ReadAskChat for Children 0-4

App review by
Mieke VanderBorght, Common Sense Media
ReadAskChat for Children 0-4 App Poster Image
Simple stories, convo starters for parents to use with kids.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn that reading is fun and gain important early reading skills. Parents can learn how to use books to spark conversation with their kids. Parents can also learn how to help prepare their kids for school by engaging in interactive, language-rich activities.

Ease of Play

Navigation through the app and the stories is easy and straightforward.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that ReadAskChat for Children 0-4 is a subscription-based digital library designed for pre-readers and parents to use together. Short illustrated stories, songs, and rhymes are organized by categories such as science, math, or "indoor mischief." Each story has talking points to help inspire conversation or activities as grown-ups read with kids. Parents can choose conversation starters geared toward babies, toddlers, or preschoolers. There are some additional special features, such as talking points in Spanish, and video and audio tracks for action rhymes and songs. Parents must register with a valid email address to access the app's content. There are three stories included in the free download. For $2.99/month or $29.99/year, subscribers get 21 more stories plus three new ones bimonthly. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your information is collected and shared.

User Reviews

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What's it about?

After registering with an email address and a password, parents enter the READASKCHAT FOR CHILDREN 0-4 digital library. Parents can download one story pack -- which includes three stories -- for free but need to buy a subscription to access the other packs. Stories are short, from one to four pages, with photographs or illustrations and minimal text. Each page of each story comes with a handful of conversation starters or activity suggestions. Choose suggestions for reading with babies, toddlers, or preschoolers, and change at any time. Some pages also have audio or video material.

Is it any good?

With rich visuals, a research-based approach, a handful of useful features, and lots of suggestions for parent-kid interaction, this digital library has a lot going for it. The development of ReadAskChat for Children 0-4 is based on research on the importance of reading to young kids and of having language-rich interactions with them. The app certainly succeeds in providing easy access to reading material, and in giving parents inspiration for creating meaningful interactive experiences. Though some stories here are well-known songs or rhymes, others are originals, and most are very basic with limited text and complexity. They're right on for babies and some toddlers but may strike some parents as very simple for preschoolers. ReadAskChat for Children 0-4 rightly markets itself not as a screen activity, but as a way to get parents reading and talking with their kids that just happens to use a screen in order to be as accessible as possible. And, some handy user features, like locking the page turn, or translating the conversation starters into Spanish, certainly do make this digital library an easily accessible reading tool. While letting babies use screens for anything other than video chatting isn't recommended, using them with kids 18 months and older in a social context (like co-reading) for limited amounts of time doesn't contradict current guidelines. Look to ReadAskChat for Children 0-4 as an opportunity to spark meaningful interaction with kids to help foster reading skills as kids move on to more complex texts. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the conversation starters in ReadAskChat for Children 0-4. Read the stories together and follow the suggestions for conversations and interaction with your kids.

  • Read lots of stories with your kids. Visit the library to find a wide variety of kids' books and even attend story time. Talk to your kids about what you read, using the themes in the stories to ask them questions about their own experiences.

  • Provide a language-rich environment for your kids, starting from the first days of life. Sing songs, recite rhymes, and read out loud. Give them even more language by narrating what you're doing as you do it: "Now I'm going to change your diaper and then we'll get dressed to go outside ... here I come with your jacket!"

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
  • Subjects: Language & Reading: discussion, reading, reading comprehension
  • Skills: Communication: asking questions
  • Pricing structure: Free to try (Free download includes limited content, subscribe for full access)
  • Subscription price: $2.99/month, $29.99/year
  • Release date: December 1, 2017
  • Category: Education
  • Size: 30.70 MB
  • Publisher: Read, Ask, Chat, Ltd.
  • Version: 1.0.33
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 9.0 or later; Android 4.1 and up

For kids who love early reading skills and co-use apps

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