We Publish by Kids Own Publishing is one of the easiest to use creative story apps for preschoolers and elementary students that I have run across. Reading their mission statement is truly inspirational, and that is to help kids have a voice, and share their stories. “….Publishing is the magic that takes your idea, hands it out to the world and allows it to grow…” In We Publish, kids have creative control throughout the process in making an 8-page book. What makes this app rock is that process is not just limited to screen time use, and it would be wonderful for students to chronicle group experiences, outings, or class projects in a book using drawings or photos that they have taken. Students can use anything as a resource – from their own 3D creations off screen to using creative images from other apps for their stories. Let’s take a look at making a book to see why this app stands out amongst the rest.
Writing the book is as simple as 123. There are 3 different fonts to choose from, and font size can be adjusted by pinching or stretching with your fingers to the size and spacing that pleases you. Font colors are limited to black, but you can outline or draw with black or white, depending on your back ground color – and this would include making handwritten messages. As someone who has made tons of social stories in the past, I cannot tell you what a joy it is to add text and pictures in an easy straight forward manner. It used to be such a hassle to add text to a picture and have it still come out in book form. I have wasted hundreds of hours trying to get text and pictures to line up when making visual recipes or just chronicling an experience so kids can share it with their parents. With this app, there is no more searching for images, trying to make it fit, adding text (hopefully) and printing something in a chronological order.
Books can be illustrated using favorite textures, drawings or art work from other apps, or even through using a picture of something you’ve made, i.e. Lego model. The camera roll is available to add pictures so that you can personalize the book. A really cool feature is to use a texture to illustrate your drawing. Select a texture from the app, or take pictures that you’d want to add. Then trim it to the shape you want. Tree bark, fall leaves, and in the spring…the gradual growth of flower or plants. What a cool Mother’s Day book to plant a seed and photo it growing along with your commentary as a gift. If you find a favorite texture or use one of the prefabricated ones, save it for future use. Trimming or cutting an image capitalizes on children’s natural creativity and ability to process and take something from ideation to form.
Once done with your 8-page book, print, fold, cut and manipulate it into book form. We Publish has just gifted all of us a motor planning sequence for creating, printing and folding the book so that it is in a sequential manner. I love that the book is in imposition….meaning that the order of the pages is correctly oriented for printing and folding. It just adds another layer of how to transition the art of doing to the real world. You can have a child participate and create a unique book, and/or his or her own social story that encourages how they feel and what to do… “Getting an X-Ray is scary, but it doesn’t hurt. Laminate and print and it can go in a pocket in seconds, ready when needed.
Love, love, love this app…would highly recommend this for every teacher’s or therapist’s toolbox.
Jo Booth has been an Occupational Therapist for over 30 years and currently works in Pediatrics with early intervention. She sees kids newly diagnosed on the spectrum as well as medically fragile kids. She loves to move, explore and play every day; so that "her kids" grow up to be healthy independent learners.