2011 28/04

A twist on story time

One of the hardest parts about having a newborn in the house again is finding time to do those things with the other kids that you did before the baby came.  It’s hard to do art projects or build lego towers when you’re feeding or rocking a fussy baby!  Trust me!  Thankfully my girls are really good about doing those kind of things by themselves or with each other.  But, when it comes to reading bedtime stories, that’s one that they still need mom or dad for!

Typically, when both Tim and I are home at night, we take turns — one of us will take care of the baby while the other gets the girls ready for bed and does the bedtime story.  But lately there have been quite a few nights where Tim doesn’t make it home in time for the bedtime routine.  Leaving me to pull double duty!

Some nights I fare just fine.  Talon will be content in his bouncy seat or laying across my lap or {enter hallelujiah chorus} will actually be napping while I read to the girls.  Then there are those nights where all hell is breaking loose — Talon’s fussy and screaming for  a bottle and the girls have their extra whiney voices on asking for a story.  Oh, it’s the glamorous life!  That is when we pull out the iPad!!

I know, I know! There is really no replacing how important it is for kids to be read to.  I get that.  I agree with that. But it’s also important that I keep my sanity intact!  So, on those nights where all hell is indeed breaking loose, we grab the iPad and open up one of the e-stories we have downloaded. I sit and feed Talon or rock him while the girls sit next to me listening to the story on the iPad.  It may not be traditional story time, but it works for us!

Here are a few of our favorites:

The Penguins of Madagascar: The Lost Treasure of the Golden Squirrel

Yes, that is quite a long title!  And the story itself is pretty long, too; at least by preschool book standards.  But the great thing is that it keeps my girls’ attention each and every time!

Your four favorite adventurous penguins from the animated film Madagascar are featured in this story.  Skipper, Kowalski, Rico, and Private embark on an adventure with King Julien, Maurice, and Mort as they unlock a mysterious treasure.

Penguins of Madagascar iPad app

This e-story app, created by iStoryTime, is great for kids 2 years and up.  Both of my girls (ages 3 & 5) love this book and it is super easy for them to use.  The pages can be turned automatically or manually (depending on the age and preference of the child) and you can choose whether the book is narrated by an adult or child voice or not at all and let the child read it themselves!

While my daughters loved the story and pictures, they especially loved trying to find the squeaky ducks hidden on each “page”.  It’s the little things in life, when your 3 and 5.

This app is $1.99 and you can lear more by visiting iTunes.

Word World: Snug as a Bug

I was so over-the-moon excited when I saw this e-story for the iPad! My girls absolutely love Word World and I’ll admit that I’m pretty fond of it, too!  I am just in awe at how creative the creators are when they make pretty much everything and every character out of their corresponding letters.  If you have never seen the cartoons, you must! Oh, and the stories are pretty great, too!

We particularly liked this story because, since my oldest daughter was born, I’ve always tucked them in saying, “snug as a bug in a rug with a hug.”  We’ve also seen this same Word World episode!

The story follows Frog as he helps his friend Bug find a comfortable place to sleep.  After trying a variety of “-ug”s, they finally find the perfect spot!

Word World: Snug as a Bug app

Besides the story being so cute, the app itself is great.  You can choose to have the story read to your child or, mute the voice, and read it together.  Each “page” features an animated finger showing your child how to “turn the page”, which is so great for the younger kids!  My girls’ favorite part?  Being able to tap on the “-ug” word to help turn the word into an object!!!

Sadly, there is only an iPhone version of this app (come on, develop the iPad app!) but you can always play the iPhone version on your iPad.  My girls really didn’t know the difference and enjoyed it just the same.  Snug as a Bug can be downloaded here and costs only $0.99.

That’s how we’ve been surviving story time on those solo-parenting nights.  I’m curious, how do you do it?  How do/did you balance the fussy baby and keeping up with the older kids’ bedtime routine?

You should know…I did receive complimentary downloads of Penguins of Madagascar from iStoryTime and Word World: Snug as a Bug from Moss-Tucker Associates.  All opinions stated here are my own (and those of my girls) and are not affected by compensation I may have received.

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