Kindoma Storytime

Common Sense Media says

Great app makes long-distance shared reading easy.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

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
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

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

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

privacy policy explains what personal information is collected and how it's used. Connecting two accounts requires a few steps and adult-lock swipe gestures to access, to keep kids safe and only connected with the right people.

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.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • reading
  • speaking
  • storytelling

Skills

Emotional Development

  • perspective taking
  • self-awareness

Communication

  • friendship building
  • listening

Collaboration

  • cooperation

Tech Skills

  • using and applying technology

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Book selections don't represent the best of children's lit, but the design is sleek, effective, and easy to use. Kids and adults both will love reading together.

Learning Approach

The point gesture is a great tool to really make the remote reading experience effective. Kids can ask questions about words, pictures, or text to deepen their understanding, or adults can point and ask questions to check for understanding.

Support

No in-app help or instructions. Books are saved to the library once selected.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • reading
  • speaking
  • storytelling

Skills

Emotional Development

  • perspective taking
  • self-awareness

Communication

  • friendship building
  • listening

Collaboration

  • cooperation

Tech Skills

  • using and applying technology

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.

This Learning Rating review was written by Amanda Bindel

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?

QUALITY
 

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.

Families can talk 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

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
Price:Free (with in-app purchases)
Pricing structure:Free, Free to Try
Subscription price:$6.99/month
Release date:February 4, 2014
Category:Education
Topics:Cars and trucks, Magic and fantasy, Princesses and fairies, Book characters, Bugs, Fairy tales, Numbers and letters, Trains, Wild animals
Size:26.10 MB
Publisher:Kindoma
Version:3.1.1
Minimum software requirements:iOS 6.0 or later

This review of Kindoma Storytime was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

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