Skybrary is an app designed to get children excited about reading by providing high interest texts combined with educational activities, games, and videos. After the parent creates an account for their child and selects their age range, they will be asked to identify three areas of interest for book recommendations. These topics range from animals to fantasy to space to pirates. Once the three areas are identified, Skybrary sets up several “islands” that the child can click on based on different themes.
When the child clicks on an island, they will be presented with several books on that topic as well as educational videos featuring Reading Rainbow’s Levar Burton. When clicking on a book, the child has the choice to read the book right then or to add it to their “backpack” and come back to read it later. They can then choose to have the book read to them or to read it themselves by clicking on the audio icons in the lower left-hand corner. To turn the pages, the child simply touches the screen. If a sparkling icon appears on the screen, the child can tap it to see the book come to life.
At the end of the story, the child can answer comprehension questions about the story and play a matching game involving images from the story. When clicking on the islands, the child can also choose to watch a number of videos related to the subject by clicking on them.
Children can also earn stickers by reading books which can be used to decorate backgrounds and create photos saved to the device they are using.
Skybrary has a free trial period but after this requires a subscription. It is available now online, on Android, and iOS.
Flexibility: Trying something new.
Skybrary allows young children to practice their flexibility skills because it gives them a wide range of reading and educational materials to explore in one convenient place. Because all of the materials in the app are highly engaging, children are more likely to want to explore different areas of interest, even those that they did not originally select. For children who struggle with this area of flexibility, choosing two books or videos, one on a favorite topic and one in a new area can be a way to slowly introduce new topics into your child’s interests.
Working Memory: Recalling and retaining information in our minds while working.
The books in the Skybrary app have the option for an audio track of the text to play alongside the text. The text that is being read is highlighted, allowing the child to follow along with the words being read and see their pronunciation in real-time. This can help develop a young child’s working memory skills because they are learning to put meaning to words as they hear them read out loud. For a further challenge, the book can be read without the audio track, giving the child the chance to practice their reading skills without following along with someone else’s voice.
All membership plans come with full access to our entire suite of tools learning guides, and resources. Here are a few of the ones we think you’ll like the most: