How often are you sitting in a restaurant or standing in a line with your children and they are so bored that you really, really need something to help entertain them? These days it's pretty easy to hand the children our cellphone or tablet and allow games or YouTube to entertain them. That's nice, but what if I told you that your Abilene Public Library provides a great resource for kids that is not only entertaining, but educational? Tumblebooks and Tumblebooks, Jr. are provided by the Abilene Public Library, as just two of many such resources for kids.
What is Tumblebooks? According their website, "TumbleBookLibrary is an online collection of animated, talking picture books which teach young children the joys of reading in a format they'll love." Tumblebooks provides books that can be listened to or read, as well as videos, puzzles, games, and more. Although the website's primary purpose is to promote reading, other concepts such as math, spelling, science, and history are also presented. There is also a language learning tab that reads books in other languages and provides games to reinforce concepts that have been taught.
One great thing about these books is that the children may read along with the books, so they are hearing the words, looking at the pages, and the words are highlighted on the page as they read. Fluency studies have shown that this is an excellent method for helping readers who struggle to read because of dyslexia or other problems. This is also helpful for beginning readers who can grow their vocabulary by seeing the written words while hearing them.
Very short, educational videos, including National Geographic videos, are also available through the website. These cover different categories, such as: Animals and Nature, Space & Technology, Geography, History, Biology, Science, Earth Science, and Social Studies.
What ages should use Tumblebooks? All age groups may enjoy and benefit from this website; however, Tumblebooks is geared to appeal from toddlers to 3rd grade. TumbleBookCloud is designed for children in grades three to six with longer stories and higher reading and interest levels. Many of the books also include quizzes and lesson plans which are linked to Common Core guidelines for teachers and students. Both websites provide Accelerated Reading quiz information as well.
You can access their website through the library's homepage by typing in www.abilenetx.com/apl, clicking on the Digital Services link, then scrolling down to the Tumblebook link. For ease of access, simply bookmark that page or add a shortcut to your homescreen or desktop, and your child can easily access it. Tumblebooks provides great books and resources for children, parents, and teachers and they are right at your fingertips on your phone or tablet through your Abilene Public Library!
Article Contributed by Janis C. Test, Information Services Manager at the Main Branch of the Abilene Public Library