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New Free Family-Oriented Early-Literacy Apps [downloadable]

Three new early-literacy apps — released for free from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and its Reach Every Reader initiative — are designed for parents and caregivers to use with their children. They’re designed to create fun and rewarding interactions, get families talking, and give children the foundations they need to read, learn, and thrive.

The new apps for for mobile devices were developed by a team led by Joe Blatt, senior lecturer on education at HGSE and principal investigator; Meredith Rowe, Saul Zaentz Professor of Early Learning and Development; and Paola Uccelli, professor of education at HGSE. The research team partnered with public media producer GBH and educational media developer FableVision Studios. To learn more about the research behind the apps and stay connected to updates, new releases, and literacy resources, visit Reach Every Reader.

Learn more about the apps:

More About the Apps:

Small Wonders

Small Wonders (For Families) is specially designed for caregivers and children to use together, with games, songs, and activity ideas that can be the start of many back-and-forth conversations — ideal for preparing children to read. It offers tips to help you build your child’s language skills off-screen, too, while running errands or doing other everyday activities.

Photo Play

In Photo Play (For Families), caregivers and children choose a photo of their own and have fun drawing on it, decorating it, playing hide and seek with it, and talking about people and events that the photo brings to mind. Like HGSE’s other apps, it offers tips to help you build your child’s language skills off-screen, too, as you go about your daily activities.

Animal Antics

In Animal Antics (For Families), caregivers and children take on the personalities of lovable animal characters in a variety of story settings. In each scenario, take turns choosing facial expressions and recording dialogue; then, play back the entire story! Like HGSE’s other apps, Animal Antics offers tips to help you build your child’s language skills off-screen, too.

Download links for all three apps are available on the Harvard Graduate School of Education website as well as Apple’s app store or Google Play.

Source: Harvard Graduate School of Education | Cultivating Early Literacy, https://www.gse.harvard.edu/apps/early-literacy | ©2021 President and Fellows of Harvard College

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