash apples with your finger so Eve doesn’t get a hold of it to eat. It starts off really slow and gets faster and with loads more apples as the game progresses.
A Mom’s Perspective
As you already know, reading is imperative to a child’s development for emotional, social, and intellectual growth. I began reading regularly to my children at six months, creating a nightly ritual of great bonding moments. I sincerely believe that reading books together regularly has helped my children to not only read at an earlier age but greatly increase their vocabulary. I did some research on reading interactive books in my post, Kids Online Books: Don’t Overlook Their Importance. I wanted to ensure that enhancing our reading with technology wouldn’t impede my kids’ progress. I found out that interactive books, such as the Beginner’s Bible app, can enhance their reading experience and physical coordination as well. Nonetheless, I recommend that interactive books don’t take over your reading experience with your child, but instead be supplemental.
My children and I enjoyed reading the stories in the Beginner’s App. They already knew what was coming in each story, but they loved reading it anyways and playing with the illustrations that accompany each story. The Beginner’s Bible app makes these favorite childhood stories come alive in a new way for kids. See the Beginner’s Bible website to sign up to be notified when the app is ready and see their fun short video/commercial depicting the Beginner’s Bible app in action.
The Beginner’s Bible app for the iPad will become available in the iTunes store on August 28th. You can’t beat free. Try it out. If you like it, there will be 14 more story packs coming, available for purchase.
* I was given a beta copy of the Beginner’s Bible to review. I jumped at the chance to read these great stories to my kids…once again!