I haven't been this excited about an app in a long time. I recently downloaded the new Reading Rainbow app for the iPad (it's free!), and I was taken back to my childhood, where I would read along with Mr. Burton and sing the theme songs from the show.
The app, which has all the nostalgic things you loved about the program, also has so many amazing features for today's tech-savvy kids. Children can personalize their experience by signing in with their name, indicating their age, gender, and interests.
A tour guide walks them through how to use the program in an easy-to-understand manner. It's a simple app that children as young as 4 can use without an adult.
As a homeschooler, I know that I should read to my kids more, but I'm also juggling a work schedule. This app is a nice solution for those days when my kids need a little reading aloud time, but I'm stuck making dinner or tending to a crying baby. With games, videos, and virtually unlimited options for books, this is literally like having a public library at your fingertips (but with more gadgetry and none of the objectional book content I've been finding popular at many libraries these days.)
There is also a neat parent dashboard that you can access online. It tells you at a glance how many books your child has read and what titles, so that you can chat about it later!
The app and your first book is free; to subscribe to unlimited books, it's $9.99 a month, but they have a deeply discounted option for six months at a time. If you want your kids reading more, learning more, and having fun, however, I can't imagine a better way to spend less than $10. (If you figure in the time and gas money driving to the library, this may actually get you more book time for less cash!)
(I also want to say that as a book lover, I didn't think I'd love this app that much. It really preserves the beauty of the original books, however. As you can see from the photo below, the stunning color of the books comes out in the app, and the narrators as just as clear as they were on the original show!)
You can find this app at the Apple store! How would you use it to help your kids learn to love reading?