Creating narratives is one of the best ways for your child to practice a variety of executive functioning skills. Crafting a story from beginning to end requires organization, planning, focus, flexibility, and self-awareness. It also allows your child to practice their writing skills, although young children can also practice oral storytelling if they are not yet able to put their thoughts down on paper. Writing stories can also allow children to practice their reading skills as they are exposed to the writing of others as model texts. There are many ways for children to get experience writing stories but apps can be a great way for them to get started. Here we recommend three different story creation apps for children of all ages.
Just because a child cannot yet read or write does not mean that they cannot create their own stories. Toca World is a wonderful open-ended app that allows young children to participate in creative storytelling. The child creates their own character and then places them in a variety of locations with other characters and objects that can be manipulated. Much like when children play with dolls or action figures, they can move these characters, change the objects around them, and narrate what the characters are doing. The variety of locations allow for the characters to go to multiple places in their stories as well. Toca World is a free app but certain features require purchasing. It is available now on Android and iOS.
Storybird is an app for children to take their story from idea all the way to a finished product. Users can create a wide range of writing from comic strips to picture books to short stories. The site also includes a huge library of art that can be incorporated into the stories. Once a story is approved by the site it gets added to the app’s library, meaning that other users can access and read it. There are also a variety of writing challenges to get reluctant writers warmed up to writing longer pieces. The user can earn points for these activities which can then be spent on tickets to review other people’s stories. Storybird features a free trial but requires a subscription service. It is currently available on Android, iOs and online.
For children who do not know where to start, writing about themselves or their own experiences can be a great way to tell a story. The app Me: A Kid’s Diary is a way for them to keep track of these experiences and thoughts in a variety of ways. They can respond to various questions on the app, draw pictures, use photos, GIFs, voice memos, etc to create a tapestry of information all about themselves. They can create their family tree with friends and pets included, adding other “characters” to their personal stories. All of the information inserted into the app appears on the screen as a giant piece of art that can be clicked on and looked at whenever they want. Me: A Kid’s Diary is available for purchase on iOS.
What are some ways you encourage your children to tell stories? Share your thoughts in the comments below!