According to Forbes – Best Digital Gifts For Your Kids For the Holidays


According to Forbes - Best Digital Gifts For Your Kids For the Holidays

Jeremy Greenfield writes: Gone are the days of loading big, bulky gifts under the Christmas tree — or wherever you pile your gifts this holiday season. Now, the most-coveted gifts come in tiny packages: laptops, tablets, smartphones and other electronic gadgets.

According to a recent study by Digital Book World and PlayCollective, nearly half of parents of kids who read ebooks will be buying them new e-reading devices this holiday season. But that’s not even the cutting edge.

Physical gifts like tablets and smartphones are really only as good as the digital content that kids can engage with on them. Parents know this, too. According to the same study, nearly three-quarters of parents of kids who read ebooks will be buying their kids digital content — and they plan to spend about $25 per kid on this content. (Hear PlayCollective founder and CEO Alison Bryant discuss the full results of the survey here.)

These numbers are all sure to increase in the coming years.

So, given that digital content is what the kids want — and what many of them are getting — what should parents buy?

Many of the perennial favorite children’s book brands are available in digital: Sesame Street, Dr. Seuss, Berenstain Bears, etc.

Parents should consider downloading apps and ebooks by OceanHouse Media (a convenient list of some of the best titles are here), Sesame Workshop, Scholastic and which now has a digital book fair app.

Parents who want to see the very latest and very best in apps and ebooks for kids should check out the finalists for the Digital Book Awards. The winners will be announced next month at a gala hosted by LeVar Burton (of Roots, Star Trek and, of course, Reading Rainbow fame).

If you can’t wait that long to hear Burton’s silky smooth voice talking books, check him out reading a digital version of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas in this video just posted on the Reading Rainbow blog.

375566_187011948105146_1546711735_aContent, content, content! Any app that stands the test of time does so because it has relevant and lasting content. Case in point, we (TWA) download many, many apps… what stays on our iPad’s? Only the best of the bunch. Yes, your tablet is only as good as the content on it. That said, how does one go about finding great apps? Teachers With Apps is a great resource, we field-test every app with a cross-section of students/teachers as part of our review process. TWA is dedicated to the idea that quality mobile educational apps are the tools of the future but they need to be used responsibly. As for finding the best in digital books, we have a whole section dedicated to Just Books where we highlight such developers as Nosy Crow, Auryn Inc, Wanderful Interactive Storybooks, Loud Crow, and we would be remiss if we didn't mention Oceanhouse Media again. As for individual titles, don't miss the Numberlys, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, both by Moonbot Studios, and we love Millie's Adventures by Megapops LLC. Also, Little Fox Music Box – Kids Songs – Sing along, by the incredibly talented author Heidi Wittlinger, and the developer, goodbeans is one book app not to miss for all ages!

We often share reviews with Carisa Kluver from Digital Story Time and need to let you know that this is another wonderful resource for digital books!

Just out is Stories Alive a  subscription-based app offering ‘Go-To Digital Library’ for children, a great new resource to find all things by the top developer AurynInc, StoriesAlive offers families an easy and affordable way to enjoy Auryn’s award-winning collection of hundreds of stories that engage, entertain and encourage learning among young readers. Kids can delight in a thoughtfully procured collection of stories from treasured classics and favorite fairy tales to modern day bestsellers from renowned children’s book authors and “Best of” Kirkus Reviews.

News-O-Matic by Press4Kids is not a book but a digital newspaper for kids. This app has been making a big splash in the device driven, digital news in both homes and schools. This much-needed app serves to avoid and we have to say, until now… there wasn’t an app for that. News vetted for children with relevant content, not sensationalized, and geared developmentally for elementary school age children – simply brilliant!

Here we wrote about our best educational picks for 2012: 12 BEST Children's Educational Apps of 2012 - Teachers With Apps. Stay tuned, soon our Best of 2013 will be out!

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