Kindoma Storytime

App review by
Amanda Bindel, Common Sense Media
Kindoma Storytime App Poster Image
Great app makes long-distance shared reading easy.

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The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can learn reading skills and develop bonds with loved ones they may not see face to face frequently. Through the shared books, kids can learn the lessons -- be it from a book on letters or a fairy tale with a moral -- and they can talk about them while they're reading or after. Being read to boosts kids' vocabulary and gives them a strong start to reading independently. Budding readers can practice their reading skills, too, by being the reader rather than the listener. Beyond developing reading skills, kids are building relationships and spending quality time with a loved one. Kindoma Storytime takes everything great about reading to kids and uses technology to make it possible even when you aren't in the same room.

Ease of Play

The work comes in on the front end -- setting up the two accounts so books can be read together from two devices. Once kids connect with their loved ones remotely, the page turns respond immediately, point gesture works wonderfully, and reading together is easy.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

The free app includes a handful of books; you can purchase additional books individually or subscribe for $6.99/month.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Kindoma is designed to help kids share a reading experience with loved ones remotely. Parents traveling or deployed for military service, grandparents or family members living far away, and more can connect with kids in a meaningful way: reading together. The app is free and includes a handful of books. (Books with alphabet and color themes and classics such as The Tale of Peter Rabbit and 'Twas the Night Before Christmas are included in the free selections.) You can purchase additional books individually (prices are about $2.99 and more per book). A subscription ($6.99/month) gives access to the full library with more than 200 books.

User Reviews

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What's it about?

Both users must have the app and an account, but only one user needs to purchase the book or the subscription. Add people to your connections by emailing them from within the app, and, once connected, call them. Kids will need an adult's help to make calls, as they have to get through a kid-lock screen. During the call, both users can see each other's library and each other on a small video screen. They'll both see the book, just as if they were sitting together reading it, and both can point to things on the page, turn pages, and interact.

Is it any good?

Anyone who has tried to Skype or FaceTime with a toddler or preschooler knows that the conversations are usually pretty brief. Those little attention spans crave activity. KINDOMA STORYTIME draws them in to a shared activity, and reading together opens up all kinds of opportunities for talking and connection. The page-turning gestures respond immediately, and the pointer finger, which points to what either user points to, is really cool and makes the whole experience totally interactive, just as if you were sitting together. The book selection is limited, and there aren't many well-known kids' books outside of a few classics and lots of Bible stories, but there's something to spark most toddlers' or preschoolers' interests. To keep everything safe for kids, there are a few steps involved with getting set up and connected, but it takes less than 10 minutes one time and is well worth it. Kindoma Storytime is a heartwarming use of technology.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the stories they read. Interact with kids when reading together with Kindoma, asking questions and pointing out details, just as you would in person.

  • Use Kindoma to continue bedtime stories with kids, even when traveling.

  • Have a new reader connect with grandparents using Kindoma to show off their new skills.

App details

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For kids who love books and storytelling

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